What to see in London in 1 day – itinerary and map
From the most recognizable sights, to over 200 incredible museums, to beautiful squares and parks, how much of it is there in a day? It turns out not so little!
How to prepare for a walk in London?
If you’re passing through London and want to experience it for the first time, let’s get ready to walk! First, read up on the weather and tips for the month you’re visiting. Check the forecast for the day of arrival, after all, our route is hiking. Choose comfortable clothes for the season, try to do without heels and don’t catch cold! It’s great if you book some tickets in advance so you don’t lose time in lines. Download our map with the walking route, it’s duplicated with all the points and detailed descriptions, you won’t get lost!
London Walking Route for 1 Day
Start your excursion at Waterloo subway station, because the main famous places of the city are located around it.
Once out of the station, follow the signs and make your way to the river. Here you’ll find the London Eye, a spectacular Ferris wheel with an unbelievable view over London! It takes 30 minutes to complete a full circle. Box office queues can take up to an hour, so book early to save time and money. Ticket prices are £28 for a specific time, £30 for a day visit booking, children’s tickets are £5 cheaper.
Further along the promenade from the London Eye is the London Aquarium (find tickets here), and Westminster Bridge. At the other end of the bridge you’ll see the famous Big Ben clock and the Houses of Parliament. Nearby is Westminster Abbey, officially called St. Peter’s Cathedral Church in Westminster. This building is one of the most important in the life of the country, coronations and funerals take place here as well as the burial place of many kings and queens. A ticket here costs £24 when ordering online, at the box office it is £2 more expensive. We recommend setting aside a couple of hours to see the abbey.
Next, you can head northeast, towards St. James Park . The park has a small lake with waterfowl and the Blue Bridge with a great view over Buckingham Palace. It’s worthwhile to take a few pictures and have a picnic.
Follow the park paths right up to the palace and you’ll see the famous royal guards, Her Majesty’s balcony and the Queen Victoria Monument. In July, August and September, in the absence of Elizabeth II, the palace complex is open to tourists. You can buy a ticket and walk around the residence.
Then, walk through Green Park to Piccadilly Circus where you can store or just stroll around and take pictures with the statue of Eros.
Down Regent street is Trafalgar Square . Here you’ll find the famous Admiral Nelson’s Column and stunning fountains that illuminate in the evening. If you’ve got time to spare, take a look at the National Gallery! It’s completely free to visit and the Van Gogh and Renoir collections are priceless. On the right side of the entrance staircase (next to the fountain) is Café on the Square. It is open from 10:00 to 18:00. If you’re in the square later, cross the street to either side and check out the cafes on the first floors, which are open late.
From Trafalgar Square, take the Hungerford Bridge back to Waterloo tube station.
So, we managed to see a lot in one day! But that’s just a small part of the huge, interesting city of London! Be sure to come back here for a week, two weeks, a whole month – believe me, it can surprise you every time.
10 things to do in London
1: Afternoon tea . The well-known Five O’Clock deserves a visit. Organized by all the rules of social etiquette and with full service – it will be an unforgettable cultural experience, which is guaranteed to bring a lot of positive and memorable emotions. There is a special resource where you can choose a place in advance and book online – http://www.afternoontea.co.uk/.
2. Visit an English pub. You can’t go anywhere without it… when you come to London you simply have no right not to visit a pub. These original drinking establishments have now become a place for socializing at lunchtime, in the evening after work, and on any other convenient occasion. To have a pint or two of beer or ale is the norm for every Englishman and, of course, for tourists. Advice for men: Never order half a pint (small glass) – it’s a mauvais ton, as it’s a woman’s dose. A kind bartender will prompt you, an angry bartender will sneer and discuss you with a regular customer. As a last resort, no one is forcing you to drink everything, but you should sit with a “full” glass. There are “gastro-pubs” where you can have a good meal and they pay enough attention to it. There are sport-bars, pubs with live music and so on. In general, you can (and should) find an establishment to your liking.
3. You can take a double-decker bus. Preferably in the “hottest” seats on the second floor. If you want to get in touch with history, there are still two routes in London where the old traditional open-top buses run. They run on routes 9 (Trafalgar square-Green Park-Kensington High street) and 15 (Trafalgar square-St.Paul’s-Tower of London) during the day every day. There is a conductor on the buses, but travel on Oyster is also possible.
4. Visit a street market . There are several street markets in London, which can be classified as Must see: Portobello Market – the most famous antique market in the world, here you can find everything or almost everything. I particularly remember how we bought a silver tea strainer and a cigarette label with the breed of dog we wanted))) Camden Market is a very colorful place where you can buy vintage clothing, unusual jewelry, works of artists and photographers, and much more. This place is worth to visit if only for its appearance, and today Camden is one of the most visited places of trade in London. Borough Market is a food market with its own special atmosphere. It is open from Thursday to Sunday in the morning. Here you can try and buy everything an inflamed hungry brain can think of: from the freshest oysters at a very reasonable price to the real English pies, have a glass of real cider and get tipsy (7-9 degrees!) to jostle for trays with the most delicious snacks in the city. Besides there are some famous stores at the market: chocolate shop – the variety makes you dizzy, and the sellers are real fans of their business, they will tell you with love about every kind and taste; store of natural cosmetics Neal’s Yard (the best thing I’ve ever tasted).
5. Walk along the Thames . London in general is a pleasure to walk, and what to say about the Thames waterfront, where in a couple of hours you will see an incredible number of sights, recognizable cityscapes, such as London Eye, Parliament, Tate Modern Gallery, Globe Theatre, Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral and, of course, Tower Bridge. You can spend days on such walks without getting tired of London’s special atmosphere.
6. Walking in London’s parks . The parks of London are a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of a huge city while being right in the middle of it. Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, St. James’ Park, the list goes on and on, with parks covering almost 15% of the city and symbolizing the city along with Big Ben. There is nothing more pleasant than to sit on a sunny day in a chaise lounge (attention! It’s a paid pleasure))) and feed the almost tame squirrels.
7. Shopping . Where without it? London is one of the world capitals of shopping. The main shopping street is Oxford Street, but I personally do not like it very much. Piccadilly and Regent’s Street, Harrods and Selfridges department stores. Westfields, Europe’s largest department store, has all the great brands, but not as many people as you’d expect in Oxford Street. Also, you can’t leave without buying Scottish cashmere, amazingly warm and soft.
8. See London from above . You don’t have to climb into the London Eye. You can spend a more enjoyable time in the rooftop restaurants of the Hilton Park Lane Hotel or the OXO Tower.
9. Try on the role of Harry Potter , and find your way to Hogwarts on Platform 9 ? Or at least take a picture with the cart, which is embedded in the wall, smiling stupidly into the lens of the camera))
10. Remember school lessons and visit museums in London. For example, go to the National Gallery (free) and choose your favorite painting. Personally, I like several, I can not choose a favorite. By the way, the Gallery itself is very well organized, you can always come and just sit on the bench and contemplate the beauty, wondering how it’s possible – to paint THAT way…
I hope that London will be as interesting for you as it was for me. Have a great trip!