4 days in London itinerary: Plan a trip to London 4 days
Cosmopolitan – cultural – (sometimes) crazy, that is London for you! If you’re thinking of spending 4 days in London itinerary, you’re in for a treat!
A London 4-day itinerary will be full of history, culture, and an endless array of things to do. From iconic landmarks to world-class museums, there’s something for everyone in London. And with a vibrant nightlife and dining scene, you’ll never be bored.
So start planning your trip and get ready for an unforgettable experience.
4 days in London itinerary: Plan a trip to London for 4 days
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Planning your trip to London: London Travel Tips
Planning a trip to an iconic European city like London might be overwhelming, and to fit everything in four days is also difficult, and it’s understandable why. The bustling metropolis of the British Capital City is literally overflowing with things to see, making it all the more bewildering if you’re a first-time visitor.
So how do you fit everything that London has to offer in 4 days? Choose only activities that interest you (musuems, shopping, attractions, etc.) and keep a few hours each day to enjoy green parks, walks, and dining.
We have tried to include the must-do London bucket list experiences, a day of museums (we picked history museums, but we also got natural and art museums on this list), afternoon tea, and shopping!
4 day London Itinerary: Snapshot
- Day 1 of 4 day London itinerary: Arrive in London, visit Kensington Palace, Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, explore Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, West End
- Day 2 of 4 days in London itinerary: National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Hop on and Hop off tour, London South Bank, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Churchill War Rooms, Night tour of London (optional)
- Day 3 of 4 days in London itinerary: Day of museums (Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum), Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square
- Day 4 of London 4 day itinerary: Imperial War Museum, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Afternoon Tea Cruise, Sky Garden, Dinner at an old English pub
Getting to London, United Kingdom:
London has six major airports: London City Airport, Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, London Luton Airport, London Stansted Airport, and London Southend Airport.
When traveling from North America or Asia, Heathrow and Gatwick are your best options, considering flight deals and frequencies. We have stopped at Heathrow many times, so you know that makes London an excellent stopover destination.
For our first trip to London, we flew from Toronto, Canada to Gatwick, London. We booked a transfer from Gatwick to London Victoria Coach Station via National Express. You can take the train as well. We had some luggage and just preferred a coach for comfort.
Travel and commute in London:
So we walked a LOT in London and used public transportation only a few times.
Depending on where you stay during your 4 day London trip, you may need a London City Pass, which includes transportation for 1 to 6, and 10 days along with a sightseeing bus tour and access to attractions like the Tower of London, London Zoo, Windsor Castle, and more.
So essentially London Pass is a transport, sightseeing, and hop on and hop off ticket – all bundled into one. We found this pass useful for savings on attractions tickets and the one-day sightseeing tour. You can purchase your ticket here.
The 48-hour hop-on and off tour is handy – night or day. The nighttime tour is worth it – to relax and enjoy sightseeing after a day of museum hopping!
Without the London Pass, an affordable and convenient way of using public transportation to get around the city is by buying the Visitor Oyster Card London.
It is valid for travel on the overground and underground network in Docklands, on the tube, buses, and trams, the Emirates cable car, the Thames River Ferry, and on many National Rail Trains.
Where to stay in London for first-time visitors?
As you prepare for your trip to London, you will need to plan well. Since you are visiting for the first time, it is important to choose a hotel that is centrally located. Doing so will also allow you to take trains or coaches to places nearby and explore more of England.
We did a lot of research and found the Victoria Coach station area perfect for us. We stayed in a friendly and clean 3-star property (and there were many in the neighborhood), and attractions like Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, transportation, and restaurants were located within walking distance.
Our second and third area options include Covent Garden and Mayfair, as they enjoy a prime location and offer a wide range of accommodation to choose from. Covent Garden is home to the London Transport Museum, and The Royal Opera House.
Here are some of the top picks:
- Sidney Victoria Hotel: This is a reasonably priced hotel in the heart of London, near the Victoria Coach and train station. We stayed here in a room with street views and loved it. The suite was clean and comfortable, and we walked to attractions like Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, and restaurants. Note that the rooms are a bit small though, but also affordable. Click to view hotel room availability here
- Club Quarters Hotel Trafalgar Square: This is a nice 4 star property located near Trafalgar Square. This is perfect as you are in the midst of tons of shopping, and fun dining options. There are attractions also near the Square, and you can walk to museums as well as Buckingham Palace (like we did). Click to view photos and availability
- Marriott Grosvenor Square: This luxury Marriott property is only a few minutes away from many tube stations and Bond Street. It is located in the Mayfair area – great access to sightseeing and restaurants. Book your stay here
Now, here’s our recommended 4 day London itinerary
Day 1 of 4 day London itinerary: Arrive in London, visit Kensington Palace, Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, explore Buckingham Palace, St. James Park, West End
This London itinerary assumes that you are in the city the night before, allowing you to enjoy the four full days.
This London itinerary assumes that you are in the city the night before, allowing you to enjoy the four full days.
If you are arriving on day 1, in either of these airports, – Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, or Stansted, set aside the first half of the day for arrival, getting to your centrally located hotel, and then sightseeing.
We recommend staying in and around the Victoria Station and then walking to Buckingham Palace and nearby parks. You can skip the Kensington Palace on day one if you are pressed for time.
Also, note all airports have trains which will take you to Central London quickly.
Start your morning (or afternoon) from your centrally located hotel such as this one, and then walk to the pretty pink cafe – Peggy Porschen Belgravia – for coffee and cake. It is recommended that you book a table so that you can enjoy a nice breakfast.
This cafe is great for London Instagram photos, and also for a lovely all-girls afternoon tea party!
Peggy Porschen Belgravia is a little pricey, and the area near it has many other local cafes and bistros where you can enjoy a nice breakfast.
Do remember to carry your credit card for payment, as many cafes near Victoria Station won’t accept cash (British Pounds).
Kensington Palace and Gardens
After breakfast, head to the area around Kensington Palace. Kensington Palace is one of the most popular tourist destinations in London.
Located in Kensington Gardens, the palace has been a royal residence since the 17th century. Today, it is open to the public and houses a number of historic artifacts and works of art.
We recommend buying a morning ticket to visit the staterooms. They are open to the public from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Although entry is £20 for adults, it is free for London Pass holders.
Do spend some time at the Kensington Gardens, which is home to the Italian Garden, the Peter Pan Statue, the Diana – Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, and of course the Palace itself.
Royal Albert Hall
A walk across the palace gardens will bring you to the Royal Albert Hall, inaugurated by Queen Victoria in 1871 in memory of her husband Albert. From movie screenings and the annual Proms to tennis matches, there is always something going on here.
Entry is free for London Pass holders.
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in central London, and one of the Royal Parks of England. Covering 342 hectares (843 acres), it is the largest of four parks that form a continuous chain along the north side of the River Thames.
It is located next to the Kensington Gardens. Both parks are administered by The Royal Parks.
Hyde Park is the site of Speaker’s Corner, where open-air public speaking, debate, and discussion are allowed on almost any topic. And it is busy with visitors and locals enjoying a walk, picnic or jogs almost all the time. Access is free.
You can also enjoy the Serpentine Gallery, a contemporary art gallery housed in a converted tea pavilion; the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain; the Albert Memorial; and the Serpentine Lake, located at the Hyde Park.
Boating is also possible at The Serpentine. It is open from April until October 31st, from 10 a.m. to around 4 p.m. (during the winter) and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (during the summer).
Up next is Buckingham Palace. We recommend walking to this spot, and it is a lovely stroll, especially in the spring and fall months. Walk to the Palace grounds via Hyde Park from Kensington Gardens.
Try to get there at least by the late afternoon so that you can finish sightseeing with St. James Park nearby.
First off, set aside 45 minutes to view the Changing of the Guard ceremony. It is perfect to do so after the crowds disperse, and it is a little calmer and quieter.
Note that the Changing of the Guard takes place daily in summer but only on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday in winter. It gets called off on occasions so check timings before you go. You can book a Changing of the Guard tour here
It is important to note that there are night tours that take place in the summers, so this is another reason you should see the palace at the end of the day.
If interested to view the State Rooms, you must aim to be there by afternoon as well. There are tours/passes for 2:00 pm or 3:45 pm on selected days. Check availability here.
St. James Park
St. James Park is a perfect place to end sightseeing on day one. This green oasis in the heart of the city is perfect for a nice evening stroll.
In the warmer months, you can see flowers blooming everywhere. There is a cafe on-site where you can enjoy some drinks – tea or coffee, before nighttime activity.
No trip to London would be complete without seeing a West End show. Book your tickets in advance and enjoy a night of entertainment at one of the world’s most famous theatres, some of which have been running for many years.
From The Lion King to The Phantom of the Opera there is a musical or show for every taste.
Day 2 of 4 days in London itinerary: National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Hop on and Hop off tour, London South Bank, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Churchill War Rooms, Night tour of London (optional)
On the morning of day 2 of London itinerary, try to utilize your one day hop on and hop-off tour that comes with the London Pass.
Plan to get down to the Trafalgar Square. Located in the heart of the city, this historic square is home to Nelson’s Column, the National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery.
The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey are also nearby, making this area a must-visit for any first-time visitor to London.
Spend time around the square admiring the various structures and the ambience of the surroundings.
The National Gallery is a must-visit for art history fans. It is home to many masterpieces of art from the 13th to the 19th centuries.
Admission to the collection is free, but for special exhibitions held in the Sainsbury Wing, there is an entry fee, which can be purchased online.
If you are not a museum fan, we recommend completing one round of the hop on and hop off tour, and then get down by the Big Ben stop.
If walking, make your way to the south bank of the River Thames from the National Gallery to see three of the most iconic landmarks of the city – Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and the gothic building of the Westminster Abbey, the site of the country’s coronation church since 1066.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
Big Ben is a must-see – it’s an iconic London landmark that you won’t want to miss. On our trip, we were able to see it, in all its glory without any scaffolding. Take a walk around the clock tower and marvel at its beauty. It makes for a nice photo spot in London as well.
The Houses of Parliament is the seat of the British government, and it’s definitely worth a visit. You can take a tour of the Houses of Parliament, or simply admire the architecture from the outside. Either way, it’s a must-see when you’re in London.
Set aside 1-2 hours for sightseeing here.
Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches in the world, and it’s definitely worth a visit. From the Houses of Parliament, it is only a 3-minute walk.
It is a gothic church and a well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site in London. The architecture of the Abbey is incredible, and there’s so much history inside. It has been the coronation church of the British monarchy since the 11th century, and the final resting place for over 17 monarchs.
Plus visitors love to see where Kate and William got married! 🙂
Make sure to check out the Royal tombs (where 30 royals are buried), and the beautiful stained glass windows while you are there.
You will need to book an entrance ticket for the Westminster Abbey, and it is free with the London Pass.
Across River Thames is the London Eye or the Millennium Wheel. This is a great spot to soak in 360° views of London.
A ride to the top takes about thirty minutes, and the views are worth the effort. We do recommend booking tickets in advance so that you can skip the line. Buy your fast track tickets for the London Eye here.
After visiting the London Eye, take a walk along the banks of the Thames to see the skyline of London at its best which includes the Millennium Bridge and Shakespeare’s Globe.
Optional: So we did squeeze in the Churchill War Rooms on this day. It was an easy visit as we stayed in Victoria and the museum is on the way from here to Big Ben and back.
Coming from the Big Ben/London Eye it will be a 7 to 10-minute walk.
This is a paid museum, but it is worth it! The War Rooms had been on my bucket list for a while. Both Salil and I loved WWI and WWII history, and if you do too, then you must visit this museum.
Plan to spend at least 1.50 to 2 hours here. This is where the then Prime Minister Winston Churchill lived and worked during WWII. 10 Downing Street is also located nearby.
Here is a walking tour of the area, along with the entrance ticket for the Churchill War Rooms.
We personally liked a night tour of London City. This tour is all of 1.50 hours, and it was amazing to see the various landmarks under the night lights. Here is a ticket to book
If you are not interested in a night tour, walk to Chinatown (20 minutes) for dinner!
Day 3 of 4 day London itinerary: Day of museums (Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum), Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square
On day three of the London itinerary, start with some museum hopping and then go shopping in the evening.
If you are not into shopping, you will still love to walk through various neighborhoods and find spots and hidden gems for photos, and places to eat.
Explore some of the finest museums in London, as they are free! These museums are also located pretty close to each other and can be reached on foot.
Natural History Museum
Start with the Natural History Museum, which is one of the must-see attractions in London. It’s free to enter, so there’s no excuse not to go!
The museum is home to over 80 million specimens, including dinosaurs, animals, rocks, and minerals. You could easily spend a whole day here, but if you only have 4 days in London, make sure to at least see the dinosaurs!
Victoria and Albert Museum
If you’re a fan of art, history, or simply beautiful architecture, then a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum is a must during your time in London.
Founded in 1852, the museum is home to over 2 million objects from a range of different cultures and periods, making it one of the largest collections in the world.
Victoria and Albert Museum is United Kingdom’s popular art museum, with one of the world’s most comprehensive and significant collections of Chinese art, as well as one of the West’s largest.
The collection of South Asian Art here is the most important in the Western world. The scope of coverage includes items from South and South East Asia, Himalayan Kingdoms, China, and more.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is open every day from 10:00 am to 5:45 pm, with a late opening on Fridays until 10:00 pm. Admission is free, although there may be charges for special exhibitions.
After museums, we stopped at a cute and Instagrammable cafe – EL&N. It is all pretty in pink, and they serve brunch, light lunch, and coffee! The nearest tube is South Kensington.
You can spend time shopping here, or make your way to Piccadilly Circus and then Leicester Square.
Piccadilly Circus, a vibrant square is always buzzing with activity, day or night. You can catch a show at the world-famous theater, do some shopping at one of the many nearby stores, or just hang out.
No matter what you do, you’re sure to have a great time at Piccadilly Circus!
A short walk from Piccadilly is Leicester Square, the area noted for movie premiers in London. It is not only known for its theatre shows, but also for food joints and shopping.
This area is also close to Chinatown and Covent Garden (see London is very walkable), but you can take your pick for dining!
When you walk 5 to 7 minutes from Leicester Square you will be at the Apple Market in Covent Garden, and here you will also find lots of cool bars and restaurants for dinner.
If you’re looking for some retail therapy, Oxford Street is the place to be. This busy shopping street is home to all the major retailers, as well as plenty of smaller shops and boutiques.
Day 4: Imperial War Museum, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Afternoon Tea Cruise, Sky Garden, Dinner at an old English pub
Spend your last day in London at the iconic Tower of London. In the afternoon, take a cruise down the River Thames with an afternoon tea. To round off your trip, enjoy dinner and drinks in Soho or at an old English pub near your hotel!
Imperial War Museum
As you make your way to the Tower of London (from Victoria), you will pass the Imperial War Museum. We enjoyed our stop here.
It is a free museum and has permanent exhibitions from the World Wars and other present-day conflict exhibits.
We spend a lot of time at the Holocaust Galleries and highly recommend it.
If you are not interested in a museum, consider a stop at the Borough Market before arriving at the Tower of London.
London’s most renowned food market, Borough Market is a must-visit for any foodie. With over 100 stalls selling everything from fresh produce to artisan cheese and meats, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Be sure to try some of the delicious street food on offer too – the chorizo burgers are a personal favorite!
From the Borough Market, it is a short walk to Tower Bridge (15 minutes). You must walk across the bridge for getting nice pictures and views of HMS Belfast, once a WWII ship now converted into a museum.
There are a lot of places to take photos of the Bridge – from either side of the river, near the Shard, outside where cruises leave, or from the Tower of London entrance areas.
Note that you can access the top of the Tower Bridge, and even walk on the glass floor and enjoy an exhibition after. These exhibits will provide an insight into the fascinating history of this impressive structure.
Tower Bridge and London Bridge are two different entities. There are a few bridges in London known as the ‘London Bridge’, but they aren’t very spectacular like the Tower Bridge and many visitors confuse between the two.
When you see pictures of a gorgeous bridge with blue guardrails that is massive and iconic – then that is the Tower Bridge, which we are referring to here!
Tower of London
Near the bridge is the Tower of London, the place where many infamous prisoners were publicly executed. Also home to the Crown Jewels and a vast variety of other gemstones, this is a must visit fortress on any London itinerary.
Remember to book tickets in advance, (included in the London Pass) and keep at least two hours to see all the main sights.
Try to get all the sightseeing done before 3:00 pm so that you can enjoy a lovely cruise after.
Afternoon tea cruise on River Thames
We really enjoyed our afternoon tea cruise on River Thames. It was a great way to check out all the city highlights from the Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral, and more with cups of tea, scones, sandwiches, and desserts!
You can book a spot online here. The tour lasts 2 hours, and you can access the meeting point at the Lower Pier by the Tower of London.
Another fast and cheap alternative option is to opt for a Thames River Cruise only (without afternoon tea). This is operated by the same company as above, but it is a budget option.
You can also take advantage of hop-on and hop-off river services to see more places along the river on your way to/from the Tower.
A ten minute walk from the Tower will bring you to Sky Garden, which offers epic views of the city similar to the London Eye, but from the opposite side of the Thames.
Entry is free but you have to book a slot beforehand.
We found the drinks fairly costly here, but considering the ambiance, it was worth it. Try and get here by sunset to watch the skyline turning into gold.
In the evening, enjoy a traditional English dinner at a pub or restaurant. We opted to stay closer to our accommodation in London Victoria and dined at the Marquis of Westminster.
We order fish and chips with a chilled pint of beer and absolutely loved the ambiance here. This English pub dates back to the year 1839 when it was established as a corner house.
The restaurant has four fabulous red telephone boxes opposite it – perfect for photos!
London 4 day itinerary sightseeing Map
More things to add to your London itinerary 4 days
We tried to add a mix of history, museums, shopping, and a fulfilled city break to London in this itinerary. However, there is still a lot that you can do in London. We have compiled a list of attractions, especially musuems which you can swap for any of the activities above,
Tate Modern London
If you’re looking for something a little different, check out the Tate Modern – it’s a modern art museum with some really interesting pieces.
This is a free attraction and can be best explored when you are on the south bank of the River Thames (it is a 3-minute walk from Shakespeare’s Globe and Millennium Bridge).
If you’re looking for a bit of culture, the British Museum is a must-see. One of the largest museums in the world, it houses a vast collection of artifacts from all over the globe.
From Egyptian mummies to Roman coins, there’s something for everyone at the British Museum. This museum is also free to explore, and we recommend planning a visit in the morning to beat the rush.
If you are following this itinerary, swap one of the museums on day 3 of the London travel itinerary to make room for this attraction.
St Paul’s Cathedral
We saw the St Paul’s Cathedral on one of our walks in London. It is one of the most iconic landmarks and is definitely worth a visit for epic photos.
St Paul’s Cathedral boasts of one of the biggest domes in the world at 366 feet high. You can walk up the steps to reach the top of the cathedral for panoramic views whilst checking out the stunning architecture.
This is where the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana took place. You can book an entry ticket here.
Noting Hill is one of the most popular tourist destinations in London. A lot of people come here to see the famous Notting Hill Carnival, which is held every August.
If you’re not visiting for the carnival, you can still enjoy the area’s vibrant atmosphere and stunning architecture by strolling through its charming streets.
In addition to being a great place to people-watch, Notting Hill is home to some of London’s best markets. Portobello Road Market is the most famous, but if you’re looking for something a bit more low-key, try Spitalfields Market or Camden Lock Market.
Wandering Notting Hill is perfect from South Kensington – in the late afternoon or evening for dining and shopping!
If you’re looking for a more alternative market experience, Camden Market is a good option. This vibrant market is full of unique stalls selling everything from vintage clothes to handmade jewelry. There’s also a great selection of street food on offer, so you can refuel after a day of shopping.
This is a great afternoon or evening activity to add to your London itinerary.
Old Spitalfields Market
If you want to get a feel for the local London scene, then make your way to Old Spitalfields Market. This is one of the city’s most popular markets, attracting locals and tourists alike.
It is a covered market in Spitalfields, located just outside of the City of London. This market has been on the site for over 350 years.
You’ll find everything from fresh produce to vintage clothes, so there’s something for everyone. Make sure to try some of the delicious food when you are there.
Day trips from London England
Planning to extend your visit, or swap one of the 4 days in London to include a day trip? Great choice!
London is one city that deserves to be visited often to actually feel its pulse and discover all the attractions.
You can surely take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and venture on a day trip of your choice (we did too. Actually we stayed in England for over a week, and included day tours from London).
Here are some of the options,
Windsor Castle, with its 700-year history as the official residence of the Queen and home to the royals for more than 900 years, is a stunning example of medieval architecture.
The castle is a major tourist attraction, from seeing the magnificent cabins and vast castle property.
You can take the train from Waterloo station, which takes around one hour to reach Windsor station. Admission tickets should be booked online, for those who do not have the London Pass.
Harry Potter Studio Tour:
Even if you are not a Harry Potter fan, you should find time to take this studio, especially if you are traveling with kids. These tours last anywhere from 7 to 11 hours and include round-trip transportation.
This experience gives you an insight into Harry Potter filming. So if movies are your interest, then the special visual effects section will showcase the incredible Potter film location of the Forbidden Forest among others.
The best way to get to the studio is by taking a bus tour from either Victoria Station or King’s Cross.
Tours for Harry Potter fans
- Ticket to Warner Bros Studio with Transfer: Book here
- Harry Potter Studio Tour and Oxford Day Trip (full day): Book here
- Harry Potter Walking Tour with Platform 9 ¾ (3 hours): Book here
- Harry Potter London Walking Tour: Book here
If you’re looking to get outside of London for a day, Stonehenge should definitely be on your list. This prehistoric monument is about 2 hours away from the city and is one of the most famous sites in all of England.
Built over 5000 years ago, the architectural marvel of Stonehenge was on top of our England bucket list. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site today, and pretty popular with tourists of all ages.
Not that you can’t go inside the stone circle, but you can walk around it and learn about its history.
Trust us, it’s definitely worth the trip! We booked a half-day tour and it was absolutely enjoyed it.
Another day trip option from London is the city of Bath. This picturesque city is home to the Roman Baths, which are well-preserved Roman ruins that you can actually go inside and explore.
There’s also a lovely Abbey and plenty of cute shops and cafes. Bath is the perfect place to spend a day if you’re looking to relax and soak up some British history.
For something a bit more rural, head to the Cotswolds. This area of England is known for its rolling hills, cute villages, and quaint country pubs.
It’s the perfect place to go for a day of hiking or biking, and you’re sure to find plenty of photo-worthy spots along the way.
The Cotswolds is also home to some great castles and gardens, so there’s plenty to see and do. You can also book a full-day tour that combines a few villages stop.
White Cliffs of Dover
The best spot to see some of the impressive white Cliffs of the Southern Coast of England are from Dover.
They are easy to explore on a day tour that combines a few more stops along the way to make the most of your England trip!
This one includes the White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury on a guided day tour.
More London Travel Tips
To further help with your London trip planning, here are some additional tips to make your visit more enjoyable.
Wear comfortable walking shoes and walk as much as possible: Despite the excellent public transport system, London is actually a great walking city. We walked a ton (30k steps every day) and LOVED it.
Tons of cute cafes, historic sites, and neighborhoods allowed us to break without being tired or bored.
Exploring Victoria and the city of London was like a self guided walking tour for us, and were able to cover a lot of places in a short period of time!
Coaches are not bad: Coaches in London were actually very convenient to get to the airports and back, and affordable too (as compared to Express trains). Plus you can enjoy the views outside!
UK is not a part of the EU, and Schengen Visa won’t work: If you require a tourist visa to visit London, then know that the usual Schengen Visa for Europe won’t work. You will need to apply for a separate/different travel visa prior to your arrival.
Passport holders from the USA and Canada do not need a visa and can stay there for up to 6 months.
The United Kingdom is no longer an EU member, so Euros won’t work here either. Ensure you carry pounds (or exchange for them).
Credit cards are widely accepted and are preferred over cash in many places like restaurants, tour buses, etc.
Take insurance: If you want your London trip to be perfect, do apply for travel insurance to protect you from any untoward incident or any potential risk associated with it, including medical emergencies. This is a requirement for visa purposes.
Download travel apps: Download some of these handy apps prior to your London trip. Such as The London Pass App (sightseeing), Google Maps app (save our map from this itinerary), Citymapper (transport system), XE (for currency exchange), etc.
Budget for 4 day London trip
London can be an expensive trip if you don’t plan it right. It is possible to experience the best of what London has to offer by allotting a budget for accommodation and flights first and then getting a transportation savings card.
If you are planning on staying in a hostel, you can surely save money. Hostel dorms can be reserved for one around $35 USD.
Hotel accommodation is definitely expensive in central London, or in areas close to popular attractions.
When we were researching hotels (we stay in 3-4 star properties) we found that the City of London properties were in the range of $250 to $500 USD.
Victoria London had a ton of options in the $150 to $280 USD and that’s what we went for.
These were 3 star properties with clean rooms, sort of standard accommodation, but walkable to attractions in Westminster and transportation (both coach and train stations were nearby).
When it comes to food, you can surely splurge in cute cafes or pubs. But can also get groceries or eat in fast-food restaurants (pick healthy choices like salad, etc.).
Set aside $50 to $100 USD per person when eating out all day.
Transportation can be as low as $40 USD set aside just for getting in and from the airport and then walking to various attractions (as long as you choose a centrally located hotel).
With airport transfers and everyday rides, you will be averaging $15 to $20 USD per day.
There are a lot of free things to do in London, particularly the Royal Parks and museums.
Visiting Staterooms in various palaces and access to them with a tour guide will cost anywhere from $30 to $80 USD per person.
In this case, getting a London Pass will be beneficial as you can get savings on transport and free/discounted entrance tickets to attractions.
So, all in all, for those on a budget it will cost between $65 to $100 per day depending upon the neighborhood you choose to stay in and where you eat.
If you want a room upgrade + attractions tickets, add another $50 to $120 to your budget (can be saved with the London Pass).
Safety in London
London is relatively a safe city. Being a popular tourist destination and with many sad/negative recent events, we made sure to be aware of our surroundings and avoided crowded areas.
Scams and pickpocketing incidents are common in London attractions, so do keep your personal belongings – cell phone, money, and cameras close to you.
When someone asks you for a passport or any ID, always check to confirm that it is a real official – and not bogus police or border security personnel.
The overall safety risk is low, but we recommend checking your government advisory for travel (against threats, terrorist events, etc.).
Also, be careful when using public transit for pickpockets.
In spite of the warnings, we felt safe walking around London – night or day. As a female traveler, I felt safe, and I think London is a nice solo travel destination – full of culture, shopping, reliable metro, and a plethora of tours to choose from (in case you are lonely)!
Lastly, be careful when you cross roads in London. We are so used to the way traffic moves here in Canada, but in London, the traffic moves very fast, and so do pedestrians.
We are told that traffic accidents are common here, and caution should be the key while crossing the roads or driving.
At a minimum, you do need 3 days in London. That is 3 full days. On our first trip to London, we had 3 days and we utilized it to check out all timed attractions (musuems and cruises).
In the early morning and evening hours, we checked out various neighborhoods and shopping areas, parks, and London spots meant for outdoor pleasures!
With four days in London, you can go easily and cover the most important sites (important as per you).
If you are in London for more than 3 or 4 days and taking day trips – you can surely explore markets and parks in the evenings. The city actually never sleeps so definitely utilize all the time you get!
Prior to our trip, we had a long list of things to do in London (not including day trips) and felt that we needed 5 days to comfortably explore all the museums.
We had to skip a few museums on our first trip but made up by utilizing the evenings in London after our day tours.
Probably not, but it’s a good start. Try to add a mix of popular attractions, shopping, and some wandering in various neighborhoods.
When it comes to intimate sightseeing, choose museums and tours that appeal to you, instead of trying to see it all!
London is one city, which requires repeat visits to explore all that it has to offer.
We hope you enjoyed our London itinerary and found it useful to plan your trip!
London is a city that has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a world-class museum experience, historical landmarks, or a vibrant theater and nightlife scene, you can find it all in London.
The city is also home to some of the best shopping in the world. With four days in London, you’ll have plenty of time to check out numerous attractions and highlights.
If you liked this post, read our UK and Europe travel guides below,