One day in London is a great experience. There is so much to do and to see in this city in the UK. With this guide, you can make the most of 24 hours there!
You should be able to cover the famous sights in London in one day. Such as the Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, and the London Eye!
But, if you want to experience the capital of the United Kingdom in a better way, I recommend going there for more days.
Table of Contents
Getting to London
There are many ways to get to London. You can either travel by airplane, train or bus.
London has several airports that all serve the city of London.
There are Heathrow, City, Luton, Gatwick, Southend-on-sea and Stansted.
Which airport you should choose depends on both cost and convenience. For example, some airports are farther away from London.
To get from the airport, there are several ways to do so. This depends on the airport you arrive from. But, most of them have train and bus connections. Furthermore, you can always take a taxi.
If you travel to Heathrow, you can use the metro network of London to get to the city centre. From City Airport, there is a light rail connection.
Of course, you can also come to London by train.
This is the best option if you are coming from within the United Kingdom. But, sometimes you can also travel by train if you're an international visitor.
There are international trains from Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. On all routes, the Eurostar train runs. This is a high-speed train that gets you to London within a few hours.
When you travel by international train, you arrive at St. Pancras International. From here, you can reach all parts of London in a short time. Either on foot or by public transport.
Domestic trains go to one of the many train stations in London. Wherever you want to go in the city, there's a train station nearby!
There are many bus companies that serve London. Whether you are coming from another country or from within the UK. There are many connections.
For example, you can take a bus from Paris to London with Flixbus. Furthermore, you can use National Express to go to a place in the United Kingdom.
When you're going by bus, you arrive somewhere in the city centre.
Getting around in London
London has an excellent public transportation network. You can go anywhere you want with it. There are plenty of options!
Most common types
The underground has many lines that run through the city. This is often the fastest option if you want to get somewhere. This is because there is no traffic that can cause delays.
As this is a very fast way to travel, it's convenient if you're only one day in London.
Another good option is to move around by bus. London is famous for its red double-decker buses. These are convenient, because they go to all parts of the city.
Also, from the bus, you can see the beautiful city pass by!
Because there are so many train stations in London, you can also use the local train to get to other parts of the city. People call this the overground.
This is a good option if the distance is greater. But, the train is more expensive than the other options.
Besides that, you can take a taxi! You can hail the iconic black cabs from the street. If the yellow taxi sign is on, they are available! This is also a convenient option if you're 24 hours in London.
Less common ways to move around
Furthermore, in some parts of London, there is the Docklands Light Railway. This is a light railway that connects with the metro. Also, it connects London City Airport with the city.
You can also rent a Santander bike. There are thousands of bikes spread over the city. You can rent a bike for 24 hours for 2 pounds. During this time, each journey below 30 minutes is free.
If you want to go from the Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks, there is a special way to go. You can ride the Emirates Air Line cable car!
This cable car goes over the Thames. The views are breathtaking! It's fun to experience during your 24 hours in London!
Another great way to move around is by river bus. There are boats that bring you to stops along the Thames.
Tickets for public transport all work the same. But, using the Oyster card or your contactless bank card is most convenient. You can tap it when you use public transport. Furthermore, there is a daily cap, so you never spend too much!
Where to stay in London?
London is very large, so there are many areas to stay in. There are also lots of great hotels in London.
If you are in London for one day only, I would recommend staying in the city centre. It saves time!
But, if that's too expensive, farther away is possible as well! You can take the metro to get anywhere very fast!
The perfect itinerary for one day in London
This itinerary gives you all you need to discover the best sights and experiences in London. We start with breakfast!
Because London is such a large city, there are many good places for breakfast.
There are fancy breakfast restaurants. But there are also many places where you can have breakfast in a quick way. You find these everywhere in the city centre!
Because one day in London is a short time, I recommend having such a quick breakfast. You can also have takeaway!
London Eye, Big Ben, Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey
The first sights on the list are some of the most recognizable. They are all near each other, so it is best to combine them.
The London Eye is a gigantic Ferris wheel next to the Thames. The Ferris wheel looks beautiful. Moreover, from the inside, you have a wonderful view of the city.
Furthermore, it is the largest Ferris wheel of Europe! So, you should definitely see it if you're 24 hours in London.
If you are in London for a longer time, I recommend going inside! But, it won't fit when you only have one in the city.
What's great is that from here you can see the next sight. At the other side of the river is the Big Ben.
The Big Ben is another famous place. It is a large clock tower in an iconic architectural style.
Fun fact: people often call the clock tower Big Ben. But, it is the nickname of the largest bell inside.
The Big Ben is at the northern part of the Palace of Westminster. The Palace of Westminster is where the two houses of parliament meet. This is another interesting building to see.
The last building that you should see is Westminster Abbey. This is one of the most important churches of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, this is the coronation and burial place for British monarchs.
Next, you should go to Buckingham Palace. This is a short walk from Westminster Abbey.
Buckingham Palace is the London home of the British monarch. When the Royal Standard flag flies the Queen is at the palace.
One of the best things you can see here is the Changing of the Guard. This is a ceremony in which the guards on duty change. You can see it almost every day. Seeing it is one of the most fun free things to do in London.
Hyde Park and Harrods
From Buckingham Palace, you can walk to Hyde Park.
This is a large park in the middle of London. It is a great place to see nature and relax.
Next to Hyde Park is Harrods. Harrods is a well-known department store. Furthermore, it is one of the largest department stores in Europe.
You find everything here. From sofas to dresses to food. If you want to buy something, you can do it here. But, it is also great to wander around through the shop!
Oxford Street and lunch at Pret
For the afternoon, you can take the metro to Oxford Street at Marble Arch Station!
Oxford street is the most famous shopping streets of London. You should definitely go here if you're one day in London!
It is time for lunch! A great place for Lunch is Pret! You find Pret everywhere in the city. Pret has soups, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and much more. It is a great place to have good lunch in a quick way!
Regent street and Piccadilly Circus
When you walk along Oxford Street you'll end up at Oxford Circus. From here you can go to Regent Street.
Regent Street is another famous street with lots of shops.
One of the best shops here is Hamleys. This is an old toy store that is amazing. You can see toy demos everywhere. Furthermore, you can try out toys. It is amazing to see when you're 24 hours in London!
If you happen to visit London during Christmas, the toy store is even better. There are decorations everywhere!
When you walk through Regent Street, you'll end up at Piccadilly Cirus. This is another well-known place in London.
There are video displays and neon signs that are remarkable. Furthermore, there are many other shops. Moreover, there are theatres here.
There are objects from all over the world and from all time periods. For example, there are mummies from Ancient Egypt. Also, there are statues from Easter Island.
It is a great place to visit when you're one day in London.
City of London, Tower of London, Tower Bridge
There is not much time left this afternoon. But, you should definitely see the next thing in this itinerary for one day.
The Tower Bridge is another one of the most famous landmarks in London. Going here is also one of the greatest activities in London.
The bridge looks amazing. And it looks great in photos. That's why it is also one of the best places for photography in London.
Next to the Tower Bridge is the Tower of London. This is a historic castle. It had many functions throughout the years. It was a castle, a Royal home and a prison.
Nowadays, it is a museum where you can see the Crown Jewels. It is also a great place to see from the outside.
From the Tower of London, you can walk to the City of London. The City of London is where most skyscrapers of the city are. And there are many historic buildings, such as St. Paul's Cathedral!
Furthermore, this is the centre of business. There are banks and financial firms everywhere. It is a great place to walk through and see this other part of London. It's fun to see during your 24 hours in London!
At the end of your one day in London, I'm sure you're in the mood for good food. There are also many places to have dinner.
The vegan and vegetarian burgers here are great as well! For that reason, it's also one of the best restaurants in London for vegetarians!
The burger I recommend is the Fritter. This is a delicious vegetarian burger with tasty chips! Having dinner here is great when you're 24 hours in London!
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