4 DAYS IN LONDON : ITINERARIES AND ULTIMATE TRAVEL TIPS
London, England, is one of the top-visited cities globally by all types of travelers for a reason. It’s filled with a rich history, home to pop culture phenomena like Harry Potter, and has a great culture. 4 days in London is the perfect amount of time to spend in this immaculate city, and this London travel guide will cover all of the must-dos!
It’s no secret that London is a vast city; the population is just under 9 million and growing by the day. Many first-time visitors underestimate its actual size and think that traveling in London will be easy. I’m here to tell you that it can be, but the secret is in the planning!
Be sure to use these 4 days in London itinerary for your next trip to this glorious city, whether you follow the itinerary exactly or pick and choose the sights that you’re genuinely interested in seeing.
Transportation in London
For 4 days in London, it’s absolutely essential that you invest in a Visitor Oyster Card. This is true, no matter where you are staying in the city. Yes, that includes if you are staying directly downtown! Due to London’s massive size, it’d be impossible to see the number of sights on this list without utilizing public transportation at least a few times.
If you don’t want to invest in a Visitor Oyster Card, another option is to use contactless pay, which will charge you the same rate as having the card. This includes Apple Pay, Google Pay, or another payment form that you may have on your cell phone.
There are a few different ways to get around London, with the most popular options being the London Underground (also known as the “Tube”) and the London Bus. These are the options that I suggest using to get around for your trip. Using transportation in London isn’t super expensive, but it can get pricy if you’re traveling around the city a lot.
Here’s a breakdown of prices for London transportation:
- The London Bus costs £1.50 one way.
If you know that you’ll be taking just the bus for the entire day, you can purchase a day pass for £4.50. This might be a good idea, but note that it will take longer to get from place to place on the bus versus the Underground.
- London Underground prices get a bit iffy due to the multiple zones but start at £4.90 per ride if you stay in Zone 1 without a Visitor Oyster Card. With the Visitor Oyster Card or contactless pay, the price is £2.40. If you go out of Zone 1, then prices will go up accordingly.
Helpful tip: Remember to tap on and off the London Underground to have a fantastic London travel experience. If you don’t tap on your way off, you will be charged the maximum ride fare possible, even if you only rode for one or two stops! This is essential to curb accidentally having a hefty charge.
Where to Stay in London
This London travel guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning at least a few great places to stay in the city. Below, find recommendations depending on your budget for your 4 days in London.
- Wombats City Hostel London ($): This is the top-rated hostel in London for budget travelers. The Wombats City Hostel London has rates starting as low as £17 a night to stay in an 8-person dorm. If you’d rather stay in a private room, rates are slightly higher (£48), but this is still one of the most affordable places to stay in the whole city. Despite the low price, the Wombats City Hostel London also comes with a wide variety of amenities. These include free Wifi, city maps, a kitchen, welcome drinks, access to the WomBar, a breakfast buffet (for a small extra fee), laundry room access, and bike rental options. If you’re the type of traveler that likes making new friends, then this is an excellent option for you.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London – Tower of London ($$): A great mid-range option in London is to stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton near the Tower of London. This is within walking distance of many of London’s most significant sites, including The Shard, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and obviously, the Tower of London. It’s genuinely located right in London’s city center. Prices at this hotel start at just £81 per night. This 4-star hotel comes with a lot of amenities! Inside, you’ll have access to a restaurant, 2 bars, a rooftop terrace, a laundry room, a fitness center, a conference center, breakfast, and there’s free laundry. What more could you want for your stay in London?
- London Marriott Hotel County Hall ($$$): For a luxury trip to London, opt to stay at the London Marriott Hotel County Hall. This is located right downtown near the London Eye and is along the River Thames in the middle of the city. Rates start at just £200 per night, though depending on the time of year you go, you might be able to snag a really great deal at this accommodation. This hotel also comes with great amenities. The amenities include free wifi, limo/town car service, access to the business center, fitness center, breakfast, indoor pool, close location to the beach, 2 restaurants, and a bar/lounge. It’s a very close walk to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye.
London Packing List
It can be hard deciding what exactly to pack, but luckily these 4 days in London itinerary is going to cover the essentials for a trip to this marvelous city. Here are a few things that you should remember to pack when you visit London that you might overlook.
First of all, you’ll want to remember to pack either an umbrella or a raincoat. It surprisingly rains here a lot, and you’ll want to be prepared for all types of weather. If you forget a travel-umbrella, it’s not a huge deal, because there are many places to purchase one throughout the city. With that being said, you will save money by bringing your own in your backpack or suitcase!
Lots of layers, including warm jacket, sweaters, tights, and socks. Because London is located right along the River Thames, it can experience some windy climates occasionally. It also is a bit cooler here in the morning and at night, though that can vary depending on the time of year that you visit. Wearing layers allows you to be comfortable throughout the day as the weather changes.
Lastly, make sure that you bring a portable phone charger and a universal plug converter in case you’re not from the United Kingdom. The portable phone charger will come in handy because all cell phones nowadays seem to notoriously drain their batteries quickly, and if you’re traveling solo, your directions, booking information, and emergency info are most likely all stored on your phone. You’d be lost without it! A plug converter is essential for when you’re in your accommodation room. Without one, you will not be able to charge all of your electronics or even use a hairdryer if you happened to bring one. These are reasonably cheap, but once again, it’s cheaper to bring your own than it is to pick one up at the store once you get to London.
London Safety for female travelers
As a female traveler, you’ll find that London is actually relatively safe. In fact, it’s one of the most-visited countries among solo female travelers. Rest assured that there’s not an abundance of danger here. With that being said, it’s always a good idea to practice standard safety precautions when traveling in any major city. For instance, stay in well-lit areas and don’t walk around the city alone once the sun goes down. Be sure also to watch your bags and try not to stick out too much as a tourist to avoid being a target for scammers or pickpockets.
The Best of London in 4 Days
London Day 1: Seeing the Top Sights
Your first day in London is going to have one goal and one goal only: see all the top sights in the city! Today is the day that you get to be the ultimate tourist and take it all in.
The London Eye is the famous Ferris Wheel located right along the River Thames that is now owned by Coca-Cola. It stands at 443 feet and was officially constructed in 1998. You may hear locals refer to it as the Millennium Wheel, which was its former name.
If you want to get a great view of London from above, this is the place to see it from. Tickets for the London Eye can be purchased online or in person, and range in price depending on which type of ticket you buy. Think about the time of day that you’d like to see London from above. It looks a lot different in the morning than it does at night!
Helpful tips: Be sure to purchase your tickets for the London Eye well in advance, because they come with timed entry. This is the only way to guarantee that you get to go. It’s also helpful to check the weather to make sure that there will be clear skies during your ride, or else the view might not be as great.
Though Big Ben has been under construction for the last few years, it’s still worth seeing because of how famous it is. Though you can’t do anything at Big Ben besides take a touristy photo in front of it, this clock tower is worth seeing. It was built in 1843 and stands at 315 feet. It’s an iconic structure in London’s city skyline, and even if you only snap a quick photo and move along, you have to see it at least once during your 4 days in London.
Another must-see on this London travel guide is Westminster Abbey. This church dates back to 960 AD and has been the location for royal coronations in London for hundreds of years. Though you do have to pay a small fee to go inside, it’s totally worth it. Tours are also available of Westminster Abbey, which will give you a more in-depth look into the church’s history and architecture.
Helpful tip: Similar to the London Eye, this is an attraction that gets booked quickly. Make your reservation in advance if you plan on going inside or hopping on a tour of Westminster Abbey.
With 4 days in London, you have no excuse but to visit Buckingham Palace. This is seen as the ultimate place to visit in London, no matter how long your trip is. Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official royal residence, and it also houses some parliament buildings. Though official tours aren’t available during the majority of the year, visitors can go on a tour of a select amount of rooms during the summer months while the Queen stays in Scotland.
Trafalgar Square is one of the main squares in London. It’s located in the Westminster neighborhood and dates back to the 19th century. It’s most well-known for being home to Nelson’s Column and The National Gallery, one of the best museums in the city. This is a great place to go and people-watch, and it’s one of the few absolutely free things to do while in London. There are often a lot of fun street performers here too, which can be a fun way to pass the time.
Dinner at Oblix in The Shard
To finish a great first day during your 4 days in London, why not treat yourself to a fantastic dinner at Oblix? This restaurant is located on the 32nd floor of The Shard, which will give you amazing views of London from above. If you don’t want to dish out the extra pounds to eat at Oblix instead of somewhere else, consider maybe just grabbing a drink at Bar 31 instead, which is located on the 31st floor and also has excellent views of London.
After dinner, be sure to head straight to your accommodation and get some shut-eye. You’re going to need all the energy for another fun, travel-filled day tomorrow!
London Day 2: London Cultural Immersion
When you visit London in 4 days, you have more than enough time to visit some of the sights that may typically be overlooked by those who are on tighter time constraints. Today’s the day to see some more of the famous sights but also dive a bit deeper into the other spots around London that might fly under the radar.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is truly a cultural and historical experience. This fortress used to be the royal castle in London and dates back hundreds of years. Once Buckingham Palace opened, the Tower of London later became the famous museum and tourist attraction that it is today. This site is often too crowded throughout the day, so I recommend you visit first thing in the morning when it opens at 10 a.m. to beat the afternoon tourist rush.
Helpful tip: You will most likely need at least 2 hours here to see everything fully. To save yourself the headache of waiting in line later, make sure to go straight to the Crown Jewels after you enter, and then take the time to explore the exhibits and artifacts throughout the fortress after.
Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in all of London. It’s unfortunately commonly miscalled the London Bridge. This is the most photographed bridge in the whole city, and it’s also extremely pretty. To get the best view of Tower Bridge, be sure to look out the windows when you’re at the Tower of London. You can also get a fantastic photo directly on the bridge.
If you have extra time, be sure to pay the small fee to go into the Tower Bridge and see the exhibits about the history of London. This is a great way to learn a bit more about the city after experiencing the Tower of London!
Afternoon Tea Bus Tour
Brigit’s Bakery in London offers one of the most unique tours in the entire city: a classic afternoon tea bus tour of London. What better way is there to tour the city and all it has to offer with a tour guide than while sitting in a traditional double-decker bus, eating finger sandwiches, desserts, and drinking your favorite tea? If you wish to book this tour, make sure to purchase tickets well in advance online. Some of the sights along the tour include Downing Street, the Marble Arch, Nelson’s Column, Westminster Abbey, St. Jame’s Park, The Houses of Parliament, and more. The tour typically runs for about 90 minutes.
Helpful tip: Though the price might seem a little hefty, you do get to keep all of the leftovers after the tour ends!
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
William Shakespeare performed many of his plays in this very theater. Plays are still put on today, and you can get tickets for as little as £5 if you don’t mind purchasing the Commonor’s Ticket and standing for the entirety of the show. Tickets should be purchased in advance. If you aren’t interested in seeing a show, there are also tours given of the theater throughout the day.
Helpful tip: The theater is open-air, so it can get a bit chilly at night. If it rains, you will get wet, so dress accordingly.
Dinner at Wetherspoon’s
After treating yourself to dinner last night, you can make up for it by eating at Wetherspoon’s. This is one of the most affordable and well-known places to eat in the United Kingdom, and they have many locations throughout London. Find whichever one is closest to you and grab a bite to eat! If you’re coming straight from Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, it will most likely be either The Crosse Keys or Sir John Hawkshaw.
Wetherspoon’s offers a wide variety of options on its menu, and some of the dishes even come with drinks. You could quickly come here and spend no more than £10 maximum on a plate. Oh, and did I mention they are also open for breakfast and lunch too?
London Day 3: Parks, Palaces, Platforms, Oh My!
Your third day in London will be spent going to some of the fantastic parks and palaces throughout the city. You’ll be starting the day exploring a neighborhood and then ending the day visiting Platform 9 ¾.
This 4 days in London itinerary wouldn’t be complete without at least mentioning Notting Hill. Though this neighborhood recently became extremely popular due to Instagram influencers, it’s still worth visiting. This neighborhood is filled with gorgeous houses in fun, pastel colors. Even if you aren’t the type to visit and take photos, a stroll through this neighborhood is sure to put a smile on your face.
You could easily spend the whole morning here. Be sure to also hop over to Portobello Road, which is right nearby.
Helpful tip: If you do decide to take photos, please keep in mind that people do still live in each one of these houses.
Kensington Palace & Gardens
Most people often overlook visiting Kensington Palace and Gardens and only opt to visit Buckingham Palace. This residence is just as important and usually isn’t as busy! Plus, you can go inside. This is where William and Kate live, as well as a bunch of other royals. A big chunk of Kensington Palace is open to the public and is filled with exhibits, many of which have to do with Princess Diana.
British Museum (or any other free museum!)
London is filled with tons of museums that are worth visiting. Of course, it could be tiresome to visit all of them over your four days, but it’s worth it to pick and choose at least one or two to visit because some of them are free to visit. One such museum to visit that is absolutely free for all is the British Museum. A small donation is recommended, but you don’t necessarily have to do this unless you’d like to when you visit.
Platform 9 ¾
When you’re in London, you can’t help but visit at least a few of the Harry Potter sights throughout the city. One such attraction that is actually free is Platform 9 ¾ inside King’s Cross Station. Though you do have to pay to take a photo at the very spot, you can absolutely just go and see it for free.
London Day 4: Neighborhood Exploring
The best way to spend your last day in London is by exploring some neighborhoods and not being in a rush. You spent so much time seeing some of the top sights in the city that it’s worth it to go a bit slower on your last day to get a few last experiences in the city before your trip is over.
The Shoreditch neighborhood is one of the more trendy spots to explore in London. It’s genuinely one of the best things to see in London in 4 days because neighborhood exploration is free. Shoreditch is home to many hip restaurants, bars, and of course, street art. Be sure to hop on a street art tour or look up a Shoreditch self-guided street art tour online if you’re interested!
Grab a bite at Cereal Killer Cafe
For brunch, head on over to Cereal Killer Cafe. There’s actually a location in Shoreditch and Camden, so you can either eat right in Shoreditch before you leave or hop on the bus and eat at their other location. This cafe serves up some of the most unique dishes, including cereal-crusted mozzarella sticks and fun-flavored cereals with caramel milk.
Camden Market & Camden Lock
Another neighborhood worth visiting is Camden. This beautiful town is home to Camden Market, which is seriously the best place to go and get some food in all of London, arguably. There are tons of great places to eat here, and there’s lots of outdoor seating. No matter what type of food you’re in the mood for by this time in your trip, you’ll find it at Camden Market.
Camden Lock is also a great place to go shopping. There are tons of vendors and shops in this area, and you could easily spend the entire afternoon shopping if you wanted to. This is the perfect way to end your 4 days in London – on a high note!
To sum up, London, England, is an absolute must-visit city that is perfect for solo female travelers. There are tons of fun activities here, including tours, fantastic afternoon tea, historical castles, and free museums. No matter the time of year, you’ll have a blast visiting the city of London. Now that you’ve read this London guide and you have all the essential information for planning a trip for 4 days in London, I encourage you to get planning! If you have any doubt please let me know and contact me here.
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