If you only have 2 days in London, then you’re going to need to do work your way around with military precision in order to get as much of the capital into your schedule as possible. The bustling West-End theatres. Small, winding streets in the city centre full of charm and character. The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben which line the bank of the Thames. London is also home to the Royal Family. You can visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Shakespeare, Jane Austin and Charles Dickens were all Londoners. Hundreds of famous musicians, artists and actors call this city home. Then there’s the shopping in London! Working your way through Oxford Street can easily take up your entire 2 days in London. Clearly, there’s a lot to do when you visit London.
London is also one of the greenest cities in the world. With 47% of Greater London being green space, you’re never far away from a park and it would probably even be a stretch to see all of them with just 2 days in London. Hyde Park in London’s inner-west or Hampstead Heath in the north are just two examples where you feel like you’re in the countryside, despite being in central London. Londoners take full advantage of this each summer when all the parks overflow with picnics, sun bathers, sports and BBQ’s.
Then, of course, there’s the famous British pub culture. I won’t go so far as suggesting that you should try and visit every London pub with your 2 days in London; I’m pretty sure you’d end up a little worse for wear and might well end up missing your flight home! Whether you prefer your cosy, traditional pubs or modern, trendy gastro pubs. London has something in every style and on almost every corner of the city.
So with all these options and just 2 days in London to see as much as you can, how do you decide where to spend your time? Here’s a guide on how best to spend 2 days in London.
INSIDR RECOMMENDATION HIGHLIGHTS ON OUR INTERACTIVE MAP
What you should not miss if you spend 2 days in London
2 Days in London: The Royal Family
The world loves the Royal Family! Buckingham Palace is home to the Queen and the perfect place to experience a dash of Royal culture at the Changing the Guard ceremony every other day. Kensington Palace is home to Prince William and Prince Harry, and visitors can explore the beautiful gardens surrounding the Palace. Westminster Abbey, the Royal Parks and the Princess Diana Memorial are all must-sees.
2 Days in London: The Markets
London’s markets are not only where you’ll find some of the best food in the city, you’ll also get to discover parts of London that you wouldn’t otherwise see. Borough Market is the best when it comes to quality food. Portobello Road Market is famous for its colourful setting in Notting Hill. You can also head east to the trendy Columbia Road which hosts a popular Flower Market every Sunday.
2 Days in London: Museums and Galleries
One of the wonderful things about London is that most museums and galleries are free to visit! With so many amazing options to choose from, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. Try the Tate Modern which is home to a rotating roster of the world’s best modern artists. Or visit the Impressionist Room at the National Gallery where you’ll find Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers.
Day one in London
2 Days in London, First Day Recommendations:
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays or Sundays – weather permitting – head to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing the Guard. It starts at 10:45am when the New Guard takes over from the Old Guard outside the Palace. The event lasts about 45 minutes with the actual handover taking place at 11am. It’s free to watch and if you’re a fan of the Royal Family, then it’s not to be missed!
Walk along the South Bank and take in the views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben on the opposite side of the River Thames. Then make your way towards TATE Modern museum to see some of the free exhibitions. Finish the afternoon strolling to Tower Bridge where you’ll also have views of the Tower of London on the river bank opposite. This will make for a cultured first of your 2 days in London.
Finish the day at Borough Market. While the market is closed at this hour, the area is still home to some of London’s best restaurants. Try the city’s best Italian restaurant Padella. If you’re in the mood for something spicier, try El Pastor for great tacos. If you like sampling as much as possible, head to Brindisa for excellent tapas. Finally, wine lovers can’t go past Bedales wine bar… but don’t go overboard or your 2 days in London might both haze into one!
Where to stay for your first night
What to eat on your first day
Recommended tours & activities for your first day
Day two in London
2 Days in London, Second Day Recommendations:
You can’t go 2 days in London without some shopping! Real shopping enthusiasts will head straight to Oxford Street and Regents Street. This is where you’ll find every shop you need. If money is no object, nearby Bond Street is famous for its luxury brands. For those who want to avoid some of the crowds, head to Covent Garden and Seven Dials for a slightly calmer and more boutique shopping experience.
Once the shopping spree is over, it’s time for a bit more culture on your second of 2 days in London. The National Portrait Gallery and The National Gallery are found at Trafalgar Square. If you’d like something more interactive, try the British Museum or the London Transport Museum, both found in London’s West End. Somerset House on The Strand is also one of the city’s most spectacular venues and home to The Courtauld Gallery.
Before the sun sets, make your way to St Paul’s cathedral. If you love a view then head to the top floor of One New Change, just east of St. Paul’s. The view of St. Paul’s as you take the lift up to the 6th floor is breathtaking. Then pull up a comfy couch at the rooftop bar and soak up the incredible views of what you have conquered across your 2 days in London.
What to eat on your second day in London
Recommended tours & activities for your second day in London