2 Days in London: The Perfect Weekend Itinerary
From the bustling Underground to the glamour of the West End, London is brimming with energy and packed full of amazing sights to see. This makes it a great city for a 2 day or weekend break. Here are some tips on how to spend the perfect 48 hours in London including how to travel, where to stay and a perfect itinerary to make sure you maximise your weekend.
How to Get to London
London is a key hub of the UK’s rail and bus network with routes leading to the city from all directions of the country and Europe. London also has several airports including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead and Luton located nearby with connections to lots of international destinations.
There’s an extensive underground network and the extensive bus routes that run well into the night. This means, no matter what time of day, you’ll always find a way to navigate around the city. You could also travel by food, taxi, Uber and there are also a number of places to rent a car all over London.
Where to Stay?
London’s sprawling metropolis has a vast array of hotels and hostels to suit all budgets. Stay near the West End and Covent Garden to be in amongst the action, where nightlife and evening entertainment is on your doorstep.
- £££: The Hospital Club
- ££: Hub by Premier Inn London Covent Garden Hotel
- £: SoHostel London
Suggested London Weekend Itinerary
Whether this is your first time in London, or you just want to see more of England’s capital, this two-day itinerary can help you see what London has to offer.
Quintessentially British, start your morning off right outside Buckingham Palace. Take in the grandeur of the design, see the unique ritual of the changing of the guards (which takes place at 11am on certain dates) and upload a few snaps in front of this iconic palace. From Buckingham Palace you can also see the Queen Victoria Memorial outside the cast iron gates. Look beyond this to see the flowing Mall running adjacent to the floral St James’ Park.
Spend your first morning wandering around the park, listening to the birds and taking a moment of peace before all the excitement of the rest of your trip. Just a 20 minute walk from the palace, through the park is your next must see; 10 Downing Street. Although you won’t be able to walk to the doorstep, go up to the gates and soak in the history. Just five minutes up the road is the towering Big Ben and the iconic Houses of Parliament. Walk along Westminster Bridge to take in the best view of the gothic architecture and grand scale of the clock tower.
After a morning of packing in the sights, take a welcome break with a spot of lunch. But, as you’re in the capital city, do it in style at the famously luxurious, Ritz Restaurant. Thankfully, it’s not too far from Big Ben. It’s just a short, one stop, tube journey from Westminster station to Green Park on the Jubilee line (or head there first after Buckingham Palace if you’d rather). Enjoy the charming tradition of afternoon tea with finely cut sandwiches, fresh cream scones and cakes that are almost too good to eat. Sip on a glass of bubbly in the elegant surroundings before heading back out to the bustling London streets to continue your weekend.
From Green Park, hop on the Piccadilly line to South Kensington for the Science, Natural History and Victoria and Albert museums. Take your pick and explore the exciting interactive exhibits found in these top London museums.
Once you’ve finished exploring, head back to the South Kensington tube, to get back on the Piccadilly Line and get off at the vibrant Leicester Square - about a 20 minute journey away. From world-renowned film premieres to the nearby West End shows, Leicester Square is a hive of activity. Head across to Trafalgar Square and take a wander through Picadilly Circus and China Town.
From here you can take a 10-minute stroll to Covent Garden. Here you’ll find a wide range of restaurants, from well known chains to independent eateries. Enjoy street performers before taking your seat for an evening of entertainment in one of the world-renowned theatres in the area.
From musicals, comedies, dramas to Shakespeare’s classics, you’ll surely find a show to enjoy. After the show, enjoy cocktails in one of the many bars open late in either Covent Garden, Soho or Leicester Square.
After an exciting evening, start your Sunday morning off slowly, with a nice view. St Paul’s Cathedral is easy to get to on the tube via, the Central Line, or by taking the District and Circle Line to Mansion House. Take in the beauty of the magnificent Monument, before taking a stroll along the River Thames.
Walk past the iconic London Bridge and the epic HMS Belfast to the medieval Tower of London that overlooks Tower Bridge. In this area you can take shelter in the nearby Coppa Club. Famous for its glass igloos, enjoy a delicious brunch overlooking the river. I’d recommend pre-booking this, if this is what you fancy.
Alternatively, you can cross London Bridge and even take to the skies in the neighboring Shard, where you can enjoy panoramic views of London’s ever changing skyline.
Travel in style down the River Thames on a cruise. You can get on at Tower Bridge and head east for sights such as the London Eye, one of the tallest Ferris wheels in the world. Hop off here and explore the Southbank, famous for its art galleries, street performers and many tourist attractions.
If you’d prefer to shop, take the Bakerloo line from the Embankment Station across the river to Oxford Circus. Here you can walk to Oxford Street for well-known, high street brands, independent boutiques and designer outlets.
If you don’t fancy fashion and want something more upbeat to end your trip, jump on the Northern Line from the Waterloo Underground to Camden Town. Discover the famous street art, get lost in the maze that is Camden Market, relax in the old-school pubs and relish in this lively part of London.
Enjoy the colourful nature of Camden before saying goodbye to this momentous city. If you arrived by train, you can easily find your way back as Camden is less than 15 minutes away from Kings Cross Station on the Underground, via the Northern Line.
There you have it, a weekend break packed full of amazing sights, excitement and great food. What more could you need in a weekend adventure?