3 days in London | Itinerary + best places to visit in 72 hours

What to do to visit London in 3 days and make the most of your stay? Discover our itinerary for a 3-day trip to London, as well as our tips and nice places for visiting the capital of the United Kingdom. Let’s go!

what to visit london in 3 days

1. First day | 3 day itinerary in London

Discover a possible itinerary for the first day of your 3-day trip to London.

  • See Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster
  • Take a ride on the London Eye (optional)
  • Visit Westminster Abbey
  • See the Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace
  • Visit Buckingham Palace (optional)
  • Discover the historic center of London and Trafalgar Square
  • Stroll through the lively districts of Soho, Piccadilly or Covent Garden

Where to eat? During this first day, you will spend a lot of time in the historic center of London. For example, here is a good place to eat the classic Fish & Chips in the Soho district of London: Soho Hobson`s Fish & Chips. Or Kitty Fisher’s Mayfair to discover the local cuisine.

1.1 See Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster

Symbol of London. It is a must see place if you are going to visit London in 3 days! Big Ben is the large bell in the Elizabeth Tower of the Palace of Westminster. Even if the palace is less known by name than the famous bell, it is the palace and its tower that represent London.

Impossible to visit? The Elisabeth Tower is open to visitors to people living in the United Kingdom, and only after having obtained a special authorization. The Palace of Westminster is the seat of the British Parliament. It is open to visitors only a few weeks a year. Thus, it is clearly a must to see in London, but not necessarily to visit.

Which area to choose? If you are going to take a 3-day trip to London, choose neighborhoods close to places to visit. This way, you will save time and enjoy the city more. The best neighborhoods will therefore be Westminster, Soho, Picadilly, Covent Garden, or Camden Town. Discover our selection of the best addresses in this blog post: Best places to stay in London.

big ben must see 72 hours in london

1.2 Visit Westminster Abbey

Monarchy. Built in the 13th century, Westminster Abbey is the site of royal coronations. In addition, one can also see here the tombs of British monarchs, as well as the tombs of great personalities of the country. Westminster Abbey is a very interesting place to visit during a 3 day trip to London.

Good to know! The places are limited. Tickets to visit Westminster Abbey in London are sold with a date and time of entry. Therefore, in high tourist season, it is strongly recommended to book tickets in advance. Find more information here: see dates and prices for visiting Westminster Abbey. The audio guide is included in the ticket price.

1.3 London Eye (optional)

Best view of Big Ben. Among the panoramic viewpoints of London, the London Eye allows you to better see the historic center of London, the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben. London Eye is London’s most visited tourist attraction. Find out more here: prices for London Eye. If you are going to visit London in 3 days, it is an activity to do with family or lovers.

Other options? In addition to the London Eye, there are other interesting places from which you can experience a magnificent view of London. For example, The Shard (more about that later). London Eye is more popular, but The Shard is a great alternative with less waiting and more height. You choose!

london eye view

1.4 See Buckingham Palace’s Changing of the Guard

Free. The changing of the guard takes about 45 minutes. It takes place in front of Buckingham Palace from 10:45 a.m., but only: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Depending on weather conditions (see the calendar here).

Very touristic. There are many people, and sometimes too many. Having a good place is not always easy. Therefore, if you are going to visit London in 3 days, it is not necessarily the big must if you are not a fan.

1.5 Visit Buckingham Palace (optional)

To be reserved in advance. The Buckingham Palace State Apartments can be visited. You can discover the exceptional furniture, the sublime paintings and sculptures of the royal collection. The visit takes place with an audio guide. This is a nice visit to London with the family: book tickets according to availability and prices. Very popular, the visit of Buckingham Palace is to be booked in advance, in order to be sure to have the tickets.

buckingham palace

1.6 Walking in historic central London and Trafalgar Square

Mythical place. Trafalgar Square is a rather very touristy place in London. In this square, there is a large column, Nelson’s Column, as well as fountains that light up at nightfall. Trafalgar Square is considered a social and freedom of expression space. During this 3-day trip to London, it is a place to discover absolutely.

Harry Potter fans? Enjoy a guided tour in French that will take you around London in the footsteps of Harry Potter: guided walking tour in central London. It is an original visit to do during a trip to London alone, with family, as a couple or with friends!

1.7 Discover the lively districts of Soho, Piccadilly and Covent Garden

Perfect for going out in London! You may have already heard of Soho or Picadilly at least once (another district to visit in London, we will see it just after). Located in the very center of London, this district is very lively. In Soho, you can find a lot of cool places to go out in London at night. If you want to take advantage of these 3 days in London, these neighborhoods are not to be missed.

picadilly circus

2. Second day | 3 day itinerary in London

What to do on the 2nd day of your trip to London? Here is a possible route!

  • Visit the Tower of London or the British Museum
  • Take a lunch cruise on the Thames departing right next to the Tower of London (optional)
  • Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Walk the banks of the Thames and the Millennium Pedestrian Bridge
  • See the Tower Bridge
  • Admire a magnificent view of London from The Shard

Where to eat? Here is a good restaurant near the British Museum: Salt Yard. Or you can also take a cruise with lunch on the Thames (see prices here).

2.1 Visit the Tower of London or the British Museum

To start this 2nd day of your 3-day trip to London, choose the visit that you like the most: between the Tower of London and the British Museum!

Tower of London. If you want to see London in 3 days, this tour is a historic visit to add to your itinerary. This is all the more the case if you would like to learn more about the 1000 years of history of London and to see the most jewels of the British crown. Book your tickets in advance, and go directly to the cash desk avoiding the wait: take tickets for the Tower of London.

British Museum: free! This huge and rich museum is one of the oldest museums in the world. And the icing on the cake, admission is totally free! However, the number of visitors is limited. Once again, remember to book tickets in advance, especially since the museum is not open every day.

london tower place to visit in london

2.2 Take a lunch cruise on the Thames departing right next to the Tower of London (optional)

Cruise with lunch. In order to have a 2-in-1 boat ride, you can opt for a Thames cruise with lunch. Indeed, it is a good option that avoids running around the city looking for a place for lunch, and at the same time a nice visit. To do in London with family or lovers: cruise + lunch.

2.3 Visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral in London

Impressive. Rebuilt after the great fire of London in 1666, Saint Paul’s Cathedral is a very pretty religious building. The top of its dome reaches 111 meters in height and weighs 65,000 tons in total. It is a very nice place to visit!

The city. Today, the cathedral is located in the business district of London, the City. If the 3 days of your trip to London falls on the weekend, don’t be surprised by the calm that reigns there. The neighborhood empties when office workers leave for the weekend.

View of London. Visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the must-see places to visit in London. In addition, you can also climb on the dome of the cathedral to admire a nice view of the city. Allow at least 1 hour for the visit: book tickets with audio guide.

saint paul cathedral city

2.4 Walking on the banks of the Thames and the Millennium Pedestrian Bridge

Pedestrian. This suspension bridge over the Thames is a very pleasant place to visit during a 3-day trip to London. It joins the City district and the left bank of the Thames. Thus, you can discover this bridge after visiting Saint Paul’s Cathedral, for example.

bridge saint paul

2.5 See the Tower Bridge

Drawbridge. The Tower Bridge is one of the must-see places to see during your trip to London. This bridge rises at night to allow large cargo ships to pass.

Visiting the inside of Tower Bridge? It is quite possible to visit the Tower Bridge inside, and more precisely its high platform. If you are going to visit London in 3 days, the visit of the interior is not essential.

tower bridge

2.6 The Shard

Unique 360 degree view. Day or night, the view from The Shard over London is spectacular! Climbing The Shard is therefore one of the activities to do in London. The open-air terrace is located on the 72nd floor. To save time, get tickets to ride The Shard right away. A very nice moment to live for a 3-day trip to London!

Surprise. On the 69th floor of The Shard, the toilets may surprise you… they too have a view of the city.

the shard

3. Third day | 3 day itinerary in London

What to do on day 3 of your 3 day trip to London? Here is a possible route!

  • Go by boat from Little Venice to Camden
  • Explore Camden Town and its market (usually Sunday is the best day)
  • Discover the Notting Hills neighborhood
  • Visit the Natural history museum or Kensington Palace (optional)
  • Take a walk in nearby Hyde Park

Where to eat? At Camden Market you will find several nice places to eat. For example, Mildreds Camden (vegetarian restaurant), or Flip & Sear.

3.1 Take a boat from Little Venice to Camden

What is Little Venice? Little Venice is a charming little neighborhood in London. It is full of greenery and is located away from the tourist attractions of the city. Here, you can take a break in a barge boat, or take a boat cruise.

Regent’s Canal. From Little Venice, you can reach the famous district of Camden (we talk about it right after) by boat! The journey takes 50 minutes, and the boat arrives directly in Camden: perfect! It is better to book tickets in advance: cruise from Little Venice to Camden. If you are going to spend 72 hours in London as a couple, this is an activity not to be missed!

3 day itinerary visit london uk

3.2 Discovering Camden Town

Unusual. Camden is considered one of the atypical neighborhoods to visit in London. One of the most famous places to discover is the Camden Town Market. The best day to visit is Sunday, it is the day when the neighborhood is most alive.

camden

3.3 Visit the Natural History Museum of London (optional)

An interesting visit! The Natural History Museum is one of the finest museums in London. Visiting this museum can be a good family activity. On the other hand, plan at least 2 hours of visit. If you are not interested in this visit, you can discover Kensington Palace and Hyde Park which is right next door.

museum visit london in 3 days

3.4 Enjoy tea at Kensington Palace in London (optional)

From Queen Victoria to Diana. Discover this emblematic place of the royal family. Kensington Palace will reveal its secrets and its magnificent apartments to you. Find out more here: see the tickets to visit Kensington Palace.

palace to visit in london in 3 days

3.5 Stroll through Hyde Park to end this lovely 3-day trip to London

A green break. Hyde Park is one of the prettiest parks to visit in London. Take a walk in this park, accompanying it with a lunch break. In addition, the park is located between the Kensington district (Kensington Palace that we have just seen above) and the Notting Hill district. Come take a walk here, whether you came to visit London in 3 days or 72 hours!

hyde park london 3 day trip

That’s the end of this itinerary for a 3-day trip to London! You can discover other activities and places to visit in London in this article: TOP 30 things to do in London.

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