If you need a London itinerary for 7 days or one week, then we hope this guide helps! This post is part of my friend, Elissa’s, post-Korea contract travels around Europe.
Before my sister, Jen, started her study abroad in Scotland, we met up in London and explored the city for about a week. We were originally only supposed to spend a few days in London and then head to Ireland but our plans changed so we decided to extend our stay! It worked out because we got to spend more time really exploring the city without feeling rushed.
Tips for Visiting London
If you know you’re going to be visiting a lot of London attractions in a few days, you may want to look into purchasing one of the multi-attraction passes! The best I found on Get Your Guide, seems to be the London Pass*. It’ll give you free access to 60+ attractions and also has fast-track options for some places, a guidebook, Oyster Card options, and special offers. Check prices here*
The London Tube or Underground is quite expensive compared to other metro systems I’ve used around the world, especially when you also factor in the U.S. Dollar to British Pound exchange rate. Rates one-way are about £2.40 with the Oyster Card and £4.90 with cash when you travel within Zones 1 & 2 (most tourist attractions are within these zones). Because we were on a budget we either took public transportation or walked.
A London Itinerary for 7 Days
This is a large park in the heart of London that’s lovely to walk through. It’s adjacent to Kensington and Buckingham Palaces and near the Natural History and Victoria and Albert Museums. Since our hostel was a fifteen-minute walk from Hyde Park, we often found ourselves wandering through it on the way to see other sights in London. It’s a great way to see how locals spend their free time.
- Hours: Daily, 5:00 a.m. – 12:oo a.m.
- Tube Stations: Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge
Kensington Palace and Gardens
Kensington Palace is beautiful and has an interesting history as the childhood home of Queen Victoria and various other members of the royal family. We didn’t go into the actual palace, but you can explore part of the gardens for free!
- Hours: Daily, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Last admission @ 5pm)
- Adult tickets: £14.40, Get tickets here*
- Address: Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, UK
- How to Get There:
- Tube Stations: High Street Kensington, Queensway, Notting Hill Gate
Big Ben and Houses of Parliament
Only U.K. residents can tour Big Ben (officially called Elizabeth Tower) by writing to their MP, but you can take an audio or guided tour of the Houses of Parliament.
- Ticket office Hours:
- M-F: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Saturday: 8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
- Ticket Office: in front of Portcullis House on Victoria Embankment (postcode SW1A 2LW)
- Adult tickets:
- Houses of Parliament audio tour: £18.50
- Houses of Parliament guided tour: £25.50
- How to Get There: Use Westminster Station
Not only is the Abbey a working church, it also has a fascinating history. It’s the burial place for monarchs and it’s where the coronations have been held since 1066. Since we were trying to save money we didn’t buy a ticket and instead attended the free Evensong (choral evening prayers. It didn’t disappoint!
Although we couldn’t walk about the Abbey, the Evensong is an incredible experience that you won’t get when you purchase a ticket.
- Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- Adult Tickets: £20, Buy Tickets Here*
- Daily services are free but you won’t see as much as you would with a ticket
- On Wednesdays, tickets are half price if you enter after 4:30 p.m.
- Address: 20 Deans Yd, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, UK
- How to Get There: Use Westminster or St. James’s Park stations
A great place to just sit and take it all in. You can also see many famous London landmarks from the square.
- Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK
- How to Get There: Use Charing Cross, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, or Embankment station
The British Museum has been around since 1753 and perhaps one of the most comprehensive museums out there. Its permanent collection alone has over 8 million works from Ancient Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, and much more. The Rosetta Stone is stored here!
- Hours: Daily, 10am-5:30pm, Fridays until 8:30pm
- Admission: Free!
- Address: The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
- How to Get There: Use Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Russell Square, or Goodge Street station
We only saw the Palace from the outside but you can purchase a ticket to see the State Rooms. When I go back, this is definitely on my list.
- July 21st – August 31, 2018: 9:30am – 7pm (Last admission at 5:15pm)
- September 1st – September 30th, 2018: 9:30am – 6pm (Last admission at 4:15pm)
- Adult tickets: £24.00, Buy tickets here*
- Address: Buckingham Palace, Westminster, London SW1A 1AA, UK
- How to Get There: Use Victoria, Green Park, St. James’s Park, or Hyde Park Corner stations
- Tours of Buckingham:
Harry Potter Studio Tour
If you’re a Harry Potter fan or even just a fan of filmmaking, then this is a must! It was so interesting to see how they did all of the movie magic!
- Hours: Timed ticket entry (purchase tickets ahead of time).
- Adult Tickets: £41.00
- Address: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR
- How to Get There: There are shuttle buses from Watford Station.
Kings Cross Station and Platform 9 ¾
We were in London on September 1st and decided to see some Harry Potter related sites in order to celebrate the day the Hogwarts Express goes to Hogwarts. This, of course, is the iconic one!
- Hours: You can take pictures at Platform 9 ¾ any day and at all hours
- Address: Platform 9 ¾. King’s Cross Station Concourse
- For a 3-hour tour including Platform 9 ¾, check here
Apparently, you can go inside the bridge! Honestly, I was content with just viewing it for free from the Tower of London, but if you’re inclined to go inside information is listed below.
- April – September 10am – 5:30 p.m.
- October – March 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Adult Tickets: £9.80, Buy tickets here*
- Address: Tower Bridge Exhibition, Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 2UP, UK
- How to Get There: Use Tower Hill or London Bridge stations
Tower of London
100% worth it, plus the views of Tower Bridge and London along the Thames are great! We took a free tour with the Yeoman Warders (tours are every 30 mins), and it made the experience.
Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and full of Tower theme puns like, “We beheaded to the Tower.” Hehe, I love a fun pun. We also bought lunch at a fish and chip place across from the Tower and found a bench with a wonderful view to sit on right outside the Tower entrance!
- Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Sunday – Monday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Adult Tickets: £22.70, Buy tickets here
- Address: Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB
- How to Get There: Use Tower Hill station
We didn’t make it here because we were exhausted and poor by this point. However, if you have the energy and money, check it out! You can even see plays here!
- Hours: Daily (except 12/24-25), 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., tours every 30 mins.
- Address: Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT
- How to Get There: Use Blackfriars, Mansion House, London Bridge, Southwark, or St. Paul’s stations
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Again, didn’t make it here, but it’s on my list for next time! The main attraction is the Prime Meridian Line, which is the line of 0 longitude!
- Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm (last admission at 4:30)
- Adult Tickets: Ticket prices vary but the most basic ticket is £10 (£9 if you purchase online)
- Address: Royal Observatory, Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich SE10 8XJ
- How to Get There: Use Cutty Sark DLR, Greenwich Pier, Greenwich Rail, or Maze Hill Rail stations
Day 6: Day Trip
Since Jen and I didn’t know if we’d ever have the opportunity again, we decided to make the trek and see the iconic Stonehenge. Stonehenge and nearby Salisbury are a fairly easy day trip from London and there was a lot more to see than we realized!
Sam’s Note: When I visited England back in college, we also did a day trip to Windsor! It’s a beautiful, easily walkable area that’s
Check out this post on to see how you can visit Stonehenge.
While we had a travel day on Day 7 to go to our next destination, if you have the full day, definitely check out the following:
The National Gallery has been around since 1824! We didn’t go in and I wished we had since it’s the home to many very famous portraits, like Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Virgin on the Rocks.
- Hours: Daily, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Friday until 9:00 pm
- Admission: Free!
- Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK
- How to Get There: Use Charing Cross or Leicester stations
National Portrait Gallery
Another one I wished we had seen! The National Portrait Gallery holds the portraits of famous and important British people throughout history.
- Hours: Daily, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Thursday + Friday until 9:00 p.m. (temp. closed til June 3rd)
- Admission: Free!
- Address: National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE, UK
- How to Get There: Use Charing Cross, Leicester Square, or Embankment stations
What to Eat in London
We actually didn’t get afternoon tea in London because it appeared to be much cheaper out of London (we ended up going to The Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow, Scotland for £12.95 a person). But, if you are only visiting London and want to experience afternoon tea, Oliver Magazine has a diverse list.
We also only ate this in Scotland, but Sunday Roasts can be eaten in England too! Can be found in pubs and typically served on Sunday, a plate consists of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding (more like a pastry than American pudding), roasted potatoes, and various veggies. So comforting and delicious!!! We ate as many as we could!
Fish and Chips
Jen and I bought fish and chips from a place right by the Tower of London and ate them on a bench overlooking the Tower, actually a really cool experience!
Tours Around London
Where to Stay in London on a Budget
We stayed in London for six full days at the Meininger Hotel London Hyde Park* in an eight-bed female dorm with an ensuite bathroom. It was clean, the staff was helpful, and the location was great. As for location, it’s right in the heart of London and a short walk to Hyde Park.
Other of Elissa’s Guides
- How to Spend 3 Days in Edinburgh
- Elissa’s Local Guide to Los Angeles
- Elissa’s Local Guide to Washington, D.C.
Ahhh, this post makes me want to go back and visit London again. Let us know what you’d add to your own London itinerary below!