First-time visitors' itinerary

See the best of London with our fun-packed three-day itinerary.

Day one

Morning: Explore Jimi Hendrix’s house

Begin your day by exploring the homes of two of the greatest musicians of our time at Handel and Hendrix in London. Take a peek into the house of German-born British composer George Frideric Handel at 25 Brook Street, before popping next door to goggle the rock’n’roll apartment of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, who made his home here from 1968 to 1969.

The museum is just a short stroll from London’s famous shopping hub Oxford Street, where you’ll find a glut of high street chains, luxury brands and department stores, including Selfridges, John Lewis and House of Fraser.

Afternoon: Indulge in afternoon tea

After a spot of retail therapy, tuck into afternoon tea in an elegant setting at the wood-pannelled Scoff & Banter Tea Rooms near Oxford Street, hailed as one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 afternoon tea spots. Dig into scallops, oysters, lobster and sandwiches, before moving onto the sweet stuff: warm scones and show-stopping cakes.

Evening: Scope out London’s nightlife scene

Dazzle your senses with a trip to London's Theatreland, where you can see everything from a smash hit musical to a gripping drama. If you fancy something a little different, check out the city's pulsating cabaret scene, a glamorous mix of sassy burlesque and hilarious drag acts. Continue your night after the show with a tipple or two at one of the capital’s champagne or cocktail bars

Day two

Morning: Watch the Changing the Guard ceremony

Fill your morning with pomp and pageantry by watching the free Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace, when the New Guard exchanges duty with the Old Guard. The ceremony takes place at 10.45am and lasts for 45 minutes, with the handover taking place at 11am. 

Walk across Green Park to make your way to Mediterranean restaurant May Fair Kitchen, where you can munch on a tempting selection of Spanish and Italian small plates in sophisticated surroundings. 

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Afternoon: Explore the South Bank

Take the Jubilee line one stop from Green Park to Westminster, home to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. From here, you can walk along a pedestrianised stretch of London’s buzzy riverside districts South Bank and Bankside for around one hour until you reach the majestic Tower Bridge. Along the way, you’ll see a dizzying array of cultural and family attractions, including Tate Modern, the London Dungeon, SEA Life LondonHMS Belfast and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. If you're after dramatic skyline views of London, go for a whirl on the Coca-Cola London Eye.

Time your arrival at Tower Bridge right and you can watch it open for a passing ship. Check out the Tower Bridge lift times to get that all-important bridge opening photo. Pop over the bridge to elegant marina St Katharine Docks, where you can dine by the waterside in a number of restaurants.   

Evening: Cocktails on rooftop bars

Enjoy a rooftop bar crawl in London’s glittering West End. Bliss out on the May Fair Hotel’s handsome terrace, where you can smoke hand-rolled cigars and quaff cocktails. Then stroll over to Aqua Spirit cocktail bar, where you can sip a stylish cocktail on a terrace overlooking Regent Street, the Coca-Cola London Eye and The Gherkin. Conclude your night in style with drinks and street food at the little-known rooftop bar, Sisu, a peaceful haven with a secret entrance near Marble Arch.

Day three

Morning: Go museum-hopping in South Kensington

Head to South Kensington for a dose of culture by enjoying a morning of museum exploration. Handily, the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and the V&A are all next door to one another and what’s more, they’re all free to enter! Don’t miss the Natural History Museum’s exciting new exhibit, the giant skeleton of a blue whale called Hope, which has replaced Dippy the Diplodocus dinosaur in the museum’s spectacular Hintze Hall. Fortify yourself with lunch in the opulently decorated rooms of the V&A Café, the world's first museum restaurant that was designed by James Gamble, William Morris and Edward Poynter.

Alternatively, head to Russell Square to visit London’s most popular visitor attraction: the British Museum, home to Egyptian mummies, the Rosetta Stone and much more! A 10-minute walk away are a number of smaller but equally fascinating museums, including The Charles Dickens Museum and Sir John Soane’s Museum.     

Afternoon: Explore Covent Garden 

Stroll around entertainment hub Covent Garden, alive with street performers, shops and theatres. As well as the three markets located within Covent Garden’s 19th-century Piazza, the area has a number of tucked-away shopping gems, including St Martin’s Courtyard, Seven Dials and the instagram-worthy Neal’s Yard, all of which have plenty of cafes and boutiques to dive into.

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Visiting with kids? Check out the London Transport Museum, where highlights include the iconic red London bus and the world's first underground steam train. If you want to pack more sights into your afternoon, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus are just moments away from Covent Garden.  

Evening: Enjoy tapas with a twist

Nab a table at Monmouth Kitchen in the heart of Covent Garden, named London’s best Peruvian restaurant on TripAdvisor. Serving up Italian- and Peruvian-inspired tapas in a relaxed environment, this chic restaurant also has a spectacularly exotic cocktail menu, with Peruvian-themed tipples including Pisco Sour and Inca Punch.

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