Are you planning on spending one day in London? That is not very long as there are a wide variety of things to do in London. This is a great way to start your trip and entice you to go back and get more of London. It will better if you had 2 days in London, but if you only have one day than it is still fine, you can see a lot if you maximize the time.
This London itinerary will also help someone planning a weekend in London. If you are also planning a trip around Europe then take a look at my best Europe destination in 2019 to visit.
In this article, you will get the best tips to help you plan the best 1 day in London from a Londoner! I will provide you with the best places to go to and the secrets that most tourists don’t know about, so you are not just going to tourist places. The capital of the UK is laced with amazing spots to explore.
The is the ultimate guide to what to do in London in one a day will make you want to spend more than one day in London.
Getting around London
Getting around London is very easy and there are a vast majority of ways to get around London so that you can maximize the time you have.
You will need to read this before you go to London, so you are not wasting time faffing around getting tickets or looking for the best directions. The different transport options in London are:
Buses in London
The buses in London are a cheap way to travel about, but if you are going in peak tourist season then you may get stuck in traffic and take a long time to get to your destination. You can’t pay for a ticket on the buses anymore, you can only pay with an oyster card that allows you to put money into it to pay, use your contactless bank card or if you have an all-day train ticket you can also ride the buses for free.
Taxis in London
The famous black cabs in London are an expensive way to travel around London. You can use Uber which is a much cheaper taxi service, but I advise you to only use them when the trains stop running at night. There is no point in getting a taxi during the day as you will be stuck in traffic.
There is no point in driving in London, as you will be stuck in traffic and finding parking in London is extra hard. It is very hard to find free parking and if you can’t find any, then paying for parking is very expensive.
Train in London
London hs a great tub service that can get you anywhere in London and very easy to understand. Thee is a train ver few minutes and you can get an all-day train ticket that allows you to take the train all day and even uses the buses with it. to save money you can get an off-peak rail ticket that allows you go get a train ay time but nit7am- 10 am and 4pm to 7pm. find out all the buses and train times and routes on transport for London, so you can get the best routes and Maximus your time.
Bicycling in London
riding bikes are a great way of getting around any city, but in London, the driver hates the cyclists. You can rent a Santander Cycles//boris bike from many locations around London.
You can walk to most places you are going to in London without taking any transport and this will save lots of money. Walking is a great way to see all the hustle and bustle London has to offer. You get to take in more of London this way.
How to save money in London
There a lot of ways to save money in London. Some of the London attractions are free to visit, such as Tate Modern, National History Museum and Science Museum to name just a few. All large museums are free.
One of the best ways to save money on entry to the sights is to get a London Pass. It gives you access to over 60 top attractions. It includes the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abby and more.
The other option is to get the London Explorer Pass. It allows you to pick a section of 3, 5 or 7 attractions. Both of the different passes will save you money.
Another way to save money is to get an off-peak railcard if you are just going for the day. It is cheaper to travel after the rush hour (that is 7 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 7 pm).
Where to stay in London
If you are planning to stay at night, then London has a wide range of accommodation. Options from hostels, five-star hotels and Airbnb’s.
The best hotels in London
You can get hotels very cheaply or famous ones for tens of thousands of pounds for a night but look out for budget hotels:
- Travelodge Walthamstow (price per night £48.55)
- Z Hotel at Gloucester Place, Marylebone (price per night £95)
Best hostels in London
- Wombats City Hostel (Price per night £21.38 )
- Clink78 (Price per night £14.88)
2 of the Best Airbnb’s in London
- Flat on Portobello Road, Notting Hill 2 guests (price per night £77)
- Victorian family home in Hampstead Heath 7 guests (price per night £266)
Getting from London Airports to Central London
If you are arriving in London from one of the many London airports than it is very easy to get to central London from them. You can get buses from all the airports and the London underground goes to all the major London Airports. If you get a taxi from the airport it will be more expensive and could take longer.
Best Boroughs in London to Visit
London is an amazing city. There is a whole heap of neighborhoods in London to choose from. Each borough has a history. I have compiled the best boroughs to visit in London:
Best central London boroughs
Best east London boroughs
- Tower Hamlet
Best North London boroughs
Best south London boroughs
Best West London boroughs
- Notting Hill
15 things to in One Day in London:
Soho is a great place to go and it is a buzzing neighborhood with some of the best bars and restaurants London has to offer. Soho has a vibrant gay scene as well as its famous Chinatown, home to some of the best Chinese restaurants in the UK. As well as this, Soho has a wide variety of places to watch shows and an independent cinema.
Some of my favorite London dessert places are in Soho, you can find out which ones they are by reading my Best London Dessert Places post.
The Barbican Centre is a performing arts center situated in Barbican. It is the largest in Europe. The centre offers a whole host of things besides Performing arts: classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings, and art exhibitions.
There is also a library, where lots of art students go, three restaurants and a conservatory. It has some of the best exhibitions London has to offer such as the current one that is all about Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The best area in London to see all the famous London sights is Westminster. As you walk down the River Thames you will be passing HMS Belfast, London City Hall. If you have the London pass you can go on the HMS Belfast for free.
You will be going past the famous London Eye, that will provide you with a magnificent view of London if you go on it, but it will not be cheap and sometimes there are long queues. If you keep heading down the river to the Southbank you will go past Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theatre, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Modern.
This is a great place to go for dinner – it opens at 5 pm and closes at midnight Monday to Friday and Saturday opens at 3 pm to 12 am. So before you go there you can explore Shoreditch’s many independent clothing stores and vintage shops.
Dinerama is a foodie’s haven that has two floors. The first floor has four bars and nine global street food companies, such as Breddos Tacos and one of the best BBQ specialists in London – Smokestack. Upstairs has four more bars and seating areas.
5. Camden Lock
Camden Lock is a part of the London Borough of Camden. It was a wharf with stable turned in to one of the best award-winning markets in London.
It is a very vibrant area with shops, street food, cafes, bars, homeware stores and host to live music and comedy clubs. All thwarted around Regent’s Canal The market is opened every day from 10 am to 6 pm and the bars and Venuses are opened later.
One of the best places to visit in Camden lock is Cyberdog which is a trance dance music and cyber clothing retail shop and their store in Camden is famous.
6. Pop Brixton
Pop Brixton is a community-run area in Brixton. It dedicated to showcasing the best new businesses. All the traders are independent and most of them are local. All the business operates out of shipping containers.
It is home to a few bars and street food stalls and permanent restaurants. There is a great greenhouse for you to enjoy your food in. POP Brixton offers more, as they host events of live music and entertainment.
7. Little Venice
One place to escape the busy London is to head to Little Venice. It will make you forget you’re in London and think you’re actually in Venice. You could walk from Camden Regent’s Canal to Little Venice if you want a nice London walk.
It is situated north of Paddington and the Grand Union Canal and Regents Canal run through it. Many of the buildings are Regency in style. It is home to a great theatre called the Canal Café Theatre, that seats 60 and specializing in political comedy performances.
8. Hampstead Heath and Hampstead Hill Garden.
One of the most beautiful boroughs in London is home to an amazing park. The small village of Hampstead hosts a wide range of Grade 2 listed buildings. Hampstead Heath park is a very popular place and offers a glimpse of the brilliant views of London.
There you will get to see the London skyline and the 30 St Mary Axe or as most people call it the Pickle. Going there will make you feel like you’re in the countryside and not London There are lots to do there such as in a hot sunny day go for a swim in the many pods, they have 3 that are the men only pond, Woman only one and mixed one.
Not everyone exploring the park will know there is a secret garden there called Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola. You can find it on the West Heath. It was built by Lord Lever Hulme at the start of the twentieth century. It has a great walkway and you will get a view of how the Edwardian super-rich lived.
9. Tower of London
You can head over to the Tower of London from Westminster as it is very close. So I suggest going after you visited all the sites Westminster has to offer.
The Tower of London was once Palace for the Royal family. It is one of the city’s most famous historical landmarks. That is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was founded by William the Conqueror towards the end of 1066. After you have seen the Tower of London you can head over to Tower Bridge as it is very close and one of the most famous symbols of the capital city.
10. Covent Garden
One place in London that you will love is Covent Garden. It has lots of small independent shops and some designer ones. It was once a fruit-and-vegetable market.
It is famous for having street performers that are great to watch. As they get big audiences, you will need to watch your belongings, as there are pickpockets there too.
There is a very good cheese shop there called Neal’s Yard Dairy. As well as this, there is lots of great London restaurants and one of the best burger places called Shake Shack.
11. Kew Gardens
After you have been doing a lot of walking around London you will need to go somewhere to relax. One to the best places to do just this is Kew Gardens in southwest London.
It is home to the largest and diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world. As well as this, it is home to the world’s oldest pot plant. And Kew Gardens station is the only tube station with a pub.
It is also home to the smallest royal palace in the country, that may be why you never hear the royal family going to it.
12. Notting Hill
If you are like me then every city you visit you want to find the best Instagrammable places to take pictures in. Well, one of my favourite places in Notting Hill – you should get lots of great photos there. It is also famous for its colourful houses.
There is also a wonderful market there called Portobello Road Market. It is the world’s largest antique market. It is open from 8 am to 8:30 pm Monday through to Saturday.
And of course, there is the one weekend every year when Notting Hill turns into the world’s second-biggest Caribbean carnival that runs on the 25 to 26 of August.
13. London Pub
You need to visit a pub, as it is a Great British Institution. The capital is full of them. After exploring what Covent Garden has to offer you can get a drink or some lunch at the Lamb & Flag
One of the best oldest pubs built in the 1800s. Back in the days, it hosted bare-knuckle fistfights. If you are very lucky to go on a Sunday than you will need to try their Sunday roast!
It is a small pub tucked away down a tiny lane, far from the crowds near Leicester Square and Covent Garden. After you had some time to relax in the pub you can head over to Leicester Square, home to lots of cinemas and where the film premiers are held. The Lamb & Flag opening times are Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 10:20 pm.
14. Sky garden
The Sky Garden is London’s highest public garden and is three stories high of Gardens. It is on the 35, 36 and 37 floors of the Walkie Talkie and it is situated in the heart of London. It is only a 7-minute walk from the Tower of London, so I highly recommend going before or after your visit to the Tower of London.
There is an observation deck, open-air terrace, and two restaurants and bars. The best thing about is that it is entry free but you need to book in advance for your slot.
The Sky Gardens is opened from 7 am to 1 am Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, on Tuesday it is opened at 7 am to 12 pm. Saturday 8 am to 1 am and on Sunday 8 am to 11 pm
15. Brick Lane Street Art
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London is home to a wide range of street art and some of Banksy’s best artwork. East London is one of the best areas to see some of the best street artists, the streets around Shoreditch and Hackney. For the best – go-to Brick Lane for some of the best street art in London.
You can get street art tours if you want. Some of the art is just made for fun and no message behind it. There are still many that have a clear social and political message.
Day trips from London after your day in London
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If you have plans to visit other parts of the UK, there are a few places you will need to visit. There are some great day trips from London. You should go to Brighton.
If you are considering going to Brighton than check out my free things to do in Brighton and best fish and chips shops in Brighton to try. Also if you consider staying a night check out the best Airbnb in bright.
Another great place to visit in Cambridge, where you can see the famous Cambridge University and go punting on the river, the student halls and get to learn all about the University. find why you need to visit Cambridge in my top 5 best cities to visit in the UK.
Comment down below anything I missed on the list.