Experience two fun-filled days of sightseeing in London, England! You can see plenty of the city’s top attractions even in just a couple days! Check out this perfect 2 days in London travel itinerary for your weekend trip.
There are so many amazing things to do in London that planning a short trip can be difficult! You obviously can’t see it all in just a weekend trip, but I’ve put together the perfect 2 day itinerary that will give you a taste of what London has to offer.
Kevin and I visited London as the first stop on our UK and Ireland tour. Since I’ve been to London many times before and Kevin hadn’t, we had a lot of ground to cover! Check out our fun-filled 2 days in London itinerary.
2 Perfect Days in London Travel Itinerary
London Day One: London Walking Tour
For our first day in London, I put together a walking tour of the city’s best sights. Some sights you can go into and tour, while others you’ll just see from the outside. I’ve included visitor information where necessary, but for the most part, this is a viewing from the outside walking tour.
Westminster Abbey has been the place of coronation since the William the Conqueror and the Norman Conquest in 1066. Much of the abbey’s architecture dates back to the reign of King Henry III, who intended to be buried in the church.
The abbey’s iconic West Towers, the two Gothic Revival towers of Portland stone, were the last edition to the abbey in 1745.
Visiting Westminster Abbey
Inside Westminster Abbey is even more incredible than outside. In St George’s Chapel, you can see the Coronation Chair made by order of King Edward I to enclose the Stone of Scone, the traditional Scottish coronation stone he seized in the spoils of war.
Poets’ Corner commemorates over 100 poets and writers who are either buried or have memorials here. The abbey is also the resting place of 30 monarchs who have vaults and tombs placed all over the church.
Westminster Abbey is open to visitors, but since it is an active church, some parts of the abbey may be closed during certain times or entry may end earlier than usual.
Because of this it is probably best to book tickets online beforehand if you can. Tickets cost £29 for adults. All tickets come with an audio guide so you can listen and learn about the abbey’s history.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament, or the Palace of Westminster, are the seat of the UK’s Parliament.
The current Gothic Revival style buildings were completed in 1860 and contains the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the southwester Victoria Tower, and the newly-named Elizabeth Tower that houses Big Ben.
My favorite place to view the Palace of Westminster is from the east side of the River Thames where you can get a beautiful sunset view across the river.
St James’s Park
St James’s Park is 57 acres of green lawn, serene lake, and manicured gardens that is surrounded by many London landmarks.
The park is just a short walk from Trafalgar Square, 10 Downing Street, Big Ben, St James’s Palace, and Buckingham Palace. And it connects to the chain of Royal Parks that includes Green Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens.
You can cut through St James’s Park to get to the rest of the London sights on this list.
St James’s Palace
St James’s Palace used to be the principal royal residency until the reign of Queen Victoria. Now it’s a ceremonial meeting place for things like state visits and other ceremonial events.
St James’s Palace isn’t open to the public, but you can take a look at it from the outside.
It’s an interesting Tutor-style building that’s worth the detour on your way to Buckingham Palace.
Today, the principal royal residency of the Queen, when in London, is Buckingham Palace. You’ll know when the Queen is home if the Royal Standard flag is flown. If the Union Flag is up, then the Queen is not in residence.
You can approach the palace from St James’s Park using The Mall, the ceremonial route to the palace.
In front of the palace is the Victoria Memorial, a huge monument to Queen Victoria, depicting Winged Victory gilded in bronze at the top. It is 82 feet tall and is the tallest monument to a King or Queen in England.
Touring Buckingham Palace
The State Rooms are open to visitors for an exclusive guided tour during the winter and spring and for 10 weeks each summer.
We weren’t able to tour when we visited, but I so wish we had!
Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Multiple times a week, crowds gather at the ornate gates of Buckingham Palace for Changing the Guard. You can see the Changing the Guard schedule here, but during the summer it usually takes place at 11 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
Changing the Guard is an elaborate ceremony where the Queens Old Guard is replaced with the New Guard. It involves the band, marching, cavalry, a presentation of arms, and more. The ceremony lasts about 30 minutes.
Not to be confused with Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral was built in a unique neo-Byzantine style of striped brick and stone, domes, and a 210 foot bell tower.
Since it’s out of the way of the usual London sights, most tourists miss this spectacular cathedral. Westminster Cathedral is the largest Catholic church building in England and Wales. Inside, the walls and ceilings are covered in mosaics, and more are still being added.
The Cathedral is free to visit.
London Day Two: Tower of London
The Tower of London was my first British castle and will always be a thrill to see no matter how many times I visit (it’s been three times, I’m definitely counting).
The castle dates back to the Norman Conquest, with the White Tower built in 1078. The Tower of London has been used as a royal residency, a prison, a place of execution, a royal mint, an armory, the home of the Crown Jewels, and more, so there is a lot of history to learn about when you visit.
At the Tower, you can see the ravens that effectively hold the whole of the United Kingdom together, based on a superstition that at least six ravens have to be on the grounds at all times or the kingdom will fall.
You can also meet the Beefeaters, the Yeoman Warders who have been in charge of guarding the Tower of London since the Tutors. I, of course, bought a Beefeater teddy bear to commemorate the occasion.
Visiting the Tower of London
Tickets cost £33.60 for adults. The castle’s hours vary by season.
London Day Two: Tower Bridge
The castle-like Tower Bridge was built between 1886 and 1894. It is both a drawbridge and a suspension bridge. It’s a busy crossing point for cars and pedestrians across the Thames, and the drawbridge is raised for passing ships about 1,000 times a year. Tower Bridge makes a great backdrop for the Tower of London, and vice versa.
We actually have a LEGO version of Tower Bridge in our house. My family bought it for my brother years ago, and Kevin and I rebuilt the LEGO set in our house last year. So we get to see this marvel all the time sitting atop Kevin’s bookshelves.
Visiting Tower Bridge
Didn’t know you could go inside Tower Bridge? Well you can!
A few years ago, my family and I toured the inside of Tower Bridge, along with being lucky enough to watch the drawbridge rise right before we walked across.
The Tower Bridge Exhibition lets you learn about the building of the tower, the engine rooms, and lets you walk across the top of the bridge on a glass floor. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. — 6 p.m. in the summer, 9:30 a.m. — 5 p.m. in the winter. Tickets cost £12.30 for adults.
London Day Two: British Museum
It’s permanent collection is one of the largest in the world, with artifacts like the Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, and a bust of Caesar Augustus that I’ve taken a picture with all three times I’ve visited.
The center of the museum was redesigned in 2001 as a Great Court, and the design has made the interior as much of a work of art as those on display around the museum.
Visiting the British Museum
Entrance to the British Museum is free, and it is open daily from 10 a.m. — 5 p.m., and some galleries are open late on Fridays until 8:30 p.m.
London Day Two: National Gallery, London
The National Gallery, London, located in Trafalgar Square, is a free art museum housing over 2,300 paintings.
Even though it is smaller than many other popular museums in Europe, it is still one of the most visited art museums in the world.
Visiting the National Gallery, London
The National Gallery is free to visit. It is open daily from 10 a.m. — 6 p.m., and Fridays it is open until 9 p.m.
There is certainly a lot to see in London, and two days of sightseeing doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. It definitely takes multiple trips to get the most out of London! But hopeful this 2 days in London itinerary gets you off to a great start!
Top London Tours
With so much to see, London can be overwhelming for any first-time traveler. To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top London tours to help you make the most of your time in this iconic British city.
- Tour for Muggles
- Small-Group Tour: Historical Pub Walking Tour of London
- Jack the Ripper Tour with ‘Ripper-Vision’ in London
Save on London’s Top Attractions
Want to save big on London’s top attractions? With the Go City London attraction pass, you can save up to 55% on the cost of entrance tickets to museums, tours, and attractions all around the city!
Visit bucket list attractions, enjoy top tours, and discover hidden gems handpicked by local experts. With one price and one pass, you have everything you need right on your phone. This is the perfect companion for your 2 days in London!
Mapping Out Your 2 Days in London
Ready to explore London’s top attractions and hidden gems? Use the map below to help plan out your 2-day itinerary exploring London, England.
I hope this 2-day itinerary helps you plan the perfect trip to London!
Visiting London FAQ
What are the must-visit attractions in London for a 2-day trip?
The must-visit attractions for a 2-day weekend trip to London are the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, National Gallery, British Museum, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Cathedral, and the Houses of Parliament.
How can I make the most of my limited time in London?
To make the most of your limited time in London, get the Go City London attraction pass which will help you save money and time accessing London’s top museums and attractions.
What is the best time of year to visit London for a 2-day trip?
The best time of year to visit London for a short tip is in the spring when the weather is nice, accommodation prices are low, and there aren’t a ton of crowds. We visited in early May and found it to be the perfect time. I’ve also visited in January, April, and July, so you can have a great time in London any day of the year!
Is it worth visiting London’s museums and art galleries in a short timeframe?
It is absolutely worth visiting London’s museums in a short timeframe! You can fit at least two museums into your itinerary per day, and maybe more if you just see the highlights. Plan for at least one museum in the morning and one museum in the afternoon to make the most of your time.
Are 2 days enough for London?
While you can’t see everything London has to offer in just a couple days, you can fit in a lot of really great sights. 2 days is enough for a sample of London that will leave you wanting to come back for more!
More London Travel Tips
See more of what London, England has to offer with these fantastic itineraries:
- Take a self-guided tour of London’s WWII sights
- Budget your trip with these free things to do in London
- Take a day trip from London to Burghley House
- Check out top day trips from London
I hope you enjoy your amazing 2 days in London, England!
Ready to visit London, England? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in London using Booking.com.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
- Get a Guide Book: Check out the guide books from Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, or Rick Steves for in depth info about traveling to London.
- Save on Attractions: Save up to 55% on admission to London’s top attractions using the Go City London pass.
Did you find this 2 days in London itinerary helpful? How will you spend your 2 days in London? Let me know in the comments!