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Itineraries for Your Trip to London

London locals share their perfect days.
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2 Days in London for First Timers

Curated by Zoe SmithBritish travel writer, editor, and digital content creator.

Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend away, an extended layover, or an action-packed city break, two days in London is plenty of time to take in the city highlights. Save time and money with a 48-hour multi-attraction pass and hop-on hop-off bus tour, and take advantage of combo tours and skip-the-line tickets. Here are a few ideas.

Day 1: Morning

Maximize your time with an early-access tour of the Tower of London and see the Crown Jewels before the crowds arrive. Stop to take photos of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and St. Paul’s Cathedral on the way to Buckingham Palace to watch the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Day 1: Afternoon

Enjoy an unforgettable view of London with either a ride on the London Eye or a visit to The View at The Shard, and spot landmarks such as Tower Bridge, the River Thames, and Big Ben from high above. Afterward, take a break and indulge in a traditional English afternoon tea at a top location such as Westminster Abbey, The Ritz, or The Savoy.

Day 1: Night

Continue sightseeing into the evening and experience London’s illuminations. Options include a panoramic night tour of London, a thrilling after-hours ghost tour of East London, and a romantic cruise along the Thames River, with dinner served on board.

Day 2: Morning

Spend the morning taking in some of London’s acclaimed museums. The British Museum is unmissable for those interested in history, while art enthusiasts should head to the National Gallery or the Tate Modern, Those with kids in tow should opt for the national history and science museums. Alternatively, take a half-day trip to Windsor Castle and return in time for lunch.

Day 2: Afternoon

This is your last chance for shopping, so ride the tube to Oxford Street, Knightsbridge, or Covent Garden to browse the shops and pick up some souvenirs. Depending on your preferences, you could stop by mega-department store Harrods, visit the foodie hotspot Borough Market, or browse the quirky shops along Carnaby Street.

Day 2: Night

Spend your final evening in London watching a show in the world-renowned West End theater district. There are dozens of performances to choose from every night of the week, but favorites include Mamma Mia!, Wicked, and The Lion King. After the show, head into Soho and grab dinner in lively Chinatown.

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