By Jessica Russo
You're about to go to London; of course you want every day to be perfect. You want to see everything, but you're not exactly sure how to fit it all in. You might be thinking: Which day should I climb St. Paul's? When should we go to Buckingham Palace? Which day should I make reservations for a swanky dinner? Do I have time to see a show? Hey you: relax. Vacation is supposed to be fun, not stressful.
We've seen, we've eaten, and we've shopped all over London. We know what to skip, what to see, and when to see it. So, without further ado, here are our five perfect days in London.
Photo by Instagram user @livintoexplore and @sarasi__
The touristy must-dos: Soho & Covent Garden
- Big Ben, Westminster, Buckingham Palace
- Take those obligatory photos and start your "London" Instagram story. Admire the amazing architecture of these iconic landmarks, and try to catch the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace!
- Lunch at one of our favorites in the area:
- Walk through Trafalgar Square
- British Museum
- What's better than visiting a world-renowned museum filled with historical treasures? Visiting for free. That's right - there is no admission fee.
- Dinner at one of our favorites in the area:
- See a show near Covent Garden
- Get ready for a sparkling spectacle of music and dance. Head to London's West End to experience English theatre! One piece of advice: purchase tickets in advance.
- Hit a pub! Here are some of our favorites in the area:
Photo by Instagram user @britishmuseum
Photo by Instagram user @travel.with.isa
Explore the South Bank
- London Eye
- If we could give you one piece of advice it would be this: purchase tickets in advance. Purchasing tickets in advance usually offers a discount, as well as a skip-the-line option, which is huge for the London Eye. Do not, however, book too far in advance. Wait until you know what the weather will be like during your trip. There's nothing worse than booking a ticket when the forecast calls for pouring rain!
- Lunch at Borough Market
- Sample and taste your way through some of London's best street food! Chat with chefs, bakers, and farmers as you enjoy crafty cuisine.
- Tate Modern
- This world-famous modern art gallery is Britain's national gallery of international modern art. And, just like the British Museum, admission is free!
- Shakespeare's Globe
- Whether you see a show or simply admire it from the outside, Shakespeare's famous Globe Theatre is literally right next to Tate Modern. If you're thinking "To go, or not to go?, definitely go.
- Dinner at one of our favorites:
Photo by Instagram user @jaynieconnorphoto
Photo by Instagram user @
Iconic sites & local favorites
- Tower Bridge
- No trip to London is complete without a walk over the Tower Bridge. Grab your camera and take tons of selfies!
- Tower of London
- This historic castle is a London highlight. From the Crown Jewels to guided tours, experience entertaining history at this must-see gem.
- Lunch at Leadenhall Market
- You might be so busy taking pictures of this stunning market that you'll forget all about the food. Please, don't forget about the food. You'll regret it.
- St. Paul's
- You should 110% climb the dome. Your fear of heights are nothing compared to the breathtaking views you'll experience!
- Afternoon Tea at Sketch
- This whimsical restaurant is where art meets culinary excellence. Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime, quintessentially British Afternoon Tea at one of London's favorite spots.
- Enjoy a few pints at our favorite Fleet Street pubs:
Photo by Instagram user @jordynhnasko
Notting Hill, Kensington, & Camden Town
- Snap a photo crossing Abbey Road
- Please - we beg you - be careful.
- Notting Hill
- There is nothing quite like the pastel, candy-colored homes of Notting Hill. Take tons of photos, then do some shopping at the famous Portobello Road market!
- Lunch at Camden Market
- It's easy to get lost in this playground of unique shops and artisan bites. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and delicious goodies of funky Camden Lock.
- ... or, try Poppies Fish & Chips!
- When in London, fish n' chips is a must. Why not grab your fix at one of London's oldest and most traditional joints, located right in Camden Town!
- V&A Museum or Natural History Museum
- These museums, right near Hyde Park, are two of London's most beloved cultural institutions. While visiting both is ideal, be sure to pace yourself. If you don't have time to give both the attention they deserve, choose one and be present there. It's better to see less and absorb more, than to see more and remember nothing.
- Dinner at the Churchill Arms
Photo by Instagram user @its_so_london
Photo by Instagram user @roxymorison
An artsy day in East London
- See street art in Shoreditch
- Known as the "Brooklyn of London," Shoreditch is London's grungey, artsy cousin. Filled with cool restaurants, eye-widening street art, and funky shops, Shoreditch is worth a visit.
- Try curry in the UK's "curry capital," Brick Lane! One of our favorite Indian restaurants in the area is local favorite Dishoom.
- Do some souvenir shopping at Boxpark
- A pop-up mall made out of shipping containers? You bet! Grab some cool souvenirs, listen to live music, and grab some scrumptious treats at this unique East London hot-spot.
- Dinner at Duck and Waffle
- The perfect way to end a magical London vacation! This stunning restaurant serves up mouthwatering cuisine 24/7 from the 40th-floor of Heron Tower! A delicious dinner with a postcard-worthy view? Brilliant!