How to Spend One Day in London

I’m a big believer of making use of an extended layover and decided to take full advantage of a recent one in London. Such an iconic city deserves much more than a day, but with only one to spare it’s easy to get paralyzed in a monumental list of things to see and do.

Here's How to Spend One Day In London:


After a full English breakfast at a nearby pub choose ONE activity for your morning. We were visiting during the summer months when Buckingham Palace is open to visitors and being a huge royal history nerd, decided that this was the perfect time to see inside the palace.

I recommend buying your tickets online so that you can have a “timed” entrance as lines can get long. I was absolutely blown away by the elegance of the rooms and was well worth the time spent here, but if this isn’t for you another great option would be the Tower of London.


Take a double-decker bus tour with high tea.

In order to see as much as possible on such a tight time frame, we decided to combine two major things we wanted to do into one!  Nothing is more iconic to London than the vintage red double-decker buses and sipping high tea on one seemed like the epitome of everything I had imaged. Cliche maybe, but I loved every delicious minute of it.

We used B.Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tours and would recommend them for their efficient service and tasty baked goods. Plus, how cute are these cups?

For more information on our tour check out my Afternoon Tea Bus Tour Post!


Stroll Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park Or a Museum

Lance wanted to explore Hyde Park and we were blown away by the number of locals hanging out here! I’ll admit that it wasn’t my favourite park and personally, I’d trade it for some of the smaller, more curated parks, it was fun to feel like a local for a few hours. ┬áI might swap this for an evening at one of the many world-class museums the city has to offer.

Finally, top the night off in a classic pub! Trust me, you won’t have any trouble finding one.

Tips and Tricks

Take the Subway

It is too efficient and cost effective not to use! If you are nervous about it, trust me, it won’t take long to figure it out. Simply buy a ticket at the automatic machines at any station and you’re good to go! Use the maps of the train lines to figure out where you’re going and follow the signs.

Don’t Plan Too Much

With only one day it’s tempting to try to fit in as much as possible, but it will only leave you feeling rushed and disappointed if you don’t get to everything. It’s better to choose one or two major things and simply enjoy the magic that is London.

Buy Tickets in Advanced When Possible

London is a favourite destination and lines for major attractions are often long. Book in advance when possible to make the most of your time.

Choose Your Accommodations Carefully

It’s important to choose accommodations near the sights you want to see and neighbourhoods you want to explore. Your time is valuable! Cut down on travel time by staying as close as possible to the action.

I’d recommend staying in Kensington area. It feels oh so London and it’s only a short tube ride away from major attractions.

Plan on Coming Back

There is way too much in London to see in one day, so don’t panic if you don’t see it all! Plan on coming back ( I sure am!) and the pressure of missing out won’t feel as strong.

Looking for more layover ideas? Learn how to have a stress free layover in Paris here.

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