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4 Day Itinerary of London

Being one of the biggest cities in Europe, London is certainly not something you can fully experience in just a couple of days. Below is a 4 day, jam packed, itinerary! There is a lot of walking involved, so be prepared for that.

Day 1

Check the official Buckingham Palace website to see what days you’ll be able to see the “Changing of the Guard” and make sure you do this day to tie in with that. Start at 10am, see Buckingham Palace and the surrounding attractions. From Big Ben walk up Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square, and you’ll pass Downing Street (on your left), here you’ll find The National Gallery. Head towards Covent Gardens for a late lunch, there are some amazing eateries and street food around here. Make sure you leave time to see the street acts outside St Pauls. After lunch make your way to Piccadilly and up Regent Street for some shopping! This leaves you right near the bus stop where an open-bus-top tour of London will entertain you for 2 hours during sunset (make sure you do this after the rush hour traffic).

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Buckingham Palace

If you’re looking to see the changing of the guard ceremony, you’ll need to check the official website to check what days and times it’s on. But it usually happens 3 times a week and late morning just before lunch. Be warned though of you want to get a good view of the guards on the palace forecourt you need to get there early! Like an hour before. The ceremony lasts for around an hour.

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2

St James Park

St James's Park is a 23-hectare (57-acre) park in the City of Westminster, central London.

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3

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey has seen the coronation of all Kings and Queens in England since 1066 and some royal weddings. It’s a royal church offering daily services for the public to attend.

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4

The Palace of Westminster

 A trip to London wouldn’t be a trip to London without getting a few Instagram pictures of Big Ben! There are opportunities to go inside on guided tours.

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5

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar square is where the National Portrait gallery is located. Even if you don’t fancy going inside the large outdoor space is somewhere you should experience just once.

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6

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is one of the most sought-after places on London. Continuously throughout the day performers are located between the market and St Paul’s church in 40-minute blocks. A mix of musicians, magicians and dancers. If your brave you can always opt to get involved. Save a few pennies to give the performers at the end of their block.

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7

London Transport Museum

London transport museum is right in Covent Garden. It’s a nice way to spend an hour after lunch, if not a tad expensive though at around £17 for an adult ticket. But you get to see old forms of transport, trains, busses and tubes and learn about the future developments too.

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8

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is a road junction and public space of London's West End in the City of Westminster. It was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with Piccadilly. Piccadilly Circus is probably the tube station you’ll want to head for if you’re going to Regent Street for some shopping, China Town or Leicester Square. This is where you’ll see the big neon advertising screens, perfect Instagram opportunity.

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9

Regent Street

Regent Street is a major shopping street in the West End of London, its where you can find some of the biggest brand names and flagship stores. Makes a change from large multi-storey shopping centres!

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10

Open Top Bus Tour

A good way to discover London’s large footprint in a short space of time is to go on an open bus top tour. You’ll get audio commentaries so not only will you see the signs, but you can learn some history too. The best time of day to do this is early evening after the rush hour traffic, meaning you’ll always be on the move. Depending on the time of year start around 40 mins before sunset, you’ll get to see London light up in front of your eyes.

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Day 2

Take a leisurely stroll along the Southbank, every step you take, you’ll see the magnificent London Skyline.  Start off on the west side, and you can take a 30 minute ride on the London Eye or from the same pier, a Thames Rocket Speed Boat Tour (or do both!). Make your way up the Southbank and passing street art, entertainers, and street food. You wont be spoilt for choice for food. Take a look inside the Tate Modern before going over London Bridge to the Monument. If you are feeling fit you can climb its 311 steps to the top. Finally end your day with sunset views in the Sky garden (if you go before 6pm you’ll need to book a slot in advance).

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Thames Rocket Speed Boat Tour

The Thames River is 215 miles long, the longest river in England. Up until 1729 London Bridge was the only bridge that spanned the Thames river. Not recommended if you are afraid of water or get sea sick. This experience lasts around an hour. You start at the pier off the London eye and take a slow ride past Tower Bridge where the skipper will tell you some interesting facts about London. Then they’ll crank up the speed and you’ll have a very bumpy ride all the way to Canary Wharf!

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2

London Eye

Originally opened in January 2000, the structure is 135 meters tall, it rotates the distance of 2300 miles during one year. One of the best views in the city for the west side of London, overlooking Big Ben and Westminster.

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3

South Bank

The best place to start on the south bank is at Westminster (Big Ben) and walk all the way up to The Shard (or as far as you get). Many things to see and do along the way, the tourist attractions such as The London Eye, The Sea Life Aquarium and the London Dungeons. Along the way you’ll see a lot of street performers, street art and street food. The best thing though is those views over London. Every time I go the skyline is always different.

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4

The Tate Modern

Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group (together with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and Tate Online). Several the exhibitions are free, with some paid ones. Well worth a visit if your on the south bank.

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5

The Monument

The structure stands 61 meters high and there are 311 steps to the top (the Leaning Tower of Pisa is slightly smaller at 58 meters tall with 284 steps to the top). Costs around £4 to go up, or free of purchased with a ticket for a tour of Tower Bridge. It stands between The Shard and The Sky Garden so you get good views of both, that said as sky scrapers seem to be going up at lightning speed in London, the view from the top will slowly disappear.

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6

Sky Garden

The sky garden is a nice way to spend an hour having a cocktail or two with a view. In the day you’ll need to book a slot in advance. It’s free, and slots are released on each Monday a week in advance. From the sky garden you’ll get a fantastic view over London, and as it’s right opposite The Shard it’s a true instagramable spot!

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Day 3

Start off at the Box Park in Shoreditch, there are some quirky shops here. Walk over to Spitalfields market, go on an empty stomach because the foods here are amazing (go for Bruch or Lunch). You can walk or take the tube down towards the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. After which go for a stroll down Queens Walkway, before a must-do journey to the top of the Shard (about 40 mins before sunset is the best time)! Finally you can take a break in Hey’s Gallaria for lunch, tea or just a coffee.

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Box Park, Shoreditch

Probably not something you’ll want to go out your way for, but if you are in the Shoreditch area, make sure you visit the box park, it’s basically shipping containers stacked on top of each other and made into small shops. There is some great street food and bars inside!

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2

Old Spitalfields Market

Old Spitalfields Market is a covered market in Spitalfields, London. There has been a market on the site for over 350 years. Located on the north of London (about 20 minutes walk north from Tower Bridge), Spitalfields market is somewhere you can easily spend a couple of hours. The market sells many things from clothes to old bric-a-brac. The entire market smells of amazing street food. A great tip is to go during lunch hour, and order small portions to share from various stalls, and make a good couple of hours just sampling food!

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3

Tower of London

The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. There are a number of guided tours where you can go inside and experience the castle.

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4

Tower Bridge

This is Tower Bridge, not London Bridge!! Still, it is the most magnificent bridge in London. Best part it to do an inside tour, you’ll get to see a short 5 minute video when you get up there about the history of the bridge and how it was built. But then you’ll walk across the top and the best bit it the glass floor/walkway.

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5

Queens Walk

Queens Walk in London is located right along the Southbank at the edge of the Thames, from Tower Bridge right up to Westminster Bridge. Great strip to walk down after visiting Tower Bridge. Great views of London, you’ll get to see the Town Hall (the place where those Apprentice candidates present their businesses in each year’s final) and some good views of the shard.

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6

The Shard

Opened in 2014, 96 story’s high and took 5 years to build. It cost £435 million to build and was commissioned by the then prime minister, John Prescott. If you’re into city views at height, the shard offers the best and highest view point over London. Sunset is always the best time to see city views at height, and this one has a champagne bar! If you go in winter time though you’ll need to wrap up because it’s open at the top.

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7

Hey's Galleria

If you walk along the south bank or queen’s walkway, hays galleria is a great place to grab a bite to eat. Its basically a small street that’s covered over, with shops and café bars.

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Day 4

Start the day in East London, Greenwich (the home of time), and if you are not afraid of heights, how about a climb over the 02 dome, or alternativley take one of the cable cars over the Thames, at just under 300ft tall. There are many other things to do in London such as The Postal Museum, Museum of Brands and Packaging so if your only in London for a short time, you'll have plenty to choose from.

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Up At The 02

If you make your way to the 02, you must climb it! You’ll need to book and it’s around £30 for a 90 minutes experience. It takes around 30 mins to climb and 30 mins to descend. It’s very steep though, and you’ll be climbing at some awkward angles. But it’s well worth it and the views are pretty awesome.

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2

The Postal Museum

The Postal Museum isn’t far from Kings Cross station, it’s walking distance. There are two parts to this, there is the museum itself where you can easily spend a couple of hours discovering the history of Royal Mail, how it started through to the present day. There are old adverts, stamps and uniforms for you to touch and try on. The second part is the mail rail, where you get to go underground in one of the old disused rail tunnels. Highly recommended if you have a couple of hours to kill in the King’s Cross area.

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3

Museum of Brands and Packaging

If you’re into this sort of thing (being a designer, I am), this is a great way to spend an hour or two. The gallery takes you right from Victorian era to the present day, with packaging from everything available such as washing powder, toothpaste, board games and magazines.

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4

Natural History Museum

As this is a free museum, you’ll expect big queues especially at the weekend. The place is vast with everything split into sections.

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