After finding an affordable flight from Virgin Atlantic, I just had 4 days in London to explore before heading to Paris and Rome. I wanted to do and see as much as I could and my aunt made sure I did just that. For a modern city, there’s so much history shared in London. If you’re visiting London for the first time, here’s a sample London itinerary filled with things to do and see in London in 4 days that can be used for trip planning.
London Itinerary Day 1 – Exploring the City of London and Westminster
The first stops on my 4 day London Itinerary were to The City of London and Westminister. If you’re wondering about transportation, the best way to get around London is purchasing an Oyster Card to take public transportation. Traveling during off-peak hours also saves money on fares. Coming from East London, I walked along The River Thames towards the DLR station starting the journey into The City of London and made the first stop at Tower Hill Station.
Tower of London
Dating back to the 9th century, The Tower of London is a former prison, palace, and the oldest fortified castle in Europe. Highlights within the Tower of London include viewing the Crown Jewels. The White Tower was built in 1078 as William the Conqueror’s castle and is the oldest part of the structure.
Often confused with London Bridge, the Tower Bridge dates back to 1894 and is walking distance from the Tower of London. Visitors can walk or drive across the bridge. The Tower Bridge Exhibition also known as the Twin Towers shares the history of the bridge in addition to seeing some of the best views of The River Thames and London.
Spending the next few days in London. It’s gloomy and cold, but the snow is gone and I’m enjoying the time with my aunt and uncle. We spent the day walking around the City of London seeing sights like the Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and lots more. You can see some highlights from the day in my instagram stories. 😊 #london #joannaetravels #unitedkingdom #visitlondon #londontown
Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
Formally known as The Palace of Westminster, the Houses of Parliament is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The palace consists of three different towers: the Central Tower, Victoria Tower, and the Elizabeth Tower. Big Ben is the name of one of the five bells within the Elizabeth Tower belfry. Visitors are able to tour the Parliament building on Saturday and during the Summer Opening,
Open to the public, Westminister Abbey is the site of the coronation of every British Monarch since William the Conqueror in 1066. It is also well known for the funeral of Princess Diana of Wales and wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Bible readers and scholars know parts of the King James Old and New Testaments were translated here and there are statues of 20 Christian Martyrs, one being Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A free thing to do in London, Trafalgar Square commemorates a British Naval Victory during the Napoleonic Wars. It is also a central meeting place for events, protests, sharing art and more. In the center of the square is Nelson’s column with a statue of Lord Nelson a British Naval officer who died in the battle of Trafalgar. A Christmas tree is donated every year by Norway and erected in this area during the holidays.
Walk along Whitehall and pass The Cenotaph, The Monument to the Women of World War II, and Horse Guards. You can also walk through St. James Park to head to the Royal Palace. Other parks within the area include Green Park and Hyde Park.
The official residence of the British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace was originally a townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham. It was later renovated and extended throughout the 19th Century. The Royal family uses the palace for hosting official events, State occasions, and ceremonies. A popular attraction is witnessing the Changing of the Guard daily in the summer and every other day in the winter. If you’re traveling to London in the summer, you reserve a tour at Buckingham Palace.
London Itinerary Day 2: A Day in Greenwich
Day two in London was spent on a day trip to Greenwich. Greenwich most famous for GMT where the Eastern and Western Hemispheres meet. Below are some activities and attractions we experienced in Greenwich.
Greenwich Foot Tunnel
Opened in 1902, the foot tunnel connects Greenwich with the Isle of Dogs beneath The River Thames. Starting from The Isle of Dogs, you can see beautiful views of the Old Royal Navy College, The Royal Observatory, and the Greenwich Hospital.
Exiting the Greenwich Foot Tunnel on the other side, you will see the clipper ship, Cutty Sark. Built in 1869, Cutty Sark was one of the fastest clipper ships to deliver tea from China and now a docked museum for tourists and locals.
Walk through Greenwich Park and head over to the Royal Observatory. Home to Greenwich Mean Time, visitors stand between the Prime Meridian Line separating the East and West.
Spent the morning and much of the afternoon in Greenwich today. In addition to visiting the Royal Observatory, we checked out the Painted Hall at the Royal Naval College. Tomorrow, we’re going to Saint Paul’s Cathedral & the British Museum. #joannaetravels #london #greenwich #royalobservatory #inbetweentime
In a hall designed by Sir Christopher Wren and painted by Sir James Thornhill, the Painted Hall is the largest Painted Ceiling in London. After a brief overview of the building’s history, we walked up the scaffolding to get better views of the ceilings.
The last stop of our day trip to Greenwich was visiting Greenwich Market. Since 1737 Greenwich Market has offered food, arts, crafts, clothing, and gifts for locals and tourists from all over.
London Itinerary Day 3: Kensington, Bloomsbury, and St. Paul’s Cathedral
Since Kensington Palace was the furthest site I wanted to visit, towards my last full day we took the Bus and Underground to Kensington and walked through Kensington Gardens towards Kensington Palace.
Another Royal Residence, Kensington Palace was the birthplace of Queen Victoria. It was also home to Diana, Princess of Wales after her divorce. Several staterooms of the palace are open to visitors including the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection with dresses dating from the 18th century to the present day.
Outside the museum by Kensington Palace. Kensington Palace has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century, and is currently the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Eugenie. That’s a whole lot of people. 😅 #london #joannaetravels #kensingtonpalace
For a wealth of information of over 8 million works, you can visit the British Museum. You can spend the full 4 days in London and not scratch the surface so I suggest mapping out exhibits before visiting.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
One of the last stops touring London was St. Paul’s Cathedral. Another design of Sir Christopher Wren, St. Paul’s is the location of notable events such as Churchill’s funeral and Charles and Diana’s wedding.
London Itinerary Day 4 – Take a Day Trip From London
No matter the length of time, your 4 day London Itinerary can also take place outside of London. Well-known tours provide day trips to Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath.
Other Things to do in London
I tried to pack everything there is to do in London in 4 days, but it wasn’t possible. Here are a mix of other popular sites and things to do in London. I’ll definitely be visiting on my next trip.
- Visit the London Eye
- Go to Madame Tussauds
- Shop Piccadilly Circus
- Visit Harrods and Fortnum & Mason
- Have Afternoon tea at the Ritz
- Party at Ministry of Sound
Before traveling, I was told London weather in March (and most of the year) is usually cloudy and/or rainy. Clearly, I chose the best weekend to go because the weather was a mix of snow, rain, and sun. The weather in London wasn’t the best, but I came prepared with rain boots and extra layers of clothing. From East to West, I spent 4 days in London traveling via car, foot, bus, and metro. I had my aunt and uncle to take me around so I was never lost, but you can read tips on getting around London, using the Heathrow airport lounge, and click here to save up to 40% off tours and activities before your stay.