Special shout-out to my husband and favourite travel partner who has taken most of our travel photos.

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London itinerary in 4 days

Hotels

London:

Royal Park Hotel

​♥♥♥♥

Nice hotel in converted townhouses. Excellent location near Hyde Park and tube station. Breakfast is a good start to the day. Victorian designed rooms. Recommended.

Guides and Tours

London:

  • Buckingham Palace is definitely worth a visit if you are in London during a time when they are open to visitors. The state rooms are very impressive, for their beautiful furnishings and art. They provide audio-tours.

  • Camden Street Art Tour with Dean. During this walking tour Dean showed us murals and art-filled alleys. Dean is very knowledgeable about the history of street art and knows many of the artists personally. We found this walking tour through AirBnB Experiences.

  • London is known for it's cute streets, row houses painted in colourful hues, as well as courtyards and Mews with charming houses. For a self-guided tour of some of London's prettiest streets see 7 of London's Prettiest Streets You'll Fall in Love With by Trips with Rosie

Noteworthy Restaurants

London:

  • Pierino is casual Italian restaurant in South Kensington with delicious pizza and pasta.

  • NOPI by Ottolenghi is one of the restaurants by the famous chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. Food is always delicious.

  • The Port House. This Spanish wine and tapas restaurant is located in the West End, near the theatres and Covent Garden. They serve delicious tapas.

  • Exmouth Market. This pedestrian friendly neighbourhood has many restaurants for lunch or dinner. 

  • Stables Market located in Camden is a great place to grab lunch from one of the many international food vendors.

  • Brigit's Bakery in Covent Garden is perfect for afternoon tea. This cute bakery serves a delicious high tea, with home-baked pastries, party sandwiches and scones.

  • Pizza East in Shoreditch is perfect for a coffee with their famous salted chocolate caramel tart.

  • Afternoon tea is a British tradition. For ideas of fun spots for tea see my blog post Best places for afternoon tea in London.
     

Favourite Museums

London:

  • The Victoria and Albert Museum is a must when in London. It is an incredible arts and design museum - from fashion, jewelry, furniture to ceramics and sculpture. They also have excellent special exhibits throughout the year. You can spend an entire day in there, so plan your visit. Highly recommended

  • The Saatchi Gallery which is a contemporary art gallery opened in 1985 by Charles Saatchi to exhibit his collection to the public. If you are a fan of contemporary art this is a highlight. It is located in Chelsea and admission is free.

  • London has many world class museums and galleries. Over the years I have been to many. To read about more museums that I recommend in London, please read my blog post London Museums in you won't want to miss

It doesn't matter how many times I've been to London there are always new things to do and explore. It's one of those cities that is never boring. The summer is so lovely in London as the city really comes alive. The parks are lush and blossoming, the monuments sparkle and the streets are very crowded!

Day 1

Afternoon 

Arrive in London, check into the lovely Royal Park Hotel and go for a walk through Hyde Park and along Oxford Street.

We wanted to experience a proper British afternoon tea so we headed to Brigit's Bakery in Covent Garden. This cute bakery serves a delicious high tea, with home-baked pastries, party sandwiches and scones.

 

Although we chose to have our tea in their bakery, they also offer tea in their custom designed, vintage double-decker buses while taking in the sites of London. This could be a fun way to see London for first timers.

 

Evening

We had booked tickets to a concert, which was part of the BBC Prom, at the Royal Albert Hall.

 

The Proms are a series of classical concerts sponsored by the BBC. As luck would have it we were seated right behind the conductor's parents! It was a treat to speak with them and see the pride in their faces. This was an excellent classical concert focusing mainly on the cello. The Royal Albert Hall is a beautiful concert venue and is worth a tour if you can't make it to a concert.

After the concert we walked around looking for good place for dinner and found a nice Italian restaurant in South Kensington with delicious pizza and pasta called Pierino.

 

Day 2

 

Morning

Buckingham Palace is only open to tourists for a few weeks during the year while the queen is on holiday. If you are in town during this time, you should try to do this and book your tickets in advance. We were lucky to be there during the Queen's 90th birthday. There was a special exhibit of her fashion over the years. The exhibit included her inauguration gown, dresses she wore when visiting other countries and meeting dignitaries, and an incredible collection of her hats, each of the them a work of art. It was spectacular and we spent close to three hours in the palace. The state rooms were also very beautiful.

 

Afternoon

We took the tube to the East End, had lunch and walked through the East End, Spitalfields Market and Shoreditch. Spitalfields is an old market that has been renovated. These areas are currently being gentrified and are home to hipsters and funky shops.

We stopped at Pizza East for a coffee and their famous salted chocolate caramel tart. While I'm sure their food menu is good, this dessert is decadent and really hits the spot when you're in need of rich chocolate with just the right amount of salt. 

 

Evening

We had dinner in Exmouth Market. This pedestrian friendly neighbourhood has many interesting shops and restaurants. 

 

Day 3

Morning

We headed to the Victoria and Albert Museum. This art and design museum is wonderful. You can spend several hours walking through it. It has furniture, jewelry, ceramics, etc. Check my London Museums page for a description.

 

Afternoon

We had lunch in South Kensington, at a middle-eastern restaurant. There are many nice cafes and restaurants south of the Victoria and Albert in South Kensington.

 

We then went for a walk through Nottinghill, along Portobello Road and the vicinity which has lots of antique shops and cafes. On Friday's and Saturday's it is particularly fun to visit as there is an antique market along Portobello Road. It gets crowded and lively.

 

Evening

Dinner at NOPI, Ottolenghi’s restaurant near the West End. This is one of the restaurants owned by Yotam Ottolengi, a famous Israeli chef who cooks modern cuisine with a middle-eastern twist. It is delicious, with many sharing dishes and lots of vegetarian options. Definitely worth it but make a reservation well in advance.

 

Day 4

 

Morning

This morning after breakfast we headed to Camden for a Street Art Tour with Dean. We found this tour through AirBnB Experiences which has a long list of interesting and alternative "experiences" in many destinations. 

Dean showed us murals, art-filled alleys, graffiti/street art by a diverse range of artists who visit and live in this eclectic part of London. Dean is very knowledgeable about the history of street art and knows many of the artists personally. It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours and learn about a new neighbourhood.

Camden is a lively neighbourhood with several markets and nice shops and restaurants. This the neighbourhood where Amy Winehouse lived and there are many murals dedicated to her memory. 

Afternoon

We had lunch in the Stables Market and then took the tube back to central London.

We visited  The Saatchi Gallery which is a contemporary art gallery opened in 1985 by Charles Saatchi to exhibit his collection to the public. If you are a fan of contemporary art this is a highlight. It is located in Chelsea and admission is free.

Evening

We ate dinner at The Port House. This Spanish wine and tapas restaurant is located in the West End, near the theatres and Covent Garden. They serve delicious tapas.

Day 5

 

Morning

Depart hotel and head home.

More London activities

For more ideas of things to do in London, please check my: 

This trip was done in conjunction with four days in Lisbon, which worked out really well. See my Lisbon Itinerary in 4 days.

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London itinerary

 
Itinerary Add-ons

This itinerary can be combined with:​