How to Spend 24 Hours in London
So, you’ve arrived for 24 hours in London for a quick stopover but how do you make the most of your visit? Sure, you want to see as much as possible in a short space of time. But, given that there’s so much to see and do in the city, it’s probably a good idea for you to make a list of priorities so that you don’t miss the things at the top of your list.
To help you plan your day, we've come up with a 24 hours in London itinerary to help you get the most out of your short time in the city. So what are you waiting for? Hop on board The Original Tour and begin your 1 day of sightseeing in London.
1. Take a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Do you want to see a lot in a short space of time? Then start your day early with a sightseeing bus tour. We would recommend taking a full tour on our Yellow Route as it passes all of the main landmarks and attractions in under 3 hours. It's a great way to get your bearings and also tick off the top things to see in London in 1 day.
2. Visit a London Coffee Shop
Need a mid-morning boost? There are plenty of coffee shops in central London to get a caffeine fix and a tasty snack. Kinta Loma on Berkeley Street is a hidden gem in Mayfair, serving up delicious Columbian coffee. Kaffine on Great Titchfield Street is a New Zealand style coffee shop full of tasty snacks. Or, if you want an artisan London coffee shop, check out Monmouth Coffee Company at Seven Dials in Covent Garden.
3. Go Souvenir Shopping in London
There are plenty of amazing places to go shopping in the capital. But, if you are looking for a unique gift or souvenir from London, why not head to Harrods, Carnaby Street or Covent Garden? But don't spend too long browsing the rails! Once you've got yourself a souvenir, be sure to hit the streets again to get the most out of your one day in London.
4. Grab Lunch in Borough Market
Get a real taste of London at Borough Market. Tucked away under a bridge in Southwark, there is literally something for everyone at Borough Market. From fruit juices and desserts to oysters and vegan delights, there is plenty of choice. Borough Market is a great place for lunch if you only have 24 hours in London because you can take your food to go from any of the street food stalls.
5. Visit A London Attraction
Since you only have 1 day in London, you will probably only have time to visit one major attraction. So, decide on your number one thing to do and book your tickets in advance. Choose from attractions such as the Tower of London, lastminute.com London Eye, London Dungeon, SEA LIFE London, Westminster Abbey, Madame Tussauds, Tate Modern, Kensington Palace and much more.
6. Take a Stroll Around a Park
London is home to lots of beautiful parks and many of them are right in the heart of the city. Escape the crowds after a busy day and take some time to relax with an ice cream on a park bench in Regents Park, Hyde Park or St James Park. That way, you are still in the heart of the city and never too far away from an Original Tour bus stop when you’re ready to board the tour again.
7. Enjoy a Pre-Theatre Meal
Hop back on to The Original Tour and head to Piccadilly Circus for a set pre-theatre meal. The bright lights shine through in the early evening and it is a great place to go for dinner in the heart of the West End. There are a number of places to enjoy your pre-theatre meal in London such as Leicester Square Kitchen, Beso in Covent Garden, Hix Soho and Aquavit in Piccadilly.
8. Watch a West End Show
A visit to London simply isn’t complete without a West End show. With so much to choose from, you’re bound to find a show for your taste. For something family-friendly, Matilda The Musical, The Lion King or Aladdin are all great choices. For a classic, try Phantom of the Opera, Wicked or The Woman in Black or, if it’s an adults-only visit, enjoy a hilarious trip to the The Book of Mormon.
9. Have a Late Night Drink in London
After your show, it’s likely that you’ll still be in the heart of the West End, so there are a variety of great cocktail bars in Soho which are right on your doorstep. Soho is also well known for its vibrant jazz scene, so be sure to check out Ronnie Scotts. Or, visit one of the oldest pubs in London on your way back to your hotel.
10. See Your Favourite Landmarks Up Close
Make the most of the final few hours of your hop-on hop-off bus ticket and get closer to London’s famous landmarks and tourist spots. Beat the crowds and get out early to hop-on and off The Original Tour one last time. This is your final chance to take great pictures of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral up close before it’s almost time to leave London behind.
11. Go for Brunch Before You Leave
If you have a long journey home or are continuing with your travels, you’ll need some hearty food to fill you up before you leave. Why not try a great pancake restaurant in London for a stack of delicious pancakes which are sure to fill you up. Head to Neal’s Yard in Soho where you’ll find the Wild Food Cafe, Jacob The Angel and 26 Grains or end your visit with a full English breakfast at Caravan in King’s Cross.
Once your 24 hours in London has come to an end, it might be time to head home. You may have some time left on your Original Tour bus ticket to head towards your train or bus station before continuing with your journey. But, if you’re ever in the city again, we have a whole host of tours in London, so be sure to check those out for a completely different experience next time.