48 Hours in London – 2 Day Itinerary

If you are a first-time traveller, you most probably have London already on your bucket list; and if you’re a frequent traveller, then you are likely to come across London at least once in your life. However, the real question is, is 2 days in London enough? 

In this 2 Day Itinerary for London, we have included everything you’ll need and know to confirm that spending 48 hours in London is already enough. 

London Westminster and Big Ben reflected on the thames at sunset with birds flying over the city

London is the largest metropolis in the United Kingdom and has been considered the country’s economic transportation and cultural centre. With over 2,000 years of history, London has been honed genuinely into an incredible city. Thus, explaining why it is mostly known for art, history and architecture. 

You’ll get to see the famous Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace and British Museum in London. In addition, London also offers lots of great food and a fashion scene, that some of which you’ll only experience in there.

It is also known for, double-decker buses, red phone booths, world-class museums and galleries, gigantic lush parks, financial districts, and cosmopolitan vibes. 

If you’re planning to visit London, you should make sure you choos a travel date that will fit your preference. Do you like to experience the city while it’s sunny or maybe during the winter?

Nonetheless, it’s always highly recommended to visit London when the weather is great – during the summer and spring (May to October). 

Another thing to consider for your 2 day visit to London is the area where you’ll be staying. London is really large and wide, and there are several neighborhoods you can stay at.

But, if you are a first-time visitor, then you should consider The West End, covering areas of Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. 

London, UK -Facade of the beautiful Kimpton hotel in the heart of London.

You can also check out Westminster, which is just a short walk from the West End and is near most of the famous tourist destinations. 

To help you better with your 2 day visit in London, we’ve put together a specific itinerary and have included suggestions on what to eat, things to do, tours to take and what to see in London in 2 days. Keep reading!

Plan your trip?

Avoid hidden fees in the exchange rate while withdrawing from millions of ATMs abroad, paying in restaurants and shops, and buying your accommodation and flights using the Wise Card. You can hold up to 40+ currencies at once to spend in in over 150 countries, and convert them in real time with the free Wise app.

Need help planning your trip from start to finish? Check out these helpful links:

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy. You can also read our content/editorial policy here.

2 Day Itinerary for London

Overview of 2 Days in London Itinerary

Here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do in two days in London:

Day 1 in London:

  • Get early Breakfast at Lantana Café Fitzrovia
  • Watch Guards march at the Buckingham Palace
  • Explore the Westminster Abbey 
  • Visit the World’s Oldest Museum 
  • Get Afternoon Tea
  • Cruise the River Thames
  • Have dinner at Le Pont De La Tour

Day 2 in London:

  • Go for a morning walk at the Hyde Park 
  • Get Brunch on Brick Lane 
  • Explore Spitalfields Market
  • Take Pictures at Harry Potter Filming Locations
  • Catch the Sunset at the London Eye
  • Have dinner and drinks in Shoreditch 

Day 1 in London

Get early Breakfast at Lantana Café Fitzrovia

London is most known for their stylish cafes and restaurants. While there are so much to try in the city, one of the highly recommended spots where you should have your first breakfast in at London is at Lantana Cafe Fitzrovia.

Lantana Cafe Fitzrovia is a local family business, tucked around Charlotte Street’s corner. Here you can enjoy some authentic British breakfast, have a cup of coffee or simply get some takeaway pastries.  

The location of the restaurant is also near your next stop. Since you’re starting a long day, it’s better to dine at a place near your next place to visit, and that is the Buckingham Palace.

Watch Guards march at the Buckingham Palace

For your first day in London, it’s a must to see Buckingham Palace first. This is for you to get a sense of the city’s past and then later on understand how modern London looks like.

Buckingham Palace is the King’s official London residence, and although we are already in the modern times, they are still practicing royal traditions in the area.

At the palace, you can take tons of pictures, but what’s interesting here is the the changing of the guard ceremony that generally takes place every day (although it might be subject to change). During this ceremony, also known as Guard Mounting, one detachment of troops takes over from another.

But you’ll have to stay clear of their way as they won’t stop and make way for you! There are lots of walking and guided tours that can take you to the area, which is perfect if you want to have commentaries and information shared with you during the visit.

Still, you can always visit on your own. Just make sure to pass just before 11:00 AM to see the traditional Changing of the Guard ceremony, and do your research on the do’s and dont’s.  

LONDON, UK - Changing of the Guard ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace in London in a sunny summer day, UK

Explore the Westminster Abbey  

After exploring and learning about the royal history, start walking towards the Westminster Abbey. This will be likely your next stop as it is the nearest to the Palace. 

Westminster Abbey is an imposing Gothic church that’s hosted centuries of coronations and iconic royal weddings. You’ve probably heard or read about it when William and Kate got married or the recent coronations of King Charles. 

Here you can also find the Palace of Westminster. From there you can walk toward the Big Ben, then follow Whitehall to see the gates of Downing Street which is home to Britain’s prime ministers since 1735.

Lastly, you can end your tour around the Westminster Abbey  as you go under the Arch of Horse Guards.

Westminster Abbey (The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster) - Gothic church in City of Westminster, London. Westminster is traditional place of coronation and burial site for English monarchs

Visit the London’s Oldest Museum 

After strolling around historic places and seeing some of London’s best architectural structures, it’s time for you to explore London’s Oldest Museum – the British Museum.

Not a lot of people know, but London is actually home to lots of different museums. But since you only have two days in London, it’s highly recommended that you go to the British Museum. 

There are quite a few reason why you should visit the said museum. Well, first and foremost – it’s free! You can enter the museum as much as you want without paying anything. 

Here you can also learn and discover ancient civilizations, discover incredible achievements and challenges of people and societies past and present, and more importantly, immerse yourself in Britain’s culture. 

LONDON,UK -  The British Museum in London

Get Afternoon Tea

When you hear the word London, it’s likely that you also remember the word tea. Which is why, you should definitely not miss out on this experience if you are in the city. 

After having a long morning of walking around and exploring the city, why not take the chance to relax and take in the city’s atmosphere. There are lots of places to get afternoon tea in London, and as a traveler, you’ll surely enjoy one anywhere you go. 

But, to make things more special, why not spend a little more and enjoy an afternoon tea at the Kensington Palace?

During this experience, you do not only enjoy tea and scones, but also have the chance to stroll through the palace grounds for a few minutes. 

Although take note that you’ll need to book tickets in advance for this afternoon tea excursion, which is quite easy as everything’s available online. 

London, UK. Classical London afternoon tea with english breakfast in a luxury hotel.

Cruise the River Thames

Before the sunsets, hop on a cruise at River Thames. This is a part of the longest river in England, having 45 locks, and is accordingly home to 25 species of fish. But aside from the marine life and length of the river, getting on a River Thames cruise is the best way to get a glimpse of the city. 

As you go through the river, you will be passing by lots of different famous landmarks, including some of the most famous bridges in London. If you’re lucky, you might even see locals having a Dragon Boat Racing at the river. 

Plus, you can easily book a river cruise online and ahead of time to lessen your worries during the day of your trip. 

Famous Big Ben with bridge over Thames and tour boat on the river in London, England, UK

Have dinner at Le Pont De La Tour

After a long day of strolling, exploring and going around the city, it’s time to cap off your first day in London. The best way to do that is to have dinner at London’s finest restaurant, Le Pont de La Tour. 

Le Pont de La Tour is a French restaurant located near the tower bridge, where you’ll most probably be in after the Thames Cruise. The restaurant was a former tea warehouse turned into an elegant modern dining place. 

If you decide to dine in here, make sure you get a reservation beforehand. It gets fully booked easily, which explains how great the restaurant would be! 

Day 2 in London

Go for a morning walk at the Hyde Park 

Taking it slow on your second day is the best option to enjoy your 48 hours in London. If you are staying at central London, then it’s highly recommended that you visit Hyde Park once during your trip. What better time to do that but during the morning?

Aside from the lush trees and plants in the area, the Park is also special because of its rich history. Out of the 8 royal parks in the Greater London area, Hyde Park is the largest among them. It covers 350 acres, with a network of paths linking gardens, sculptures, fountains, and historic sites. 

Moreover, Hyde Park is an important part of London’s history because it was once a hunting ground for Henry VIII. 

All the reasons why you should take an early stroll here. Enjoy the scenery and landscape, as you learn more about the places’ historical past and cultural importance. 

Beautiful aerial London view from above with the Hyde park

Get Brunch on Brick Lane 

Once you’ve freshened up from your morning walk, it’s time to visit one of London’s famous food area – the Brick Lane. Lots of locals and tourists consider Brick Lane as a paradise for bargain hunters, foodies and fashionistas. 

It snakes from Bethnal Green towards Whitechapel, and is also situated where the Spitalfields Market is. You should be able to find a cafe or restaurant here where you can get your Brunch of the day. 

This cobbled street of London will surely not disappoint on the various number of food places you will be seeing in the area. Whether you’re looking for some coffee, tea, scone, sandwiches or heavy-plated meals, you’ll find one here.

LONDON,UK -The Brick Lane street market in East London

Explore Spitalfields Market

As you’ve fueled up on food, it’s now time to go shopping! Spitafields Market is home to several commercial areas (including Brick Lane) making it a haven for those who enjoy going shopping.

In fact, Spitalfields Market has the highest number of wholesale traders, selling all kinds of products including fresh produce, fruits, fashion garments and a lot more. 

This is the best place to get your souvenirs and gifts that you would want to bring home for your loved once.

Exploring the market gives you a glimpse of London’s daily lives as you see locals shopping and selling in the area. 

The best time to visit the market is on Friday where most of the vendors offer sale items. Meanwhile, the busiest day of the market is during Sunday’s.

London, UK -  Entrance to Old Spitalfields market with unidentified people. The market  hosts arts and craft and street food market.

Take Pictures at Harry Potter Filming Locations

Fan of the Harry Potter? Well, if you have London in your bucket list, then you’re probably here as a Potterhead!

Aside from the historic sites, art and architecture, London also have something to offer for the entertainment enthusiasts. 

You’ll find some of Harry Potter’s famous filming locations in the city. Some of the areas you probably will remember from the movie are the Leadenhall Market, Platform 9&¾ at King’s Cross Station and London Zoo.

Leavesden, UK -  Exhibits inside  the Making of Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros studio.

Catch the Sunset at the London Eye

Of course, what better way to end your trip to London that to ride the London Eye! Standing at 135 metres, the London Eye is the actual equivalent of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is also the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel

This has been the city’s landmark, and you should definitely not miss the opportunity to see and ride it. Plus, after walking around the city, seeing famous landmarks, eating good food and going shopping, you should also have an exhilarating excursion. 

As you go on the ride, you’ll be catching a glimpse of the whole of London while the sunsets. This will mark the end of your 48 hours in London, which you’ll definitely remember in your lifetime. 

Now if you think you might not enjoy the being that high, consider getting over that fear and just hop on! Make sure to grab a fast track (skip the queue) ticket to you aren’t waiting around in line!

London, UK - London at sunset with lights and reflection. View at the Westminster aria, London eye, River Thames, embankment and London bridge

Tours in London 

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

London is a big city to explore and since you are visiting for only two days, why not try joining a Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus London Tour? During this tour, you will get on the famous big red double-decker bus of London and roam around the city.

The ticket will allow you to ride the bus and then stop at several landmarks and famous spots including Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral and more. 

You can customize your itinerary and choose between a 1-day, 2 day or 3-day ticket. On the bus, you will be joined by a local tour guide to share with you important information about the highlights of London. 

London, UK-  BigBus London double decker tourist bus outside Victoria train station in London

Sightseeing Cruise Tour

Get to see all of the must-visit landmarks in London as you hop on a sightseeing cruise from Westminster to Greenwich on the Thames River. You will ride a comfortable cruise boat at the Westminster Pier with your tour group and tour guide. 

From there, you will be guided as you pass through sights such as Shakespeare’s Globe, Tower Bridge, and the Tower of London. While several Thames River cruises are offered online, this sightseeing tour specifically offers complimentary drinks you can enjoy at their open or indoor deck. 

As you cruise through Greenwich, you will also be given time to step ashore to visit attractions such as the Cutty Sark and more at your own expense. 

Tower of London in a beautiful summer day, London, England, United Kingdom

2-Day Itinerary for London Wrap-up

There you have it – your complete Itinerary for London in 2 days. Now that we have provided you the things to do and places to visit in London, alongside important information like where to eat, stay and when to visit, you’re now ready for a quick trip to London!

Make sure to pack accordingly, have your documents ready and set your budget before visiting, and then you’re off tour to your London adventure. 

Recommended tours in London

If you’d like to save it for later, please save it to Pinterest.

Author

  • Angelica Peralta

    Meet Angelica, who at 22, boldly pivoted from a legal career to pursue her passions in travel and writing. With a focus on sustainable travel, she has explored Asia and Europe, emphasizing local cultural engagement along the way | Specializing in digital nomad travel, crafting comprehensive itineraries, identifying top tour guides, sharing regional insights on Asia, The Americas, and Europe, and advising on eco-friendly travel practices.

Similar Posts