If you found yourself in the position of only having one day to spend visiting London, how would you even know where to start? In many ways it’s an unenviable challenge, as it’s too little time to get more than a fleeting impression of the city. And yet, at the same time, you’re happy to be given a chance to form any impression at all!
We recently asked our London correspondent, Nina Derham, to pull together a blockbuster itinerary for London-bound tourists intent on taking in as much as possible in one day. Here’s a sampling from her one-day itinerary, which we’ve just published in our London guide:
1. Start with a morning coffee from Borough Market.
Take in the sights, sounds and scents of Borough Market. The market is filled with food options from around the world, along with a number of free samples. Grab a coffee at Monmouth Coffee Company (2 Park Street).
2. Explore South Bank.
Fueled up, stroll westward along the South Bank, taking in the city views along the way. Nina recommends visiting the impressive contemporary art offerings on display in the Tate Modern, which is free to visit (although you will have to pay for special exhibitions, so check online to see what’s on before you go).
Continuing on, you’ll pass Blackfriars Bridge, the National Theatre and Waterloo Bridge. Flip through the book market underneath Waterloo Bridge, then climb the bridge for some of the best views of the city.
Back on the ground in the South Bank, stop for a drink at one of the bars and restaurants under the Royal Festival Hall (and, if visiting in December, take in the Christmas market).
3. London Eye
Pretty soon, you’ll reach the spinning London Eye, a giant Ferris Wheel that offers some of the most impressive sky-high views of the city. It’s not exactly Cheapo-friendly, although booking online in advance offers a chance to save up to 20% on your ticket.
… and we haven’t even gotten across the river yet!
To read the complete itinerary, which includes stops at Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and a booth to pick up half-priced theater tickets for the evening, read the entire article, “One Day in London.”
Also in our guide
Looking for additional ways to do more and pay less in London? Keep reading:
• Our recommended budget hotels: Our editor’s picks for London’s best inexpensive hotels.
• Choosing the right neighborhood: Which neighborhood should you stay in? We’ll help you decide.
• London Budget Tips: More ways to keep it cheap, including free museums and sights.
• When to visit London: What’s the best season for visiting London?