Tours & Itineraries 48 hours itinerary UK > Greater London (county) > London

48 Hours In London - Updated 2020

48 hours in london
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Villy
Updated

Oh well, how many things can someone say about London in just a few sentences? It stands on the River Thames and it’s one of the most populous cities in Europe. So, yes, it’s a pretty large city and you would probably need quite some time to explore it. Historic landmarks, such as the famous Big Ben clock tower or the imposing Tower Bridge, imperial palaces open to the public, an extremely promising nightlife, numerous concerts, and thrilling events, together with the unique British mentality compose the puzzle called London. Follow us to discover how you will make the most out of your 48 hours in London, making it a memorable trip in this delightful capital.

Day 1: Afternoon - stroll through St. James' Park, then visit Buckingham Palace

London - Buckingham Palace
Source: Photo by Flickr user Roger W used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Leave your luggage at your hotel room and start this exciting trip with a visit to St. James’s Park. This beautiful Royal park is famous for its flower beds lying in front of the Buckingham Palace, its lovely lake with a fountain, and its resident pelicans that have been living there for nearly 400 years. The park is surrounded by other major landmarks, like the Whitehall and the Clarence House.

Since you will be around, don’t forget to pay a visit to the brilliant Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence, as well as a working royal palace. The marvelous royal carriages and the working stables are open to visitors from February to November.

Buckingham Palace

Address: Westminster, London SW1A 1AA, UK

Opening hours: 20 July - 31 August 9.30 am - 7.30 pm; 1 September - 29 September 9.30 am - 6.30 pm

Price: 22.80 GBP (30 USD)

Website: Buckingham Palace

See our full list of recommended Hotels in London, Greater London (county), UK and also compare the prices with airbnbs in London, Greater London (county), UK

Day 1: Evening - explore Trafalgar Square and have your dinner there

Trafalgar Square at night
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user https://www.flick... used under CC BY 2.0

Now, a good idea would be to reach Trafalgar Square and wander around this lovely place for some time. Its distinctive centerpiece is Nelsons Column which is guarded by four lions, while the square also hosts several sculptures, commemorative statues, and iconic fountains. This public square seems to be a favorite spot for demonstrations, celebrations, and other community gatherings. If dinner time has arrived already, no worries, cause you don’t have to leave the square to find elsewhere fine restaurants that serve both local and international cuisine.

Trafalgar Square

Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK

Opening hours: 24 hrs

Website: Trafalgar Square

See our full list of recommended Hotels in London, Greater London (county), UK and also compare the prices with airbnbs in London, Greater London (county), UK

Day 1: Night - bar hopping in Trafalgar Square

Gordon's
Source: Photo by user Olga Pavlovsky used under CC BY 2.0

So, except for a wonderful food scene, Trafalgar Square does have gorgeous nightlife options, so stick around and choose your type of night-time entertainment. The area has lots of different options: from quirky wine bars to retro bars to fascinating comedy clubs, Trafalgar Square has it all, so present yourself a little window of fun before you get some rest.

Gordon's Wine Bar

Address: 47 Villiers St, London WC2N 6NE, UK

Opening hours: 11 am - 11 pm

website: Gordon’s Wine Bar

See our full list of recommended Hotels in London, Greater London (county), UK and also compare the prices with airbnbs in London, Greater London (county), UK

Day 2: Morning - breakfast, then visit Big Ben

48 hours in london | day 2: morning - breakfast, then visit big ben
Source: Pexels

It is breakfast time to begin your day full of energy as there is still a lot to see and do in this buzzing capital. If you are planning to visit London any time soon perhaps you should skip this route since Big Ben is temporarily suspended due to refurbishment. But, when eventually, you end up visiting it, it will certainly worth your time and a selfie. Being one of the most iconic landmarks of London, this famous clock tower was built in 1844 as part of the new buildings for the Houses of Parliament. Since 2012, it is actually called Elizabeth Tower, but apparently, its nickname prevailed.

Big Ben

Address: Westminster, London SW1A 0AA, UK

Opening hours: 24 hours

Website: Big Ben

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Day 2: Afternoon - ride the London Eye, experience the Millennium Bridge and Tower Bridge, have some coffee in the area

48 hours in london | day 2: afternoon - ride the london eye, experience the millennium bridge and tower bridge, have some coffee in the area
Source: pexels

Carry on your day (or start it) with an exhilarating ride on the London Eye. There is no way you miss that unless you have a serious fear of heights. This spectacular Ferris wheel was built in 2000 and is Europe’s tallest observation wheel that attracts millions of tourists each year. The views, as you can imagine, are absolutely breathtaking. After your lovely ride, you might wish to walk on the Millenium Bridge, a footbridge to cross River Thames, and then visit another defining landmark in London, the Tower Bridge. Explore the interior and enjoy some panoramic views of London life through the Glass Floor. Finish your afternoon in a cozy cafe.

London Eye

Address: Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB

Opening hours: 11 am - 6 pm

Price: Starting from 27 GBP (36 USD)

Website: London Eye

See our full list of recommended Hotels in London, Greater London (county), UK and also compare the prices with airbnbs in London, Greater London (county), UK

Day 2: Evening - enjoy a sunset cruise on River Thames, then have dinner in a riverside restaurant

48 hours in london | day 2: evening - enjoy a sunset cruise on river thames, then have dinner in a riverside restaurant
Source: Unsplash

If you feel like gaining a different perspective of this astonishing city, jump on a boat to gift yourself a sunset cruise on River Thames. It is undoubtedly a pretty romantic thing to do, but if you happen to travel alone see it as an excellent way to view the most quintessential sites. Besides, there are also adventurous cruises, so if you want to pump up your adrenaline set off for a speedboat experience to the soundtrack of James Bond. Once you step into mainland again head towards a fine restaurant to treat yourself to a nice dinner by the river.

Gaucho Canary Wharf

Address: Canary Riverside Westferry Circus, 29 Canary Riverside, Canary Wharf, London E14 8RR, UK

Opening hours: 11.30 am - 11 pm

Price: 41 GBP (54 USD) onwards

Website: Gaucho Canary Wharf

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Day 2: Night - watch a movie in BFI IMAX then get some drinks in the local pubs


Quite impressive in the night time, the IBF IMAX cinema seems to be something like a landmark as it hosts the largest screen in Britain and offers stunning image resolution. Movies featured here include the latest blockbusters along with educationals screenings and top alternative movies. After you enjoy a nice movie, sneak in an authentic local pub to get some beers or drinks of your choice and end your night in a pure British way.

ODEON BFI IMAX

Address: 1 Charlie Chaplin Walk, Waterloo SE1 8XR, United Kingdom

Opening hours: As per show time

Price: 42 GBP (55 USD)

Website: ODEON BFI IMAX

See our full list of recommended Hotels in London, Greater London (county), UK and also compare the prices with airbnbs in London, Greater London (county), UK

Day 3: Morning - Breakfast, then visit Kensington Palace

Posted by Kensington Palace on Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Enjoy a generous breakfast and get in the mood for a little more sightseeing. This time you will visit the royal residence in Kensington Gardens, which can’t be other than the Kensington Palace. The Palace contains the residences and offices of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and also Prince Harry, while visitors are welcome to walk around certain historical parts and the Staterooms as well. On a sunny day, you may enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens of the property.

Kensington Palace

Address: Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX

Opening hours: 10 am - 4 pm

Price: Adult 19.50 GBP (25.40 USD) / Children 9.70 GBP (12.65 USD)

Website: Kensington Palace

See our full list of recommended Hotels in London, Greater London (county), UK and also compare the prices with airbnbs in London, Greater London (county), UK

Day 3: Afternoon - explore the Natural History Museum, spend time wandering in Hyde Park, go check out the Marble Arch


It’s about time to visit a museum, so one of the greatest choices would be the Natural History Museum. Whether you are a kid or an adult feel free to ask your big nature questions and get your answers through a great range of collections. Learn everything about dinosaurs or chimpanzees, help researchers on their interesting projects and have the time of your life. After you have dug deep into nature, go relax (and even take a nap if you are an easy sleeper) in the fabulous Hyde Park. This major park is located in central London and offers, except for cozy and quiet corners, more entertaining options like concerts and world-class events, but also horse riding and boating possibilities. One more important landmark has been left for you to see and this is the impressive Marble Arch, which is a triumphal arch surrounded by lovely greenery, and it’s definitely calling you for a photo.

Natural History Museum

Address: Cromwell Road London SW7 5BD

Opening hours: 10 am - 5.50 pm

Price: Free

Website: Natural History Museum

See our full list of recommended Hotels in London, Greater London (county), UK and also compare the prices with airbnbs in London, Greater London (county), UK

Day 3: Evening - stroll through Oxford Street for shopping before departure

48 hours in london | day 3: evening - stroll through oxford street for shopping before departure
Source: Unsplash

There is one thing left to do before you leave this splendid capital and that is to stroll through the notorious Oxford Street for shopping or just updating on the latest fashion trends. Needless to say that Oxford Street is Europe’s busiest shopping street and hosts about 300 shops ranging from budget-friendly to very high-end ones, so there will be definitely something for you to buy. This walk will be a great last taste of the British capital.

Oxford Street

Address: City of Westminster in the West End of London

Opening hours: 9 am - 9 pm

Website: Oxford Street

See our full list of recommended Hotels in London, Greater London (county), UK and also compare the prices with airbnbs in London, Greater London (county), UK

Two memorable days in London

two memorable days in london
Source: Pexels

If you have only two days in London, then you better be prepared for long walking hours so you get the most out of this short trip. If you are up for ‘outdoor’ things, then this itinerary will give you a clear idea of what London is all about. Have fun!

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Curious to see the world and eager to learn, I grew up trying to find ways to escape my comfort zone. Starting from my home country, Greece, I went on to explore many European countries. Then, I...Read more

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