London, the vibrant capital of England, is a city teeming with history, culture, and iconic landmarks. Here’s our travel guide for London in 3 days including planning tips, experiences + tickets to book ahead of time, and an itinerary. From historic palaces to world-class museums, and from bustling markets to serene parks, London offers a diverse range of experiences for every traveler.
Our crew included my son (13), mom (75), and me (44.) Here’s what we did that we loved + what I’d recommend doing differently if you are planning a trip to London!
We found that booking experiences through Get Your Guide (a trusted affiliate partner of the GTG) made visiting the attractions a LOT easier. Book as many guided walking tours as you can – it’s absolutely worth skipping the long lines and having a person show you the sights.Check out Get Your Guide
London in 3 Days Itinerary
With this 3-day itinerary, you’ll get to experience the highlights of London and explore the charming towns and landscapes that surround the city. Enjoy your adventure and create lasting memories in England!
- Book your tours & experiences with Get Your Guide
- Day 1: Exploring London’s Highlights
- Day 2: Tower of London, London Eye, and London Dungeon
- Day 3: Day Trip to Warwick Castle, Cotswolds, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and Oxford
Book your tours & experiences with Get Your Guide
We found that booking experiences through Get Your Guide (a trusted affiliate partner of the GTG) made visiting the attractions a LOT easier. Book as many guided walking tours as you can – it’s absolutely worth skipping the long lines and having a person show you the sights.
Day 1: Exploring London’s Highlights
We were uncertain about how we would be feeling on our first day, so did not have anything booked. Our overnight flight to London landed at 9am. Our hotel check-in was 3pm, but they let us check in right when we got there – which was much-needed since none of us slept on the plane. We took a nap in our hotel room then headed out for an adventure.
Then, we took an Uber to the Churchill War Room’s, which is close to many of the main landmarks in London.
This was a great first stop.
Had we planned it, we would have explored Westminster and Churchill’s War Rooms with a walking tour. Since we didn’t have tickets, we wasted time standing in line.
Photos and videos taken with my iPhone + Sony ZV1 travel camera
Churchill’s War Rooms
At the recommendation of several people as a must-see in London, we visited Churchill’s War Rooms.
What is it? It is the secret underground complex that served as the nerve center for the British war effort during World War II. This top-secret bunker was the command center where British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his government coordinated military strategies and made crucial decisions that would shape the outcome of the war. The War Rooms are now open to the public as a museum, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the atmosphere of this hidden wartime headquarters. As you explore the maze of rooms, you’ll get a glimpse into the intense atmosphere of the war room, with its maps, charts, and telephones still in place. The Cabinet War Rooms, where Churchill and his ministers met, have been preserved just as they were during the war, giving visitors a sense of the historical significance of this location.
Ticket tip: We had to wait in line for tickets to the War Room, which would have been avoided had we booked ahead of time. Definitely add the audiotour, which gives great insight into each room, about his life, and a snapshot of history at that time.
Book a Walking Tour of Westminster + Churchill’s War Room
What I wish we’d booked: the Get Your Guide Walking Tour of Westminster & Churchill’s War Room and a guided tour of Westminster Abbey and Parliament
Day 2: Tower of London, London Eye, and London Dungeon
On your second day in London, get ready for an adventure as you explore the historic Tower of London, enjoy panoramic views from the London Eye, and indulge in the spooky atmosphere of the London Dungeon. Let’s dive into the details!
Book a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour ticket
The BEST WAY to explore a city (in my opinion) is on a Hop on Hop off tour! We love sitting at the top – you get cool videos, listen to entertaining commentary, and visit all the main landmarks. Our hotel was located about 3 minutes away from a bus stop which was convenient.
Tower of London
How to get there: Take the bus and make your first stop visiting the iconic Tower of London.
Ticket tip: Book tickets ahead of time to make it easy.
What is it? Steeped in nearly a thousand years of history, this fortress has served as a royal palace, a prison, and even a treasury. Embark on a guided tour to discover the tales of royalty, treason, and intrigue that surround this historic landmark. The guided the Yeoman Warders lead tours throughout the day – crowds were large, but the tour is free. Marvel at the dazzling Crown Jewels, including the legendary Imperial State Crown, and learn about the history and significance of these precious artifacts. (You cannot take pictures of them!) Explore the medieval White Tower, the oldest part of the complex, and wander through the battlements to enjoy breathtaking views of the River Thames. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the famous ravens, the guardians of the Tower. Legend has it that if the ravens ever leave, the Tower and the kingdom will fall!
Book Tower of London Tickets in Advance
The next stop? Head to the nearby London Eye for a unique perspective of the city. This is another stop on the Hop on Hop off tour.
What is it? This giant ferris wheel offers stunning panoramic views of London’s iconic skyline. Step into one of the glass capsules and enjoy a slow, 30-minute rotation as you take in the beauty of landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Shard.
Truth: I chickened out. I don’t like heights, the platform scared the bejesus out of me, and I refused to board the capsule that promised to take me soaring into the sky. However, my mom and teenage son loved it!
Ticket tip: This attraction is CROWDED and lines are long. You need to get a ticket prior to arrival – and they will only let you stand in line for your ticket time. Don’t arrive too early – they will make you wait.
Right next to the London Eye, you’ll find the London Dungeon. This was one of my teen son’s favorite experiences – but not my mom’s!
What is it? From the Great Fire of London to the plague-ridden streets, you’ll gain a unique insight into the city’s dark and mysterious past. Step into the dark and eerie world of London’s past as you encounter infamous characters, from Jack the Ripper to Sweeney Todd. Through theatrical performances, special effects, and interactive storytelling, the London Dungeon brings history and legends to life in a spine-chilling way.
It was a little silly (and a little crass at times) but entertaining! If you have teens, it’s worth it.
Book a Combo Ticket for the Eye of London + London Dungeon
Combo ticket: Purchase your tickets for the London Eye and London Dungeon in advance to avoid long lines.
Day 3: Day Trip to Warwick Castle, Cotswolds, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and Oxford
One of our favorite days was the Oxford, Stratford, Cotswold, and Warwick Castle day trip by Golden Tours. Embark on an enchanting day trip to Warwick Castle, Cotswolds, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and Oxford. This journey will take you out of the big city and through some of England’s most picturesque landscapes and historic landmarks. Let’s explore the details of this memorable adventure!
Book the Oxford, Stratford, Cotswold, Warwick Day Trip
Our first stop was the magnificent Warwick Castle, located in the heart of Warwickshire.
What is it? This medieval fortress is steeped in history and offers a captivating insight into the splendor and grandeur of the past. Explore the castle’s towers, ramparts, and dungeons as you immerse yourself in the rich heritage of England. Witness jousting tournaments, falconry displays, archery, and medieval entertainment that will transport you back in time. We only had a few hours to explore the Castle so did not get to experience the theatrical performances or the entire area, but loved touring the castle.
Our favorites: Touring the inside of the castle (the rooms are so ornate!) and the interactive archery demonstration. The maze and some of the other exhibits are fantastic for little ones.
From Warwick Castle, we drove through the idyllic countryside of the Cotswolds while our guide talked about the history and architecture.
What is it? Known for its charming stone villages, rolling hills, and picturesque landscapes, the Cotswolds exude a timeless beauty. The tour doesn’t stop, but our guide gave us the history as we drove through. Marvel at the traditional honey-colored cottages, visit quaint tea rooms, and explore the local shops for unique souvenirs.
We continued our journey to the enchanting town of Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the legendary playwright William Shakespeare.
This is where we stopped for lunch – plus, there are many cute shops!
About Stratford-upon-Avon: Located in Warwickshire, England, Stratford-upon-Avon is a charming town famous for being the birthplace of the renowned playwright William Shakespeare. With its picturesque riverside setting and beautiful half-timbered buildings, Stratford-upon-Avon attracts visitors from around the world who come to explore its rich history and connections to Shakespeare. You can visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, stroll along the River Avon, and explore the various theaters and museums dedicated to the playwright’s life and works. Stratford-upon-Avon offers a delightful blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for literature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
The last stop is the city of Oxford.
About Oxford: Known for its prestigious university and stunning architecture, Oxford offers a unique blend of history and intellectual vibrancy. This tour includes an optional guided walking tour through Oxford – DO IT. You’ll want to hear the history and have someone point out the main landmarks in Oxford.
We arrived back in London around 7pm for dinner.
The next day, we hopped on a train for Paris!
Happy travels, friends! Please share your London favorites in the comments below!