London is a vast city, full of life and with a myriad of neighborhoods and monuments to discover. A week in London will certainly allow you to visit all the most emblematic places in the city and its surroundings.
Before going to the British capital, we recommend that you buy the London Pass, a card which allows you to visit many of the places mentioned in this article for free once the purchase has been made. As soon as you arrive in London, also remember to buy a Visitor Oyster Card, the underground pass that will allow you to get on and off quickly on public transport without having to buy a ticket on each journey. It can be purchased at any metro station.
London is so vast and you don’t know where to start? Keep reading this article to discover a day-by-day itinerary so you don’t miss the best things to visit in London in a week.
Day 1: Westminster, National Gallery and Covent Garden
You cannot start a stay in London without visiting one of the most emblematic monuments: the famous Big Ben, located in the central district of Westminster. Nearby you can also admire the British Parliament and Westminster Abbey, which can be visited with to the London Pass. Once the visit is complete, cross Westminster Bridge to reach the other side of the Thames, where you can climb the London Eye, thus offering you an unmissable view of central London.
Return to Westminster to head to Trafalgar Square, where you can visit the splendid National Gallery, an art museum with thousands of works dating from the 17th century onwards. I recommend that you dedicate at least a couple of hours to the museum before going to Covent Garden, a neighborhood full of shops where you can go shopping before having dinner in one of the many restaurants in the area. Do not forget to visit Leicester Square before returning to the hotel: nearby Chinatown is colorful and full of life in the evening.
Day 2: South Bank, the Tower of London and the City
Start the second day of your week in London by going to South Bank. Here you will go for a long walk eastwards, following the course of the Thames, until you meet the Tate Modern, the museum of contemporary art in London, which can visit for free. Once you have visited the museum, cross the Millennium Bridge until you reach the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral, which can be visited with to the London Pass. Once this visit is over, cross the Millennium Bridge to continue your walk. A few steps from the bridge you will find the Shakespeare’s Globe, a reconstruction of the Elizabethan theater, which can also be visited for free with the pass.
Continuing further east you will finally arrive at the Borough Market, a London market considered today as a real attraction, where you can discover a huge variety of foods from all over the world. If you don’t feel like walking, you can now take the subway to get to the next stop, Tower Bridge. The closest stop to the market is London Bridge, where you can admire the Shard, the tallest building in London. Then get off at Tower Bridge to cross the famous bridge and get to the Tower of London, which can be visited with the pass. To end the day, head to the Bank underground for dinner in the City.
Day 3: Buckingham Palace and shopping afternoon
An inevitable event when visiting London is the change of guard at Buckingham Palace, the official residence of Queen Elizabeth. The ceremony begins at 10:45 am; if you arrive earlier I recommend you start your third day by visiting St. James’s Park. Once the ceremony is over, it is time to visit other parks of London: Green Park, vast Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, which were once the private gardens of Kensington Palace.
Now that you have seen all the main parks in the city, it is time for lunch and afternoon shopping. Take the Central Line to Queensway Station until you get to Marble Arch: you are now in front of Oxford Street, one of the most important shopping streets in London. Continuing east you will arrive at Oxford Circus, the intersection of Oxford Street and Regent Street, another important shopping stop. Do not forget to visit Carnaby Street, a narrow street parallel to Regent Street, always very busy and with many shops to discover. You are now in the Soho district, ideal for dining and spending a pleasant evening.
Day 4: Regent’s Park, London Zoo and Camden Town
Let’s starts the fourth day of the week in London with another park, Regent’s Park. It is one of the Royal Parks in London, designed in the nineteenth century. Around the park you will find two attractions that are really worth a visit: the London Zoo (to the north) and Madame Tussauds, the wax museum (to the south, not included in the London Pass). If you are a big Beatles fan, I recommend a small tour before moving on to the next stop: taking the Jubilee Line from Baker Street to St. John’s Wood Station, you can admire Abbey Road Studios and the pedestrian crossings made famous by the Liverpool’s band.
It is time to head to the last stop of the day: return to Regent’s Park to take bus 274 to the Prince Albert Rd Lord’s Cricket Ground stop and continue to Camden High Street. You are now in Camden Town, an eclectic neighborhood famous for its market and alternative shops. Explore this lively neighborhood in the afternoon and stop for dinner.
Day 5: Kensington and its museums
This fifth day begins in Kensington, a district in the west of London. It is known for being one of the most luxurious areas of the capital, but it is also very visited and appreciated by tourists since it houses some of the most famous museums in the capital: the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The museums are all accessible for free and I suggest you to dedicate most of your day to discovering them.
If museums are not your thing, you can head to Westfield, one of the largest shopping malls in Europe, located in the Shepherd’s Bush neighborhood. Westfield is plenty of restaurants for dining, but if you prefer to get closer to central London you can go back to the Kensington neighborhood, which is also plenty of bars and restaurants.
Day 6: Richmond Park and Kew Gardens
For your penultimate day I thought of a small excursion to Richmond, outside central London. To get there, take the train at Waterloo Station to Putney, where you will then take bus 85 to the Robin Hood Lane stop. The journey time is just over an hour. You are now at the entrance to Richmond Park, a public park and the largest in the capital. This place is famous because in addition to the squirrels, visible in many other London parks, here you can also meet deers, very numerous in this park. I advise you to explore the park from south east to north west, in order to get to the most convenient bus stop before going to the next place.
Now that you have explored the park, take the Sayer’s Hill exit and head south to take bus 65 to The Dysart stop. In a quarter of an hour, the bus will take you to the Kew Gardens Lion stop, where you will continue on foot to the main entrance of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, commonly called Kew Gardens. This complex, the price of which is included in the London Pass, consists of a large number of gardens and greenhouses, and it is today considered as an excellent botanical research center and a popular London attraction. After the visit, take bus 65 to Richmond Station, and from there take the train that will take you back to Waterloo Station. You can dine in South Bank neighborhood.
Day 7: Notting Hill and Portobello Market
Your week in London ends today, and for your last day I thought I would take you to discover Notting Hill, a very quiet residential neighborhood with many shops and bars, ideal for spending the morning in the calm like a real Londoner. Before leaving, be sure to visit the famous Portobello Road, a street with houses of a thousand colors where you can get lost among the many stalls of Portobello Market, where you will find second-hand items, typical products and international dishes to taste.
Share with us in the comments if you plan to use this itinerary for your next week-long vacation in London!