How to Spend 5 Days in London: + Hotels, Restaurants



How to Spend 5 Days in London

Posted: 31.05.2024

London, the vibrant capital of the United Kingdom, is a city steeped in history, brimming with culture, and buzzing with energy, one of the most visited cities in the world. For first-time visitors, London offers an unforgettable experience with its iconic landmarks, world-class museums, famous luxury hotels and diverse culinary scene. Whether you're a history buff, an art lover, or simply looking to soak up the city's unique atmosphere, London has something for everyone. This itinerary is designed to give you a well-rounded experience of London, from its historic sites to its modern attractions. Each day is balanced with a mix of sightseeing, cultural experiences, and relaxation, ensuring you make the most of your time in this incredible city. Here is the plan for 5 days itinerary in London.

NOTE: Links for purchasing tickets to attractions/museums lead only to official websites.

Quick Tips for First-Time Visitors

● Plan Ahead: To make the most of your trip, plan your itinerary in advance and book tickets for popular attractions and shows.
● Stay Central: Choose accommodation in central London to minimize travel time and maximize your sightseeing opportunities.
● Travel: Get an Oyster card for convenient access to public transportation.
● Weather: Be prepared for unpredictable weather; carry an umbrella and wear layers.
● Currency: The currency is the British Pound (GBP); credit cards are widely accepted.
● Safety: London is generally safe, but be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings secure.

Day 1: Iconic Landmarks and Cultural Experiences

Morning
Visit to the Tower of London
● Start your London adventure with a visit to the Tower of London, one of the city's most famous and historically rich landmarks. Built in 1066, this fortress has served as a royal palace, prison, and treasury. Today, it's home to the Crown Jewels, which you can see up close. Join a guided tour led by the iconic Beefeaters to learn about the tower's intriguing past, from its gruesome executions to its legendary ravens.

Tower Bridge
● Just a short walk from the Tower of London is the stunning Tower Bridge. This iconic symbol of London offers spectacular views of the River Thames and the city skyline. Visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition to learn about its history and marvel at the panoramic views from the high-level walkways with glass floors, offering a unique perspective of the bustling activity below.

5 Days in London: The Ultimate London Itinerary

Afternoon
The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
● After lunch, head to Westminster to see the iconic Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. This Gothic masterpiece is not only the seat of the UK's government but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the interiors are generally not open to the public, the exterior views are breathtaking, especially from the nearby Westminster Bridge.

Westminster Abbey
● Next, visit Westminster Abbey, a stunning example of Gothic architecture and the site of numerous royal coronations, weddings, and burials. The Abbey is filled with historical significance and architectural beauty, making it a must-see for history enthusiasts. Be sure to explore the Poets' Corner, where many famous writers and poets are commemorated.

Evening
London Eye
● As the day winds down, take a ride on the London Eye, one of the world's largest observation wheels. The 30-minute ride offers spectacular views of the city's skyline, especially during sunset when the lights begin to twinkle across London. This is a perfect way to end your first day, providing a unique and memorable perspective of the city. London Eye tickets.

Dinner at a Traditional British Pub
● Conclude your day with dinner at a traditional British pub. Enjoy classic British fare such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, or a hearty Sunday roast. Pubs like The Churchill Arms or The Lamb & Flag offer great food and a cozy atmosphere, perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration.

5 Days in London: The Ultimate London Itinerary

Day 2: Day 2: Museums, Gardens and Shopping

Morning
British Museum
● Kick off your second day with a visit to the British Museum, one of the world's greatest repositories of human history and culture. With over eight million works in its collection, including the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles, there's plenty to see. Admission is free, allowing you to explore at your leisure. Book your free ticket.

Covent Garden
● After the museum, head to Covent Garden, a bustling area known for its shopping, street performers, and vibrant atmosphere. Explore the market stalls, boutiques, and artisan shops, and enjoy the lively performances by talented street artists. Grab a coffee or a snack at one of the many cafes and soak in the vibrant energy of the area.

Afternoon
Buckingham Palace and The Changing of the Guard
● In the afternoon, make your way to Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarch. Time your visit to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, a spectacular display of British pageantry that takes place daily during the summer and every other day in the winter. After the ceremony, take a stroll around the beautiful gardens and the nearby Victoria Memorial. Buckingham Palace tickets.

St. James’s Park
● Adjacent to Buckingham Palace is St. James’s Park, one of London's most charming green spaces. Take a leisurely walk through the park, feed the ducks and pelicans, and enjoy the picturesque views of the lake and surrounding gardens. The park offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Evening
West End Show
● Experience the magic of London's West End by catching a show at one of its famous theaters. Whether you prefer musicals, dramas, or comedies, there's something for everyone. Popular shows like "The Phantom of the Opera," "Les Misérables," and "The Lion King" offer unforgettable performances that are sure to be a highlight of your trip. West End Show tickets.

Dinner in Soho
● After the show, head to Soho for dinner. Known for its eclectic dining scene, Soho offers a wide range of restaurants and cuisines to choose from. Whether you're in the mood for traditional British dishes, international cuisine, or trendy fusion restaurants, you'll find something to satisfy your taste buds.

Day 3: Modern Attractions and Local Experiences

Morning
The Shard
● Start your final day with a visit to The Shard, the tallest building in the UK. Take the elevator to the observation deck on the 72nd floor for breathtaking views of London. On a clear day, you can see for miles, spotting landmarks like the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, and even as far as Windsor Castle.

Borough Market
● After taking in the views, head to Borough Market, one of London's oldest and most renowned food markets. Wander through the stalls offering a wide array of fresh produce, artisanal foods, and gourmet treats. Sample some of the delicious offerings, from cheese and charcuterie to freshly baked goods and exotic street food.

Afternoon
Natural History Museum or Victoria and Albert Museum
● For the afternoon, choose between the Natural History Museum or the Victoria and Albert Museum, both located in South Kensington. The Natural History Museum is perfect for those interested in the natural world, with exhibits ranging from dinosaur skeletons to a life-sized blue whale model. The Victoria and Albert Museum, on the other hand, focuses on art and design, showcasing an extensive collection of decorative arts, fashion, and textiles. Plan your free visit to the Natural History Museum or Plan your free visit to the V&A family of museums.

Harrods
● No visit to London is complete without a stop at Harrods, the world-famous luxury department store. Browse through its opulent halls, filled with high-end fashion, jewelry, and gourmet food. Even if you're not planning to buy anything, the store's stunning architecture and lavish displays are worth seeing.

Evening
Southbank Walk
● As the sun sets, take a leisurely walk along the Southbank of the River Thames. This vibrant area is home to cultural venues like the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre, and the Globe Theatre. Enjoy the lively atmosphere, street performances, and stunning views of the city illuminated at night.

Thames River Cruise
● For a unique perspective of London, embark on a Thames River cruise. There are various options available, from short sightseeing cruises to dinner cruises with live entertainment. Glide along the river, taking in the city's landmarks beautifully lit against the night sky.

Farewell Dinner
● End your trip with a memorable farewell dinner at one of London's top restaurants. Consider dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant like The Ledbury or enjoy a more relaxed meal at a riverside eatery like The River Café. Reflect on your incredible three days in London as you savor your final meal in this amazing city.

5 Days in London: The Ultimate London Itinerary

Day 4: Parks and Culture

Morning
Hyde Park
● Start your day with a relaxing walk or a boat ride on the Serpentine.

Afternoon
Free day after morning
● Just walk and feel the city.

Day 5: History and Market

Morning
Windsor Castle
● Take a day trip to the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Windsor Castle tickets.

Kensington Palace
● Visit the residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. Kensington Palace.

5 Days in London: The Ultimate London Itinerary

Afternoon
Return to London's city centre
● Visit Camden Market: Explore the eclectic mix of shops and food stalls.

Evening
Dinner at Sketch
● Enjoy a unique dining experience at this iconic London restaurant known for its quirky decor and gourmet food.

Final Tips and Recommendations

● Be Flexible: While it's good to have a plan, be open to spontaneous adventures and detours. Some of the best experiences can happen unexpectedly.
● Stay Safe: Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and follow local safety guidelines.
● Enjoy: Most importantly, have fun and enjoy every moment of your time in this incredible city!

My recommendations of hotels in central London

These hotels offer a range of options from luxury to budget-friendly, ensuring that every traveler can find the perfect place to stay while exploring London.

The Ritz London 5*

The The Ritz London is an iconic luxury hotel known for its opulent interiors, exceptional service, and rich history. Situated in the heart of Piccadilly, it offers easy access to many of London's top attractions, including Buckingham Palace, Green Park, and the West End theaters.
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The Savoy 5*

The The Savoy is one of London's most famous hotels, renowned for its luxurious accommodations and exceptional service. Located on the Strand, it offers stunning views of the River Thames and is within walking distance of Covent Garden, the West End theaters, and Trafalgar Square.
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The Langham London 5*

The The Langham London is an iconic luxury hotel known for its opulent interiors, exceptional service, and rich history. Situated in the heart of Piccadilly, it offers easy access to many of London's top attractions, including Buckingham Palace, Green Park, and the West End theaters.
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The Londoner 5*

The The Londoner is an iconic luxury hotel, located in Leicester Square, the hotel is just a short walk from many of London's hot spots such as Soho, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and local transport links. The hotel is also member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels and Resorts Legend Collection.
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The Montague on the Gardens 4*

The The Montague on the Gardens is a charming, boutique hotel located in Bloomsbury, close to the British Museum. Known for its elegant decor and exceptional service, it offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city.
The Montague on the Gardens

The Resident Victoria 4*

The View the prices and pictures offers comfortable, modern accommodations in a convenient location near Buckingham Palace. It’s ideal for travelers looking for a mix of comfort, affordability, and easy access to central London attractions.
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The Clermont London, Charing Cross 4*

The Clermont London, Charing Cross. Housed in a beautifully restored Victorian building, the Amba Hotel Charing Cross offers a blend of historic charm and modern luxury. It's located just steps away from Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery
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The Resident Covent Garden 4*

The The Resident Covent Garden is a charming, boutique hotel located in Bloomsbury, close to the British Museum. Known for its elegant decor and exceptional service, it offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city.
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The Resident Covent Garden 4*

The The Resident Covent Garden is a charming, boutique hotel located in Bloomsbury, close to the British Museum. Known for its elegant decor and exceptional service, it offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city.
View the prices and pictures: VIEW PRICES AND PICTURES

This itinerary offers a blend of historic landmarks, cultural experiences, and luxury dining and accommodations, ensuring a memorable five days in London. Enjoy the best the city has to offer with these carefully selected options.

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