London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, filled with history, architectural wonders and many places where you can go sightseeing, eat and shop. As the capital of England, there’s a LOT to do here. With just one day in London you can have a great day, but you’re going to have to prepare for it! With so much to see and do, you need a plan.
London is best known for the Royal Family, the iconic views on the South Bank, and the legendary London Underground. Don’t worry, with this day in London itinerary, you’ll get to experience them all. Pack an umbrella, and your sunnies!
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Where To Stay in London
I’d recommend staying central. The YHA London Oxford Street Hostel starts from around £25, is centrally located and comfy. I’ve stayed there a few times, and love the convenience.
Alternatively, if you could stay at the Artist Residence in Pimlico. This hotel is gorgeous. It’ll be a lot more expensive than the YHA but honestly, the design is just unreal. They’ve also got a bar and restaurant downstairs.
Both are great and easy place to drop your bags off before embarking on this itinerary.
Morning Walking Tour
So, let’s get started on your one day in London itinerary, shall we? With everything we need to see in a single day, we will make our own walking tour. There are so many things to see with one day in London. Best of all, there are a lot of cheap and free things to do in London. This will let us see as many sights as possible!
One of the best spots to start your day tour would be Hyde Park. This is easily reachable from either accommodation and you can walk, or get one of the famous London buses.
Hyde Park is the most popular of London’s 9 Royal Parks. Enjoy a peaceful walk with outstanding views from the gardens and the Serpentine Lake. It doesn’t matter which season it is; nature will reveal majestic colours all year long. Always look for free things to do in London! Pick up a coffee from one of London’s many coffee shops to enjoy on the walk.
St. James Park
Map yourself to Westminster Abbey, only a few minutes walk away. As one of the most iconic buildings in England, Westminster Abbey is a remarkable landmark to see on any day in London. This has been the Coronation Church since 1066, and is one of England’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s also where Prince Wills and Kate got married all those years ago.
Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
South Bank of the Thames
It’s a 30-minute walk, or a 15-minute bus ride, to Borough Market. Go for the walking option and you can explore the South Bank. You’ll see Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Gabriel’s Walk shopping area, the Tate Modern and the Golden Hinde ship as you pass.
At Borough Market you can get stuck into all the foodie offerings they’ve so carefully laid out for you. I can strongly recommend the chocolate brownies and salt beef bagels – you’re just going to have to look for the longest queues to identify the best places to buy from. If you’ve only got one day in London you’re going to have to double up on lunch to try as much as possible.
There are some great places round here to sit and drink, depending on the day and year. Weekends in summer are busy!
Afternoon of Walking and Shopping
For the best nightlife in Central London, head to Soho. Here you’ll find late night bars and nightclubs to keep you entertained all night long. You can enjoy some drinks and dancing at 68 and Boston or The Pink Chihuahua at El Camion. It’s also the epicentre of gay London if Village or G.A.Y are where you’d rather go dancing.
And that’s it, your guide to having an awesome day out in London. Of course there’s SO much more to explore – but this should keep you busy enough. You do need to come back though! There’s still Brixton Village, Shepherd’s Bush and Camden to explore. A picnic on Primrose Hill is a London must do – next time!