Organising a trip often means having to choose between what you can visit and what, due to time constraints, you can't. The sheer number of things to see and do in London means that your itinerary must be well thought out, as it can be overwhelming for the most experienced traveller. The sheer number of things to see and do in London means that you need to have your itinerary well thought out, as the range of things on offer can be overwhelming for even the most experienced traveller.
This six-day London itinerary includes the main attractions, from the Tower of London to the British Museum, plus a day trip to the highly recommended Stonehenge. Remember that the best way to enjoy yourself is to be flexible so that you can change your itinerary as you go along if you find something that particularly interests you.
Day 1: see the main attractions in the Westminster area
One of the best places to start getting to know the British capital is the Westminster area. It remains the cultural and political centre of the city and is home to some of the city's must-see attractions.
Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard
The first visit of the day can be done, like the rest of the tour, on foot, but if you prefer, you can book a London sightseeing bus that will take you around the area. Buckingham Palace is sure to be on the route of most of them.
Likewise, booking a visit to Buckingham Palace with the Changing of the Guard ceremony is a must on your trip. It is one of the most famous buildings in the whole of the UK, as it is the main residence of the British King and Queen. As well as being able to visit the palace itself, many tourists come here hoping to see the famous Changing of the Guard in London which takes place at around 10:30 - 11:00 in the morning.
Enter Westminster Abbey
On your way to your next visit you can spend some time in St. James Park, one of the best parks in London. If you're lucky, you might spot some of the pelicans that live in its lakes. It is also a great place to have a coffee before continuing on to Westminster Abbey.
Westminster Abbey is one of the most important churches in England, both for its architecture and its history. It is well worth a visit, although I recommend that you buy tickets for Westminster Abbey in advance or have purchased a London Pass that includes it, for example.
During the visit you will be able to see the tombs of some of the most famous historical figures of the United Kingdom. The remains of English monarchs also rest there. To get the most out of it, I recommend you use the audio guide provided at the entrance.
Walk through Trafalgar Square and enjoy the art at the National Gallery.
From the Abbey, continue your tour to Trafalgar Square, one of the most popular and well-known squares in the city. Here you will find the famous statue of Admiral Nelson and another statue depicting four lions.
If you prefer, almost all organised tours of London cover this area and usually have guides who explain the history of the square.
As well as strolling around the square, art lovers should definitely book a visit to the National Gallery, which is free to enter.
The gallery houses one of the best collections of paintings in the world and specialises in European artists from the 13th to the 20th century. You'll enjoy works by Rembrandt, Titian, Velázquez and Van Gogh, to name but a few.
On the way to Big Ben via Downing Street
From Trafalgar Square you take Whitehall Street, which leads to Parliament Square. Along the way you can see the surviving section of a palace that burnt down in 1698, including a ceiling painted by Rubens.
The walk passes, before reaching the aforementioned Parliament Square, through the famous Downing Street, where the official residence of the British Prime Minister is located, specifically at number 10.
On one side of this square is the Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament. It is in this building that the tower, erroneously known as Big Ben, is located. In reality, this name only refers to the bell located there, but over time many people use it for the whole tower.
After visiting all of the above you can walk over the nearby Westminster Bridge and take in the views of the Houses of Parliament and the river.
Because of the time of day, it's quite likely that you'll be looking for somewhere to dine along the banks of the Thames. Another good option is to book one of London' s interesting night tours, which will allow you to see **London'**s sights from a different perspective.
Day 2: Along the Thames
The second day of the trip will also focus on central London, but in this case focusing on the attractions along England's largest river, the Thames. The recommended itinerary starts at the Tower of London and will end at the London Eye.
Enter the Tower of London
The day begins with a visit to the Tower of London, a former fortress used as a prison for over 900 years. Many critics of the crown were imprisoned there and it was famous for the tortures and executions that were carried out.
Among the unfortunates who ended up in the Tower of London are such important figures as Anne Boleyn, Thomas More and Queen Jane Grey.
Booking a visit inside the Tower of London is highly recommended, especially for the exhibition showing the Crown Jewels, the chapel and the White Tower. If you're lucky, you may also be able to see some of the ravens that live there and which are the subject of an interesting legend.
Relax on the Thames with a little cruise
After admiring the attractions of the Tower of London you may well want to take some time out to book a cruise on the Thames.
The range of Thames cruises on offer is quite wide, as are the prices of Thames cruises. Some of them are designed for evening cruises, such as Thames cruises that include dinner, while others combine a Thames cruise with a visit to the London Eye.
Two of London's most famous bridges: Tower Bridge and London Bridge
Although both bridges have their own exhibitions, it's best to continue the tour for time reasons. In any case, you can always choose to see one of them and improvise afterwards.
The next stops require a return to the Westminster Bridge area. Firstly, if you like the theme, it's worth buying tickets for the London Dungeon.
This is an interactive attraction that tells the city' s darker history and is sure to startle even the most fearful on occasion. If you think it's going to be too much for your character, not too far away is London's Sea Life London Aquarium.
Climb the London Eye and enjoy the view
If the previous visit wasn't for the faint-hearted, the London Eye, a spectacular 135-metre-high Ferris wheel, may cause vertigo sufferers to shiver.
Depending on the time of day, you may want to look for one of the restaurants around the London Eye for a bite to eat.
Day 3: Learn about history at the British Museum and St Paul's Cathedral and finish with a musical.
Halfway through the trip it's time to visit another museum and one of the most important churches in the UK. In principle, this day's tour can be done on foot, but in case your legs start to give out, here's a little guide on how to get around on the London Underground.
There is no doubt that this is one of the best museums in London, both for its great collection and its facilities.
Admission is free and it is so big that it is worth booking a guided tour of the British Museum. In reality, it would take several days, but you'll have to settle for at least a couple of hours.
The best way to make the most of this time is to pick up the map provided at the entrance, as well as the audio guide in English.
Grab a bite to eat in Covent Garden
Continuing along the walk you will reach a square full of atmosphere and magic: Covent Garden. Here you will find an old flower market and nowadays you will find numerous street artists, restaurants, pubs and food stalls.
If you're travelling with children, this square is home to a museum that they tend to love: the London Transport Museum.
St Paul's Cathedral, the country's living history
It is important to buy tickets for St Paul's Cathedral because it is simply breathtaking. In fact, it is second only in size to St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Its interior further enhances the sense of being in a unique place, undoubtedly one of London's finest monuments. Within a wonderful general decoration, the frescoes that decorate its ceilings stand out. When visiting it, it is essential to go up to the dome and enter the crypt.
As with other London landmarks, the entrance ticket to St Paul's Cathedral includes an interesting audio guide.
For contemporary art lovers: Tate Modern
On leaving the cathedral, cross the Millennium Bridge to reach one of the world's temples of contemporary art: the Tate Modern. The building that houses the museum alone is worth a visit, as it used to be the Bankside Power Station.
The Tate Modern, which is free to enter, has some of the most renowned works of contemporary art inside, which are well worth seeing if you book a guided tour. These include artists such as Picasso, Warhol, Salvador Dalí and Monet, among others.
See a musical
After enjoying the masters of contemporary art, you have two options. The first, simpler, is to have dinner and go back to your hotel. The second, which I recommend, is to go to London's West End to enjoy some of the best West-End musicals in London.
Day 4: Day trip to Stonehenge
For the fourth day it might be a good idea to leave London's tarmac for a trip to the outskirts of London. Among the most interesting places to visit from London I have chosen Stonehenge, both for its own interest and for the possibility of combining the visit with such beautiful places as Bath.
To make this visit you can choose to go on your own or hire an excursion to Stonehenge from London that has this place as a destination. In the first case it is important to take into account what I explain in my article on How to get to Stonehenge from London and to study both the pros and cons.
Excursion to Stonehenge and Bath
To make the most of your time I suggest an excursion to combine the megalithic monument of Stonehenge with the city of Bath.
Stonehenge is, without a doubt, one of the most magical places on the planet, moments like the summer solstice at Stonehenge are one of those experiences that remain engraved in your memory. When you arrive you will be able to contemplate the structures created thousands of years ago and learn something about how our ancestors lived at that time.
Bath, meanwhile, is considered one of the most impressive cities in the whole country. Not only is the Roman baths that give it its name a must-see, but there are also a number of other attractions scattered throughout the streets.
Day 5: A tour of the city's parks and one of its most impressive markets
After a busy day visiting Stonehenge and Bath, day five can start with a visit to Camden Town and its market and continue with a leisurely stroll through Hyde Park. Finally, you can choose to follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes or enter the world's most famous wax museum.
Camden Town and market
When you've finished taking pictures with your favourite characters, you should look for the tube stop that leads to Camden Town. This revitalised neighbourhood is home to the most famous street market in London. It usually takes a couple of hours to see it in its entirety.
This market is located in a place that is well worth seeing: between the two beautiful canals in the Camden Town neighbourhood. It's very interesting to wander around all the stalls you'll find here, from craft stalls to food stalls of all kinds.
Have a picnic in Regent's Park
If you feel like having lunch in a quieter place than Candem Market, a great option is to go into Regent's Park, another well-known park in the city. It's the perfect place to have a picnic after shopping at a supermarket or fast food restaurant.
Regent Park is not the only option for a relaxed lunch. Nearby is Primrose Hill, another park which also offers wonderful views of the city.
If the weather is bad, which is not unlikely in London, you can always go into a local pub. In that case, I recommend The Volunteer.
Stroll through Hyde Park
If you're visiting London during the summer, as well as wandering around its paths you can try to find the statue of Peter Pan, Kensington Palace or, if you feel like it, hire a boat on the park's central lake.
On the other hand, if you visit London in winter, Hyde Park is home to one of the busiest and most fun Christmas markets in the city.
Enter the Sherlock Holmes era on Baker Street
The millions of fans of the Sherlock Holmes stories have a must-visit when they are in London: the house in which Arthur Conan Doyle set up the residence of the most famous detective in history.
The house, now converted into a museum dedicated to the character, is located, as all fans know, at 221B Baker Street.
Although it's not everyone's cup of tea, there's no doubt that the Madame Tussauds museum presents the best wax figures from all over the world.
Inside you can see thousands of famous people from all over the world, from sportsmen and women to actors, scientists and history's greatest figures.
Day 6: Visit some of the city's most atmospheric shopping streets and head up to The Shard to bid farewell to the city.
Many travellers spend their last day in a destination shopping for souvenirs. On this tour, we've tried to make sure that shopping doesn't mean losing a day of sightseeing. So the itinerary takes in the city's best-known and most atmospheric shopping streets, which often have some important architectural attractions and truly historic shops.
Mingle with the thousands of visitors to Oxford Street
The approximately two and a half kilometres that make up this street are lined with restaurants, pubs and shops that are visited by thousands upon thousands of Londoners and tourists every day. In fact, many claim that it is the busiest street in Europe.
If you walk down the street towards Marble Arch you will come across one of London's most famous department stores: Selfridges, located in a building of great architectural importance.
This street is also a must if you are in London at Christmas time due to the spectacular Christmas lights and decorations considered to be the best in the city. You can enjoy them from mid-November onwards.
At the end of the street you can see the Marble Arch. This is a triumphal arch that used to stand at the entrance to Buckingham Palace. Even today, now moved, it is still one of the best-known images of the city.
Guided tour of the city centre
If you're short on time and want to take a last look at the sights of central London, one of the best options is to take a guided tour of the British capital. Even if you've already seen most of the sights, your guide's explanations will help you get a better understanding of everything you've visited before.
Start the evening at Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is undoubtedly London's most famous intersection, as well as an essential stop-off point for many of the city's tourist attractions.
Some consider it to be London's equivalent of New York's Times Square. Just a few minutes away are some of the city's most popular shopping streets.
Wander aimlessly through the streets of Soho
One of the most enjoyable things to do in a city is to simply wander around aimlessly. London's Soho is undoubtedly the best place to do this. In this area you will find several theatres and a good number of cult bars.
Among the spots you can't miss is Carnaby, Soho's most famous street. Its atmosphere and extravagant Christmas decorations have made it a must-see for anyone in London at this time of year.
I recommend that when you walk down this street you look on the right hand side to find a beautiful gallery with a sign reading Kingly Court. Inside you will see a wonderful open courtyard and two floors full of restaurants and terraces.