Best things to see and do in London. I’ve been living in England for almost 3 years now and I’ve learned so many things about the area. So if you only have a short amount of time on your visit then this post is for you. I will guide you through 10 of the best things to see while in London. London Travel Guide. London Attractions. #travelguide #London #UK #thingstodo #iconicsites #tourist
Blog, England, Europe, London, Travel

1 Day in London: The Best London One Day Itinerary

I’ve been living in England for almost 3 years now and I’ve learned so many things about the area. I live about an hour outside of London, but every chance I get I make it a point to get out to London and explore as much as I can.  The city is so big and there are so many places to see and things to do. However, if you only have a limited amount of time in England, then I have mapped out some of the best things to do in London.  This includes seeing some of the most iconic sites that London has to offer.  

London is a really big city full of history, good food, and awesome attractions. When I went to London for the first time, we decided to use a London Sightseeing Pass. This pass has over 55 attractions that you could visit at no extra cost. There is a 1-5 day option to choose from.

Anyhow, while it is impossible to see everything in London in such a short amount of time, you can still see the Best of London. So don’t worry. If you follow this guide then this will be an incredible trip that is worthwhile.

So let’s jump right into it. Here are 10 Things to see and do in London in a day.

Have more time to explore England? Don’t forget to check out these posts.

This post contains affiliate links to the products that I use and recommend. If you click on any of the links and make a purchase, then I may earn a small commission. For more info, click my full disclosure.

Best things to see and do in London. I’ve been living in England for almost 3 years now and I’ve learned so many things about the area. So if you only have a short amount of time on your visit then this post is for you. I will guide you through 10 of the best things to see while in London. London Travel Guide. London Attractions. #travelguide #London #UK #thingstodo #iconicsites #tourist

Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Tour

Start your journey in London with a Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Tour. A great way to see all of the sites of London from the comfort of the bus. This is very helpful especially if it’s your first time visiting London. It will give you an overall insight into what London has to offer.  It stops at most of the iconic sites and landmarks that most people want to see.  You will get a feel of the city without having to walk through and navigate all of the hustle and bustle of the streets especially if you are short on time.

While on the bus, there would be a pre-recorded or live commentator that you can listen to which will give you the history of the landmarks and the city. You will know right away what buildings you are looking at and what parts of town you are in. Then, if you want to see one of the sites up close like the Tower of London, you can get off the bus, go and explore then come back to that same bus stop and hop back on and continue your journey.


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St. Paul’s Cathedral

London St. Paul's

If you are a history buff or religious person then you would love a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral. The magnificent sight of the dome towers over the city of London makes this an iconic site to see. The Cathedral is an intrinsic part of London’s history and is a famous landmark from all around the world. This is the cathedral of the Anglican bishop. It was first introduced between 1675-1710, now it has been built four times over due to the great fire, and reconstruction. Now it is known as the Old St. Paul’s.

While walking up, gaze at the beautiful gothic architecture from the outside. Then be amazed at the beautiful detail on the inside.  You can visit the Crypt, where people were buried in tombs which includes the architect Sir Christoper Wren. Visit the cathedral and the pews where they still have prayer and worship going on in the present day. 

There are options to go on a guided tour listening to the multi-media self-guided tour by through headphones as you explore.  Visit the Dome that stands 111 meters high. It is incredibly the 2nd largest dome in the world. Also, visit the many chapels and see how they worshipped.  You could spend a few hours here to really learn all of the essence and history of this magnificent cathedral. 

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace London

Visit the home to the Queen of England, Her Majesty Queen Elizebeth II, and the royal family.  During the summertime (9 July-19 Sep) explore and walk the many acres of the Queen’s gardens.  Then, if you fancy a bite to eat, you can have a picnic on the lawn with views of the Palace.  You must book a ticket to explore the gardens here.  Next, navigate through the Palace State Rooms and gaze in admiration at the cathedral ceilings and magnificent chandeliers.  Walk the halls and rooms of royalty! 

Additionally, explore the outside of the gorgeous palace gates made of wrought iron and trimmed in gold.  That is a must-see and picture-worthy for the gram’.  If you would like then show up early enough to witness the changing of the guards that usually occurs at 1100 AM on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday and every single day during the summer.

Palace of Westminister and Big Ben

London, Wetminister

Take in some extraordinary views of one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, Big Ben.  If you elect to do a Big Bus City Tour, you will pass by this famous tower clock, the Big Ben, and capture amazing views from the top of the double-decker bus.  Then you can hop off to take in more views of this iconic landmark.  The Palace of Westminister AKA The House of Parliament includes Towers of Parliament, Victoria Tower, and of course the Big Ben. 

Take a stroll along the Westminister bridge and walk below the bridge as well. This will give you even more spectacular views of the Palace of Westminister and Big Ben.  Unfortunately, right now the Big Ben is under reconstruction so you cannot take a tour inside or go up to Big Ben, but you can still get views from the outside of it.  

Nevertheless, you can still take an official tour of the rest of Westminister, that’ll include visiting the House of Commons, House of Lords, and Westminster Hall if you would like to learn more about its rich history and heritage.  

Multimedia Tour Bookings for visitors are available here. This tour is set up as a go at your own pace so make sure you allow at least 90 minutes to explore.

Westminster Abbey

Next, make a visit to Westminister Abbey, a UNESCO Wonder. This Neo-Gothic centric church was rebuilt in 1245 with Henry III gothic-style influence. However, there have been coronations taking place in this building since 1066.  I’ve never seen a coronation live before but I have seen the awe-inspiring ceremony reenacted on the infamous show The Crown on Netflix.  If you haven’t seen it yet, then you are missing out.  It is really good. 

Anyway, along with coronations, the cathedral has held several Royal weddings there including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William and Princess Catherine (Kate), Princess Ann, and many other generational royals. Plus, this church is where many funeral processions of the royals are held.

This church has been a staple of Britain’s heritage and it is still a place of worship today.  You will fall in love with the intricate details of this beloved building including beautiful stained glass windows and oil paintings.  Don’t miss visiting the Lady Chapel known to be “the wonder of the world”.  It is adorned with fan-vaulted ceilings and memorializes 15 Kings and Queens in their tombs and vaults. 

Ride the London Eye

London Eye

Do you love getting panoramic views of the city you visit?  Then you should take a ride on the London Eye.  It is a huge circular ride, similar to a Ferris wheel that takes you up in an enclosed dome-shaped pod. While riding the Pod you will get 360-degree views of London.  The glass pods go up 135 meters over the River Thames. You will see some iconic sites from above such as Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and many more.  The dome usually fits up to 25 people, but this number has been reduced due to new COVID guidelines.  

The glass capsule circles around and up really slowly and lasts approximately 30 minutes. This gives you enough time to take in the sites of London.  If you decide to ride the London Eye then you must purchase a ticket.  I would recommend getting a fast-track ticket instead for only a few dollars more. Why?  Because this is a very popular attraction and lines can be incredibly long, I mean looonngggg.  The fast-track tickets will save you a whole lotta time. Maybe even save you a few hours of waiting. So you still have to book your tickets in advance for a certain time slot. 

Make sure to arrive about 15 minutes early before your time slot.  Before you step on the Pod, they will take a picture of you in front of a green screen. So be ready as they want the line to move quickly. Oh, and while riding on the Eye, make sure to get in the right spot for the camera to take a picture of you.  Once you get off, you will walk through the gift shop to pick up any souvenirs you may like. This is including the pictures you took earlier. They will show you your pictures on a screen with the London Eye in the background.  It’s the perfect England souvenir to have.   

Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London is a Royal Palace, a fortress, and has also been used as a prison.  This makes this site one of the most visited places in the UK.  While there, go see the Crown Jewels of Queen Elizabeth II, kings and queens, and other members of the royal family.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance to see it because the queue was crazy long.  But I will definitely go again just to see the awe-inspiring crown jewels.  While exploring the palace grounds don’t forget to take in the spectacular views of the River Thames and the Tower Bridge. 

Walk Along the London Tower Bridge 

London Tower

Next, walk over to the Tower Bridge that’s located next to the Tower of London. Even though you can get amazing views of the bridge from the Tower, it’s nothing like seeing it from up close. The Tower Bridge is often one the most photographed bridges in Europe, probably even the world. So go ahead and take a nice long stroll along this famous bridge while crossing the Thames River. 

If you are brave enough, you can also climb up the towers. Then you will walk across a glass floor before exiting out the other tower.  It’s advised to book your ticket in advance to get your timeslot and enjoy this experience. But if you just want to admire the bridge or take pictures in front you can do that as well. 


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Stroll Through Covent Garden 

What can I say about Covent Garden? I feel like every time I go to London that I must stop by Covent Garden. Covent Garden is such an iconic place to visit in London and is hands down one of my favorite places to go. The essence of this place is just so welcoming and heart-warming. The hustle and bustle and the atmosphere are great. I love roaming the streets of Covent Garden, taking in all of the aesthetics and decor on the streets and storefronts. They are so many insta worthy places to stop and take a picture at. 

Covent Garden is lined with shops, restaurants, pubs, and eateries. So grab a bite for lunch or dinner. Then once you’re good and full-on savory eats, head on over to indulge in some of the Best Deserts Spots in London.

Next, go explore the Apple Market. It has booths of businesses selling authentic products such as hats, clothing, honey, wood-making products, food, so much more.  Pick up some unique souvenirs for family and friends.  

While in CG you might as well walk on over to Neal’s Yard.  This is a cute colorful street tucked away with beautiful bright-colored buildings and gorgeous decor everywhere.  If you were just walking along you may miss it so be sure you put this on your itinerary.  Neal’s Yard Remedies is a shop that you should step into to get you some good organic oils like Lavender and rose. 

There is so much to do just in this part of London the time will easily pass you by. But you will be thoroughly pleased with what you’ve seen and experienced. 

The View from The Shard

My first time going to London I visited one of the most popular landmarks at the Shard. This tall steel glass-looking skyscraper is so cool towering over the city.  The Shard opened in 2013 and stands tall at 310 meters or 1,016 feet high with 11,000 panels of glass surrounding it giving visitors 360-degree full-on viewings of the city. 

You can visit the Shard during the day, but we elected to get Panoramic views of the city at night.  We wanted to see the city lights from up above. To say it was amazing is an understatement. Take in spectacular views of the Tower Bridge lit up like a Christmas tree.  It is nice to see the city over River Thames lit up at night.  If you visit at Golden hour while the sun is setting, you can see the sky illuminate a goldish reddish color as the sun goes down on a nice clear day.  If you visit at that time, you would get the best of both worlds. A little daylight view then sees the city lit up in lights as the moon starts shining over the water.  It is truly a great way to see the city.

If you are feeling peckish (I’m so British now), then have a bite to eat at one of their restaurants.  If not then you can have a taste of one of their signature cocktails, mocktails, or MOET champagne. This is available for visitors to enjoy and sip on while taking in the views of London.

Have more time and want to take a day trip from London? Go lay out on the gorgeous beach in Brighton.  Feeling romantic, take a Weekend Getaway to Bath, or rent a car and take a Road Trip to Cornwall. Whatever you fancy, there are plenty of things to do around England.

Best things to see and do in London. I’ve been living in England for almost 3 years now and I’ve learned so many things about the area. So if you only have a short amount of time on your visit then this post is for you. I will guide you through 10 of the best things to see while in London. London Travel Guide. London Attractions. #travelguide #London #UK #thingstodo #iconicsites #tourist

Thanks for checking out my post. Please leave a comment below and let me know if this travel guide is helpful. I would love to hear about your trip to London.

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  1. […] London is said to be parallel to New York City. Why? Maybe because London is massive like New York. Hmmm. Or maybe because it’s a big melting pot of different cultures, such as of the British, Asian, Indian, African, French, and American cultures.  […]

  2. […] been on several Big Bus Tours like in London and Paris. I highly recommend becoming a partner with them. And just take a ride yourself so that […]

  3. Great Article and a Great Blog

    1. Thank you so much Christopher. I’m glad you enjoyed my blog.

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