Are you looking for how to spend 2 days in London? As with any layover, time spent in any location can feel fleeting. That said, you force yourself to plan the ultimate – albeit – aggressive itinerary to make the most of your stay. Your time in London should feel anything but wasted, so that’s why we’ve created a guide for navigating the top sights, sips and sleeps in this storied city.
With so many iconic landmarks and locations to choose from, we think visiting the novel and historic sights will be a great first place to start. So, if you happen to find yourself in the capital of England for two days, this is how you should spend it.
Best Place to Stay in London, England
If you are looking for the best place to stay in London, there is something for everyone’s budget and location. There are many great hotels in London to choose from. For different kinds of accommodations, there are many best area to stay in London. You can stay in one of the quirky hotels in the UK.
$: If you’d like to live like a local for your 48-hours in London, we recommend staying in an Airbnb. Simply decide on the neighbourhood you’d like to explore the most, and go from there. If you’re new to Airbnb, you can use our Airbnb discount and save $45 CAD on your first stay!.
$$: The Trafalgar St. James: This newly-renovated and mid-priced offering has brought a sense of buzz and wonder to the city streets of London. Be sure to spend time on the rooftop in the summer months for beautiful views and great food. Check here for the best night rates.
$$$: Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites: This hotel located on an exclusive street also happens to be home to the headquarters of Rolls-Royce, and Zander, Europe’s longest cocktail bar. Just a six-minute walk to Buckingham Palace, a ten-minute walk to St. James’s park, and an 11-minute walk to Westminster Abbey, spending a little more time near location will prove to be ideal when you only have 48-hours in London. Check here for the best nightly rates.
Check Trip Advisor for London Hotel Deals!
Where to Eat in London
A trip to London would not be complete without a meal at a quintessentially British pub. These restaurants dish out flavourful curries and bold brews that will leave you immensely satisfied. There are also many fantastic brunch places in London. Some iconic bars to visit during your two days in London are:
1. Lamb & Flag, Covent Garden: Established in 1772, this family-friendly joint is renowned for their gravy-smothered Sunday roast (sign us up)!
2. The Mayflower, Rotherhithe: Established in 1550, this nautical-themed pub is a great place to devour a healthy portion of fish and chips, mate.
3. The Prospect of Whitby, Wapping: Established in 1520, this famed pub used to serve the likes of smugglers, villains and pirates – because why not?
How To Travel Around London
- A great way to see the city efficiently and under budget is to navigate the London Underground, also known as the Tube. Arm yourself with an Oyster card and get going! You can map out your routes in advance here: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/tube/
- The Overground, similar to the underground, is another effective way to explore London. This method, also supported by the Oyster card, will ensure you’re able to spot buildings and landmarks that you would otherwise miss on the Tube. Think of this option as your hop-on-hop-off bus.
- If you’d like to get around faster and with a sense of ease, we recommend flagging down (or hiring) a black cab. While they might set you back financially, the drivers can also be great tour guides if up to the task.
Currency in London
The official currency is the pound sterling, also known as the pound (£). Most major credit cards are also accepted.
London Itinerary Two Days
Day One in London
When it comes to finding things to do in London, England the options can feel seemingly endless. Not only is this city expansive, but there are several tourist checkpoints to cross off your itinerary. There are also great off the beaten path things to do in London. For your first day, we recommend spending time exploring the Monarchy, live theatre, and more. Don’t forget your camera as there are so many great places to take instagrammable photos in London.
Have more time in London? Check out these places to visit in Southern England.
Breakfast of Champions: Start your morning off with a full English-breakfast consisting of sausage, tomatoes, bread, beans, eggs and more – your stomach will thank you.
Tip: A great and quintessentially British place to try this meal is at the famed Blighty Café.
If you love street art then try this London street art tour.
Buckingham Palace: Once you’ve had a hearty meal, head to Buckingham Palace. Channel your inner Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, and take an iconic picture outside of (or on) the gates. If you’d like to see the Changing of the Guards, be sure to arrive by 11:00 AM, which is when the program typically begins.
Big Ben & Beyond: Next up is a leisurely walk along the St. James Park to Big Ben and Parliament. From there you can explore the River Thames and enjoy a light lunch at any neighboring cafe. Next, we recommend visiting Trafalgar Square to catch some iconic sights. If time permits make sure to check out some of the best parks in London.
Tip: Reserve time in your day to explore the National Gallery (tickets are free)!
Dinner & a Show: By now your feet are probably aching for a seat, so we recommend grabbing a lovely dinner and a show. We think exploring the Theatre District will prove to be an ideal way to end your first evening in London.
If you have more than two days in London then check out the top things to do in York.
Day Two in London
Your final 24-hours in London will be fleeting, so we’re here to ensure that you make the most of it. Grab a breakfast on-the-go and begin. If you have more time make sure to check out these day trips from London.
Tower Bridge & Beyond: Start your morning at the Tower of London, followed by a walk along Tower Bridge. It’s recommended to give yourself at least two hours to explore the tower and surrounding property, so arrive early to avoid pedestrian traffic.
Market Meals: If you’d like a taste of local life, grab a bite at the neighbouring Borough Market. From here we recommend making your way to the Southwark Cathedral an 8-year-old Gothic Revival gem. If you’d also like to take in soaring views, be sure to visit the Shard, a 95-foot story skyscraper.
Tip: Book your tickets in advance.
Millennium Bridge & More: Begin your walk across the bridge for beautiful evening sights of St. Paul’s Cathedral. From here, the city is your Oyster (card). Enjoy your last evening in the gorgeous city of London, England.
As mentioned, there are many must-see locations in London, including some colourful neighbourhoods, such as Notting Hill, or world-class shopping destinations including Piccadilly Circus. We recommend ticking off the tourist destinations first so that you have the luxury of exploring the road-less-travelled the next time you’re in the UK.
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Saturday 15th of February 2020
Really good article! London is an amazing city to visit and it's funny how you can do so much in London in 2 days and yet it's too short at the same time! Very good itinerary, especially for first timers!
Thursday 20th of February 2020
Hi Pauline, yes, two days is a short time. Definitely more time to explore is always nice.I think it's time to go back!
Monday 2nd of September 2019
This is awesome and so detailed! Thanks for taking the time to put this together! I can’t wait to visit!
Monday 16th of September 2019
Thank you - so glad you enjoyed it.