Things to do in London in 2 days

London is a city full of monuments, parks, foodie hotspots and amazing places to be. Two days is not enough time for London, but enough to fall in love with this famous city.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

8 min read

Things to do in London in 2 days

Postcard of the Buildings in London | ©João Barbosa

With 2 days in London, you'll only be able to see the highlights of the British capital, so I've designed an itinerary to help you see most of London's iconic sights. You can, of course, take it as a guide and tweak it to your liking, so be prepared for a busy couple of days of sightseeing!

Day 1: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, London Eye & Central London

Exterior of Buckingham Palace| ©Craige McGonigle
Exterior of Buckingham Palace| ©Craige McGonigle

On the first day we will try to see the most iconic s ights of the city in order to get a more general overview of what the city is like.

Buckingham Palace

Known as Buckingham House, this building is the official residence of His Majesty the King and has 775 rooms and the largest private garden in London.

Obviously, the monarch's chambers are not open to visitors, but if you buy your Buckingham Palace tickets you can admire the architecture of the building inside and tour some of the rooms:

  • The State Rooms, adorned with works of art and antique furniture.
  • The Throne Rooms, more than emblematic.
  • The Royal Picture Gallery, where you can see some of the most important masterpieces from the royal collection.

Book tickets for Buckingham Palace

Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard in London is a changing of the guard ceremony performed by the Royal Guard. It is a parade that takes place in the mornings and is one of the most famous and important tourist attractions in London.

The Changing of the Guard takes place every day in June and July and the rest of the year only on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

It is so crowded that it is sometimes difficult to see. So if you are really interested, my recommendation is to take a tour that includes the Changing of the Guard, otherwise you might be wasting valuable time if you are visiting London for two days.

Book a tour that includes the Changing of the Guard

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a London icon with over 1000 years of history and therefore a must-see during your visit to London.

The interior of this Gothic-style church is perhaps even more spectacular than the exterior, so I recommend you book a guided tour of Westminster Abbey to soak it all in.

Also, if you have the London Pass, one of the best London sightseeing cards, entry to Westminster Abbey is included.

Book a guided tour of Westminster Abbey

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Houses of Parliaments and Big Ben| ©Berit
Houses of Parliaments and Big Ben| ©Berit

Once you've seen Westminster Abbey, continue through Parliament Square to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, London's most iconic landmarks.

The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is the most important meeting place of the British government. The palace was rebuilt between 1840 and 1870, and you can see it in the foreground sitting on the banks of the River Thames.

While tours of Big Ben are reserved exclusively for UK residents, visits to the Houses of Parliament are offered through their official website.

Book a tour of Westminster

London Eye

Your next stop will be to see the views from the London Eye. From the Houses of Parliament, cross Westminster Bridge to the Southbank. From there you will see two excellent views: one towards the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and the other towards the London Eye.

If the London Eye is on your list of things to do in London, then I recommend booking tickets for the London Eye in advance as there is usually a long queue.

Buy tickets for the London Eye

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square| ©a.canvas.of.light
Trafalgar Square| ©a.canvas.of.light

From Southbank, continue along Hungerford Bridge towards Trafalgar Square and take a break to enjoy the views from the bridge back towards the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.

Trafalgar Square is a public square surrounded by some of London's top attractions including museums, galleries, historic buildings, statues and monuments that are well worth seeing.

Book a tour of London

Covent Garden

A short walk from Trafalgar Square will take you to Covent Garden, an area full of street performers. In the centre of Covent Garden, you'll find a variety of shops and restaurants - this can be a great place to hide away on a rainy day!

If you haven't had lunch yet, then Covent Garden is a great place to stop and grab a bite to eat. Take a stroll through Neal's Yard for a colourful oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with plenty of food options, including excellent vegan meals.

Book a tour of London

National Gallery

If you are an art lover, the National Gallery, home to over 2300 works of art, will be an essential part of your visit to London. In this case, I recommend you book a guided tour of the National Gallery because it will only take you an hour and you will be able to see the most important works of the museum.

However, if art is not something you appreciate so much, I recommend skipping this plan so you don't waste time on something that doesn't fill you up.

Book a guided tour of the National Gallery

Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square

Picadilly Circus the heart of the West End| ©Jimmy Baikovicius
Picadilly Circus the heart of the West End| ©Jimmy Baikovicius

From Regent Street and a stroll down Oxford Street (one of the busiest streets) you must get to Piccadilly Circus. No matter what time of day, Piccadilly Circus is always buzzing. It's London's equivalent of New York's Time Square and is a major tourist attraction.

Continue along Piccadilly Circus and, by inertia, you'll come to Leicester Square. This is where London's film premieres take place and this part of London is arguably even better at night. It's also the heart of Theatreland, so there are plenty of theatres nearby to catch a show.

While there are also plenty of food options in Leicester Square, it's not the best place to eat due to the high prices.

Book a tour of London


This area is very popular with Londoners and tourists alike. It is definitely the perfect place to end the day with a variety of entertainment, food and nightlife options.

You will find many excellent restaurants along Wardour Street and the surrounding area. You can try Princi if Italian food is to your liking.

Then to round off the day you can enjoy a cocktail in one of the many bars or clubs in the area.

Book a tour of London

Day 2: Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Shard, Millennium Bridge & Sky Garden

Inside the Tower of London| ©Doug Kerr
Inside the Tower of London| ©Doug Kerr

To see as much of London as possible in 2 days, I would recommend starting early again. The second day of your itinerary will start at the Tower of London, which opens at 9am Tuesday to Saturday (and from 10am Sunday to Monday), and end at the Sky Garden.

Tower of London

Dating back to the 1070s as an imposing river fortress, this iconic historic site has served many purposes throughout its existence as a fortress, prison, royal mint and even a zoo and, today, a tourist attraction.

You can book tickets for the Tower of London in advance to avoid wasting time or access with the London Pass

If you are not interested in entering, at least walk around the perimeter, from where you can get excellent views and an idea of the scale of the tower.

Book tickets for the Tower of London

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge in London| ©Chris Schippers
Tower Bridge in London| ©Chris Schippers

Once you've seen the Crown Jewels, head to Tower Bridge, one of London's landmarks.

The bridge opens fairly regularly to allow tall ships to pass. It's an impressive sight, so it's worth checking the Tower Bridge website to see if it's scheduled to open during your 2 days in London.

Buy your London Pass

The Shard

At 95 storeys high, London's tallest skyscraper offers breathtaking views of the city.

Book tickets for The Shard and climb 310m (1020ft) above the ground in what is the tallest structure in Western Europe.

You can also take advantage and pop into the Ting restaurant at The Shard, which serves one of the best afternoon teas, although it is on the 35th floor so the view won't be quite as spectacular.

Buy tickets for The Shard

Golden Hide

Golden Hide| ©Jose L. Marin
Golden Hide| ©Jose L. Marin

Your route on this 2-day London itinerary will take you past the Golden Hide. This is a full-scale reconstruction of the first English ship to circumnavigate the world, captained by Sir Francis Drake.

You can also get on board by purchasing your London Pass. It is an impressive structure and well worth a look.

Buy your London Pass

Borough Market

You should be pretty hungry by now! Stop by Borough Market, one of the best places for street food in London. Here you'll find a tempting variety of food from all over the world.

The delicious aromas will instantly permeate your senses, and if you're not hungry? The market is usually open every day except Sundays. Check the Borough Market website for up to date opening times.

Buy your London Explorer Pass

Shakespeare Globe

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre| ©Diego Delso
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre| ©Diego Delso

As you continue your walk along the south bank of the river, you'll inevitably come across Shakespeare's Globe, a world-renowned outdoor performing arts centre which is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, for which William Shakespeare wrote his best plays.

For Shakespeare or theatre fans, it's well worth a visit. It is also included in the London Pass.

If you don't have it, tickets for the Shakespeare Globe cost £17 (20.23 euros) and can be booked online through Shakespeare's Globe website.

Buy your London Pass

Tate Modern

Another 5 minutes walk and you'll arrive at the Tate Modern. As with most museums and art galleries in London, entry to the Tate Modern is free but if you really love art and want to make the most of your stay, it's best to book a guided tour of the Tate Modern.

This art gallery houses the largest collection of modern art in the UK. I won't tell you more.

Book a guided tour of Tate Modern

Millennium Bridge

View of the Millennium Bridge| ©Brian Chow
View of the Millennium Bridge| ©Brian Chow

Opened in 2000, the Millennium Bridge was the first bridge to be built over the River Thames in 100 years. This impressive steel suspension footbridge connects the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe on the south bank of the Thames with St Pauls in the north. A spectacle of historical monuments!

Also, on the bridge itself small pieces of hidden artwork painted on chewing gum and designed by artist Ben Wilson.

Harry Potter fans will recognise the Millennium Bridge from the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. If you like Harry Potter I recommend booking a Harry Potter tour of London- you'll love it!

Book a Harry Potter tour of London

Sky Garden

Our last stop for this 2 day guide to London is Sky Garden, a themed garden on three levels where you'll discover a prehistoric forest of fig trees and tree ferns, as well as flowering plants from the Mediterranean and South Africa.

Sky Garden also has viewing platforms, two restaurants, a bar and an outdoor terrace. One of the best things about Sky Garden is that it's free!

Book a place on the London Sightseeing Bus