3-Day London Itinerary with Budget Tips by JetSettingFools.com

3-Day London Itinerary: How To Spend 3 Days in London

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London is one of the most visited destinations in the world – and it’s easy to understand why. The city is both historic and modern and is home to royalty and celebrities. London is also packed with iconic sights, museums, palaces and parks. Spending 3 days in London is just enough time to get a taste. We created a perfect 3-Day London Itinerary that includes all the best sightseeing!

 

Planning an Itinerary for London in 3 Days

Planning a trip to London is a big task – especially if you only have three days. In addition to determining which sights to see, travel planning in London also involves figuring out how to get there, how to get around, where to stay and what to pack.

Furthermore, as you plan travel in London you need to consider your overall trip budget. From flights to sights, hotels and food – London is not cheap to visit. The high price of sightseeing in London in 3 days can quickly add up.

 

3 Days in London On A Budget

Before visitors plan travel to London, it is important to consider a budget. Entrance fees to some of the top attractions cost upwards of $30 per person. The price of accommodations in central London can be astronomical and dining out can put a real dent in any travel budget.

Budget travelers might fear a visit to the city might be cost prohibitive, but it is possible to see London on the cheap. And we are showing you how!

In this 3-Day Itinerary in London, we focus on experiencing it all on a budget. Our plan for what to see in London in 3 days highlights budget activities. We include self-guided walking tours and taking advantage of the many free sights the city has on offer. That said, the route passes by some of the top ticketed London attractions. You can decide whether or not to enter these based on your personal UK trip budget. 

 

Organizing a London Travel Plan

Our outlined 3 Day London Trip Itinerary provides heaps of information that you need to create your European Travel Plan. However, staying on top the details is essential. We recommend using Travel Planning Printables – so that you can get your vacation to London organized!

Travel Planner Printables by JetSettingFools.com


 

3 Days in London Travel Itinerary FAQs

Before we jump into our day-by-day 3-Day Itinerary of London, we want to answer a few frequently asked questions. 

 

A Perfect London Itinerary…for Who?

We designed our London 3-Day Itinerary with budget travelers in mind. That said, anyone going to London for 3 days can use our guide to help plan their trip. Although we feature free attractions (and who doesn’t like free?), we include information about ticketed sights and money-saving London attraction cards, as well.

Whether you are traveling to England solo, with a group of friends, as a couple or with an entire family, you can use our 3 Days in London Itinerary to plan your adventure!

 

How Many Days to Spend in London?

We think 3 days in London is just enough time to get acquainted. However, we know other travelers to London may have more (or less) time. At the end of the article, we offer budget-minded travel plans for a 1-Day London Itinerary along with what to do in London for the weekend and tips on how to spend a week in London.  

 

What Does this 3-Day London Itinerary Include? 

Our 3 days Itinerary in London features the best sights and attractions in a well-planned day-by-day format. We include helpful Maps for London sightseeing routes. At the end of the post, we also provide a Sightseeing Map of London that is marked with all of our mentioned attractions.

We do include ticketed sights in our 3 Days London Itinerary, and if there is a charge to enter, we indicate that. In an effort to keep our London budget in check, we did not feel the need to enter every single sight. In fact, we were content seeing many of the historic London buildings from the outside – or found ways to go at a discount or for even for free!

Budget Tip: For discounted entry into top London sights, consider the National Rail Pass 2-for-1 vouchers or a London sightseeing pass. We provide more information on both options at the end of the article.


 

3-Day Itinerary for London on a Budget

We have packed our 3-Day London Itinerary to the brim – including all of our budget tips. It is possible to see each day’s activities in one day. However, timing will vary based on your walking pace and how long each sight holds your interest. Be aware of opening hours and daily events (like Changing of the Guard) and adjust according to your schedule and preference. Alright, let’s see London!

 

DAY ONE: ICONIC WESTMINSTER

View looking down The Mall, London, UK, England

Spend the day walking through London’s best-known borough, Westminster. In the evening, wander into Chinatown before ending the day window shopping at Piccadilly Circus and on Regent Street.

 

Kensington Palace

Visiting Kensington Palace in London, England

Begin Day 1 of your 3-Day Itinerary London at Kensington Palace, a royal residence since the 17th century. Formerly the official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall (aka the Prince and Princess of Wales, Will and Kate), part of the palace – including the King and Queen State Rooms and rotating special exhibits (such as Princess Diana’s dress collection and Life Through A Royal Lens) are open to visitors.

Pro Tip: Tickets are required to enter Kensington Palace, but The Kensington Gardens are open to the public and free to visit!  

 

Hyde Park, London

Chairs in Hyde Park London, England, UK

After seeing Kensington Palace, walk through Hyde Park – one of the eight Royal Parks of London. Marked with walking paths and ponds, Hyde Park features numerous statues and memorials. One of the most popular is the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, which sits in the center of the park. Hyde Park is also home to the festive (and massive) London Winter Wonderland Christmas Market.

Pro Tip: Wander your way toward the southeastern Hyde Park Corner and the Wellington Arch. From there, set off on a discovery of the famous London borough: City of Westminster.  

 

Westminster Walk

Big Ben, Parliament, London, England, UK

Embark on a walk through the City of Westminster to some iconic London sights. Use our Free, Self-Guided Walking Tour London for detailed information and walking directions for the sights in Westminster. In our walking tour, we also provide essential sightseeing tips!  

 

Buckingham Palace 

Buckingham Palace, London, England, jetsettingfools.com

From the Wellington Arch, it’s just a short jaunt to Buckingham Palace (ticket required to enter) – where the royal family has resided since 1837. Take in the enormous size of the palace from the front gates – or time your visit to coincide with the spectacle of the Changing of the Guards. 

 

London Afternoon Tea

High Tea, A must-do in London

High Tea in London is tradition that many visitors will want to include in their 3 Day London Itinerary – and it’s a fantastic first-day, mid-day meal! Experiencing the afternoon meal of finger sandwiches, scones and cakes – along with tea, and often Champagne – is quintessentially British. 

High Tea at The English Rose, London, England, UK

London High Tea can be a luxurious experience – and, therefore, can be a bit expensive. The most glamourous place for Afternoon Tea is The Ritz – but visitors can also opt for a guided High Tea Experience at Kensington Palace. Budget travelers, on the other hand, can find more affordable experiences at tea shops (like the nearby English Rose Café), restaurants and hostels.   

 

Trafalgar Square and Sights

Exterior of The National Gallery, London, England, UK

Stroll down The Mall to Trafalgar Square – a must see on your Three Day London Itinerary. Trafalgar Square is home to numerous free London tourist attractions, including a couple of the city’s most famous museums. The National Gallery features masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent Van Gogh. The National Portrait Gallery displays portraits of famous British figures, such as Sir Isaac Newton and Anne Boleyn. St. Martin in the Fields Church is also on Trafalgar Square and, in addition to being free to enter, provides free musical concerts (plus has an inexpensive café in the crypt).

 

London Landmarks

Westminster Abbey in London, England, jetsettingfools.com

Next, walk down Whitehall, the political thoroughfare that is home to historic monuments. Pass by the Horse Guards Parade and nearby 10 Downing Street, where the UK Prime Minister lives and works.

Continue walking to the famous Westminster Abbey (ticket required to enter, unless attending a service). Westminster Abbey is one of the London UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is a sight not to be missed. 

View of Big Ben, London, England, UK

Then take in the sights of the enormous UK Parliament Building and iconic Big Ben Clock mounted on the Elizabeth Tower.

 

London Riverside Gardens and Views

Looking up the River Thames, London, England, UK

End your tour of Westminster strolling along the Thames Riverside on the Victoria Embankment to the Golden Jubilee Bridge. Walk out onto the bridge for a spectacular viewpoint of the city over the River Thames. The views over London from the bridge encompass the London Eye Ferris Wheel (ticket required), Parliament and Big Ben.

Pro Tip: Our Self Guided Westminster London Walking Tour (get it here) details more of this walk – but visitors can also join a guided tour (like this one) for in-depth information and a local’s perspective. 

 

West End London

London West End Soho Decorations on Carnaby St, England, UK

In the late afternoon and evening of your first day in London, spend time exploring the vibrant West End. Characterized by theaters, high end shopping districts and nightlife, the London West End is a top traveler destination. Starting in Leicester Square, wander through to Chinatown, then on to Soho and Regent Street (London’s most prestigious shopping district).

 

Leicester Square

Let It Be, Garrick Theathre, London, England, UK

London’s Leicester Square is a hub of entertainment. Home to numerous theaters and cinemas (keep an eye out for celebrities on Red Carpet events), there are also festive markets, fun shops and street entertainers. This is not where you will find cheap shopping in London, but two fun stores to visit (especially if you are traveling to London with kids) are M&M World and the Lego Store.

Pro Tip: While most London theater tickets are expensive, the TKTS ticket booth on Leicester Square sells last-minute tickets that are deeply discounted.

 

Chinatown London

15-Day London Paris Rome Itinerary London Soho Chinatown colorful lantern

On the north side of Leicester Square is London Chinatown, marked by an ornamental gate. The bustling streets are draped with red paper lanterns and there is a choice of affordable Asian eateries (although, there are tourist traps, too!). We recommend eating dinner in Chinatown. Sit down to a delicious meal of dim sum and roasted duck at Lido (which has been serving classic fare since 1969) or go to the famous Café TPT to indulge in a variety of Asian fare.

Budget Tip: For more budget food in Chinatown options, try Bun House, Good Friend Chicken, Baozi Inn or Jen Café for dumplings. We share more food tips later, but also read our complete list of What to Eat in London!

 

London Soho

London Soho on Carnaby St at Christmas in the UK

End the first day of your London Itinerary for 3 days in Soho. The atmospheric district is a haven of theaters, restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Walk under the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus, go window shopping along Regent Street and stroll the length of Carnaby Street.

 

Piccadilly Circus

Similar to Times Square in NYC, Piccadilly Circus is known for its flashing neon signs and brightly lit billboards. The intersection was built in 1819 as a circle (thus the name, circus). The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain stands in the center of Piccadilly Circus, which is ringed by historic buildings, such as the London Pavilion and the Criterion Theater.

 

Regent Street

Must See Regent St, London at Christmas

Regent Street – London’s shopping street – curves away from Piccadilly Circus to the north. While some budget travelers may shy away from a street lined with flagship retail stores, Regent Street is a must-see in London (especially during Christmas in London!). We recommend window shopping the name brand stores, but pop in the famous Hamlesy Toy Store, which features incredible displays, interactive stations, unique finds and classic toys.

 

Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street Modern Christmas Light Display, London, England, UK

Firmly rooted in the cool music culture of London, Carnaby Street has had a front row seat to top cultural revolutions, from the London Swinging Sixties to the 80s punk scene to modern day hip hop. Tourists can learn more about the history of the street and connection to musical icons via app or map here.  

Pro Tip: Other Soho attractions include The Photographer’s Gallery (free after 5:00pm), the BBC Broadcasting House and the Handel & Hendrix in London Museum (tickets required to both).

 

London Nightlife in Soho

There is nothing quite like a night out in London’s Soho district! From ridiculously fun karaoke bars to an iconic basement jazz club, Soho is bursting with fun things to do in London at night. 

Ronnie Scott’s is the long-time jazz club that tops many visitor’s list of Soho nightlife (but tickets are required and it’s best to buy them in advance). Basement Sate and Cahoots are chic cocktail lounges that serve delicious concoctions (but also on the spendy side). Thirst Soho is a fun club (and has a happy hour and more affordable cocktails, too!). 


 

DAY 2: MUSEUMS, MARKETS AND THE BEST VIEWS OF LONDON

Cheese grater and Gherkin View, Sky Garden, London

Start Day 2 of your three days in London at the British Museum and then peruse Covent Garden before exploring London’s South Bank. In the afternoon, visit more of the free museums in London and stroll the Thames Riverside. Then get an elevated view from one of London’s best observation decks. End the day at a classic London pub or with a budget picnic along the river!

Pro Tip: Use this helpful Map for suggested directions for your Day 2 route.

 

The British Museum

The British Museum, London, UK

The phenomenal British Museum is a must-visit on your 3 day trip to London. This renowned London museum contains a collection of artifacts that date to ancient times – and it is completely free to visit! Some of the highlights are The Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, a stone Moai statue from Easter Island and Elgin Marbles from the Acropolis in Greece.

Pro Tip: Not only is it free to enter, but the British Museum offers complimentary brochures that outline recommended self guided tours of the exhibits!

 

Covent Garden and London Markets

Covent Garden London Christmas Lights, London, England, UK

Once orchards and a produce market, the Covent Garden District still maintains its roots as a top London shopping destination. The main Market Building houses numerous shops – including the Apple Market (homemade crafts, not phones), the East Colonnade Market (unique goods) and the Jubilee Market (antiques).

Pro Tip: One of the highlights of Covent Garden is all the street performers. Slow down and take a listen as you walk through this buzzing area of London, which is especially festive during the holidays!  

 

South Bank, London

South Bank River Thames View, London, UK

Cross Waterloo Bridge to London’s South Bank. Stretching from Westminster Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge, South Bank is an entertainment destination – including high-priced attractions like the London Eye, the Sea Life Aquarium and the National Theater.

However, what we like best about the South Bank is the riverside Queen’s Walk. The pedestrian promenade offers grand views of the River Thames and City of London skyline – and passes by many landmark sights.

As you walk east along the riverside, make a stop at the Tate Modern Museum. Entry to the contemporary art museum is free as is the Level 10 rooftop deck!

Pause at the Millennium Bridge (or walk halfway across it) to gaze at the massive domed St. Paul’s Cathedral. Continue walking east along the riverside and take a quick look at the thatched roof Shakespeare’s Globe. The theater is a replica standing on the same site of the original Globe Theatre that was built in 1599. 

 

Borough Market

Borough Market, London Foodie Heaven, Famous Eats, England, UK

On Day 2 of your Three Day Itinerary London, feast at the best food market in the city, Borough Market. 

A bustling market that dates to the 12th century, Borough Market features some of the best food vendors in London. Savory sandwiches, oysters on the half shell, pungent cheese and classic British fare – like Sausage Rolls and Scotch Eggs – are just a few of the items on offer. Better yet, there are heaps of options that cost less than 10 GBP – making it a great place for a budget lunch in London!

 

Southwark Cathedral

View looking up at the The Shard, London, UK

Sitting right next to the Borough Market is one of the fantastic (and free) churches in London to visit on a 3 day trip. The Southwark Cathedral holds more than 1,000 years of history – but has only been labeled a cathedral since 1905. 

The high vaulted, Gothic cathedral, which has exceptional stained-glass windows and an intricate altar, is well known for its choir and organ performances.  

 

Tower Bridge London

View of Tower Bridge London from Horsleydown Steps, England, UK

Of the more than 20 bridges that cross the Thames River in London, Tower Bridge is – by far – the most sensational. Built in the late 1800s, the two-tower, two-level bridge is an icon of England.

Visiting the Tower Bridge Exhibition requires a ticket, but walking across Tower Bridge is absolutely free.  

Pro Tip: Before crossing the bridge, cross over Tower Bridge Road and find the Horsleydown Steps that lead to a secret eastside water level view of the magnificent bridge. Be sure to watch you step, the stairs are slippery at low tide!

 

Tower of London

View of the the Tower of London, UK

An iconic riverside castle, the Tower of London (ticket required) was first established in the year 1066 and was used as a royal residence. Through the years, the castle has also served as a prison, an armory, the treasury and the Royal Mint – and it stands as one of the UNSECO sites in London.

The top sight at the Tower of London is the Crown Jewels, which are used in the monarchy’s coronations. Informational displays detail the history of the castle – and Beefeaters are on hand to answer any questions, too. 

In fact, guests can join a guided tour by Beefeaters. The Yeoman Warder Tours are included as part of the admission ticket. The guides are known for their wit and humor – in addition to their storytelling. 

The special Tower of London Ceremony of the Keys – which is the daily evening changing of the guard ceremony – is an inexpensive London event. However, the tickets are snapped up in a hurry, so you have to be quick to get them!

Pro Tip: The nearby All Hallows by the Tower Church dates to the year 675 and ranks as the oldest church in the City of London. The ancient church has a fascinating history that is detailed in the crypt museum – and entry to all of it is free! 

 

St. Dunstan in the East Church Garden

St. Dunstan in the East Church Garden, London, England, UK

A secret garden set among the ruins of an old church, the St. Dunstan in the East Church is a London hidden gem! 

The Church of St. Dunstan dates to the beginning of the 12th century – but was severely damaged in both the Great Fire of London in 1666 and during the WWII Blitz of 1941. Rather than rebuilding the church after the war, it was turned into a public green space. 

Pro Tip: The steeple that still stands was an addition to the church in the late 1600s by the famous English architect, Sir Christopher Wren. 

 

Elevated London ViewView of the Sky Garden and The Shard from The Garden at 120, London, England, UK

London is an incredible city to see from above – and there are several rooftops where visitors can get sublime views – for free! All three of our featured free London rooftops are close in proximity, so you can choose to go to one…or see them all! 

 

London Sky Garden

We were free to roam the open space of the Sky Garden, which covers the top three floors of 20 Fenchurch building.

The Sky Garden London is a rooftop oasis located on the 38th floor of the Fenchurch Building (aka the Walkie Talkie) – and it’s free to visit! The attraction actually occupies the top three floors of the skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street. With floor to ceiling windows, there are 360-degree views of London – and there is an outdoor viewing platform, full restaurant as well as a bar.

Advance, online reservations are highly recommended, but some walk-ins are allowed when capacity permits. Get all of the details of how to book your free tickets in our complete guide to Visiting the Sky Garden in London.

 

The Garden at 120

View of The Gherkin from Garden 120, London, England, UK

A phenomenal 15-story rooftop garden that requires no reservation or ticket (but does require a security check), the Garden at 120 is a spacious, open-air rooftop. While not quite as high as Sky Garden, the 360-degree London views encompass many of the same London landmark sights. We think it is one of the absolute best free viewpoints in London – and it’s said to be especially beautiful at sunset!

 

One New Change Mall Rooftop

One New Change Rooftop View, London, England, UK

One New Change is a modern mall – with an outstanding rooftop view. Only 6 stories high, the One New Change Rooftop is easy to get to – simply take the elevator to the 6th floor! The rooftop offers a unique vantage point of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline. 

 

The Shard

The London Shard – which ranks as the tallest building in Western Europe – stands on the south side of the River Thames. The view does provide incredible vistas, but the experience is pricey. If The Shard is a must on your 3 Day London Itinerary, we recommend purchasing tickets in advance.

Pro Tip: London’s newest and highest free viewing platform is Horizon 22 at 22 Bishopsgate. Booking in advance is required and can be quite difficult to find an available time!

 

Leadenhall Market 

Leadenhall Market Christmas Tree, London, England, UK

A gorgeous Victorian-era arcade, Leadenhall Market stands in the heart of the City of London – yet it is often missed. Fabulously decorated for Christmas on our recent visit, the grand architecture – and the fun pubs – are reason to see the marketplace year-round!

Pro Tip: The Leadenhall Market is especially popular with Harry Potter fans, as it was featured as Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter film. 

 

Monument to the Great Fire of London

Monument to the Great Fire of London, England, UK

A famous 202-foot-tall commemorative column (now partially overshadowed by towering London skyscrapers), the Monument serves as a memorial of the Great Fire of London in 1666. 

One of the most destructive events in the history of London, the Great Fire blazed for four days and destroyed a third of the city’s buildings. After the smoke cleared, it took 50 years to rebuild – and the team of architects tasked with the massive endeavor were lead by Sir Christopher Wren. 

Pro Tip: The tower is open to visitors (ticket required) who want to climb the 311 steps to the scenic viewpoint. 

 

St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

View of St Pauls from Millennium Bridge, London

St. Paul’s Cathedral is the masterpiece of the London rebuilding program after the Great Fire. The beautiful Renaissance and Baroque building (with credits to Sir Christopher Wren) sits on the highest hill in the City of London and on the site of a previous church that dated to the year 604. St. Paul’s ranked as the tallest building in London until 1963.

Although a ticket is required to enter the church (unless you attend a service), it is well-worth seeing the exterior of the church from up close. 

Pro Tip: St. Paul’s Cathedral has hosted many important events – such as the funerals of Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher – as well as the wedding of then Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981.  

 

Best London Pubs

Best Pubs in London, The Blackfriar, England, UK

We think visiting a classic London pub is an essential experience – and the perfect way to end Day 2 of your 3 Days Itinerary London. The two places we recommend for a meal and pint in the City of London are historic pubs; The Blackfriar and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. 

That said, many of the other best London pubs are located along the river. For our top picks, read our complete rundown: River Thames Pub Crawl London: The Best Pubs on the Thames.

Pro Tip: Eating and drinking at the pubs in London can be pricey. To enjoy the experience and keep your budget in check, order a half pint, sip slowly and savor the atmosphere. Traditional London pub food – like steak-and-ale pies or sausage-and-mash – are not too expensive and can possibly shared by two.


 

DAY 3: RIVER THAMES AND GREENWICH

Thames River view of the Tower Bridge, London, England, UK

On the last day of your London 3 Days Itinerary, take a river boat to Greenwich. Discover the sights of Greenwich then travel north across (or under) the River Thames to Canary Wharf. Finish the day in London’s vibrant East End for a delicious meal. 

 

River Thames Boat Ride

The London Eye Ferris Wheel in London, England, jetsettingfools.com

A 3 Day Itinerary in London wouldn’t be complete without riding a river boat on the River Thames! While there are numerous companies that offer Thames River boat rides, the most affordable method of travel on the river is via the Thames Clipper (now in partnership with Uber). Fares can be paid with an Oyster Card (we cover London Transit in more depth a bit later), purchased online or via the Uber app.

Pro Tip: While there is no on-board commentary on the Thames Clipper boats, visitors can follow along with their London Travel Guidebook.  

 

Greenwich London

View of Greenwich Park, London, England, UK

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is an East London neighborhood that is teeming with sights. Known around the world as the location of the Prime Meridian, Greenwich has strong ties to sea navigation and astronomy. Top attractions include the Maritime Museum (free to enter), the Royal Observatory (some free sections) and the Cutty Sark (ticket required).

Chapel of St Peter and St Paul, Greenwich, London, UK

Visitors can easily spend an entire day in Greenwich, but on a London in 3 Days Itinerary, we recommend only spending the morning seeing one or two of the top attractions. Whichever sights you decide to visit, make the Greenwich Market your last stop for a tasty lunch before crossing under the river to see more of London!

Pro Tip: Get the specific details about what to see and do in the district in our article: The Best Things To Do in Greenwich.  

 

Under River Greenwich Foot Tunnel

Canary Wharf London from Greenwich, UK

North of Greenwich, across the River Thames, is Canary Wharf. To get there from Greenwich, visitors can access the Foot Tunnel, which takes pedestrians underneath the river to the north side. If you’d prefer to skip the walk, hop on the DLR (Dockland Light Rail) at Cutty Sark and ride to Canary Wharf. 

Pro Tip: If you are planning 3 days in London with family and kids, once on the north side of the river, stop by the free inner city Mudchute Park and Farm where there are sheep and pigs to see and feed. 

 

Canary Wharf London

View of building at Canary Wharf, London, England, UK

Considered to be London’s second Business District, Canary Wharf is characterized by the towering skyscrapers – including One Canada Square, which is the 3nd tallest building in the UK (after the Shard and the new 22 Bishopsgate). The area is also home to London’s wholesale fish market, Billingsgate Market, which remains from the time when Canary Wharf was one of the busiest ports in the world.

Two of the most interesting tourist attractions in London Canary Wharf are the Museum of London Docklands and a serene Crossrail Rooftop Garden. 

 

Museum of London Docklands

Museum of London, Docklands, England, UK

One of the best attractions in Canary Wharf is the excellent Museum of London Docklands – and it’s free! Telling the story of London’s past – from the history of the docks to the slave trade to how the city grew – the interactive and immersive museum is a must see. 

 

Crossrail Roof Gardens

Crossrail Roof Gardens, London, England, UK

The Crossrail Place Roof Garden – another one of the free things to do in Canary Wharf – is a lush and tranquil rooftop park right in the heart of the bustling district. As the Prime Meridian crosses through the park, plants from each hemisphere are displayed accordingly. 

Pro Tip: If you are feeling peckish, the nearby Cargo Markethall offers an amazing array of affordable food options (at least less expensive than most London sit-down meals) in a lively atmosphere.

 

Shoreditch and East End London

Truman's Sign, Shoreditch, London, England, UK

The East End of London is an outstanding place to wrap-up your perfect London Three Day Itinerary. Well known as a creative enclave, the district has an edgy vibe, features cool London street art, incredible markets and foodie haunts that are hailed by locals and visitors alike. 

The multicultural district is ideal for wandering, but we are highlighting a few of the top places to see in London East End to help you find your way. 

Pro Tip: From Canary Wharf, travel to Shoreditch via London Underground on the Elizabeth Line and exit at the Liverpool Street Tube Station. 

 

Spitalfields Market

Must Visit Spitalfields Market, London Foodie Eats, England, UK

The Spitalfields Market has a long history and is still one of the best London markets to visit today. The Spitalfields Market originated as a produce market in 1682. Today, visitors can find everything from designer threads to vintage records along with a few of London’s best-known food stalls. 

Pro Tip: While the market does stay open until late for food and drink, most of the market shop vendors are only open until 5 or 6pm – so plan accordingly! 

 

Shoreditch Street Art

Best Shoreditch London Street Art, England, UK

The East End and Shoreditch celebrate street art – and much of the district is decorated in colorful, purposeful, political and evocative street art murals. Constantly changing, the best London street art is found along Brick Lane, on alley walls, under bridges and covering doors. 

Travelers looking for street art on Brick Lane should make sure to detour onto side streets, like Pedley Street and Hanbury Street. And, don’t miss Ely’s Yard, where street art and food trucks abound. 

Pro Tip: Travelers can seek out the best street art murals in London on their own (for no cost) or join one of the guided tours for the best street art in Shoreditch – like this tour. There is also a free, tip-based walking tour of East End Street Art that visitors can join.

 

Brick Lane

Walking on Brick Lane, London, Shoreditch, England, UK

Lined with hip shops and hosting weekend markets, Brick Lane is a top London attraction. Pop into the vintage stores and boutique shops to get a feel for the eclectic neighborhood. What it is most famous for, however, are the numerous curry houses that dole out spicy Bangladeshi and Indian fare – some of London’s favorite cuisines. 

Brick Lane is a mashup of cultures and religions, which makes it one of the interesting and unique places to see in London.  

Pro Tip: If it is a Sunday, don’t miss the Brick Lane Sunday Market. It’s one of the cheap places to shop in London where you can find some real bargains!

 

Dinner in London East End

Entrance to Dishroom, Shoreditch, East End, London, England, UK

For the last meal of your London 3 day trip, eat at one of the city’s top restaurants (of which there are several in the East End district!). 

Try one of the curry houses on Brick Lane – like Aladin or Sheba (book reservations online in advance at either restaurant and get a discount on your food). For fashionable food in an eclectic atmosphere, go to Dishoom in Shoreditch (but expect a line, because it’s first come first serve after 545pm for parties of 5 or less). 

Travelers can also get in on the debate about who makes the best beigel salt beef sandwiches – Beigel Bake or Beigel Shop. The modestly priced sandwiches are filling and delicious and a favorite late-night snack of area revelers. 

However, if you want to end your 3 day trip in London with a fancy affair, make reservations at the chic 40th floor Duck and Waffle. 

Pro Tip: How about a beverage to cap off your Three Day Itinerary London? The East End is home to many fun pubs and bars – but Commercial Tavern ranks as our favorite!

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Sightseeing in London Map

Use this Map to find the sights listed in our 3-Day London Itinerary. Day 1 sights are Blue; Day 2 attractions are Green; Day 3 things to see are Purple. 

London Map of Attractions by JetSettingFools.com


 

Food and Drink in London

Proper Sunday Roast, London, England, UK

Part of deciding what to do in London in 3 days is determining what and where to eat! We shared some tips throughout our Three Days in London Itinerary, but visitors can use our complete list of the Most Famous London Food to find something that suits their palate.

A fun British tradition is enjoying a classic Sunday Roast – although we did not include it in our Must See in London 3 Days Trip Plan. However, we do highly recommend it if you’re visiting London on the weekend!

If your 3 days in London coincides with a Sunday, there are several restaurants and pubs that serve Sunday roast – from the Hawksmoor (which is pricey) to pubs that offer the meal at affordable prices for budget-minded travelers. 


 

More Activities for your 3 Day Itinerary London

Throughout our free London Itinerary we have outlined the top attractions that are not to be missed. However, we have a few more sights and experiences that ambitious travelers might want to squeeze into their 3 Day Itinerary for London!   

 

South Kensington London Museums

South Kensington hosts are a few of the best museums in London. Visitors may want to add one – or more – of the iconic museums to their London trip plan. 

 

Natural History Museum in London

Whale Skeleton, Natural History Museum in London, England, UK

The London Natural History Museum is a place of interesting education. The fantastic institution features phenomenal exhibits and hands-on activities – and it’s free to visit! Fossils, minerals, and an array of taxidermized creatures are very popular, but there are also displays on geological events, such as volcanos, earthquakes and tsunamis.

 

The Science Museum

Interior of The Science Museum, London, England, UK

The Science Museum is another fabulous free London museum – and it is ideal to include on a London Itinerary with kids. That said, it impresses visitors of all ages. In fact, we found the Science Museum to be far more intriguing than the Natural History Museum in London. From space exploration to the information age, the Science Museum details the history of science in a super engaging way! 

 

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, UK

A stunning art collection housed in an ornate building, the V&A Art Museum displays decorative arts and hosts exceptional exhibits. Top things to see in the V&A Museum are the enormous statues in the Cast Courts, the old fashioned clothing in the Fashion Gallery and the Silver Collection. Best of all, everything in the permanent collection at this spectacular London museum is free to visit.   

 

Museum of London

The Clash: London Calling

The free Museum of London is a fascinating place to learn about the history of the city. Detailing a timeline from prehistoric to modern in engaging displays, the museum also offers rotating exhibits (like “The Clash: London Calling”, which was featured during our visit).

Pro Tip: While the entire Museum of London is interesting, we were absolutely enthralled by the recent history. However, because we spent so much time in the ancient history and rotating displays, we were short on time by the time we got to the modern history section. UPDATE: Closed until 2026 for renovation and relocation!

 

More Museums in London

Sir John Soane's Museum, London, England, UK

There is no shortage of London museums where visitors can get lost for hours or simply pop into when the weather turns miserable. We have already featured quite a few of our favorite museums, but there are a few more to mention. 

London Transport Museum (ticket required) details the history of transport from vintage trams to double decker buses to highspeed rail. The Sherlock Holmes Museum (ticket required), which is housed at 221B Baker Street, is a big hit with fans of the detective series.

Sir John Soane’s Museum (free) is a collection of curious displays and the Saatchi Gallery (free) is a modern art institution that exhibits an array of contemporary art forms.

 

Harry Potter London Sightseeing

Harry Potter, Kings Cross, London, England, UK

It is said that J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, was on a train bound for London when she came up with the idea for the story – so it’s no surprise that many of the book and film locations take place in the city. 

 

Harry Potter Tours in London

Harry Potter fans will want to carve out some time in their itinerary for London in 3 days to see some of the most famous Harry Potter sights. Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station is a top attraction – and you can see it for free (along with many other sights) on a self guided Harry Potter tour, such as this one. Visitors can also join a Guided Harry Potter Walking Tour or spend an entire day on set at the Warner Bros. Studio on an epic tour.  

 

The Barbican

Brutalist Barbican Centre, London, England, UK

A unique design concept brought to London in the mid 1960’s, the buildings of the Barbican Centre were meant to be a city within itself. Built over an area severely destroyed in WWII, the Barbican complex includes over 2000 apartments, theaters, a concert hall, art galleries, offices, restaurants and shops. Fans of Brutalist architecture should not miss the Barbican Estate!

 

More London Districts 

London is a sprawling metropolis with diverse districts that dot the landscape. We have touched on a few of the best London districts to visit – but there are still so many more fascinating places to see. 

Chelsea is an affluent neighborhood that is bright and walkable, Camden exudes a quirky and casual vibe, and Notting Hill is famous for its Portobello Market. Bermondsey is known for its boutique shops and craft brewers that have inhabited the brick arches under the train tracks – now known as the Bermondsey Beer Mile

Clapham and Brixton are great neighborhoods in southwest London and Battersea has been recently revitalized into a hip place to hang out. 

We explore many of these famed districts in London next in our section of expanded, alternate itineraries for London! 


 

More London Itineraries

Sunset over London, England, UK

While we have outlined the best London Itinerary for a 3-day trip, we know many travelers are trying to plan longer or shorter trips. Therefore, we are providing several suggested itineraries for London.

 

1 Day in London Itinerary

Planning a London 1-Day Itinerary is not an easy task! With so much to see and do, it can be difficult to choose what to include and what to omit.

In an attempt to squeeze as much sightseeing as possible into one day, we would recommend combining some of the sights from Days 1 and 2 of our London Three-Day Itinerary. Follow our outline for Day 1 from Kensington Palace until the end of the Westminster Walk, then pick up Day 2 at South Bank and end the day at a classic pub.  

 

London Itinerary 2 Days

For an ideal 2-Day London Itinerary, we recommend simply following Days 1 and 2 of our outlined London in Three Days Itinerary. If time permits during your 2 days in London, consider adding a boat cruise on the Thames River.  

 

Alternative London Itinerary 3 Days

In our guide of things to do in London in 3 days, we include several (free) museums. Visitors who are not into museums can instead opt for neighborhood exploration.

In our following suggested plans for a 4-Day London Itinerary or London in a Week, we highlight different neighborhoods around the city. Rather than going to museums, substitute the different districts into your London travel plans.  

 

London Itinerary 4 Days

Planning a 4 days in London Itinerary offers an opportunity to see some unique neighborhoods. On a London 4-Day Itinerary, we recommend spending a day exploring more great London neighborhoods on foot. 

Start the day at one (or two…or all three!) of the free London museums in South Kensington, then dip into Chelsea. Eat an inexpensive and tasty lunch at Bread Ahead Bakery on Pavilion Road or get pizza at Franco Manca. 

After lunch, stroll the length of King’s Road – Chelsea’s famous shopping street. Pop into the Saatchi Gallery (free) and wander onto the side streets (like Bywater and Godfrey Streets) where houses are painted in a cheerful palette of pastel. Visit St. Luke’s Church (free), where Charles Dickens was married in 1863. 

Cross the beautiful Albert Bridge and explore the expansive and lush Battersea Park. Top things to see in London Battersea Park are the ornate London Peace Pagoda, the trails around Boating Lake, and the Children’s Zoo (ticket required).

Next head for Battersea Power Station – which was once responsible for providing a fifth of the power to London, but has been repurposed as a modern entertainment and residential hub. Visitors can take Lift 109 (ticket required) to the top of one of the old chimneys for elevated 360 degree views. 

From Battersea Tube Station, hop on the Northern Line to Elephant and Castle. End your London in 4 days feasting on street food at the energetic Mercato Metropolitano. 

 

London Itinerary 5 Days

For a London 5-Day Itinerary, we recommend following our advice for 4 days in London, then discover the neighborhoods to the north on your last day.

On the last day of 5 days in London, start at Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill. Next, head east to Regent’s Park – or one of the nearby attractions, like the British Library (free), the Sherlock Museum (ticket required) or strike a pose like The Beatles on the Abbey Road crossing.

For lunch, go to the Camden Town Market, then take a stroll along Regent’s Canal which is lined with houseboats (a bit like Amsterdam!).

Time permitting, hop a bus to Highgate Cemetery (small fee to enter) or the spacious Hampstead Heath which provides a super view of London city on clear days.

Stay in the area for the evening and settle into The Flask, a historic and haunted pub that is sometimes frequented by celebrities that live in Highgate (the late George Michael owned the house across the street and Kate Moss and Jude Law both own homes in Highgate).

 

London Itinerary 6 Days

Planning a 6 Days in London Itinerary allows visitors to glimpse into a local, alternative scene. Start by using our previously outlined London 5 Days Itinerary, then on the last day, see less ‘sights’ and more local life. Use the last day of your 6-Day London Itinerary to see neighborhoods south of the city center.

Start your day just steps from major tourist sights in the Leake Street Arches, which are covered in murals by local street artists. Work your way west – either by foot or hop on a double-decker red bus – to the Weekend Maltby Street Market (or if it’s a weekday, revisit Borough or Mercato Metropolitano).

After perusing the goods and sampling the fare, make your way to the atmospheric Butler’s Wharf. If the weather is pleasant, continue on to lovely Southwark Park. 

In the late afternoon, embark on a journey of craft beer tasting in Bermondsey. Numerous breweries have set up shop in the brick arches of a 1.5 mile-stretch of elevated train tracks. Find out more about the brewers, hours of operation and how to plan your time in our article: London Craft Beer Crawl: The Bermondsey Beer Mile.  

For dinner on the last day of your 6 days in London, eat at one of the traditional (and inexpensive) pie houses in Bermondsey (like M Manze or Arments). Alternatively, dine at one of the eateries on fashionable Bermondsey Street (like Casse-Croûte for French cuisine, José for Spanish food or Hakata for ramen).

 

London Itinerary 7 Days

To create a 7-Day London Itinerary, follow the above tips for six days in London, then go on a day trip. There are easy train connections to royal Windsor, iconic Stonehenge, beautiful Bath, bustling Bristol and beachside Brighton.

Alternatively, stay in London and visit any places you may have missed on the previous days.

Pro Tip: Find the best London day trips on Viator where you can read fellow traveler reviews before booking your tour.


 

3 Days in London Tips for Budget Travel

View looking down Whitehall, London, England, UK

Now that you know what to do and see when you visit London in 3 days (or longer!), we have a few more important tips.

 

How Much Does 3 Days in London Cost? 

How much money you spend on your 3 day London vacation will depend on what you choose to include in your itinerary. However, with the many free attractions and sights, it is possible to spend 72 hours in London and not pay for any activities. Visitors who do want to visit ticketed attractions can save money using a London sightseeing pass (more on that below). 

 

Eating in London on a Budget

While there are many free and cheap London attractions, seeking out inexpensive places to eat is a little more difficult. The cost of eating at restaurants in London can add up in a hurry, which can crush any London trip budget. We often find that the cheapest places to eat in London are kebab shops (or other takeaway spots) and Chinatown.

 

Eating on a Budget in London: Grocery Stores & Meal Deals

Our best tip for eating in London on a budget is to buy food at one of the grocery stores, like Sainsbury’s or Tesco. These chain stores offer convenient prepared meals at a bundled price (around £3.50, which is about $4.50 USD).

The Tesco Meal Deal includes a Main (sandwich, wrap or pasta), Snack (chips, fruit or sweets) and a Drink (soda, juice or water). It may be even less expensive to purchase individual items for a picnic at a scenic spot (of which London has many!). Grocery stores are also a great choice for saving money on breakfast foods.  

 

Best London City Sightseeing Pass

One of the great things about traveling in London on a budget is all of the free things to do. In our plan for London in Three Days, we feature the best free attractions. However, some of the pricey options may be worth the cost of admission to you.

The best way to squeeze ticketed sights into a London trip budget is by utilizing a money-saving sightseeing pass. There are two main types of passes for London sightseeing: One offers unlimited attractions within a specified number of days, while the other type of pass is good for a specific number of attractions to be visited. 

 

The London Pass

The most popular London sightseeing pass is The London Pass. It is a London sightseeing pass that is based on number of days. The London Pass is good for 1 to 7 or 10 days and includes more than 80 attractions in London to choose from. The pass also includes a Thames River Boat Ride and a Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour. 

For ambitious sightseers, the London Pass could be very beneficial, as it is certainly possible to visit a multitude of sights in one day (although, be aware, there is a one-day pass card value cap of £175).

Top Tip: If purchasing an unlimited sightseeing pass for your 3 day London trip, rather than splurging for a 3 Day London Pass, see if you can squeeze all of your ticketed attractions with the pass into a single day of sightseeing. That way, you will only need to buy a 1 Day London Sightseeing Pass, instead of paying for a more expensive 3 Days in London Pass!

 

The London Explorer Pass

The London Explorer Pass is based on the number of sights (2 to 7) and offers 20 to choose from – including top London sights, like the Tower of London, the Shard and Westminster Abbey. Once activated the card is good for 60 days – so you can use it throughout your London 3 Days Trip or much longer.

 

National Rail Pass 2-for-1 London Passes

Another option for discounted admission into London’s attractions are the 2-for-1 deals with the National Rail Pass.

Purchasing National Rail passes entitles the traveler to more than 150 2-for-1 offers in London. Of course, these London sightseeing discounts only make sense if you are traveling in pairs and if you are planning on using National Rail extensively.

When my family visited us in London, they purchased National Rail TravelCards that worked on the entire Transport for London network with the extra benefit of the 2-for-1 offers.

 

Choosing the Right London Sightseeing Card

Before purchasing a pass for your Three-Day London Itinerary, we recommend researching all of the options in order to make the most economical choice. Determine which London sights and attractions are at the top of your list and then compare the passes to find one that best suits you and your 3 Days in London Budget.   


 

London Public Transportation

Year-long, Round the World Budget: Taking the Tube in London was expensive, but efficient!

London public transportation is fairly clean and usually efficient – but it can be expensive. However, there are many ways to use public transportation on a budget London trip. Besides using your own two feet, public transit is the best way to travel in London for 3 days. 

First, let’s chat about the different methods of public transit in London. 

London Underground – The Tube as it’s called – is the robust and efficient subway system. With 11 lines and 272 stations, visitors can quickly get around to the top attractions. 

The DLR – or Docklands Light Rail – primarily serves the east side of London, and can be particularly useful to visitors when visiting Greenwich and Canary Wharf. 

London Overground – as you may have guessed – is an above ground railway network that covers areas of London that are not serviced by the Tube. There are also tram lines is southwest London, which may be useful for visiting Wimbledon.

Buses in London – offer the most connections with more than 700 London bus routes and costs £1.65 per ride (with unlimited transfers to other buses or trams within an hour).

Although buses usually take longer than the Tube, they are still a good way of getting around and can often get you closer to your final destination. Using buses can be a cheap sightseeing option, as well – especially the double decker London buses where the upper level provides great views!

Pro Tip: Want to use the public bus for sightseeing? London Bus Routes 9, 11 and 24 pass some of London’s best sights!

 

Understanding London Public Transport Prices

The best way to save money on public transportation in London is by paying with a card. Daily Caps will also put a ceiling on your transport costs. The key is to do a little research before traveling to London to determine which method of transportation will be the most cost effective for your trip.

The main transport cards to consider are the Oyster Card and the National Rail Pass (but there are also Visitor Oyster Cards, point-to-point tickets and bus & tram passes). The official TFL website offers helpful advice on how to choose the correct card for your 3 day visit to London. 

 

Oyster Card

The Oyster Card can be used on all modes of public transportation in London. The pre-paid card offers discounted fares (as well as calculating the Daily Cap automatically) and can be easily topped up with more credit. However, the card costs £7 to purchase, so it is worthwhile to calculate whether or not the card will provide savings with 3 days in London.

 

Contactless Credit Cards

Rather than paying for an Oyster Card and then worrying about topping up, you can now pay for all of Transport for London services (Tube, Bus, DLR, Overground and Tram) with your own contactless credit card. You’ll generally receive the same discounts and daily caps as when using an Oyster Card. However, there a few things to consider; each person traveling must use their own credit card and you need to be comfortable constantly handling that card in crowded public places. If you decide to pay for London transport with a contactless credit card, we highly recommend getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

 

National Rail Pass

As mentioned earlier, The National Rail Pass can offer huge savings in London – especially if traveling in pairs and utilizing their 2-for-1 sightseeing passes to top attractions. Find out more about the pass and included attraction offers on the National Rail website

 

Big Bus London

An alternative to taking public transportation is the tourist Big Bus London. Although it may cost more than using public transport, it makes stops at all the top tourist spots and includes a river boat ride. Plus, it can be a real time-saver! Find out more!


 

London Travel Tips

View of Victoria Tower Gardens South, London, England, UK

We have shared our top tips for how to spend 3 days in London (or more) – but we still have a few more pieces of advice that will help make planning your trip to Europe easier. 

 

When To Go To London

London is a destination for all seasons! Seriously, in our opinion, there isn’t a bad time to go to London. The best time to go to London is whenever you can get there! That said, we have tips for travelers regarding what to expect in each season. 

 

Summer in London

For many travelers, summer is the best time to go to London. The weather is typically mild, with highs in the 70s – and even sunny and bright. The downside, naturally, is massive crowds and everything is priced to the hilt.

 

Autumn in London

An ideal time for travelers looking for fewer crowds and lower prices, autumn can be a great time to visit London. That said, it is the rainiest season, so be prepared for gray skies and periodic showers. 

 

London during Winter

We love London in winter – and think it is one of the Best European Christmas Cities to see. Visitors who travel to London for Christmas get to experience the full effect of twinkling lights and holiday merriment. The celebrations continue through NYE and London is a Fantastic Place to Ring in the New Year! As the festivities are a big draw, tourist attractions and holiday sights can be quite crowded and hotel prices surge.

The weather can be crisp – even cold – and there is sometimes snow…and always rain. Plus, the days are incredibly short; which is good for seeing lights, but not so much for seeing sights!

After the jolliness of the season, the remaining winter months are ideal for budget travelers. The crowds disperse and prices for both hotels and flights are typically at their lowest. 

 

Springtime in London

Springtime weather in London can fluctuate – from cold and dreary to sunny and warm – in the same day (or hour!). That said, it’s an absolutely beautiful time to visit London, as it is in full bloom. Plus, there are fewer tourists and generally more affordable accommodations. 


 

Getting To and From London

London can be reached by plane, train, bus, car – or even by ship. Our preferred method of getting anywhere is by flying (we are JetSettingFools, after all!) and London has several airports.

 

London Airports

The major London airports are Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW), London City (LCY), Luton (LTN) and Stansted (STN). When we purchase flights we start our search for the best deals on airline tickets on Skyscanner.

While Heathrow is the busiest London airport, it’s also the most expensive – as there are astronomical taxes attached to the price of the flight. Plus, getting from LHR to central London on the Heathrow Express costs a pretty penny (although advance online tickets cost significantly less).

Travelers can also use the Tube to get from Heathrow to central London. The new Elizabeth Line, as well as the Piccadilly Line, connect Heathrow to the city center. Additionally, there are coach buses that make the journey.

Which method of transit you use for getting from Heathrow to London city center will depend on your budget, schedule and where you’re staying.

The low-cost carriers that fly to London use Gatwick, Stansted and Luton Airports. To get from these airports into the city, travelers can use inexpensive buses that costs as little as £6. However, the journey takes about 2 hours to get to the London city center.

London City Airport (located at Royal Docks) is the most centrally located airport. It’s well connected to the rest of London by the DLR, however, flights are limited and typically priced for business travelers to London.

 

Trains to London

Travelers visiting London from other United Kingdom cities – like Bath, Edinburgh and Glasgow – can get to the city by train. While not always as cheap as one might think, train travel is typically efficient and on time. 

 

Buses to London

For low-cost city-to-city travel within Europe, we rely on buses. London is well-connected to UK cities by bus – and it’s best to check at your departure station for accurate schedules. That said, our preferred bus company is FlixBus – as it is economical, clean and comfortable with on-board wifi and (usually) a toilet. Tickets are cheapest when booked in advance.   

 

Renting a Car in London

We aren’t keen on driving abroad (especially on the left side of the road!), but renting a car can often save time and money. Plus, having a car rental allows for greater discovery. However, parking a car in London can add significant fees to your London visit – and, once in the city, a car is really not necessary.  


 

Where To Stay in London for 3 Days

During our trips to London, we have stayed in a variety of accommodations – including city center hotels, airport hotels, Airbnb apartments and as international housesitters.

Pro Tip: For a 3-day trip to London, we recommend choosing a central location near public transportation. The areas around Victoria and Paddington Stations are typically good locations to stay for short trips to London.

 

London Budget Trip Hotels

Finding affordable hotels in London is a real struggle…but not impossible. We have stayed in numerous locations – but rarely for less than $100 per night.

 

Best Western on Buckingham Palace Road

Conveniently located on a quiet street just around the corner from the well-connect Victoria Station, we think the Best Western on Buckingham Palace Road is the best place to stay in London for sightseeing on a budget.

Within walking distance to many of our highlighted places to visit in London in 3 days – and just steps from a major transit hub in the city – travelers can easily start and end their long days of sightseeing from the hotel. Just ask for a room facing Hugh St to avoid the noise from the trains. Check prices for your stay in London! 

 

Locke at Broken Wharf

A hip hotel on the Thames Riverside, Locke at Broken Wharf is an aparthotel that is ideal for travelers who like to recharge in their room before taking on the city. Each stylishly decorated room is outfitted with a small kitchenette – plus the hotel has a laundry room, an onsite restaurant and café, a gym and a community space. Check availability for your London stay!

 

Good Hotel London

Located near the London City Airport in East London, the Good Hotel is a unique place to stay. The hotel is actually a floating barge on the water, just across from the O2 and Greenwich. While the rooms are on the small side, the hip hotel features modern décor, a co-working space and friendly staff – and, it’s just steps from public transport. Check rates and availability!

 

EasyHotel, London

Located in Westminster not far from Victoria Station, EasyHotel offers tiny, windowless rooms at a budget rate. The no-frills rooms are clean and efficient – and they have free coffee and tea available in the lobby. But, let us be clear: the rooms are teeny tiny, with a small bed, compact bathroom and little room for luggage. Check current rates!

 

Premier Inn Heathrow

A Heathrow Airport hotel at Terminal 4, the Premier Inn is surprisingly affordable with spacious rooms and an on-site restaurant and bar. Transport within the airport is free, so guests not arriving at Terminal 4 can easily get to the hotel without any additional costs. Check rates and availability!  

 

London Hostels

Budget travelers can search for London Hostels – like these top-rated hostels (based on guest reviews!): Park Villa Boutique Hostel, Wombats City Hostel and Astor Hyde Park Hostel.  

 

Airbnb Apartments London

We have stayed in a few different Airbnb Apartments in London. We have found that staying in apartments for at least a week is less expensive than hotel rooms – with the added benefit of a kitchen and typically, more space. In London, the cheapest options are usually to rent a private room within a house, rather than renting the entire space.

However, travelers staying in London for 3 days might find it more of a hassle (and more expensive due to Airbnb’s fees) to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel.

 

Staying in London for Free: Housesitting 

To save money on accommodations, we sometimes offer our services as house and pet-sitters in exchange for a free place to stay. While planning a London itinerary around housesitting can be difficult (not to mention the added responsibility of taking care of a pet), it can be a fun way to travel on a budget! We’ve found numerous housesitting gigs in London with Trusted Housesitters


 

Budget Travel London: What You Will Need

Now that we have outlined the top things to do in London on a Budget, we have a few final tips of what you will need to pack. For all of our packing tips, check out this dedicated Packing Page. Grab your FREE Packing Checklist!

 

Best Travel Shoes

Our 3-Day London tour covers some ground! Be sure to pack a pair of comfortable travel shoes. I like wearing these lightweight Columbia shoes for city walking – and Kris prefers to wear his Merrell shoes.  

 

London Weather Gear

London has a reputation for being a rainy-weather city, but there are actually only about 100 rainy days a year. However, your time in London will likely coincide with some rain (or snow…or sleet!). We recommend carrying a travel umbrella or bringing a packable raincoat.  

 

Refillable Water Bottle

When traveling to London on a budget, you will want to carry a refillable water bottle to avoid buying bottles of water while out sightseeing. We think these collapsible water bottles are great for travelers (and the environment!).

 

Map of London

It’s easy to get turned around or lost when traveling. However, by studying the layout prior to arrival, you can get oriented quickly. We recommend purchasing a city map before your trip – and carrying it with you while you explore!  

 

Travel Camera

On your three perfect days in London, we are certain that you will be snapping heaps of photos! We recommend upgrading to a real camera – rather than using your cell phone to take photos. 

On our trips, we use a Canon DSLR with an 18-135mm lens. It takes quality photos, is easy to use and comes with tons of accessories, which is why we think it is one of the best cameras for budget travelers

 

Day Pack 

Whether you travel with a backpack or suitcase, be sure to have a great day bag to organize and secure your belongings. Your day bag should have zippered pockets and be comfortable to wear for long sightseeing days. Plus, it needs to be large enough for all of your everyday travel essentials!  

 

London Travel Insurance

If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip to London, consider traveling protected with a reliable insurance company


 

Helpful London Guides

Our London guides feature heaps of information on how to see London in 3 days. While we linked to these articles throughout the outlined itinerary, we are highlighting them here again. 

 

Furthermore, those who are visiting more of England, the United Kingdom or the region, can find our top tips in our travel guides. 

 

Start planning your trip to the UK! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel advice? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for more tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!

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7 thoughts on “3-Day London Itinerary: How To Spend 3 Days in London

  1. Hi Sarah & Kris, I’ve been so worried about my upcoming trip this fall. It’s the first time I’d be travelling alone and let me tell you, I’m not very good at planning ahead, I usually leave that burden to my sister who’s great at it. But since I’ve planned on doing a little soul searching, I truly believe it’s time for me to embark on this adventure. Then it just hit me, there are a lot of people who actually document everything and I’m sure glad I stumbled onto your blog here. Thanks a million!

  2. Love the foul weather budget alternatives! When I was in London it rained just about every day but only for a few hours or at night so I got lucky with being able to walk around. Buuut some of the best museums ever are in London and they’re completely free!!! Couldn’t think of anywhere better to spend a few hours on a rainy day! 🙂

  3. We walked along the west side of the Thames by the Tower Bridge and there were many carts selling food and beer. We enjoyed a few pints of beer at 6USD and sat and had a great view of the water and waterfront.

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