London is one of our favorite cities to visit! With its rich history, world-famous landmarks and diverse culture, there is no shortage of things to see and do in London. If you only have 24 hours to explore this bustling metropolis, there are some must-see sites that you won’t want to miss. Join us as we spend 24 hours in London and find out which area to stay in, what to do and what not to miss.
Where to stay
London is a sprawling city, so it’s important to stay in a central location that is close to the major attractions. Some of the best areas to stay in are Covent Garden, Soho, or the West End, as they are all within walking distance of many of the city’s top sites. There are plenty of hotels, hostels, and Airbnb’s in these areas to suit any budget.
Start of the day with a full English breakfast with all of the trimmings (when in Rome!) and then head to the iconic Tower of London. This historic castle has been the site of many important events throughout British history, and it’s a must-see attraction for anyone visiting London. You can see the Crown Jewels, explore the medieval architecture, and learn about the tower’s gruesome history, including its use as a prison and execution site. Allow at least two hours for your visit.
From the Tower of London, head across Tower Bridge and take a stroll along the South Bank of the River Thames. Here you’ll find some of London’s most famous landmarks, including the Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre, and the London Eye. Stop for lunch at Borough Market, one of the city’s oldest and most famous food markets (and one of our favorite places for food in London!).
After lunch, make your way to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony. This traditional ceremony takes place daily in the summer and every other day during the rest of the year. Arrive early to get a good view of the ceremony, which lasts around 45 minutes.
In the evening, head to the West End for a show. London’s theatre district is world-famous, and there are dozens of shows to choose from every night. Whether you’re into musicals, plays, or comedy, you’re sure to find something that suits your taste. After the show, head to one of the many pubs or bars in the area for a drink and some late-night entertainment and snacks.
If you aren’t a theatre lover, take a stroll around the vibrant neighborhoods of Soho or Covent Garden, both of which offer plenty of options for food, drinks, nightlife and shopping. Soaking up the London atmosphere on a warm summer’s night is one of life’s pleasures so make sure you stop at a traditional pub for a pint of lager and classic fish and chips.
Remember to wear comfortable shoes (there will be a lot of walking!) and dress for the weather, as London can be unpredictable. Layers and a raincoat are always a great idea in this city!
The Tube is a fast and cost-effective way to get around the city, or try one of the famous black cabs. London is no different to any other big city, in that you should keep valuables hidden and make sure you are conscious of your surroundings.
With limited time to spend keep an eye out for some other classic London landmarks as you travel around – including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Oxford Street. With a little planning and a lot of energy, you’ll be able to make the most of your 24 hours in London – and be inspired to plan a longer trip back to this wonderful city.
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