Our Trip to London was not intended to be a large part of our vacation, but rather as a stop in getting to Europe from the US. We had found that flying into London was the cheapest way to get to anywhere in Europe, as flights from here are under $100. Once we arrived we only had a couple of nights. Here is what to do when you visit London for 2 days!
After many hours of preparation and planning, we put together the ultimate guide of visiting London for 2 days, to hit all the major attractions. We did make some major common mistakes in London along the way, If you have only a short time to spend in London, here is a tested and true guide to help you get the most out of your short visit! Use our link to get the best flight deals to London!
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Visiting London for 2 days: Day 1
Day 1 is mostly made up of arriving here and getting settled in, with some fun at night! We opted to arrive in London at 11 AM, which gave us the rest of the day to get some exploring in.
Read the pros and cons of arriving in the morning, to help with dealing with jet lag, just to prepare yourself and give yourself information to choose the best flight option.
Be sure to check out our Ultimate London Bucket List!
You're here! What next?
After landing, pick up your rental car (OR DONT. This was one common mistake in London we made) and head to your hotel! We suggest booking a hotel close to the city of London. Our hotel was 40 minutes away, which proved to be difficult. Spend a little extra money to stay closer to London.
Save a TON of money by using Booking.com to book your hotels! They have some amazing deals to save you hundreds! These 3 hotel sites you must know about are some other booking sources that you might find useful as well!
Get ready for fun!
Once you are settled, it’s time for some fun! By this time, it will be around dinner, and you will be STARVED! At this point, we had not eaten for almost a full 24 hours, so we were ready to eat just about anything!
Here is a list of some of the most unique restaurants in London you have to check out!
We were so hungry we ended up eating takeout noodles from a box and a giant beer from a restaurant near the London Eye, which was our major event for the night.
The London Eye
The London Eye is a great first attraction to visit, as you will get a birds-eye view of the entire city! It is a very relaxing way to spend your first night here after a day of traveling.
Additionally, make sure you buy tickets ahead of time! Lines get very long, especially in the summer. Save some time and stress and get those tickets early! We made our reservation late in the evening, around 7:30 pm, which gave us plenty of time.
The ride is 30 minutes long. Don’t make any plans after this. Walk around aimlessly, or head back to your hotel if you are too tired!
Visiting London for 2 days: Day 2
Start your day off with a morning cruise on the River Thames. You can get cruise tickets as part of a package deal when you buy tickets for the London Eye. That is what we did and save some money doing it that way!
The cruise is about 40 minutes long, so it is a great and relaxing way to start your day! A tour guide will give you so much information about London, and point out all the main attractions along the river!
After the cruise, head over to the Sky Garden (one of the best views and restaurants!) for lunch!
The Sky Garden provides a panoramic view of the entire city of London from 38 stories high!
You will need a reservation for both riding the elevator to the top, and to eat at one of the many restaurants.
All the restaurants are highly rated, and we had a wonderful meal at the Darwin!
The Tower of London
You could spend hours at the Tower of London, so plan to spend at least 2-3 hours here. Keep in mind it is only open until 5:30 pm.
Additionally, here is where you will be able to see the crown jewels!
They are beautiful, but the guards are very protective. You will ride a people mover to keep people from loitering, and no phones or picture taking is allowed.
Pro tip: Visit the torture chamber here. It is gross and awesome!
Depending on time and how you are feeling, you may wish to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Again, buy tickets ahead of time, because lines can get crazy busy, and you don’t have time for that!
St. Paul’s is beautiful on the inside, so it is definitely worth a look if you have the time!
At this point, you are undoubtedly going to be tired. Pick one of these unique restaurants in London for dinner, and call it a night!
Visiting London for 2 days: Day 3
We opted for a nighttime flight, giving us an extra full day to explore London!
Get up early and see the Changing of the Guard! We ended up missing this because we ran out of time (to our regret), but we still got to see Buckingham Palace, which is awesome!
You can buy tickets to the palace if you want, but most people just like to go and see it (and try to make the guards laugh)
After Buckingham Palace, take a walk through the grounds, and walk to Trafalgar Square, which is about a 15-minute walk.
Here you will find restaurants, shops, galleries, and huge fountains. It is a great place to relax after a lot of walking!
Walk another ~15-minute walk towards Westminster Abbey.
Again, buy tickets ahead of time if you plan to go inside!
When we visited, the church was closed (it was a Sunday), so keep that in mind when planning your visits!
While at Westminster Abbey, you will only be a 2-minute walk from Big Ben.
When we went, Big Ben was under construction, so we could not go inside. You will need tickets if you want to go inside!
If not, it is a cool landmark to look at and take pictures!
And there you have it! Visiting London for 2 days. Feel free to add, subtract, or rearrange this list to meet your needs! We suggest only booking tickets to 1 or 2 things a day, as we found it took more time than we anticipated to get place to place.
Take your time and enjoy it! Most of the attractions here are best enjoyed by walking around leisurely and exploring at your own pace.