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How many days in London until you understand its people, culture, and fun places? After how many visits can you authoritatively claim that you have seen the better part of London? Well, anything from 4 days will be a good starting point, although you may have to come back over and over again in order to tour the city inside out. You need time to see its iconic infrastructure, tourist attraction sites, ethnic eateries, and the beautiful and diverse neighborhoods.
If you have the time and resources, staying in London for a week or even a month would be okay. But because we understand that this may not always be possible, let’s look at the bare minimum: 4 days. What can you do in London within 4 days in order to have the perfect trip? For the purposes of this itinerary, we will assume that you arrived in London yesterday and that our first day will start right from when you wake up. Also, we highly advise that you explore most of the city on foot, by taking advantage of the free walking tours in London ( I would suggest Strawberry Tours or finding a local in London), as they provide a better opportunity to get closer to the real city culture. We will not dwell too much on how you got here. Let us dive right into the itinerary.
Day one: The City of London
Starting from the St. Paul tube station, you will be able to see most of London City on your first day. You will need to be at the station by at least eight in the morning so that you can enter St. Paul cathedral when it opens at 9.30am. In there, you will see the Duke of Wellington monument, the Stone and the Golden galleries, and other key chapels. After like an hour in the cathedral, take your leave and head to the Tower of London where you will see the millennium bridge where the legendary Harry Potter movie was filmed.
Before noon, you should be fully acquainted with British history at the Tower of London, crossed over to the Tower Bridge where you will take the best pictures of the city, and enjoyed watching the Crown Jewels. You are just in time for lunch at Borough Market, London’s biggest food market. All the traditional and multicultural foods are found here. After your lunch head out to the Oxford Street for some shopping, Covent Garden for some live street performances, Hyde Park for leisure walks and some boating, and the West Yard for your dinner.
Day 2: The Museums
Start your itinerary at the Museum of Natural History and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Here, you will learn a lot in regards to the history of mankind, the animal kingdom, and space exploration. You will also have the chance to enjoy some British breakfast at the Museum of Natural History café. By the time you are done with the two museums, it will be lunchtime or thereabout. Get some culinary treats at the Berkeley Hotel as you prepare for some afternoon shopping at Fortnum & Mason and Carnaby Street. You will then close your day by having some cool dinner at Opium Dim Sum.
Day 3: Indulge in British Royalty
Start your day at the Buckingham Palace, the home to British royalty for over 170 years and the home to the current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II. Be there by 10.30am in order to witness the changing of the guard ceremony at 10.45. If you are visiting during the summer, you will be allowed to book a ticket into the 775royal rooms. Before heading for lunch, you can take a stroll in the very beautiful St. James Park, visit the 1000-year old Westminster Abbey, rode the London Eye, and crossed over to the Westminster Bridge for some photos.
It is now time for lunch and some afternoon tea at Wallace, the cheapest joint in the neighborhood but with impeccable foods. After that, you can choose to try some London Pubs or take an afternoon tea river cruise.
Day 4: A Tour to the Outskirts
London boasts of suburbs that would easily pass as smaller cities. Start your day in one of these small cities- Greenwich- and enjoy the many amenities it has to offer. It has parks, pubs, and restaurants that aren’t as crowded as those in the city. Here, you will learn everything about the Meridian line and how it affects time all over the world. You will also enjoy some time in the Cutty Sark and the east and west hemispheres. For your lunch, try the local delicacies in one of the Meridian restaurants.
After lunch, you can opt to take a bus to the Chislehurst to see the Chislehurst Caves or go ice skating or scale the O2 concert arena.
London has too much to offer. With time and a flexible budget, you will have too much to do within four days. And who knows, you can even choose to extend to a 5th or 6th day, or more.