Only having 2 days in London does seem a bit ambitious due to the vast size of this sprawling metropolis, but with our guide for how to spend 48 hours in London it's possible. With its rich history, diverse culture, and countless attractions, London has something to offer every type of traveler and there's truly no other city like it in the world. So don't be put off booking your flight if you've only got 2 days because our 48 hours in London guide is here to help.

Tips for Spending 48 hours in London
London, UK

Can you see London in 48 hours days?

London is so vast and ever-changing that even the locals who live there permanently would struggle to see every part of it. But a trip to London isn't just about ticking attractions off your list, it's about moving around the city and soaking in the one-of-a-kind atmosphere. With our jam-packed guide, you'll have your itinerary set for your weekend in London. Just make sure you get strategic with mapping out your day as London is so huge, you'll want to plan your tourist route by the hour and ensure you get a good night's rest the night before as you'll want to be up early to out to make the most of your time there. So, while you may not see it all, you can still enjoy a fulfilling and enriching weekend in the British capital.

Where to fly into London?

When planning your journey to London, consider the various airports available for arrival. London Heathrow (LHR) stands as the primary choice, boasting seamless access to the city center via the Piccadilly Line on the Underground Tube. Alternatively, travelers can opt for Gatwick (LGW) or Luton (LTN) airports. However, bear in mind that reaching the city center from these airports entails an additional leg of the journey via train. Whether you choose Heathrow, Gatwick, or Luton, make sure to factor in these transportation differences when booking your flight to London for a smooth and convenient arrival.

When to visit London?

The best time to visit London largely depends on personal preferences and interests. However, many travelers find the period from late spring to early autumn (May to September) particularly delightful. During this time, London enjoys milder weather, with warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours, making it ideal for exploring the city's outdoor attractions, parks, and gardens.  Autumn, specifically September and October, offers the added charm of foliage changing colors, creating picturesque scenes across the city. While summer can be busy with tourists, it also brings an array of outdoor activities, al fresco dining options, and opportunities to enjoy London's many green spaces.

How to Spend 48 hours in London

Day 1: Exploring the Heart of London

Morning: Start with a Traditional English Breakfast
enjoy a full english breakfast during your weekend in london
There's no better way to kick off your weekend in London than with a hearty English breakfast at a local eatery like Terry's Cafe London. At Terry's, you can choose from a range of hearty fry-ups that are sure to fuel you for your busy day ahead. Although fry-ups usually contain sausages, bacon, black pudding and many other meats, vegans and vegetarians will also be spoiled for delicious meat-free breakfasts at Terry's, making it ideal if you're travelling in a group with lots of different tastes to appease.

Explore Westminster and the Thames
big ben and the houses of parliament during a weekend in london
After breakfast, head to Westminster, where you'll find some of London's most iconic landmarks. Start with a visit to the historic Westminster Abbey, where numerous royal ceremonies have taken place like the marriage of Harry and Meghan and Kate and Wills. Then, take a leisurely stroll along the River Thames, enjoying views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (now officially known as the Elizabeth Tower).

Cross the River to the South Bank
tower of london on the south bank
Cross the river using the Westminster Bridge or the Golden Jubilee Bridge to reach the South Bank. Here, you can explore the vibrant Southbank Centre that hosts art exhibitions and live performances. When you're in the area, you can't miss the chance to take a ride on the famous London Eye for breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

Lunch at Borough Market
Head to Borough Market for lunch, a foodie's paradise offering a diverse range of cuisine from around the world. Whether you're in the mood for gourmet sandwiches, fresh seafood, or international street food, you'll find it here. Visiting this bustling London food market is an amazing choice when travelling in a group as you can easily find something that caters to everyone's taste.

Afternoon: Discover London's Historic Museums
Spend your afternoon delving into London's rich history at its world-class museums. The British Museum houses an incredible collection of art and artifacts from across the globe, including the Rosetta Stone. Alternatively, you can explore the Victoria and Albert Museum or the Natural History Museum, each offering unique exhibits and experiences - but watch your time as you can easily spend hours in any London museum.

Stroll Through Hyde Park
hyde park in london
After your jaunt around London's best museums, take a relaxing stroll through Hyde Park. This expansive green space is perfect for a leisurely walk, a boat ride on the Serpentine Lake, or simply enjoying a moment of tranquillity in the heart of the city. London is normally blessed with warm summers so time your trip accordingly if you want to really soak up London's park culture.

Evening: A Taste of London's Culinary Scene
an evening in soho during a weekend in london
By evening, you'll have surely worked up an appetite. For dinner, venture into Soho or Covent Garden, two lively London neighbourhoods with a wide range of dining options. You can choose from cosy British pubs, world-class international cuisine, or innovative street food.

Catch a West End Show
the entrance to the london palladium on a london weekend trip
London's West End is renowned for its world-class theatre productions. End your evening with a show at one of the iconic theatres like the Royal Opera House or the London Palladium. Be sure to book your tickets in advance to secure your spot or if you've been given an Activitygift voucher, you can easily redeem your voucher on show tickets!

Day 2: Exploring London's Diversity

Morning: Breakfast at a Quirky Café
Kickstart the second day of your weekend in London with breakfast at one of London's quirky cafes. With so much competition, London cafes in London really go the extra mile to stand out from the crowd. Places like Antipodea near Kew Gardens serve Aussie-style breakfasts with fresh juices and amazing coffee. Make sure you book ahead though as this place is a real hit with locals and tourists alike.

Visit the Tower of London
After breakfast, make your way to the Tower of London. This historic fortress on the banks of the River Thames has a fascinating history, including being a royal palace, a prison, and a treasury. Explore the Crown Jewels and learn about the legendary ravens.

Cross Tower Bridge
After your visit to the Tower of London, stroll across the iconic Tower Bridge to be rewarded with stunning views of the river and the city skyline and get some pics for the gram.

Lunch at Beigel, Shoreditch
rainbow bagels in london brick lane
Now you've seen all the classic London attractions, it's time to see a different side to the city. Take the tube to Shoreditch and have lunch at Beigel where you can enjoy world-famous bagels at very affordable prices (and trust me, you're going to want to save your pennies for your dinner). It was Beigel that first brought rainbow bagels to the UK, so if you're somewhat of a bagel connoisseur, you'll have to pay a visit,

Afternoon: Cultural Exploration
visit shoreditch during your weekend in london
Spend your afternoon exploring the diverse neighbourhoods of London. Visit the trendy streets of Shoreditch, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant street art scene. Take a stroll along Brick Lane to admire the ever-changing graffiti and murals that adorn the walls. While in Shoreditch, don't miss the chance to browse the unique boutique shops, vintage stores, and pop-up markets that offer a wide range of fashion, art, and curiosities. Shoreditch is also a hub for creativity, so you might stumble upon galleries showcasing contemporary art and design that are bound to excite any art lover.

Evening: Dinner and Nightlife
For your last dinner during your London weekend, splash out on a fine dining experience at The Ritz, one of London's best luxury hotels. At the Ritz, you will be wine and dined like royalty during this Michelin-star experience served by the esteemed Executive Chef, John Williams MBE. If you've got a special celebration, there's really no better place to be and you better be hungry, because you can choose from five to seven course tasting menus.

Extend Your Stay with a Day Trip
If you have extra time to spare following your 48 hours in London, consider taking a day trip from London to explore nearby destinations. Nearby highlights include the historic city of Oxford, the picturesque town of Windsor, or the enchanting university town of Cambridge.

When will you spend a weekend in London?

We hope we've inspired you with our London weekend guide that proves that you really can make the most of your 2 days in London. From viewing all the must-see London landmarks to trying the best local food, London offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and entertainment for an unforgettable weekend getaway. So, if you've been putting it off, take this as your sign to book your flight to London now.

48 Hours in London: Final Thoughts

hotelgift in front of buckingham palace
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