48 hours in London

Discover world-class attractions and explore trendy spots during a fun-packed 48 hours in London.
The Shard and  river Thames bridges at sunset
London at sunset © Jason Hawkes / Photos.London. Image courtesy of Jason Hawkes / Photos.London.

Make the most of your time in London at top attractions and cultural icons with this 48-hour in London itinerary, with highlights including The London Eye, The View from The Shard and the Tower of London. Make sure to book ahead to secure The London Pass or the Go City London Explorer Pass, giving you access to many attractions in this itinerary.

Day 1: Scenic sightseeing and London landmarks

8am – 12pm: Begin your 48 hours in London by waking up energised and ready for a day of exploring! Feast on a classic British breakfast at The Goring, indulge in Aussie-style cuisine at Timmy Green or satisfy your taste buds at Market Hall Victoria, an all-day dining destination home to eight top eateries.

Take a short walk to Buckingham Palace Road, near Victoria Station. From here, you can board an open-top Big Bus Tours bus or the Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour, which is includedas part of The London Pass ticket (or book the bus tour separately). These cover many iconic London sights that you can explore enroute, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

An aerial view of Tower Bridge on a bright day, with The Shard and City Hall in the background.

1pm – 4pm: Soak up sweeping views of the river Thames and Tower Bridge as you enjoy a scenic lunch at The Ivy Tower Bridge. Or find more lunch spots in the London Bridge area, from markets to fine dining.

Once full, admire iconic London landmarks as you stroll along the lively South Bank and Bankside, home to many of the capital's top attractions. Take your pick from The London Eye, family favourites SEA LIFE London Aquarium and Shrek’s Adventure! London, modern art haven Tate Modern and hair-raising The London Dungeon.

5pm – 8pm: Make the most of your 48 hours in London by visiting The View from The Shard in time for sunset. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of London, before dining on delicious cuisine in the clouds at one of the Shard’s sky-high restaurants, Hutong, Aqua Shard, Oblix or Ting.

Make the most of the area's many entertainment venues come the evening. Immerse yourself in a classic Shakespearean play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre or check out the latest must-see shows at The Bridge TheatreNational Theatre, Old Vic or Young Vic. Most evening performances start at 7.30pm and end before 10pm.

The Shard on the South Bank and the river Thames and London skyline at sunset

10pm  12pm: Finish the evening at a traditional riverside pub such as the Founders Arms or Anchor Bankside. Or pick a classic or creative cocktail at the award-winning Lyaness at Sea Containers or the iconic Oxo Tower, famous for its stunning views of the city skyline.

Head to your hotel for a good night’s sleep before another day of exploring London begins.

Day 2: Eating, exploring and an evening of entertainment

8am – 12pm: Rise and shine for a hearty breakfast in the clouds at Duck & Waffle, renowned for its selection of breakfast dishes and breathtaking views of London. Once you're back on ground level, venture to Old Spitalfields Market where you can browse unique stalls and sample exotic street food from around the world. Wander around bustling Brick Lane Market, famous for its street art, and check out trendy Shoreditch with its hip and happening mix of art, fashion and entertainment.

Take a short tube ride north from Old Street to vibrant Camden Town, home to Camden Market that's full of cool characters, alternative shops and unusual market stalls. Take some time to relax and admire the colourful barges at scenic Camden Lock.

People sit beside Camden Lock on a sunny day, some chatting, some drinking and one playing a guitar - with a bridge and the canal in the background.

1pm – 4pm: After a morning shopping, follow the Regent’s canal to Regent’s Park to enjoy lunch onboard the Feng Shang Princess, a unique floating pagoda restaurant. Immerse yourself in nature as you stroll through picturesque Regent’s Park, home to London Zoo, or seek out Sherlock Homes Museum and Madame Tussauds London a short walk away.

5pm – 8pm: No 48 hours in London is complete without a visit to Covent Garden, a haven for food-lovers and fashionistas. Soak up the ambience of charming Covent Garden Market, colourful Neal’s Yard, and historic Seven Dials. Tuck into dinner at Sarastro, famous for its theatrical theme and opulent decor, check out fusion food at Sushisamba or enjoy a unique dining experience at high-tech Inamo Covent Garden.

Take your seat at a top West End musical or comedy show, for an evening of entertainment to remember. Most shows start at 7.30pm and end at 10pm. Book your tickets early to secure the best seats in the house.

Dancers performing the lioness hunt on stage at the Lion King musical

10pm – 12pm: Finish your fun-packed 48 hours in London in style with some live music and dancing in Covent Garden or Soho. Or celebrate with a cocktail at The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St. James, the Experimental Cocktail Club, or quirky Cahoots

If you want to continue long into the night, make your way to one of London’s top clubs or party into the night at local hangouts The Cuckoo Club and Cirque Le Soir.

Head back to your hotel to put your feet up and relax – then start planning your next London adventure!

Find more itineraries in London, including a 24-hour itinerary. Or discover more things to do and things to see in the city.