10 Days in London: How to Plan Your Itinerary in 2023

When you ask most travelers “where is your favorite place?” I have no problem when asked that question: my favorite place on earth is London. While it seems like a long trip, this itinerary covers how to spend 10 days in London. This list combines my list of must-see sights in London with some gems I’ve learned to love by being there – and shows how even 10 days in London isn’t nearly enough to see all the city has to offer.

I’ve traveled to London many times and spent a year living there, 2012-2013. I’ve taken the tours and seen the sights and walked the streets and drank the pints. I can’t believe it’s been an entire decade since I called London home, but my return trips have helped me keep up to date on what you need to know to plan your own London itinerary.

10 Days in London Hero

If you have fewer than 10 days in London – say you’ll only have 4 days or 5 days in London, or a week in London, just pick the days you most want to do and mix and match to create your own itinerary. You can also mix and match activities on each day; I’ve organized them by location or topic depending on the day… but there’s a lot of flexibility.

If you can’t tell, I don’t think you can go wrong no matter what you do while visiting London! Let’s dive in!

This post was originally published in January 2021, and was updated in January 2023.

10 Days in London: An Itinerary & Guide

If you just want the basics of my suggested 10-day London itinerary, here’s a really quick version of the highlights I recommend for each day in London.

1Arrival & Getting over Jet Lag
2Southbank, Houses of Parliament, Westminster, the London Eye
3Tate Modern, Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Monument
4St. Pancras, King’s Cross Station, Platform 9&¾, WB Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour
5Museum of London, Barbican Centre, British Museum
6Brighton Beach, Brighton Pier, The Lanes, Royal Pavillion
7Westminster Abbey, St. James’s Park, Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Wellington Arch, Hyde Park, Kensington Palace
8Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Bermondsey Street
9Greenwich, Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum, Prime Meridian & Royal Greenwich Observatory
10Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Jack the Ripper Tour, Departure

Okay, are you ready to dive into the meat of my 10-day London itinerary and guide? Here’s how to make the most of 10 days in London.

London has a powerful draw for many travelers at some point: maybe you want to go as your first trip overseas (like I did) or you’ve traveled the world and somehow missed London. Maybe you’ll love it (like I did) or maybe you’ll hate it. One thing I can say for certain is that there’s no city quite like London, and there’s no shortage of sights, experiences, and things to do in London.

This itinerary for 10 days in London puts together each day either by geography (activities close together) or by theme (Harry Potter, museums, royal sights). You can skip any day that doesn’t interest you, or mix and match however you see fit, but here’s how I suggest doing it.

Day 1: Arrival

Flying into London

If you’re arriving in London from North America, I recommend taking your arrival day easy. This depends on your flight times though.

Most flights from the U.S. and Canada arrive in the morning or midday, but you’ll be facing some serious jetlag. If you’re lucky enough to be able to sleep on planes and feel okay, you could put a few activities from Day 10 or my Day 6 alternatives today. Most flights to the U.S. and Canada leave in the afternoon, so this depends on whether you fly out on Day 10 (or Day 11). You can also check into your hotel, have your first (of many) pub dinners, and turn in at a reasonable hour to wake up full of energy for the rest of your trip.

If you do choose some sightseeing today, I recommend staying on your feet this first day. Head to one of London’s parks or hit up a museum. If you sit down, that jet lag will start to catch up!

Day 2: Explore the Southbank

This first day, we’re going to start off with some of the ‘greatest hits’ sights of London, because you flew all this way and want to see the good stuff, right?

Houses of Parliament

Parliament on a Cloudy Day
  • Nearest Tube: Westminster
  • Admission: Guided tours from £29 for adults, £24.50 for young adults, £13 for children
  • Website:

The Houses of Parliament (aka Westminster Hall) is stunning from the outside, so it’s entirely possible to spend quite a while admiring them from many angles.

The most famous part of the building is Big Ben in the Elizabethan Tower, but as of 2018 that part of the building is under renovation, so you might see a whole lotta scaffolding. I’ll update this section as soon as that work is complete, so for now, assume that the postcard-worthy snaps you’re planning to take might look more like a Lego building.

Some of my favorite spots for photos of the Houses of Parliament are right as you exit Westminster tube station, from Parliament Square Garden, and one of London’s most photographed red phone boxes on Great George Street (pictured above).

Depending on the timing of your trip and parliamentary sessions, you can also book a guided tour through the Commons Chamber and the Lords Chamber. Be sure to book this in advance to save a bit on admission and ensure you get the day/time you’re hoping to tour. When you’re finished snapping photos, cross Westminster Bridge on the west side of the road – and don’t forget to look back for more photo ops.

🎟 Suggested Tour: Guided Tour of Houses of Parliament & Westminster

The Best View in London

Once you cross Westminster Bridge, you’ll see a gift kiosk at the end of the bridge and a stairwell down to your right. Take that stairwell down to the river level and turn right again for my favorite view of Westminster:

This view isn’t particularly secret anymore, but as you’ll see, for most people it requires passing through a dodgy little tunnel to get there. It is also one of the first views I had of Westminster on my very first trip in 2011… I’ll never forget the magic of seeing that building in the morning sun. I’ve visited many times since and never tire of the view.

Once you’ve finished admiring this angle, head through the dodgy tunnel on your right. Yes, it’s safe, and it will put you out on the Southbank with a fantastic view of the London Eye and the crowds that always hang out there.

Exploring the Southbank

London’s Southbank is a very cool place, and it has developed a lot in the last decade with food stalls and trucks coming in to add some variety among the buskers and street performers, booksellers, and hordes of tourists. This was undoubtedly driven by the installation of the London Eye in 1998.

Today, you can spend a few hours wandering around on the Southbank. The majority of attractions are between Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge, though you can certainly explore further east along the river. Pass a few hours watching street artist performances, riding fair rides (there’s a section called Wonderground with some rides), and browsing the literary options at the permanent South Bank Book Fair.

You could also pay to visit the London Dungeon or London Aquarium if either of those sounds interesting; they’re also good family options, but I haven’t done either personally to recommend them.

There are a couple of galleries and theatres as well if that’s more your style, including the BFI and Odeon BFI IMAX for you movie buffs (I saw Jurassic Park there on IMA 🦖).

If you get hungry on the Southbank, there are tons of options from permanent installations to temporary food markets that pop-up for a day or weekend. Wahaca is a great option; their menu is proper Mexican tacos and margaritas – I’ve eaten at many Wahaca locations in London including this one. Otherwise, just find something that strikes your fancy.

London Eye

  • Nearest Tube: Waterloo
  • Admission: from £32.50 online (book in advance!)
  • Website:

One of the common questions I get about sightseeing in London is: “is the London Eye worth it?” And I always say, “yes, but only if you do it this way:”

The London Eye is a 30-minute ride that takes you one cycle around the 443-foot structure. This might not sound like much time, but it gives you plenty of opportunity to take in the 360-degree views afforded by your glass capsule.

While I used to have different advice for when to book your ticket, I’m adjusting my suggestion based on my experience riding the eye for a fourth time in 2022. The hours of operation are shorter than they used to be, so I recommend booking the last time available on the day you want to ride the Eye. Depending on the time of year you visit, this means you may get to enjoy seeing the sunset over London while on your ride.

🎟 Suggested Tour: The London Eye Entry Ticket

Day 3: Across Millennium Bridge

Harry Potter Walking Tours in London Hero

Today’s activities focus on the Millennium Bridge, made famous for two reasons (one of which is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and the other I explain below). Start on the south part of the river and work your way north across Millennium Bridge, then turn east toward the City of London for a few extra sights most people miss.

Tate Modern

  • Nearest Tube: London Bridge
  • Admission: Free except for special exhibits, which may have an additional fee

I’m not a huge museum person, but I generally love modern art museums because even when I don’t ‘get it,’ they’re still interesting. The Tate Modern is one of those museums, with galleries full of fascinating art I don’t quite understand.

As the Tate Modern has free admission, it’s a great option for those who love modern art, those who need to escape the London rain – or both!The Tate Modern also has a restaurant and cafe on-site, so you can enjoy a bite and rest your feet for the day ahead. I recommend taking lunch here (maybe opt for the tea service).

Millennium Bridge

Directly outside the Tate Modern facing the River Thames, you’ll see a beautiful metal bridge that’s pedestrian-only. Millennium Bridge originally opened in June 2000 but was closed almost immediately because it started to sway; it re-opened in 2002 after stabilization work and has been open since. It offers stunning views of the Tate Modern at one end and St. Paul’s Cathedral at the other.

If you walk across this bridge and up the pedestrian road, you’ll end at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral
  • Nearest Tube: St. Paul’s
  • Admission: £20.50 for adults, £9 for children
  • Website:

St. Paul’s Cathedral is my most favorite building in London, which is my most favorite city on earth. That sets a pretty high bar, eh?

I love St. Paul’s from the outside and inside, from every angle, by day and by night. It’s the kind of place you could easily spend a few hours walking around and admiring the architecture, plus touring the inside to appreciate the religious significance.

There’s an admission fee to enter the cathedral, which includes access to climb the dome. I highly recommend this if you’re able to ascend the 528 steps to the top, as it gives several stunning views of London along the way, and you’ll be able to see the dome up close.

If you have time, pop across the street to One New Change and ascend the elevator to the top floor. You’ll get another great view of St. Paul’s and London (pictured above) – and it’s free! (It’s one of the best free views in London, in fact.

🎟 Suggested Tour: St Paul’s Cathedral Entry Ticket

The Monument

  • Nearest Tube: Monument
  • Admission: £5.80 for adults, £2.90 for children
  • Website:

Once you’ve finished at St. Paul’s Cathedral, head east along Cannon Street (the main street in front of St. Paul’s) toward the City of London. After about 0.7 miles, you turn down Fish Hill Street and see the Monument to the Great Fire of London.

The Monument was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who also designed St. Paul’s Cathedral, to commemorate the Great Fire of London in 1666, which started about 200 feet from this monument and leveled most of the city.

You can pay a small fee to climb the 311 steps of the Monument. At the top, you’ll have good views of the City of London and London Bridge (though admittedly not as impressive as other viewpoints). I recommend it for a different perspective and a quick history lesson.

Day 4: Through Platform 9&¾

Normally by Day 4, I advise a rest day to keep you from getting too exhausted. Instead, I’ve got a bit of ‘out-of-town’ sightseeing for those who love Harry Potter as much as I do. You’ll get a break on the train ride each way to help make up for the lack of rest. (P.S. I have a ton of other Harry Potter things to do in London on my Harry Potter site, if you want even more!)

St. Pancras

St. Pancras
  • Nearest Tube: King’s Cross / St. Pancras

St. Pancras is one of the most beautiful buildings in London, and it’s worth spending a few minutes to admire its architecture. This building was foremost a train station (and now houses the Eurostar international train terminal among other regional trains) and the hotel was built in 1868. It is now a Grade I building and a five-star hotel.

The curving architecture and red stonework are what I love most about it, all history aside.

King’s Cross Station

  • Nearest Tube: King’s Cross / St. Pancras

Next door to St. Pancras is King’s Cross Station, which underwent a major renovation in the early 21st century and is now a futuristic companion to its historic neighbor.

This is a beautiful train station to walk through because the West Concourse’s iconic metal roof is a modern interpretation of the classic metal train station roofs – and looks quite similar to the British Museum too (Day 5).

King’s Cross is also home to Platform 9&¾, which is our real destination!

Platform 9&¾

Platform 934 in King's Cross Station
  • Nearest Tube: King’s Cross / St. Pancras
  • Admission: Free, but expect to queue

On my first trip to London, renovation in King’s Cross had relocated Platform 9&¾ outside the building… which is decidedly inaccurate for us Potterheads! Since renovations were completed, you can now see a real, live Platform 9&¾ near the barriers for Platforms 9 and 10 at the far end of the West Concourse.

You’ll definitely have to queue up for a picture since it’s a popular spot for families and Harry Potter fans. You can also squeeze in the tiny gift shop next door to blow your vacation budget on Potter memorabilia.

WB Harry Potter Leavesden Studio Tour

If you’re not sure what this activity is all about, you might just want to skip it. The Harry Potter studio tour in Leavesden is a bit of a pilgrimage spot for Harry Potter fans, and it’s a half-day tour at a minimum.

It’s not super easy to get there or cheap admission, but it’s worth it for die-hard fans. Be sure to purchase tickets in advance as they sell out weeks (sometimes months) in advance.

To get to the Leavesden Studio tour from Platform 9&¾ in King’s Cross station, you need to take the tube from King’s Cross to Euston Station (one stop on the Bakerloo line) and catch a direct train from Euston to Watford Junction (the nearest stop to Leavesden). This train takes about 20 minutes.

After that, you’ll need to catch the shuttle bus from Watford Junction station to the Leavesden studios. That’s another 15 minutes, so plan for it to take about 60 minutes each way from King’s Cross to Leavesden Studios and returning.

For the studio tour itself, I’ve put together a whole article about what you can see and do at the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden.

🎟 Suggested Tour: Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour

Day 5: In London’s Great Museums

I’ll be the first to admit: I’m not a huge museum person. In my time in London, it took me months to visit these three museums I’m recommending for a single day. Most people seem to love London’s museums though, so if you’re one of those people this is a great day!

I’ve included some of the ones I like here, but there are so many more: the Museum of Natural History, the V&A, the Churchill War Rooms… If these don’t sound interesting, a quick Google search will give you plenty of options.

Museum of London

Museum of London
Photo credit: Paul Hudson via Flickr
  • Nearest Tube: St. Pauls or Barbican
  • Admission: free, with guided tours on Saturdays at 11 am for £8.50
  • Website:

NOTE: The Museum of London is closed as of late 2022 and will not re-open until 2026 in a new location. I will update my post once we have more information on the timeline for re-opening.

The Museum of London is a fascinating round building in the City of London. Exhibits range from prehistoric and neolithic to present-day history and art, all focused on London, England, and the U.K.

One of the exhibits I love at the Museum of London is all about Roman history in the city; this ties in well if you want to explore parts of the London Wall Walk during your trip, which I recommend doing since the Museum of London is closed.

Barbican Centre

Across the street from the Museum of London is the Barbican Centre. The Barbican is a multi-use space filled with galleries, exhibits, and green spaces including ponds and bridges.

There are also remnants of the old city walls and tower from the City of London during Roman times. One whole floor of the Barbican is free (Level G). You can explore for quite a while even if the galleries and exhibits don’t hold your interest.

British Museum

British Museum Atrium
  • Nearest Tube: Holborn, Tottenham Court Road, or Russell Square
  • Admission: Free with suggested donation
  • Website:

The British Museum is a must-see, even if you aren’t a fan of museums: it holds many of the world’s significant artifacts. (Yes, many of these were acquired through the tools of imperialism and conquest and should be returned; for now, this is the place to see them.)

One of the most popular is the Rosetta Stone, which helped historians learn to translate ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. There’s also a fantastic exhibit on ancient Egypt and others about first nations tribes in the American and Africa. It’s definitely a place you could spend a whole day – if not more than one!

🎟 Suggested Tour: British Museum Guided Tour

Day 6: Day Trip to Brighton

You might think: wait… I’m in London. Why would I leave?

Turns out it’s great to get ‘London outta your lungs’ a bit, and the rest of England is wildly interesting. One of my favorite destinations outside London is Brighton, a quick ride from central London. This seaside town has been a getaway for Londoners for centuries and once you arrive you’ll see why. (If you want an even longer day trip or have a few extra days, planning a trip to visit Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is a great alternative.)

Catch a train to Brighton on the Thameslink, which has stops in Central London at King’s Cross, Farringdon, Barbican, Moorgate, Blackfriars and London Bridge (all convenient depending on where you’re staying). It’s about 45-60 minutes depending on which stop you embark at.

Brighton Beach

Once you arrive in Brighton, walk straight out of the station and downhill to the beach. Brighton Beach is a classic English rock beach, so don’t expect sand or surfing. It’s still nice to sit and watch kids playing in the waves and seagulls overhead. There’s a nice sidewalk along the beach where you can stroll, shop, or stop for a bite to eat.

Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier is the main attraction along the waterfront. The pier has food, attractions, and rides, and is about as picturesque as you can imagine.

You can spend an hour or two walking out on the pier, to ride the rides out on the end of the pier, or play fair games throughout the pier. Also, it’s nothing fancy, but the fish and chips are pretty good for lunch if you’re looking for a cheap and greasy option.

If you love rides, be sure to snag a wristband in advance to save 25% over buying one on the pier. It’s £22 for adults and £12 for children, to get unlimited rides.

The Lanes

If you love shopping or want a fancier food option, wander through The Lanes, a small neighborhood of pedestrian streets and alleys lined with boutiques and foodie hot spots.

On several of my trips to Brighton (including a few nights I stayed while cat-sitting for a long-time blogger friend), I enjoyed delicious tapas, vegetarian, and a couple London restaurants that have outposts here.

Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavillion

History and/or royalty buffs will want to make a stop at the Royal Pavilion, even if you choose to walk around rather than going in for the tour.

The Oriental-style Royal Pavilion was constructed in 1815 by George, who was at the time Prince of Wales and Prince Regent (and would eventually become King George IV). George had been advised of the health benefits from visiting Brighton and soaking in the brisk salty seawater, and by using Brighton as a getaway from London, George inspired Londoners to make the trek as well.

Banksy’s Kissing Coppers

Banksy Kissing Coppers

Banksy is arguably one of the most famous street artists in the world, and one of his most famous pieces is Kissing Coppers. Located on the side of a pub in Brighton, this is a quick visit on the way back to the train station. If you love street art, it’s a great spot to make before Day 10 in London’s East End.

Day 7: Live Like Royalty

Raise your hand if you remember Will & Kate’s first kiss. Did you wake up early to watch Harry & Meghan’s wedding in Windsor? (Okay, I didn’t do that because it was way too early but I know people who did!). Fans of the royal family will enjoy today’s itinerary because it focuses on some of the important sights and residences.

Note: This day includes a lot of walking. Be prepared, bring a water bottle, and wear good shoes!

Westminster Abbey

Start the day at Westminster Abbey, where most royal weddings take place. You can walk around this beautiful building (love me some Gothic architecture) or go inside to admire the stained glass. I’ll be honest: I’ve never shelled out the money to go inside, but I’ve enjoyed this building from the outside many times.

🎟 Suggested Tour: Westminster Abbey Entrance Ticket

St. James’s Park

St James Park

From Westminster Abbey, you can walk in St. James’s Park toward Buckingham Palace. The land that became St. James’s Park dates back to Henry VIII in the 16th century, and it was remodeled by George IV during his time as Prince Regent in the 19th century. It’s a nice walk with beautiful flowerbeds in the warm months.

Buckingham Palace

  • Nearest Tube: St. James’s Park
  • Admission: from £30 for adults, £19.50 for young adults, £16.50 for children
  • Website:

At the northwest corner of St. James’s Park is one of the most famous buildings in London: Buckingham Palace. Formally, it is the official residence and administrative center of the monarch of the United Kingdom; most of us think of it as the place “where the Queen lives.”

(Actually, she only lives in Buckingham when she and Prince Charles are in London. She also has residences in Windsor, Balmoral Castle in Scotland, and Sandringham House in Norfolk.)

You can admire Buckingham from the outside, or pay for admission to see some of the staterooms including the throne room, ballrooms, and drawing rooms when they are open to the public.

🎟 Suggested Tour: The Queen’s Gallery Entrance Ticket

Green Park

Green Park is another former royal garden now open to the public. The park was enclosed in the 16th century and landscaped in the 1820s; now it’s a great spot for a stroll or to catch some sun on a nice day in London.

You can walk through Green Park on the southern border along Constitution Hill to the next stop on this itinerary, or just make your own way through the park on other trails.

Wellington Arch

Wellington Arch

The Wellington Arch, in the northwest corner of Green Park where it meets Hyde Park, is a massive triumphal arch to commemorate Britain’s victory in the Napoleonic wars. You can climb the Wellington Arch for a view of the nearby parks.

Hyde Park

  • Nearest Tube: Hyde Park Corner & Knightsbridge on the south, Lancaster Gate & Queensway on the north
  • Website:

Ready for another insanely large park in London that’s perfect for a stroll? Hyde Park is one of the city’s best and biggest, at 140 hectares. There are absolutely tons to see in Hyde Park, including the Serpentine Lake, the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, Kensington Gardens, and the Albert Memorial. Oh, and Kensington Palace, which is the next stop on this itinerary!

Kensington Palace

4 Days in London - Kensington Palace
  • Nearest Tube: Queensway or Notting Hill Gate
  • Admission: £16 for adults, £8 for children
  • Website:

Kensington Palace is the other famous royal residence in London. The most famous residents are Prince William, Princess Kate, Princes Louis and George, and Princess Charlotte; Prince Harry and Meghan; the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent (cousin to the Queen); the Duke and Duchess of Kent (cousin to the Queen); and Princess Eugenie (the Queen’s granddaughter through Prince Andrew) and her husband Jack.

In short, it sounds like a royal clown car, but it’s actually a massive palace with plenty of room for everyone!

You can tour Kensington Palace as well, and there are often special galleries and exhibits highlighting the young royals who have lived in Kensington Palace.

🎟 Suggested Tour: Kensington Palace Sightseeing Entrance Tickets

Day 8: South of the River

While I’m a bit behind in saying this, the part of London south of the River Thames is a pretty cool place! Today, you’ll hit a few more top sights in London, then head south of the river to explore some of the cool things happening around here.

Tower of London

  • Nearest Tube: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway
  • Admission: £29.90 for adults, £14.90 for children
  • Website:

The Tower of London is another one of those you-only-need-to-do-it-once-but-you-gotta-do-it sights in London. The Tower of London dates back to 1066 and the Norman Conquest of England; it has been used as a castle, royal residence, and prison over the centuries. Some of the most famous prisoners include Anne Boleyn (second wife of Henry VIII), Sir Walter Raleigh (of the Virginia colony on Roanoke Island), and Guy Fawkes.

Today, you can visit the Tower of London to learn about the history of London, get a tour from one of the famous Beefeaters, or see the Crown Jewels on display.

🎟 Suggested Tour: Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge in London
  • Nearest Tube: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway
  • Admission: £11.40 for adults, £5.70 for children
  • Website:

From the Tower of London, you can’t get lost trying to find Tower Bridge. This iconic bridge was built between 1886 and 1894 during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Now you can walk across the bridge, or purchase admission to climb the two bridge towers and cross the span above street level. You can learn about the history of the tower and engineering feats that make it possible.

Bermondsey Street

  • Nearest Tube: London Bridge

Once you cross the bridge from north to south, it’s time to explore! My top suggestion is Bermondsey Street, which is a street of restaurants, galleries, and art studios.

TimeOut has great suggestions for what to do on Bermondsey Street, but here are some of my top ones: You can grab a coffee at Fuckoffee to keep your energy up, then pop into the Fashion & Textile Museum. For dinner, you could try the Village East or The Garrison Public House.

Bonus: if you’re interested in spending a bit more, consider taking in the sunset from View from the Shard. I’ve never been, but I’ve seen the pics on Insta and it looks pretty stunning!

Day 9: Go to Greenwich

Technically Greenwich is in London, so I don’t count this as another day trip in the same sense. (You only need one day trip on this itinerary, in my opinion.) Greenwich is an easy trip outside Central London and gives you some space to breathe and a bit different chapter of London’s history.

You will need to take the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) to reach Greenwich, but it’s in zone 2 so well within the standard Tube fares.

Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark
  • Nearest Tube: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich (DLR)
  • Admission: £16 for adults, £8 for children
  • Website:

The first sight to stop by once you leave the DLR at the Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich station is the Cutty Sark. This clipper ship is now permanently dry-docked in Greenwich and is now a museum where you can learn about Britain’s maritime heritage. If you’re not up for the museum, you can walk around the whole ship and admire it from the outside.

🎟 Suggested Tour: Entrance Ticket to the Cutty Sark

National Maritime Museum

  • Nearest Tube: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich (DLR)
  • Admission: free

I went into the National Maritime Museum for the first time on my most recent trip, and I was pleasantly surprised – especially as I’m not a huge maritime history buff, so most of it isn’t intrinsically motivating for me. However, the Maritime History Museum like so many in London is free, and you can wander through the galleries to learn even more about Britain’s naval history than you do at the Cutty Sark.

The design and feats of engineering are interesting for everyone, and they have some good exhibits for kids interested in the subject too.

Prime Meridian & Royal Greenwich Observatory

  • Nearest Tube: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich (DLR)
  • Admission: £16 for adults, £8 for children
  • Website:

The Prime Meridian and Royal Greenwich Observatory are the main attraction that draws people to Greenwich. After all, Greenwich Mean Time is based on the Meridian here, and all coordinates are too! To see the Prime Meridian and museums, you’ll need to pay admission; you can see a small portion of the Meridian for free on an outside stone wall just ‘down the hill’ from the entrance.

The Royal Greenwich Observatories are open and free, and if you’re interested in all of the astronomy experiences here, I’m putting together a guide on my other site that I’ll link here as soon as it’s public.

🎟 Suggested Tour: Royal Observatory Greenwich Entrance Ticket

Day 10: End in the East (End)

Street Art Tours Hero

For your last day in London, we’re going to hit up my old stomping ground: London’s East End. (I lived in East London from 2012-2013). While there are definitely still dodgy parts of this area, in the past decade it has developed significantly and is growing beyond its rough past and reputation.


  • Nearest Tube: Old Street or Shoreditch High Street (Overground)

Shoreditch is a neighborhood in East London that can probably be credited with the hipster-ization of the East End. It was the first truly ‘cool’ neighborhood in East London, with foodie hotspots and street art and plenty of cool things to do after nightfall (I enjoyed many nights out here while living in London).

You can just walk around, window shop, and pop into any restaurant or bar that catches your fancy here – it’s hard to go wrong. Also keep an eye out for street art, which can be spotted all over. (There are also some great street art walking tours in this area).

Brick Lane Street Art

  • Nearest Tube: Shoreditch High Street (Overground) in the north or Aldgate East in the south

If you’re really looking for Street Art, Brick Lane is the place to go. This street runs south through the Whitechapel neighborhood and is lined with cool art and Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Indian restaurants.

It’s pretty common to see work by globally-renowned street artists; at different times there have been Banksy’s here, and my favorite artist Dal East has done work here too. There are free walking tours if you want a guide.

Jack the Ripper Walking Tour

  • Nearest Tube: Tower Hill, Aldgate East
  • Admission: varies

Last chance for some history before you head home! You can do a self-guided Jack the Ripper walking tour (I grabbed a cheap guide while visiting the Sherlock Holmes museum at 221B Baker Street, mentioned below), or you can go with a guide.

I highly recommend the Feminist Jack the Ripper Walking Tour from Look Up London – in this tour they share the true facts about the women of the Jack the Ripper case. Here’s my full list of the best Jack the Ripper Tours in London.

Alternatives for Day 6 (If You Don’t Want to Leave London)

I wrote this itinerary based on my own favorite sights all over London, and then I realized it still has some major omissions. There’s not much room to squeeze more into the 10 days in London than I already have (unless you want your vacation to be more work than work!), but you could choose not to go to Brighton on Day 6 and do more sightseeing in London if you choose.

If that’s your preference, here are some of the other sights you might consider:

Regent’s Park

Regent's Park
Photo credit: Andrew H via Flickr
  • Nearest Tube: Regent’s Park or Baker Street
  • Admission: Free

Regent’s Park is one of the largest parks in London and was historically one of the royal hunting grounds around the capital city (hence its name). This massive 197-hectare green space is located in the northwest part of London and is crisscrossed by walking paths. It’s a great way to spend part of the day with a coffee in hand strolling among the greenery.

London Zoo

  • Nearest Tube: Camden Town or Mornington Crescent
  • Admission: from £26.50 for adults, £17.25 for children
  • Website:

The London Zoo is located within Regent’s Park at the northeast corner. You might spend part of your day in Regent’s Park at the zoo, which is home to penguins, lions, tigers, giraffes and more. Or, if you’re a true Harry Potter nerd, you’ll make a stop at the reptile house.

🎟 Suggested Tour: London Zoo Entry Ticket

Baker Street

Sherlock Holmes fans will consider this a must-see – whether you love the original texts or the modern interpretations. 221B Baker Street is now a museum to commemorate London’s most famous detective and a gift shop for those who love a good souvenir. If you want to visit the museum, be prepared to queue up on the sidewalk; you don’t have to pay to access the gift shop.

Theatre in London’s West End

  • Nearest Tube: Many theatres are near Picadilly Circus and Covent Garden
  • Admission: Depends on the show and showtime.

If you love live theatre, it’s possible to spend every night of your 10 days in London at a show. From famous theatres like The Old Vic, Sadler’s Wells, the Barbican, the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Victoria Palace, the Shaftsbury, the Adelphi, the Lyric, or any of many more… you can see you have a choice for basically any show in any genre you might want to enjoy.

Personally, I haven’t attended many shows in London, but I did see a few fantastic ones (like The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre). However, I do know you can grab last-minute deals on tickets (think: day-of) on for some shows. Availability and prices depend on the show you want to see.

Thames River Cruise

I almost forgot this one! This is a super-popular activity in London, though it’s one that you typically do once or twice and then don’t feel the need to experience again (hence my forgetting). There are a couple ways to do a Thames River Cruise.

You can either book one directly or hop on as part of the London Pass I recommended above. Those are pretty standard tourist options and are a great way to get oriented to the River Thames and all the famous buildings and bridges.

You could also book a more adrenaline-inducing ThamesJet ride. I did this on a recent trip and it was a fun alternative to the standard slow-moving Thames cruises. You’ll pass all of the same sights, then head further out toward Canary Wharf to do some speedboat stunts on the river. It’s a good amount of fun for an hour-long excursion.

Lastly, you could use your Oyster card and hop on one of the Thames ferries that take people from one end of the river to the other. A common route would be from Westminster Pier (near Westminster tube station) to Tower Pier (near the Tower of London). Be sure to check timetables and fares to make sure you have enough on your Oyster card.

Here’s a breakdown of the best Thames river cruises. If you really want to do a Thames cruise, I could see squeezing this into Day 2 or Day 8.

London Markets

Another how-did-I-forget-this moment: I didn’t add any of London’s famous markets to the itinerary. Each of London’s markets has a distinct vibe and they’re all worth experiencing once.

If you want to prioritize this, I recommend starting your day at the market on any day you choose to visit them. Additionally, some of these markets are only open on certain days, so plan ahead for any that catch your eye.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Borough Market – The foodie’s market. Located near London Bridge station, this one is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or some grocery shopping. Could potentially be added at the beginning of Day 8, but it doesn’t quite make sense from a transit standpoint.
  • Spitalfields Market – The vintage & crafts market. Located in the East End, you could easily tack a stop at Spitalfields onto Day 10.
  • Petticoat Lane – The affordable fashion market. Street vendors sell clothing and fashion items from stalls. Another one in the East End, so a good option for Day 10 too.
  • Camden Market – The alt/art market. Camden is bursting with the unusual and unexpected, and the famous market here is no different. Great for the goths, punks, and weirdos (in the nicest way possible). Located in North London, you’d need to plan ahead to visit this one.
  • Portobello Road – The Instagrammer’s market. This market in West London is one of the oldest in London and is full of antiques, crafts, food, and flowers.

I have an entire list of 25 of the best London markets if you want to see all of the markets I recommend and choose a few to add to your own itinerary.

This barely scratches the surface of London Markets, but Visit London has a great resource to help you if you want to learn more about each and add a few to your 10 days in London.

Where to Stay in London for 10 Days

A lot of people will advise you to stay in Central London on your first trip… Normally I advise against that, but if you have ten days in London, you don’t want to spend them all on the Tube getting to and from your hotel! If you have your heart set on staying in Central London, look at neighborhoods like Hoxton or Clerkenwell. These neighborhoods are away from the crowds but within walking distance of attractions like Covent Garden, the West End, and the British Museum, which you can squeeze into this itinerary.

Otherwise, if you need to save or are open to staying in another part of town, look at:

  • West London, like KensingtonChelsea, or even Brompton, is still the poshest part of town. It’s a bit more spendy but has a more residential vibe.
  • North London, or should I say near-North London like Angel or King’s Cross, is in close proximity to Central London but often quieter and a bit cheaper.
  • East London, including Brick LaneShoreditch, and Aldgate East, is the place to be especially if you love nightlife, street food, and street art.
  • South London, like Bankside or Bermondsey, is a lesser-visited part of the city, but still has an urban feel and great public transit access (mostly bus).

Need more advice on where to stay in London? Take my quiz for a specific neighborhood suggestion:

Other London Itineraries to Consider

Do you actually have more or less time to spend in London? Here are other London itineraries I’ve written to help you plan:

“But what about Picadilly Circus? Trafalgar Square? The Shard? The Skygarden? Exploring the City of London or Canary Wharf? I NEED TO HAVE HIGH TEA.”

Can you see why it’s basically impossible to narrow it down? London is a city with endless options, and the surrounding countryside has even more. I’ve tried to include all of my favorites and only those experiences I love in London (and nothing I’ve never done myself). In the end, it’s impossible to do it all, so you’ll just need to plan another trip back. I always am.

As Samuel Johnson said, When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.

Personally, I have not yet become tired of London, have not completed my own London bucket list, and hope that never happens. If you have any questions about spending 10 days in London, let me know in the comments or ask it in my London Travel Tips Facebook group!

Avatar photo

Valerie fell in love with London on her first trip to the city way back in 2011. Since then, she spent a year living in London and visits as often as she can (you can find her recent trip recaps here!). She launched LOMM in 2021 to help other travelers fall in love with her favorite city on earth.


  • Joanie

    You nailed London Valerie, I love all the spots and advice you give. I have been to London several times and seen and done most of what’s on your list. I would definitely add one thing: a musical. London is the place where musicals are in numbers and absolutely great quality. The West End is like Broadway in New York and I think it’s worth mentioning, I usually advise to see one when someone goes to London for the first time. But of course, in Switzerland we don’t have a place where to see musicals like there are in London or other big “entertainment” cities.

    • Avatar photo


      Thanks for your comment, Joanie! This is a GREAT tip. I always forget that I saw a musical while living in London, and that so many people travel to London to see them.

  • CArla

    Wow a great play by play! That certainly gives us a great perspective and more understanding of London. My daughter and I are traveling to London September 2019, first time there. Thank you for confirming things that we had already planned to do, but our biggest dilemma right now is what area to stay in? We have yet to book anything, but will probably book an AirBnB or a rental apt. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We’d like to be within close proximity to transportation, mid range cost, within walking distance to some attractions. MAin focus to see all the attractions, not huge museum people, will also like to take a couple day trips. Harry Potter Studios, Stonehenge, Windsor, Dover, Oxford and Cambridge.

    • Avatar photo


      Thanks for your comment, Carla! I’d recommend looking in the Tower Bridge, Aldgate East, Wapping, Shadwell, or even Whitechapel areas. East London is a good spot to save a bit, be close to transport and still have easy access to the major attractions in the city. Feel free to email me if you want some personal suggestions on Airbnbs that I like:

  • Anthony Rainieri

    Hi Valerie,

    Thanks for the quick response via email. I’ve tried to respond to you however I keep getting a returned to sender email with a fatal error. Any suggestions?



  • Mindy Jollie

    Thank you for that great tip on how to get a better view of Westminster. My best friend and I want to plan another trip to visit London. We want to do all the things we didn’t do last time, and really immerse ourselves in the culture and cuisine more. I can’t wait to go again!

  • Phebe

    Hi Valerie! Thank you for an in depth itinerary suggestion. I’m going to London this summer, my first time in Europe too! All the information you have given helps a lot in my planning. Will be doing a bit of side trips too in addition to what you’ve suggested. I’m looking forward to what UK has to offer! All the best!

  • Victoria

    Hi Valery! I’m wondering how many hours a day did you spend visiting all this places.
    Thanks for this itinerary! I’m planning a london trip and i really want to visit SO MANY PLACES, so this makes it a fact that i actually need more than 15 days.

    • Avatar photo


      Hi, great question! When I’m in London, I’m probably out 12-16 hours a day! They’re long days but definitely worth it to try and see it all!

  • Seah

    Hi, may I know about how much did you spend overall, and if you’re comfortable, to break down your expenses? I am curious and budgeting for an upcoming trip in 2023 🙂 thank you! I love the itinerary and would very much love to do the same if I can (:

  • Christine Houldsworth

    Hi Valerie, I love all that you put together for us newbies to London! I am trying to find a place on vrbo for my 21-year old daughter and I to stay in May 2023. However, I am concerned about safety. Can you highlight some areas to be wary of in our search. I know sometimes one block can make a big difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *