How to spend 5 Days in London: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay
You want to visit London in 5 days and you’re looking for the best places to visit?
You’re at the right place!
In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this 5-day itinerary in London. It’s perfectly optimized to allow you to discover the must-see attractions of the city.
First, I will give you all my best tips to avoid queuing at London’s main tourist attractions. Then, I will detail the day to day program, with all the best things to do and activities for each stage of your itinerary
Of course, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.
So, what are the best places to visit in London in 5 days? Where to stay?
- How to spend 5 Days in London: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay
- How to avoid waiting in line (and save a lot of time!) at London’s tourist attractions
- 5 days in London: the best itinerary
- Day 1 – Discover the historic centre
- 2nd day: What to do and see?
- Day 3 – Best places to visit in London
- Day 4 – Walk in London
- Day 5: Last day in or around London
- Where to stay in London
- London in 5 days with kids
- Other ideas of things to do and see in London in 5 days
- Map of your 5-day itinerary in London
- Find the best flight prices for your 5 days in London
- You’re traveling to England? These articles will help you !
How to avoid waiting in line (and save a lot of time!) at London’s tourist attractions
London, one of the most touristic cities in the world, welcomes more than 20 millions tourists per year.
And they all want to discover the incredible attractions and activities the city has to offer.
Maybe you have been to the Colosseum in Rome, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona or the Alhambra in Granada?
If yes, you already know what it means: endless waiting lines at all the must-see attractions!
But don’t worry: there are 2 very simple solutions that will allow you to save a lot of time (and money!) during your 5-day trip to London.
1. The London Pass
The First solution, to save time and money during your 5-day trip to London is to buy the London Pass.
This type of city pass exists for all the most touristic cities around the word.
The London Pass is valid for between 1 and 10 days (depending the option you choose when booking). As it’s a digital pass, you can download it on your smartphone and present it at the entrance of each attractions.
The London Pass grants you tourist credits that are deducted whenever you enter a site.
For example, the 5-day London Pass comes with 595 credits, which corresponds to 595€ in entrance fees even though the pass costs only 153€ to buy!
That’s really the best city pass if you’re spending 5 days in London.
With the London Pass, you will get:
- Entry to more than 80 of London’s best attractions: Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Tower Bridge…
- A hop-on hop-off bus tour: a great way to discover London without tiring yourself out. It’s perfect if you don’t feel like walking too much or if you’re going to visit London with your kids for 5 days.
- Discounts at some souvenir shops
- A tourist guide to the city, including opening hours and how to get to each attraction.
To buy your London City Pass, simply click on the button below:
As an alternative, there’s also the London Go City Explorer Pass, that works a bit differently.
You will need to purchase a version of this pass depending on the number of attractions you want to see. So you can buy a pass for 2, 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions.
You can book it by clicking here.
2. Skip-the-line tickets for London’s tourist attractions
Second option: To avoid waiting in line during your 5-day London itinerary, you can buy skip-the-line tickets for each tourist attraction or activity in advance.
The good news is that you will be able to purchase these priority tickets for all the best attractions in London, such as the London Eye, or the Tower Bridge or even an Harry Potter guided tour !
Here is the list of all skip-the-line tickets and excursions I will be talking about in this itinerary.
To check the prices and to book, simply click on the links below (you’ll also find them throughout the article):
- Westminster Abbey
- Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
- London Eye
- Tower Bridge
- Tower of London
- Boat tour on the Thames
- See a musical
- Madame Tussauds Museum
- Saint Paul’s Cathedral
- The Shard
- Harry Potter-themed guided tour – It’s really awesome!
- Double-decker hop-on/hop-off bus tour
5 days in London: the best itinerary
It’s now time to plan your 5-day itinerary in London!
For this itinerary, I assume that you’ll be spending 5 full days in London and purchased the London Pass or fast track tickets in advance. That’s the best way to save time and money during your stay!
And if after reading this guide, you still need help to plan your trip, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section located at the end of the article.
Day 1 – Discover the historic centre
Day 1 visits:
A. Big Ben
B. Westminster Abbey
C. Buckingham Palace
D. Trafalgar Square
E. London Eye
F. Tate Britain and/or Tate Modern
A. Big Ben
Let’s start your 5-day visit to London with the city’s most iconic monument: Big Ben.
Located in the heart of the historic centre, this 106-metre high building known as the Clock Tower is standing on the banks of the Thames since 1858. It’s part of the Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament.
At the top of the Clock Tower, you can admire the famous clock with its 4 faces, each measuring 7 meters in diameter. Note that you will only be able to observe this superb monument from the outside, as only British citizens are allowed to visit the interior, after submitting an official request.
Did you know? Big Ben is actually the name given to the huge bell located inside the tower, and not the tower itself.
B. Westminster Abbey
Right next to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, you’ll find Westminster Abbey, another historical monument you shouldn’t miss during your 5-day trip to London.
In this religious building, countless kings and queens have been crowned, and you can see some of their tombs inside, including Mary Stuart’s.
You should really get an audio guide for this visit, as it’s the best way to learn more about the monument’s history. It even offers a more playful route to take if you’re traveling to London with kids.
As there’s often a very long waiting line in front of the entrance, you really need to get a skip-the-line ticket. The London Pass includes a visit to Westminster Abbey, but if you don’t have it, you should buy a fast-track ticket here:
And if you prefer to book a guided visit, you need to click here to book your 2h guided tour!
Ideally, you should be at the abbey when it opens (9:30 am on weekdays, 9 am on Saturdays, closed on Sundays).
C. Buckingham Palace
After admiring Big Ben from all angles, you should continue your journey and head towards another symbol of London: the residence of the king of England, also known as Buckingham Palace.
You will arrive there in just a few minutes on foot.
If you want to watch the Changing of the Royal Guard, which takes place every other day (specifically on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays), you should be in front of the palace early to get a good spot, as there is always a huge crowd for the occasion.
The Changing of the Guard starts at 11 am and consists of a parade of the king’s soldiers accompanied by a military band. The event lasts about 40 minutes and is truly a spectacle not to be missed during your 5 days in London.
In case of rain (which is quite frequent, after all, we are in London 😄), the Changing of the Guard ceremony is canceled. An online calendar allows you to check whether it’s happening: online calendar.
The interior of Buckingham Palace is open to the public for only 2 months per year, (usually in August and September).
If you book very early, given that there are limited places, you can choose between 3 visits:
- Ticket for the State Rooms
- Entry to the Queen’s Gallery and its numerous works of art
- Entry to the Royal Mews, housing the royal family’s carriages, among other things.
D. Trafalgar Square & The National Gallery Museum
Next up on your 5-day London itinerary is the iconic Trafalgar Square!
A pleasant 15-20 minute walk through the picturesque, flower-filled St. James Park will lead you to one of the city’s most vibrant and bustling squares.
The square’s signature feature? Four massive black lion statues majestically guarding the central fountain, a sight you can’t miss.
Take a break, grab a bite to eat, and soak up the atmosphere as you enjoy live street performances that happen nearly every day.
Just a stone’s throw away from the square, the world-renowned National Gallery museum invites you to indulge in an hour or two of art appreciation.
Founded in 1824, the National Gallery stands as one of London’s most captivating art museums. Inside, you’ll discover an extraordinary collection of masterpieces, from Van Gogh’s enchanting “Sunflowers” to iconic works by Monet, Cézanne, Picasso, Rembrandt, and Leonardo da Vinci.
And the cherry on top? Admission is completely free at all British national museums, making it an opportunity you simply can’t pass up!
To plan your visit, find opening hours on the official website.
E. London Eye
After visiting the museum, it’s time to elevate your 5 days in London itinerary—literally!
Let’s take a thrilling ride to the clouds.
Just a quick 10-15 minutes (on foot or by bus) from the historical heart of London, you’ll find the iconic London Eye, standing in front of Big Ben.
Step into Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel and ascend to an astonishing 130 meters for a bird’s-eye view of the cityscape.
Fear not if you’re vertigo-prone! The capsules are incredibly spacious (holding 25 people) and enclosed, easing the sensation of height. In addition, the wheel moves at a leisurely pace, allowing you to fully enjoy the experience.
Trust me, the jaw-dropping panoramic view of London from this vantage point is an unforgettable sight.
A full rotation takes about 30 minutes, and you really need to book your spot in advance to secure this must-do activity on your trip.
To book your London eye ticket, simply click on the button below:
And if you’re planning more activities, you should have a look at the combined ticket: London Eye + Thames Cruise + Hop-on Hop-off Bus.
It’s a great way to save money!
F. Tate Britain and/or Tate Modern Museum
To wrap up your first day in London, you should visit 2 must-see museums: the Tate Britain and Tate Modern museums.
Located on opposite banks of the Thames, the two museums are connected by a river shuttle that allows you to quickly travel between them. The shuttle runs every 40 minutes.
These 2 art museums are among London’s most interesting and popular attractions.
Tate Britain, on the north bank (opposite the London Eye), focuses on classic British art, showcasing works by Hogarth, William Blake, and Turner.
On the other hand, Tate Modern is dedicated to modern art in general.
Both museums are free and open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
If you want to enjoy a beautiful view of London at night, you can switch the London Eye ride with the museum visits.
So you will first visit the museums, and then head to the London Eye around sunset time.
To do this, after the National Gallery:
- Head towards the Thames and find Embankment Pier
- Take the river shuttle to Millbank Pier, which will drop you right in front of Tate Britain’s entrance
- For Tate Modern, stop at Bankside Pier
Simply take the river shuttle back to reach the London Eye. If you time it well, you’ll be there right at sunset!
2nd day: What to do and see?
Day 2 visits:
A. St. Paul’s Cathedral
B. The City
C. The Tower of London
D. Tower Bridge
E. The Shard
A. St. Paul’s Cathedral
After a good night’s sleep, you will spend your second day in London in the City area.
You should start by visiting the St. Paul’s Cathedral, a Baroque religious building built in the 17th century.
Inside St. Paul’s Cathedral, you can admire:
- The beautiful nave
- The mysterious Whispering Gallery
- The Stone Gallery
- The Golden Gallery
- The crypt, where Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral’s architect, rests:
- A superb view from the dome (85 metres high).
If you purchased the London Pass, entry to St. Paul’s is included.
Otherwise, you need to book your skip the line tickets by clicking on the button below:
B. The City
During your 5 days in London, you will have the time to pass by London’s business district.
It’s called The City and it’s also the geographic centre of London.
Take the time to stroll through the streets (while passing the businessmen and women of England who are so classy and well dressed) and see the icon of the district: the famous cucumber-shaped skyscraper nicknamed ‘The Gherkin’.
In The City, you should also go to the Sky Garden to enjoy the 360° view from London’s highest public garden.
And you know the best? It’s free!
However, the places are limited, so you need to book in advance here.
C. The Tower of London
In The City district, you will also find historical monuments, such as the famous Tower of London.
It’s located a 15 minute walk from the ‘Gherkin’, right next to Tower Bridge (your next stop!).
Built in 1066, the Tower of London is an ancient fortress, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It has served as a royal residence, a prison, and a place of execution.
Nowadays, the Tower of London is a museum that focuses in particular on the macabre history of medieval London. For example, you can visit the former torture chamber and hear stories of execution told by guides in period costume.
Despite the theme, it’s a fun and unusual visit that kids and adults alike really enjoy!
Inside the Tower of London, you can also see The Crown Jewels. Everyday, a crowd of curious visitors come here to admire them through the security glass.
During your visit, don’t miss the outdoor gardens, they are particularly beautiful.
Don’t hesitate to take the guided tour that is included with your admission ticket. There is a departure every 30 minutes from the main entrance.
Entry to the tower of London is included in the London Pass. If you don’t have the city pass, you need too buy your tickets by clicking on the button below:
D. Tower Bridge
Your 5-day itinerary in London will now take you to another iconic monument: the famous Tower Bridge!
You can’t miss it, as it’s located just opposite the Tower of London.
With its 2 huge Gothic towers and sky blue ironwork, you will immediately recognize it. It’s even more impressive at night when it’s illuminated!
This bridge was built across the Thames in the 19th century, and has connected the north and south banks of London since then. At the time it was built, it was the most sophisticated bascule bridge in the world.
You can admire it from the riverbank (it’s even more impressive in the evening when all the lights are on) and also cross it on foot.
If you wish to, you can also visit the former engine room located inside one of the two towers. And when climbing up to the top decks, the glass walkway will make you feel like you’re floating above the river!
Entry to Tower Bridge is included in the London Pass.
If you only want to buy a skip-the-line ticket for this attraction, you need to click on the button below:
The port of St Katharine Docks located at the foot of Tower Bridge is definitely worth stopping for a stroll. You can also dine in one of the many restaurants in this area, with a view of the Thames.
E. The Shard
To end your day in style, you should visit The Shard, one of London’s newest skyscraper. It’s located just a 10-minute walk from Tower Bridge.
With more than 300 metres high, this building is also the highest observation platform in Western Europe. Needless to say, the view over London is spectacular!
Inside the building, you will also find a multimedia exhibition about the city’s history.
The ticket to the Shard is included in the London Pass.
If you don’t have the pass, you need to book your tickets in advance by clicking on the button below:
Day 3 – Best places to visit in London
Day 3 visits:
A. Notting Hill
B. The Natural History Museum
C. Hyde Park
D. Oxford Street
F. Piccadilly Circus
G. Covent Garden
A. Notting Hill
Let’s start your 3rd day in London with a walk to Portobello Road market, in the famous Notting Hill district.
Popularised by the movie “Notting Hill” starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, this chic and bucolic neighbourhood is located to the west of the city.
You will for sure love the beautiful houses featuring pastel-coloured façades, the flower-filled cobbled streets. This quiet and elegant district is very charming!
Every morning, the Portobello market attracts a crowd of tourists and locals who come to shop and stroll around the numerous stands of second-hand goods, antiques, street food and all sorts of objects.
To make the most of your visit to Notting Hill, you should really book this guided tour:
If your 5-day trip to London falls in August, and more precisely on the last weekend of the month, you will be able to attend the annual Notting Hill Carnival.
B. The Natural History Museum
You should now head to the Natural History Museum, located about 20 minutes away by bus.
This gorgeous museum was simply one of my favorite visits during my 5-day trip to London!
The Natural History Museum, housed in a remarkable Gothic building, is for sure one of the most beautiful and largest museums in London. It’s also the most visited natural history museum in Europe, with more than 5 million visitors every year.
There, you will find an astronomical number of exhibits of all kinds on botany, volcanology, zoology, archaeology, mineralogy etc. You would have to spend several days to really see everything.
The museum also offers lots of fun activities for children.
You should plan to visit the museum for about 2 hours, to have enough time for the other visits of the day.
C. Hyde Park
After visiting the museum, let’s get some greenery in London’s largest park: Hyde Park.
You can get there on foot in 20 minutes or by public transport in 15 minutes.
Hyde Park is considered one of the world’s most beautiful urban parks. Here, you can have a picnic, enjoy a drink or a lunch on the terrace of a restaurant, do a bit of sport or simply wander around.
If you’re in London at the end of the year, you can go to Hyde Park and enjoy the huge Christmas market, the Winter Wonderland amusement park or the largest ice rink in the United Kingdom.
And if you’ve decided to go to London for 5 days during summer, you can attend concerts and festivals in Hyde Park.
In the north-east corner of the park, you can see a little London oddity: The Speakers’ Corner. Every Sunday, anonymous speakers give a speech to passers-by, often with a touch of humour.
D. Oxford Street
As you exit Hyde Park via the north-east access (Marble Arch), you will immediately come across Oxford Street, the “Champs-Elysées” of London.
This street stretching over 2.5 km is a real paradise for shopping lovers.
You will find more than 600 shops here, including major British brands such as Marks & Spencer, TopShop, Mush, Primark, Urban Outfitters etc.
This is your chance to do some shopping or window shopping while heading to the next stop.
At the end of Oxford Street, you will reach Soho district.
This small district is the most lively and festive in London. This is where all the locals and tourists get together for an evening out!
Theatres, pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas… you will find everything you need to have fun and enjoy a good evening in an festive atmosphere any day of the week.
For an original evening, you can for example go to a musical in one of Soho’s theaters. It’s a great activity to do during a 5-day stay in London!
You can for example attend Les Misérables at Sondheim Theatre. Tickets are for sale here.
The equally famous “Phantom of the Opera” is also staged regularly. Tickets needs to be purchased in advance right there!
If you’re looking for an original experience in Soho, you really should opt for the Harry Potter-themed guided tour.
Departing from Soho, your guide will take you to the cult locations from the films including Diagon Alley, Gringotts, platform 9 3/4, Knockturn Alley and much more besides. It’s a really good tour and the guide is amazing!
To book your Harry Potter guided tour, simply click on the button below:
F. Piccadilly Circus
As you walk through Soho and follow the crowds, you will inevitably arrive at Piccadilly Circus.
This lively square is famous for its giant advertising screens. You’ve probably already seen pictures of it!
G. Covent Garden
Covent Garden is about a 10 minute walk away from Piccadilly Circus.
This is where you’ll find the former markets halls of London and its superb glass roof.
Relocated in 1970, Covent Garden is today one of London’s main tourist attractions. There, you will find many shops, restaurants, artists’ workshops, street performances and the London Transport Museum.
Day 4 – Walk in London
Day 4 visits:
A. Hampstead Village
B. Camden Town
C. Regent’s Park
D. Abbey Road (optional)
E. Madame Tussauds or British Museum
A. Hampstead Village
Let’s continue your 5-day tour of London and head to the north of the city.
You should start by visiting Hampstead Village, a quiet neighbourhood in the heights of London. It’s the perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without actually leaving it!
You will for sure love walking among the flower-filled gardens and the beautiful Victorian houses.
There are also many cafés and restaurants.
Hampstead Village is just a 20-minute metro ride from central London.
B. Camden Town
While in the northern part of London, you should really go to Camden Town!
This trendy neighbourhood is famous for its impressive shop facades adorned with huge figurines in crazy colours.
Mixing the world of punks, goths and alter-globalists, the area is packed with offbeat boutiques, piercing/tattoo parlours and second-hand shops… all in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere!
Here, you will also find Camden Lock Market, a market open from 10h to 18h every day.
Take a stroll among the stalls selling clothes, unusual objects and antiques while enjoying the live music bands and watching the street performers.
And if you’re hungry, you can find street food from around the world along Regent’s Canal.
C. Regent’s Park
After your visit to Camden Town, you should go to Regent’s Park, just a 10 minute walk away.
This 166 hectares park is simply the most flowery park in London. It once belonged to the royal family before becoming a public garden in the 19th century.
There, you will find
- Nice paths and alleys for a quiet stroll or a bit of sport
- Sports fields
- The lake, where you can hire a small boat or a pedalo
- Large green spaces
- Playgrounds for children
- Restaurants and cafés
- A zoo
- Queen Mary’s Rose Garden.
D. Abbey Road (optional)
If you’re a Beatles fan, don’t miss Abbey Road and its legendary zebra crossing.
It’s located less than 2 km away from Regent’s Park.
It’s here, in the Abbey Road studios, that the iconic English band recorded their album of the same name.
Of course, you will probably reproduce the famous photo of the Beatles on the Abbey Road zebra crossing. Just be careful with the traffic!
There are generally lots of tourists so you might have to queue.
Near the recording studios, there is a gift shop dedicated to the Beatles.
E. Madame Tussauds or the British Museum
To end your 4th day in London, you should visit of one of these 2 museums, depending on your preferences and your budget:
- Madame Tussauds: this world famous waxworks museum is a 20-minute bus ride from Abbey Road.
There, you can snap pictures with the top celebrities…or rather with their wax lookalikes. Most of them are incredibly realistic!
You should plan to spend 2 to 3 hours inside the museum.
You need to book your tickets in advance by clicking on the green button below:
- The British Museum: for culture and history lovers
Alternatively, you can end the day with a visit to the British Museum. From Regent’s Park, you can get there in 20 minutes by metro.
As with all national museums in England, admission is free.
This museum dedicated to anthropology is housed in a magnificent period building. There, you will find numerous archaeological remains (including several mummies and the famous Rosetta Stone!).
The museum’s collection is one of the richest in the world, with more than 7 million objects on display!
Day 5: Last day in or around London
Visiting London in 5 days will give you enough time to explore the city more in depth, or even to do a day trip to discover the surroundings.
So for your fifth and final day, I have 2 suggestions for you:
- Stay in the city and spend the last day discovering new districts.
- Go on a day trip around London. I will give you all the best places to visit around London a bit below.
Option 1: Other districts to see in London in 5 days
- Discover the district of Chelsea
You can start your last day in London by spending the morning in Chelsea district.
Located in central London, Chelsea is a well known upmarket neighbourhood featuring numerous luxury shops and designer boutiques. Most of them are located on King’s Road.
While in Chelsea, you shouldn’t miss the elegant Duke of York Square and its chic bars, restaurants, as well as the ‘Saatchi Gallery’, a contemporary art museum.
And for those who prefer simplicity, Chelsea is also famous for its stylish and colourful houses located in quiet alleys. If that’s what you’re looking for, head to Burnsall Street, Godfrey Street and Bywater Street.
This last street also regularly attracts cinema and photo shoots.
- Boat tour on the Thames
Taking Thames cruise is the perfect way to discover the city from another angle!
Several companies (including City Cruises, Crown River Cruise, Thames Clippers and Thames River Services) offer river tours of 20 minutes to 3 hours, allowing you to discover London’s landmarks from the river.
There are several piers to take the boat along the banks of the Thames, especially near Big Ben, towards the Tower of London / Tower Bridge or at the London Eye.
There are also hop-on hop-off boat tours. It’s exactly like the tourist bus, but with a boat! You can get on and off the boat when you want and visit the main tourist attractions of the city.
You need to book your ticket for the Hop-on Hop-off cruise here:
- The district of Greenwich:
You can take advantage of your boat tour on the Thames to visit Greenwich and spend the afternoon there.
Greenwich is located in the outskirts of London and can be easily reached by boat.
In this district, you will enjoy:
- The remarkable architecture
- Victorian and Georgian monuments
- Large public parks
- To take a walk by the river
- The famous Greenwich Meridian (tickets available by clicking here!) at a longitude of exactly 0°at the Royal Observatory.
Other things to see in Greenwich:
- The Cutty Sark (tickets here!), a big sailing boat built in 1869 and converted into a museum
- Greenwich Market
- The splendid view over London from the Observatory
You can also visit the Greenwich National Maritime Museum during your 5-day stay in London.
It’s one of the largest maritime museums in the world and entry is free, just like all national museums in England.
Here you can learn everything about British maritime history. The exhibitions are mostly interactive and designed with children in mind, making it a good museum to visit with your family.
Option 2: Visiting London’s surroundings
- Warner Bros. Studios – Harry Potter
This is the perfect day trip for fans of the Harry Potter saga!
The Warner Bros. studios, where the 8 Harry Potter movies were shot, are just a few kilometres outside London.
Most of the films were shot in these studios, which have now been turned into a giant museum.
There, you will get immersed in the world of the famous wizard: try your hand at flying on a broom, taste the famous butterbeer and take a stroll along Diagon Alley!
Discover the film sets, the props, the costumes and learn all the secrets and anecdotes about the films. Personally, I loved it!
The tour must be booked in advance by clicking on the green button below.
And you know the best? The bus transfers from London are included 😎.
- Explore Stratford-upon-Avon
Visiting the home town of Shakespeare is also a great choice for the last day of your trip.
Stratford-upon-Avon is a charming small town located 1-hour drive from London.
There, you can admire the traditional English cottages, take idyllic strolls, and see the house where Shakespeare was born and lived.
The cool thing is that you can visit Stratford with an organized day trip that also goes to Oxford!
You need to book your guided tour here:
- Visit to Windsor Castle
Windsor is another charming little town to visit around London.
Getting there is super simple. Just go to Paddington Station and take the train. The journey takes about 45 minutes.
In Windsor, you will for sure want to visit its famous castle, the royal family’s second home. Admission tickets must be booked in advance here:
For a hassle free experience, you can visit Windsor with guided tour from London. Everything is included, and you will discover 3 amazing places during the day: Windsor, Oxford and Stonehenge!
You need to book this day trip by clicking here.
You can also choose to spend the day in Cambridge, one of the most beautiful cities to visit near London.
It’s just a 45-minute train ride from King’s Cross train station.
There, you will explore the famous Cambridge university and spend the day admiring the city’s beautiful Gothic architecture.
To discover the best of Cambridge, you can opt for one of the following:
- Guided walking tour of the city + river boat tour
- Guided tour of the university with entrance to King’s College
- Hop-on hop-off bus tour
Another option is to visit Oxford, a town a bit bigger than Cambridge, and just as remarkable for its architecture.
And the good news it that Oxford is only an hour’s train ride from London!
The city is home to Oxford University, the oldest university in the English speaking world.
You can easily visit Oxford on foot in one day. Don’t miss the famous castle-like university (which actually inspired Hogwarts) and the superb Gothic Christ Church cathedral.
As I mentioned earlier, the day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon also goes to Oxford. You need to book it by clicking here.
If you are going there by yourself, here are a few great tours to discover Oxford like a local:
- Walking tour of the university and the city with a student from Oxford
- Private guided tour of the city and university
- Harry Potter filming location Oxford tour
- Hop-on hop-off bus tour.
Less than an hour’s train ride from London, Brighton is a popular coastal town amongst Londoners. They usually go there on weekends, to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
You will for sure love its pebble beach, seafront restaurants and pretty cobbled streets!
In the modern part of the town, you can go to the top of the British Airways tower: hop in the glass elevator pod and reach a height of 138 meters. From up there, you will enjoy the view over the entire coast.
Tickets needs to be purchased here.
Where to stay in London
You now have a good idea of the best things to do in London in 5 days!
There is just one more thing to do: booking your hotel. Where will you stay during these 5 days?
In order to help you out, I have selected the best hotels in London depending on your budget.
Remember that the further in advance you book, the better your chance of finding affordable accommodation. The best deals don’t last long, especially in London!
So if you know your travel dates, you should really book your hotel night now!
- The Chamberlain: Close to the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the banks of the Thames. This British-style hotel offers cosy, comfortable double rooms from 120€ per night, breakfast 12€. Strong points: a smartphone is made available, excellent locations, the welcoming staff and the comfortable bed linen. It’s my favourite for its excellent value for money!
- Hotel Indigo London – Kensington: This hotel is in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and very close to a tube station. Well-equipped, quiet and warm double room from 200€, breakfast from 19€. Strong points: the quiet area, cosy ambience cosy, the smiling and efficient staff.
- Haymarket Hotel, Firmdale Hotels: 5* hotel close to London’s “theatreland”, minutes on foot from St James Park and 15 minutes from Buckingham Palace. Really comfortable, spacious and quiet double room from 390€ per night, breakfast 20€. Strong points: perfect location, charming staff and excellent bed linen. The best choice for a romantic stay in London!
- The Soho Hotel, Firmdale Hotels: A luxury hotel right in the heart of London, 5 minutes from Oxford Street and Soho, and just 10 minutes from Piccadilly Circus. Really spacious designer and magnificently decorated double room from 500€ per night, breakfast 29€. Strong points: the perfect geographical location, magnificent bedrooms, the sumptuous breakfast. The best hotel in London for a luxury stay!
If you’d prefer a London hotel that isn’t too expensive, you should check out the “Z Hotel” chain. You can find them in lots of different areas of London, and prices start of 60€ per night. They’re the best bet for budget accommodation in London.
- The Z Hotel Shoreditch
- The Z Hotel Gloucester Place
- The Z Hotel City
- The Z Hotel Victoria
- The Z Hotel Piccadilly
- The Z Hotel Soho
London in 5 days with kids
Wondering if this 5-day itinerary in London is possible and would be enjoyable with your family?
The answer is yes, of course!
Depending on the age of your kids, you might want to make a few slight changes to this itinerary. They’ll love most of places to visit and activities mentioned, but you may need to spend a bit less time in the museums, as it might not be the most interesting for them.
That said, most of London’s museums offer fun tours and workshops especially for children, and they don’t generally last more than 1 hour.
To help you adjust this itinerary as needed, I have made you a list of visits and activities in London that kids enjoy the most:
- The National History Museum is a treat for children, as is the Greenwich Maritime Museum. As mentioned above, most of the museums in London offer short and fun tours for children.
- Children generally love Madame Tussauds museum
- The Tower of London and its mediaeval atmosphere
- The Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace
- See a family musical in Soho
- Take a boat tour on the Thames.
If you or your kids are Harry Potter fans, you can also spend a day at Harry Potter Studios, located a bit outside the city.
It’s really a magical experience!
The best tour include the entrance ticket to Harry Potter Studios as well as the transportation from your hotel.
You need to book this tour by clicking on the button below:
Other ideas of things to do and see in London in 5 days
You’ve followed my 5-day itinerary in London and have a bit more time left in the English capital?
In this case, you should read my guide of the best places to visit in London: The 20 best things to do in London.
There, you will for sure find even more ideas of activities and things to see during your 5-day trip to London!
Map of your 5-day itinerary in London
To help you visualize your itineraries during your 5 days in London, I have created this map with all the places to visit day by day. You can display the map legend by clicking the button with a small arrow located on the top left corner.
You can thus see the suggested itineraries for each day.
Find the best flight prices for your 5 days in London
As always, you should book your plane tickets as early as possible to get the best prices.
To check the rates and schedules for flights to London, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner:
Need help organising your 5-day trip to London? Feel free to ask me your questions in the comments section below.
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
You’re traveling to England? These articles will help you !
Discover all my articles about London: All my articles to help you plan your trip to England are listed there.