72 Hours in London
London is one of those cities that just steals your heart; the blend of history, culture, food, art and the modern life. I know we had a blast on our weekend trip to London because there is so much you can see and do with just 72 hours in London!
Our 72 hours comprises 2 full days and two half days over a Thursday – Sunday, perfect for a weekend trip! Don’t worry – this trip is definitely for the budget friendly. There are over 100 free things you can do in London and we made sure to jam pack our 72 hours with them!
72 Hours in London: Day 1 – Thursday (half day)
3 p.m. Paddington Station. Arrive into London at Paddington Station on a Thursday afternoon. Make sure to find the Paddington bench and grab some photos – or grab some official gear from the gift shop.
6 p.m. Platform 9 3/4. After checking into your hotel , explore Kings Cross Station, to check out the famed Platform 9 3/4? There is a trolley stuck halfway through the wall, where all us muggles can grab a photo living out our dreams of being a witch/wizard off to Hogwarts. You can take free photos, or pay for professional ones!
7 p.m. Piccadilly Circus. Check out Piccadilly Circus, a.k.a. the “Times Square” of London.
7:30 p.m. Leicester Square. Check out Leicester Square, just a few minutes walk from Piccadilly Circus. There are many bars and pubs around to enjoy a pint or two with a friend, or sight see for celebs walking the carpet during a movie screening.
8:30 p.m. Dinner Grab dinner after sightseeing – why not an Indian feast? It’s supposed to be delish in England.
72 Hours in London: Day 2 – Friday
9:30 a.m. Breakfast. Grab a bite to eat in a cafe – how about a savory pasty? Or have a spot of tea or coffee along with a scrumptious scone and clotted cream.
10:00 a.m.Kensington Palace. If you want to see a Palace while in London and not deal with crowds, Kensington is the way to go. The Palace is located in a park, and ideal for spending an afternoon. If you’d like to tour the inside of the Palace you can for a fee.
12:00 p.m. Notting Hill. Just twenty minutes from Kensington Palace is Notting Hill. The area is beautiful, and the houses and suburbs are perfect for a stroll. Venture to the Portobello Market on Portobello Road, filled with local independent stores, selling artisanal, handmade products. From the latest fashion trends to cashmere, to antique souvenirs – head to Alice’s, or even ornate doorknobs, you can find almost anything here.
1:30 p.m. Tower of London. Head over to the Tower of London and see the history. You can pay to take a tour inside of the tower, or you can enter it for free by reserving a spot (well in advance) to view the Ceremony of the Keys. Right next to the Tower of London is the famed Tower Bridge, most often mistaken by foreigners as London Bridge.
2:00 p.m. Borough Market. London Bridge. It is situated below rail tracks and smells absolutely delicious the minute you walk into the busy market. Foods from all walks of the world can be found here, New Orleans style, to Ethiopian, to drunken cheeses, and French Meringue. If you’re looking for a market style meal in London, I highly recommend doing the Borough Market
2:30 p.m. Crossing the London Bridge. Whilst crossing you gain a perfect view of the Tower Bridge, presuming no boats are in the way. London Bridge itself is quite “plain” in comparison to Tower Bridge and is rather underwhelming. When you come to the end of London Bridge you will come across the Monument of Fire which commemorates the Great Fire of London that burned for three days.
3:00 p.m. Sky Garden. Sure the views of London from the London Eye are beautiful, but they also come with a long queue and a hefty price. Why not do it for free at an enclosed rooftop bar? The Sky Garden is often quite busy so be sure to book in advance. It’s not a bad way to relax, the views are impressive. To the left, you can see the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. Directly in the middle, you can see the Shard, I believe it is the tallest building in London, and just off to the right of the Shard is the London Bridge, with the London Eye far off to the right in the distance. I imagine it would be quite breathtaking at sunset.
4:00 p.m.Check out St. Paul’s Cathedral and view the inside for a fee before they close at 5. Once done, head over to Millenium Bridge, which is right in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral and view the outside of the cathedral as it is much more impressive from afar since it is so large. On the other side of the bridge is the Tate Modern. For fans of Modern Art it is a must. If the tide is low, you can also walk down to the banks of the River Thames and maybe grab a rock as a souvenir.
6:00 p.m. Dinner. Grab some dinner in the SOHO area or Leicester Square. We went to an Italian restaurant, that I can’t remember the name of but it was absolutely delicious. Spend an hour or two enjoying the cuisine and your friends and family.
8:00 p.m. Big Ben and London Eye. Walk over to Big Ben and view it at night, there are a few pubs right nearby where you can stand outside, enjoy a pint and view the Tower. Once finished walk across Westminster Bridge and head to the South Bank and view the Houses of Parliament at night while all lit up. It’s beautiful. Remaining on the South Bank, walk over to the London Eye. It too is beautiful at night whilst lit up.
9:30 p.m. Pub Crawl Continue your pub crawl. Check out Flowers in the Forest, a pub that’s a little out of the “touristy” area, yet had a great atmosphere and a lovely beer garden out back.
11:00 p.m. Hotel Get on the tubes, and head to your hotel. Keep in mind tubes stop running after midnight so it’s not wise to wait too late to go home.
72 Hours in London: Day 3 – Saturday
10:00 a.m. Breakfast Have a full English breakfast. There are so many cafes and restaurants in London you can easily walk into any of them and more often than not enjoy a lovely breakfast.
11:00 a.m. Harrods. Harrods. On Sundays Harrods doesn’t open until 11, so be sure not to get there too early or you’ll find yourself wondering what to do.
12:00 p.m. Hyde Park. Hyde Park. Stroll down “Lover’s Walk” to the Marble Arch (modeled after the Arc de Triomphe).
12:45 p.m. Westminster Square. Check out Big Ben and the London Eye in the day time, cause you can never have enough photos right? There is actually a phone booth that aligns perfectly with Big Ben where you can get a photo of two iconic “British” things in one shot.
1:00 p.m. Lunch Grab a lunch, maybe a pasty on the go?
2:00 p.m. Covent Garden. Head over to Covent Garden and a must see is Neal’s Yard. A hidden gem of London, filled with vibrant colored shops and locals.
3:00 p.m. Leaden hall Market. Visit Leadenhall Market, the film site for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films.
4:00 p.m. The Royal Observatory. Head to the outer skirts of London to Greenwich and check out the Royal Observatory of London (It takes about 30 minutes to get there). The Prime Meridian Line is located here! It is pretty cool to say you’ve stood at 0 degrees Longitude.
6:00 p.m. Little Venice Head to the”Little Venice” of London.
7:30 p.m. Dinner Get a bite to eat and follow it up with another round of pub crawls if you dare!
72 Hours in London: Day 4 – Sunday (half day)
10 a.m. Breakfast Grab a coffee and a bite to eat to start the day in good efforts.
11:00 a.m. Westminster Abbey . Head over to Westminster Abbey, if you’re lucky you’ll be able to go inside, for a fee of course.
12:00 p.m. St James Park. St. James Park, is just a few minutes away from Westminster Abbey so head there next. Dubbed the “Birdcage Walk” as it is a sanctuary for various birds.
12:30 p.m. Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace is at the end of the park and is often swarmed with tourists. If you’re there at 11:00 you can see the changing of the guard’s ceremony, though in winter it’s done every other day.
1:30 p.m. The Mall Stroll down The Mall (the red road leading to Buckingham Palace) down to Trafalgar Square and find lunch.
3:00 p.m. Abbey Road Head to Abbey Road and re-create the famous Beatles Album Cover and then once we crossed we signed our names on the wall of signatures in front of Abbey Studios.
I hope you enjoy your time in London, as much as I did!
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