Are you looking for a detailed 4 day London itinerary? Then you’ve come to the right place. London is one of the biggest cities in Europe and planning an itinerary can feel overwhelming. There are so many things to see and do! In this post you’ll find a complete itinerary that you can follow to make the most of your time in the city.
In this post you will find:
London is a very extensive city with plenty of activities and places to visit. Therefore, if you’ll only be there for a few days, it is essential that you organize your days in order to optimize time.
In 4 days you will be able to see many of London’s top attractions. However, if it’s your first time in the ity I strongly recommend that you spend some extra days.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Getting around in London
This itinerary is divided by areas so you can walk to many of the attractions included. However, you might need to use other transport like the tube or buses to get to some places.
Getting around London by public transport is very easy with the Oyster Card. This card is rechargeable and you can get it at any underground station. I bought it at the airport station as soon as I arrived.
Oyster Card gives you access to lower rates. The card has a “daily cap” and once you reach this limit, no more money will be deducted from your balance for that day, this means you will travel without paying. To read more about the Oyster Card visit the official site.
It is also possible to use contactless credit cards as if they were an Oyster Card.
How to save money in London activities
London has many free things to do. However paid attractions in London aren’t cheap at all, that’s why there are two tourist cards that allow you to save some money. Depending on what activities you are interested in doing, this passes will be convenient for you.
- London Pass: The card allows you to enter more than 80 attractions in the city. It can be purchased with a duration of 1, 2, 3, 6 or 10 days.
- London Explorer Pass: This card sells for quantity of attractions. You can choose between 3, 5 or 7 attractions and it is valid to use for 30 consecutive days.
For more info about the passes read: London Pass vs London Explorer Pass: which is better for you?
4 day London itinerary
> DAY 1 – Westminster
Palace of Westminster – Big Ben – Buckingham Palace – Hyde Park – Trafalgar Square – National Gallery – Portrait Gallery – Soho – Piccadilly Circus
Palace of Westminster
Start your day in London visiting one of the most historic areas in the city. The Palace of Westminster is one of the most representative buildings in London. The palace is the meeting place between the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. If you are interested, you can take a guided tour of Parliament, find more info here.
- Big Ben
Probably the most famous icon in London. The real name of the tower is Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben is the nickname for the bell of the clock. This is one of the most emblematic sites in London and you need to stop to take some photos.
Since 2017 the clock and the tower are being restored so you will see most of the tower with scaffolding. The renovation works are set to be finish by 2021.
↣ You can also take a River Thames Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise to explore Westminster. This River Thames cruise allows you to hop on and hop off for 24 hours at any of London’s main destination piers, such as Westminster, London Eye, Tower, and Greenwich. More info about the River Thames sightseeing cruise here.
Westminster Abbey is a Gothic church where the coronations and burials of British monarchs take place. It is also where Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton got married in 2011.
The Abbey is beautiful both outside and inside. Its facade has an incredible amount of details to admire. The entry to visit Westminster Abbey is included in the London Pass. And you can also buy the entrance ticket online which includes an audio guide.
- Changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth. This is one of the most visited sites by tourists since the famous changing of the guard in which hundreds of soldiers dressed in the classic red uniform and black hat march to the rhythm of the music of a military march takes place.
Although the ceremony is very interesting, keep in mind that it gets super crowded so you need to arrive early to have a good spot. If it’s something you really want to see, that’s fine, but if not there are much more fun things to do in the city.
The changing of the guard takes place at 11 AM and takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from August – May. During summer it is usually done every day. To know the exact days the ceremony takes place, I recommend checking the official changing of the guard site.
↣ TIP: You can also watch the changing of the guard at St James’s Palace where it will be less crowded.
- Hyde Park
Very close to Buckingham Palace you will find Hyde Park, one of the largest parks in London. A good option for lunch if the weather allows it is to have a picnic here. The park is huge and has many interesting corners like the famous Speakers’ Corner, a point where people can debate and give speeches.
- Trafalgar Square
After lunch, head to Trafalgar Square, London’s most-known square. This is the point where many protests and celebrations take place. In the center of the square you will see the imposing Nelson column, with almost 50 meters height.
- National Gallery
Around Trafalgar square there are some important buildings like the National Gallery, which contains a collection of more than 2300 paintings. As in other London museums, admission to the National Gallery is completely free. If you are interested in art, a visit to the National Gallery is a must.
If you want to know more about London’s free museums read: The best free museums in London
- National Portrait Gallery
Right next to the National Gallery is the National Portrait Gallery, which has a collection exclusively of portraits of historically important and famous British figures. Admission is also free.
- Explore Soho
End the afternoon by strolling through Soho, one of London’s busiest neighborhoods where you’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants. On your way there you can also stop at Covent Garden, a neighborhood full of shops and entertainment.
- Piccadilly Circus
To end your first day in London, visit Piccadilly Circus, one of the most central points in the city. Piccadilly Circus is kind of the Times Square of London, full of bright signs, shops and people. In this area there are many theaters and restaurants.
> DAY 2 – City of London and South Bank
Tower of London – Tower Bridge – Borough Market – Tate Modern – Millenium Bridge – St Paul’s Cathedral – Sky Garden
- Tower of London
Start the day visiting one of the most important attractions in the city, the Tower of London. This castle is one of the oldest buildings in the city and is where some of the executions of renowned characters such as Ana Bolena took place. Today the Tower is a museum with a very entertaining tour and also the place where the crown jewels are kept. To learn more read: Visiting the Tower of London.
The entrance to the Tower of London is included in the London Pass. The visit will take you about 2 or 3 hours so I recommend that you get there as soon as it opens (9 AM from Monday to Saturday and 10 AM on Sundays).
- Tower Bridge
The Tower of London is located just in front of Tower Bridge, other main tourist attraction in London. The Tower Bridge exhibition gives you access to the walkways above the bridge. Tower Bridge admission is included in the London Pass.
Cross the bridge to head to the other side of the River Thames. In this area you will see some important buildings of London’s modern architecture such as the City Hall and The Shard, the tallest building in the United Kingdom. The Shard’s observation deck, The View from The Shard, offers 360-degree panoramic views of the city.
- Lunch at Borough Market
Borough Market is one of the largest and oldest markets in London. Here you will find a lot of stalls for lunch. Please note that the market is closed on Sundays.
- Tate Modern
After lunch continue walking along the border of the River Thames to Tate Modern, one of the most important art museums in the world. Tate Modern is one of my favorite museums in London, not only because of its collection, but because its terrace which offers a beautiful view of the city. Admission to the museum is free.
- Cross the Millenium Bridge
In front of Tate Modern you will find the Millenium Bridge, one of the most recognized bridges in the city where one of the most spectacular scenes from Harry Potter was filmed. This bridge has a direct perspective to the St Paul’s Cathedral so it is the ideal place to take photos.
- St Paul’s Cathedral
Across the Millenium Bridge is St Paul’s Cathedral, one of London’s most important icons. The building, with its imposing dome, was built between 1676 and 1710. If you have time you can enter the Cathedral. The entrance is included in the London Pass and you can also buy the online ticket in advance.
- Sky Garden
End the day by visiting the Sky Garden, the tallest public garden in London which offers one of the best views in the city. Admission is free, but you must book your ticket in advance through the Sky Garden website.
> DAY 3 – British Museum and Camden
British Museum – King’s Cross – St Pancras – Camden Town – Oxford Street – London Eye
- British Museum
Start your day in the Bloomsbury neighborhood to visit the famous British Museum. The museum is really huge! Some of the most interesting collections to see are: Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Far East.
Beyond the works on display, the building itself is beautiful and worth a visit. At the centre of the British Museum is the Great Court, designed by Britisha rchitect Norman Foster. Entry to the British Museum is free. The visit will take you around 3 hours.
- King’s Cross Station
From the British Museum you can walk (about 20 minutes) to King’s Cross train station. The building is amazing and worth a visit.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you can’t miss to take a photo at the famous platform 9 3/4. There is usually a big line to get the iconic photo so be prepared to spend a while at the station.
Right next to King’s Cross is St Pancras Station, from where many trains depart to other countries in Europe. Its gothic facade also appears in the Harry Potter saga.
- Camden Town
From King’s Cross take the tube to Camden Town, London’s weirdest neighborhood. In Camden you will find a street market full of shops and all kinds of things. It is a very particular and fun place. In Camden there are many restaurants and bars where you can stop for lunch.
In the afternoon you can visit what you have left of Camden Town and then take the tube back to Oxford Circus.
- Oxford Street
On Oxford Street and Regent Street you will find a lot of shops. I recommend you walk through this area of the city until it gets dark to see how it lights up. If you visit London during Christmas you will see Oxford Street is full of beautiful glowing lights.
If you are interested you can end the day watching some of London musicals such as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Les Miserables, The Lion King or The Book of Mormon.
- London Eye
Another alternative for the evening is to take the tube to the other side of the River Thames and ride the London Eye, the highest wheel in Europe with a 135 meters height. It is best to get the ticket online in advance and avoid the long lines.
> DAY 4 – Notting Hill and Kensington
Notting Hill – Kensington Gardens – Natural History Museum – Victoria & Albert Museum – Science Center – Harrods
- Notting Hill
To start the day, take the tube to Notting Hill, one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in London where all the houses are painted in pastel colors. You surely remember Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant who participated in the film that made this neighborhood so famous.
In Notting Hill you can visit the Portobello Market. Saturday is the best day to visit it since it is when most shops are open. On Sundays the market is closed.
In Notting Hill you can buy something for lunch and head to Kensington Gardens for a picnic.
- Kensigton Gardens
Kensington Gardens are next to Hyde Park. In addition to having a lunch break here, you can visit some of the most important places in the gardens, which are:
– Kensington Palace: the royal residence where the Dukes of Cambridge now live. The interior of the Palace can be visited in one of its guided tours. Kensington Palace admission is included in the London Pass.
– Serpentine Gallery: a gallery of modern and contemporary art
– Albert Memorial: a memorial to Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Queen Victoria’s husband.
I recommend that you cross the gardens towards the site of the Albert Memorial, so you go out straight to the famous Royal Albert Hall. This concert hall was inaugurated in 1871 and musical shows are performed daily. If you’re interested in taking a guided tour, admission is included in the London Pass.
Keep walking around Kensington neighborhood where you will find several museums with free admission. You won’t have time to visit them all but you can visit the museum that you prefer according to your interests. The museums in this area are:
– Natural History Museum: My favorite museum in London, not for its collection but for the building. It is a Victorian style building on the outside and Romanesque on the inside, with characteristics similar to a church. It has a collection related to natural sciences, highlighting its important collection of dinosaur skeletons.
– Victoria & Albert Museum: an art and design museum where you will find collections of art, design, architecture, jewelry, relics, clothing and all kinds of objects from many cultures around the world.
– Science Center: a science and technology museum, ideal to visit with children.
After visiting some of the museums continue walking towards Knightsbridge neighborhood where you will find the famous Harrods store. This store is historical, it was founded in 1834 and started as a small store. Today Harrods is a 90,000 m² store and sells everything you can think of.
Even if you are not going to buy anything, I recommend you visit the stores. You can also have a classic English tea in the restaurant located inside the store: The Harrods Tea Rooms. More information here.
With this itinerary you already know what to do in 4 days in London. There are so many other things that I didn’t include in this itinerary that you can add if you have time.
Where to stay in London
As you will see there are many neighborhoods where you can stay in London. If it is your first time in the city and you want to be close to everything, I recommend you look for accommodation in the Soho area, Bloomsbury or Covent Garden. Here are some recommended hotels:
- Generator Hostel London: Located in Bloomsbury neighborhood, near the British Museum, the Generator is a super cool hostel which is ideal for your first trip to London. The hostel has several common areas: a bar, a restaurant, and a games room. Click here to see Generator Hostel prices.
- Z Hotel Tottenham Court Road: a hotel located only a few meters from the Carnaby Street pedestrian street in the heart of Soho. Modern rooms and a very affordable price for this unbeatable location. Click here to see prices for Z Hotel.
- Z Hotel Trafalgar: a hotel with small rooms but with a very good location, in the heart of Covent Garden and near Trafalgar Square. Click here to see prices for Z Hotel Trafalgar.
For a more detailed guide read: Where to stay in London: best areas and hotels
Other London posts that you might like:
- London Pass vs London Explorer Pass
- Best Budget places to stay in London
- Best free museums in London
- Visiting the Tower of London: is it worth it?
- Stonehenge day trip from London
- How to get to Oxford from London
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on certain links within this post and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read more about it here.