Things to do in London

London in 5 Days – Explore London in 5 Days with this Ultimate 5 Day Itinerary

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Have 5 days in London and wondering how to spend it? Check out our exclusive 5-day itinerary designed to showcase the best of the city to any visitor making its way to the United Kingdom capital. Go through this list to discover more.

5 Days in London - How To Spend Your Day


  • Day 1 in London : Hop On Hop Off Bus, London Eye, Covent Garden 
  • Day 2 in London : Tower of London, Borough Market, Globe Theater
  • Day 3 in London Harry Potter Studio Tour, Camden Market
  • Day 4 in London Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, West End Show
  • Day 5 in London Notting Hill, Street art in Shoreditch, Up at the O2

London In 5 Days - Detailed Itinerary


Day 1

Experience the Must-See in London

Run Time

Hop On Hop Off Bus

Price

London Eye

Duration

Covent Garden

Hop On Hop Off Bus
London Eye
Covent Garden
Your first day in London is brimming with the iconic history, this charming city stands on the Thames River. Britain’s capital city is famous for its enthralling art, entertainment, royal and cultural attractions.

Hop On Hop Off Bus

MORNING 9 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Top London Attractions

Renowned Red Buses

What could be more fun than to explore the breath-taking city on our London open-top Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours? From museums, palaces, shopping streets, parks to cathedrals we cover all the top-visited sites in your bucket of wander. Begin your journey around London by boarding one of our renowned red buses! You may customize your time in London with 24 or 48-hour passes.

Travel Tips
  • While you can get an assigned seat on other bus tours and assure that you’ll always have a place to sit, there is no such guarantee on these hop-on-hop-off bus tours. All seats are first-come, first-served, so be sure to be as early as possible.
  • Tickets are cheaper when purchased online in advance.
  • This service is more about taking your time and exploring each location of interest.Visitors who want a quicker, more efficient experience should consider a different kind of London bus tour.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

Try to decide on the places you would like to visit before getting on the bus. Since there are multiple routes, find out where your attractions and places of interest are and board accordingly.

London Eye

Noon 12 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 30 MINUTES

Must Do in London

World’s Tallest Cantilevered Observation Wheel

After consuming scenic views of London, a trip on the London Eye is truly captivating, a ‘must-do’ and has been London’s number one visitor experience for over a decade. Elegantly rotating over the River Thames and less than a five minute stroll from Waterloo station along the beautiful Southbank. Step into your capsule and feel the exhilaration as you rise up over the Thames. Come face to face with the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, before soaring above them - up to 135 meters on the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel.

Travel Tips
  • There’s a fast track option which allows you to pay a little extra to skip to the front of the line, which can be very helpful on busy days when you have other things planned! And who doesn’t like to feel like a VIP, walking past everybody else stuck in the queue?
  • While you’re hanging back taking pictures of the loading dock, the rest of the people in your capsule will be snagging the best spots – so try to be the first one in the door! For optimal photo opportunities, you’ll want to be on the far side of the capsule as you come in.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

Book fast track tickets to gain entry from a dedicated entrance and skip a majority of the queue. This ticket also gives you access to the Champagne bar and 4D Cinema Experience.

Restaurant Recommendations

Grab lunch the London Eye
Applebee's Fish | Pig & Whistle Restaurant
London travel tips & hacks
London Eye Guide

The Complete Guide to The London Eye

The London Eye has been earmarked as London’s equivalent of Eiffel Tower, giving common people a chance to observe the vast city from a unique perspective.

Covent Garden

EVENING 6 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 3 HOURS

Must See Destination

London's Premier Tourist Center

Head down to the Covent Garden to immerse yourself in the vibrant must-see destination to stimulate your senses and enjoy shopping, theater, restaurants, bars, history and culture. Filled with restaurants, bars, markets and boutiques, London's premier tourist center offers fabulous shopping by day, and the destination of theatergoers and patrons of the Royal Opera House by night.

Travel Tips
  • If you are planning to shop in the convent garden, carry a small backpack with you, so you do not have to take lots of shopping bags in your hand.
  • Covent Garden is a vast area where you will have to walk around a lot. Always wear comfortable shoes like sneakers or loafers, so your feet do not hurt at the end of your day.
  • If you are planning to attend any events, book tickets or them in advance either online or physically. Standing in queues as a tourist is not a pleasant experience.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

The Covent Garden has a lot of historical significance for the locals. The best way to explore the locality is to take a thorough tour of all the museums and historic landmarks of the region.

Day 2

A Blast of London History & Culture

Run Time

Tower of London

Price

Borough Market

Duration

Globe Theater

Tower of London
Borough Market
Globe Theater
Surely you didn’t think one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan cities could be surveyed in just one day, did you? The best London Itinerary would need to space things out, once you’ve had a rest and are ready for Day 2, here's where you should head!

Tower of London

MORNING 9:00 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

London's Castle

Infamous Prison

Secure Fortress

We are starting off the day with one of the major trip highlights, the Tower of London! Even you non-museum people will enjoy because the history of the nobility, especially King Henry VIII, is just fascinating (if you haven’t read The Other Boleyn Girl yet then you’re missing out), the Beefeaters are a trip, and the crown jewels are unbelievable to see up close and personal.

Travel Tips
  • It does make sense though to do the Tower of London first thing, so even if you’re a bit lazier on the other days, really commit to beating the crowds and arriving before the Tower opens.
  • You should definitely skip the audio guide and plan on taking the one hour Beefeater tour because the guides are typically very personable and informative and it doesn’t cost any additional money on top of the ticket price.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

A lot of people visit the Tower of London in the afternoon during weekdays, so get there early in the morning to avoid the rush.

Restaurant Recommendations

Grab lunch near the Tower of London
New Armouries Café | Coppa Club Tower Bridge
London travel tips & hacks
Tower of London Guide

Discover a Thousand Years of British History at The Tower of London

The London Eye has been earmarked as London’s equivalent of Eiffel Tower, giving common people a chance to observe the vast city from a unique perspective.

Borough Market

AFTERNOON 1:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Food Lover’s Heaven

Best Markets in London

Are you a foodie? No? Do not worry, you’ll be converted to one at this food lover’s heaven. There is a plethora of culinary options you can choose from at the Borough Market.It’s one of the best markets in London. The market dates to the 12th century, has over 100 stalls and produce is sourced from local British traders and International producers. For coffee lovers Monmouth Coffee Company should be a must visit, cheese lovers should visit Neal’s Yard Dairy and Kappacasein.

Travel Tips
  • Part of the fun is wandering around, gawking at fresh and strange ingredients, and scouting out prices and quality, so take your time before buying!
  • Bring your own shopping bag, made of cloth so it doesn’t rip to shreds from all the goodies you’ll be taking home. Watch that wallet, too—less for the pickpockets—and more for the temptation to buy nearly everything your eyes fall on.

Borough Market & Gin Distillery Small Group Tour

Headout

Book Now

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

The best time to visit is between Wednesday and Saturday, when the full complement of traders come to flaunt their wares.

Globe Theater

EVENING: 9:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Iconic Open Air Theater

Shakespeare’s Best Loved Works

Discover Shakespeare’s iconic open-air theater, here in the heart of London.London has been a thriving hotbed of theater, filling the playhouses with the work of playwrights new and old. In terms of sheer spectacle though, nowhere can best The Globe, the stunning replica of an Elizabethan playhouse that premiered many of Shakespeare’s best-loved works. Wonder at the craftsmanship and imagine how thousands of Londoners would once have packed in to see the greatest actors of the day.

Travel Tips
  • Tickets for the shows sell out very fast. That means it is important to buy your ticket in a few days (or weeks!) prior to avoiding any inconveniences at the gate.
  • You can choose where you want to sit when booking the ticket and how many seats you want to reserve for the play. If you’re worried about comfort, you can pay for extra cushions. This is especially handy if you get a bad back sitting for a long while.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

Wear sensible shoes. You're going to be standing for a while; this is not the place for nine-inch stilettos.

Day 3

Explore the infamous world of Harry Potter

Run Time

Harry Potter Studio Tour

Price

Camden Market

Harry Potter Studio Tour
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Camden Market
Now to kick start Day 3, if you have any sort of affinity for Harry Potter whatsoever, then a trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour is necessary just for the butterbeer alone! Once you’re back in Central London, head to Camden Town for its famed market with over 1000 shops and stalls selling a variety of goods and food.

Harry Potter Studio Tour

MORNING 8:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 4-6 HOURS

Top London Attrtaction

Perfect Escape from the Muggle World

“After all this time?”
“Always.”

There’s no other quote that perfectly encompasses the spirit of the world of Harry Potter. A tour of the Harry Potter Studios is the perfect escape from the muggle world. Sip on some delicious butterbeer and grab a wand before heading to explore the beautiful sets of locations like the Great Hall, Platform 9 ¾ and Dumbledore’s office, along with getting an up-close, personal look at props, popular character costumes and creation of magical creatures like Buckbeak the hippogriff.

Travel Tips
  • Even if you’ve seen them all 10 times, it can’t hurt to watch them all once more right? It’s bound to make it even more special when you see props or the set from your favorite scene right there in front of your eyes at Harry Potter Studios, London.
  • Harry Potter studio tour tickets sell out really quickly, so avoid disappointment and ensure to book them early.
  • You’ll travel in groups of 15 people or less, and there are audio headsets available to make sure you don’t miss a thing. So, ask plenty of questions about the movies, the sets, the props, the costumes, the cast and whatever else springs to mind!

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

If you're looking for lesser crowds, November to March is the best time to go for a Harry Potter Studio tour. However, if you're looking for a magical experience, you can go for a tour during the Christmas season and witness the magical festivities first-hand.

Restaurant Recommendations

Grab lunch near Harry Potter Studios
Studio Kitchen | Chocolate Frog Café
London travel tips & hacks
The Harry Potter Tours London Guide

The Muggle’s Guide To Harry Potter Tours At Warner Bros Studio London

And if you want to experience this magical world in person, Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour is the place for you.

Camden Market

AFTERNOON 1:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 3 HOUR

4th Popular Visitor Attraction in London

"Creative Heart of London"

Browse for vintage fashion, handmade jewelry, unusual gifts and eye-catching accessories at Camden Market. If you're not a huge Potterhead you could make a day of it - start with a hearty breakfast at The Basement Tea Room, followed by a spot of vintage clothes shopping at St Cyr Vintage. Stop for a tasty lunch at one of the many cafes and street food stalls including Yorkshire Burrito and Baba G’s Bhangra Burger.

Travel Tips
  • The easiest way to get to Camden is by tube on the London Underground. The closest station is Camden Town - just a 7 minute walk from the market.
  • Shop around before you buy. Whilst there are lots of unique items available at the market, don’t automatically accept that all items are handmade. So shop around before buying because quality and prices do vary throughout the markets.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

Camden market is the sort of place you can get lost in and easily spend the whole day there absorbing the energy. However 3 hours for a taste of Camden as a starter trip will allow u to experience the varied food and get a taste this amazing cultured energetic market.

Day 4

A Day of Fun, Frolic & Sightseeing

Run Time

Buckingham Palace

Price

Piccadilly Circus

Price

West End Show

Buckingham Palace
Piccadilly Circus
West End Show
For your glorious pre final day, a far cry from some of the overrated tourist attractions in London, Buckingham Palace is still a working royal residence and is definitely worth a visit. On to the most famous road intersections in the world Piccadilly Circus is known for its unique architecture surrounding it, the iconic advertisements that adorn the buildings, the statue of Eros in the middle and an enthralling night out in the glitzy West End awaits you with an unforgettable London theater experience.

Buckingham Palace

MORNING 9:30 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

World Famous Royal Venue

Working Royal Palace

Take a Buckingham Palace tour to explore one of the most famous royal venues in the world. Enjoy the tour of Buckingham Palace to see the lavishly furnished State Rooms at one of the world's few remaining working royal palaces, see a special display celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, plus discover some of the Royal Collection's greatest treasures.

Travel Tip
  • There may be some variations on the opening hours depending on the time of year and the attraction you wish to see i.e. the palace, the gardens or the park. It is wise to double check before going to ensure the attraction you wish to see is open and avoid disappointment.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

You are advised to wear comfortable shoes, as the visitor route in summer includes a fairly long walk through the garden to the exit, along a gravel path.

Restaurant Recommendations

Grab lunch near Buckingham Palace
The Rubens at the Palace | Crumpets
London travel tips & hacks
Buckingham Palace Guide

Read This Before Going Inside The Buckingham Palace

Here's all you need to know about visiting Buckingham Palace, taking a Buckingham Palace tour and the highlights of all that is inside Buckingham Palace.

Piccadilly Circus

NOON 12:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Top London Sightseeing Options

Top Landmarks in London

Piccadilly Circus is where many locals and tourists choose to meet because of its privileged location in the heart of London, and as it is close to important leisure and shopping areas.The square is famous for its neon signs, different displays and the Eros fountain located in the middle of this road junction, which is now one of the city’s top landmarks.

Travel Tips
  • Piccadilly Circus is synonymous with leisure and entertainment. Crowded at all hours of the day, we recommend visiting this square during the afternoon/evening, when the brightly lit advertisements adorning the buildings brighten the intersection, giving it a unique appearance.
  • Advertisements adorning the buildings brighten the intersection, giving it a unique appearance. Avoid driving into Piccadilly Circus at all costs as it is an extremely busy area in London (and expensive!) If you're interested in getting some retail therapy done while visiting London, take a stroll down Regent's Street from Piccadilly Circus, and head towards Oxford Street.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

One of the most prominent attractions in Piccadilly Circus is the statue of Anteros on top of a Victorian fountain in the southeast of the Circus.

West End Show

EVENING 5:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Unforgettable London Theater

Highest Echelons of Great Theater in Britain

A mesmerizing night out in the glitzy West End awaits with an unforgettable London theater experience. Take center stage in this West End extravaganza as you act, sing and dance your way to the theater where professional acting, singing and dance coaches will teach you extracts from some of the biggest productions in the past 15 years, before your pre-show dinner and a seat at the West End show of your choice.

Travel Tips
  • Tickets for the shows sell out very fast. That means it is important to buy your ticket in a few days (or weeks!) prior to avoiding any inconveniences at the gate.
  • You can choose where you want to sit when booking the ticket and how many seats you want to reserve for the play. If you’re worried about comfort, you can pay for extra cushions. This is especially handy if you get a bad back sitting for a long while.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

It is recommended that you queue as early as 6am on both days, to ensure you get entry and more importantly, a good view of the stage.

Day 5

Explore London on your Feet

Run Time

Notting Hill

Price

Street art in Shoreditch

Price

Up at the O2

Notting Hill
Portobello Road Market
Up at the O2
For your last stop, from eclectic markets to delicious street food, cozy cafes and some of London’s most colorful houses, Notting Hill is an area not to miss! If you like your London with a bit of edge, then you’ve got to see the Shoreditch street art and to end with a bang, take on an exhilarating outdoor climb over the world famous roof of The O2 and enjoy incredible views of London.

Notting Hill

MORNING 9:00 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Portobello Road Market

Famous "Notting Hill" Filmed Here

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! Stroll through this charming neighborhood and take in the colorful houses that Notting Hill is known for. You can even find the famous Notting Hill film locations where the romantic comedy ‘Notting Hill’ was filmed.

Travel Tip
  • Please remember and be mindful that people do live here. Be respectful and do not get too close or climb the steps up to the doorways.

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

Notting Hill is famous for its colored houses and indeed, it's so lovely. Try to go on a Saturday morning as the famous Portobello Market is being held then.

Street art in Shoreditch

Noon 12:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Hotbed for London’s Artists

Hidden Gem of London's Art Scene

The colorful street art, Sunday markets and the mix of culture and curry houses along Brick Lane, makes it a hotbed for London’s art students and street artists. And, it is an ideal site for those looking for a non-touristy place to visit in London. It is one of the coolest things to do in London. This once forgotten and derelict part of London is going through regentrification and is now a hub for street artists, hipsters, London’s young entrepreneurs and creative types.

Travel Tips
  • Make a list of the street art trail you'd like to view before heading here, as that will save some time and come in handy!
  • There’s a sense of urgency lent by street art as it’s almost always temporary. If you walk the same route from one month to another, you’ll never find quite the same pieces. The temporary nature of street art is part of its appeal, but it’s also sad when a favorite piece disappears forever.

The Eat & Graffiti London Tour

Headout

Book Now

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

You're within walking distance of prolific street art, great food, markets, funky shopping and off-beat entertainment and hotels.

Up at the O2

Evening 5:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 90 MINUTES

Adventure Experience

Tourist Attraction in London

Take a walk on the wild side, breathe in the unforgettable expedition over the roof of London’s O2. Suspended above the iconic tent canvas, you and a fellow adventurer will make the 365m journey to the summit, 52m above ground level. Once at the top, you can breathe in the incredible views of London stretching in every direction, and take some epic photos, before heading back down to earth. Tool up with your climb suit, boots and harness - become every inch the urban mountaineer.

Travel Tips
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Please note that climbers will be required to wear our climb shoes so socks must be worn.
  • You must arrive 15 minutes before your climb time as latecomers cannot be admitted.

Up at The O2 Climb Tickets

Headout Price: £35

Book Now

🇬🇧 Local Travel Tip 🇬🇧 

The walkway of the ascent has a steep incline of 28 degrees to the lookout and a steeper decline of 30 degrees on the way back down - all with a soothing breeze in your hair. If this gives you cold feet, worry not.

Restaurant Recommendations

Grab dinner near Up at the O2
Market Brasserie | Café Rouge - Greenwich - O2

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Public Transportation In London


London in 5 Days - Itinerary

London is a big city with 20 boroughs but thankfully has a good public transportation network. Of course, the best way to explore the sights here is on foot but this is not always possible.

London’s extensive public transportation system can help you reach wherever you want in the city. The city offers you multiple options to choose from including tube, railway services, buses, cable cars, trams, and taxi cabs.

The Tube, overground rail, and bus services are the most convenient and cheapest way to get around London. You can get an Oyster card to ride on any of these transportation options and reach most parts of the city.

In terms of speed, the underground tube is the best choice. It is quick, flexible and can be availed at a discount using the Oyster card.

For tourists, the red double-decker buses and the riverboat (Thames Clipper) are good choices too. The places where you cannot take underground tubes or overground rail can be reached with the help of the Docklands Light Railway services.

A taxi cab is a quick way to reach your destination but extremely pricey. London is a huge city with attractions spread throughout and not concentrated in a single area. So make sure to know about the transportation options available in the city and how much it would cost you.While you can explore the city by car, the traffic in London is a nightmare. This is why it is best to travel around the city using the metro or the buses.

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Want to dive deeper into London's public modes of transportation? Learn all there is to know about the public transportation system in London.

Where To Stay in London?


London in 5 Day - Itinerary

Points of attraction in London are not concentrated around one area, and are widely spread out. This is the reason there is no particular neighbourhood which can be called as the best. Depending upon your areas of interest and budget, you can choose from a variety of nice neighbourhoods to stay in.

  • The West End, comprising of areas like Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Mayfair, Piccadilly, Soho, Oxford Street, etc., is a very central district. It is known for its nightlife and has most of the theatres, top art galleries, and high-end shopping places. It has many expensive 4 star and 5 star hotels.
  • Bloomsbury is just a walking distance from West End, and has relatively cheaper hotels.
  • Victoria, the transport hub of London, forms a good base for sightseeing and has a range of hotels that are not very cheap, but not too expensive either.
  • Kensington is well-connected, and has quite a few attractions, along with places to stay for all budgets.
  • King's Cross, St Pancras, and Euston are the areas ideal for a budget accommodation or a B&B.
  • Paddington and Bayswater are also pleasant areas with quite a few budget properties.

Tips & Hacks For Making The Best of London In 5 Days


  • The English, proud of their rich history and global status, are a courteous and reserved lot. They appreciate politeness and restraint. It is advisable to not be overly familiar with people you do not know. Though, despite their steely appearance, the British are friendly and helpful towards visitors.
  • They are not too demonstrative of their affection towards formal people in public so backslapping or touching is not appreciated. They like their personal space and expect you to maintain some physical distance at all public places.
  • At a restaurant, you summon a waiter by raising your hand not by waving or shouting. You are also supposed to watch your volume at public places as the British consciously speak softly.
  • They follow the Continental table manners holding the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating.
  • Use of last name with appropriate title is the way to address people in the UK.
  • A handshake is the common way to greet everyone including children. Women are expected to extend their hand first.
  • Always hold the door for the person behind you.
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London in 5 Days - Itinerary

FAQs: 5 Days London Itinerary


How many days are enough for London?

If you're looking for enough time to be able to enjoy the city, including some "down time" in pubs and parks, etc., I'd personally recommend at least 6-7 days. But if you just want a taste, you can plan a good itinerary for fewer days. Enjoy your trip! And remember, hopefully you will return many times.

Are 4 days enough in London?

4 days in London is not enough to experience everything the city has to offer. However, you can cover most of the major sights and still get off the beaten path. This London itinerary is packed full of excursions, but is highly efficient. So, you'll have time to explore each place without feeling too rushed.

Where should a first time tourist stay in London?

Mayfair is the best area to stay in London for first time visitors to the city because of its proximity to Hyde Park, Green Park, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. The architecture and tiny side streets also make Mayfair one of the most instagrammable spots in London.

Is one week in London enough?

You can do a lot with a full week in the UK capital. Whether you stay here the whole time or spend a day or more further afield, there's no shortage of things that can keep you entertained. I suggest starting with my 6-day itinerary and spending your final day exploring some secret London spots.

How many days do you need in London and Paris?

If you've got enough time, I think the ideal trip is 10 days in Paris and London. This will give you 5 days to explore each city without being in too much of a rush. Obviously, the longer you can spend in each place the better.