The thing I enjoy most about travel blogging is helping people plan trips. Whether its through my blog posts or via my travel planning services, I love helping my readers have a richer experience in London or abroad. And because one of the most common questions new visitors ask is how to spend 1 day in London, today I bring you A Lady in London’s itinerary for 24 hours in the UK capital.

1 Day in London Itinerary

1 Day in London

Spending a day in London is a good way to get an overview and make a to-do list for a longer visit in the future. London is huge, so focusing on the city center makes a short visit manageable. While there’s no right or wrong way to spend 24 hours here, this is my ideal itinerary for a day on your first trip.

Notting Hill

Morning in London

My Instagram followers know that I love starting a morning in London with good coffee and food. Whether I head to one of my favorite coffee shops in London or one of my preferred places for breakfast, I can’t go wrong.

Rose Latte

Caffeinated and fueled, I’m ready to start exploring. And there’s no better place to do it than Westminster. Buckingham Palace is the heart of the city, Westminster Abbey is lovely to behold, and Big Ben is a must on any itinerary for 1 day in London.

Big Ben, London

From Westminster, I like crossing the Thames to the South Bank. It’s the perfect place to soak up the views from the London Eye or just wander through the book market or along the river.

South Bank, London

From there, it’s a great walk to Tate Modern and Borough Market, two more of the city’s most beloved landmarks. The museum is an amazing place to visit, and the fact that it’s free means it’s easy to pop in for as long or little as I want. There are stunning views from the new addition, too.

Southwark, London

When it’s open, Borough Market is the ideal place to find foodie inspiration and grab something delicious for lunch. I love wandering around soaking up the colors and scents of the stalls.

Borough Market, London

Afternoon in London

For a bit of history I cross London Bridge into the City, admiring the views of Tower Bridge on the way. From the graceful dome of St Paul’s Cathedral to the little lanes around Bank station, this London neighborhood always awes me with its abundance of architectural styles. Where else can I find sleek skyscrapers next to an actual Roman wall?

Paternoster Square, London

From the City it’s into the Underground for a ride on the Central line to Notting Hill. The neighborhood is brimming with color, and everywhere from Portobello Market to the mews is delightful.

Notting Hill, London

Evening in London

As night approaches, I hop back on the tube to explore Soho and Covent Garden. There are plenty of places to eat and drink around here, and Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus are always exciting in the evening.

Piccadilly Circus, London

If I want to end my day in style, it’s off to South Kensington for the nightlife around Walton Street. But with all the ground I’ve covered, bed might be the best way to end my day in London.

If you want additional inspiration, there’s a lot more about things to do in the city in Lonely Planet London. You can get it here.

What about you? How would you spend 1 day in London?

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1 Day in London Itinerary

26 Comments on Lady’s 1 Day in London Itinerary

  1. I’ve never seen a 1 day in London itinerary before. Most people would say it is impossible. However, I love the way you made a doable, enjoyable, taste of London day. Central London is actually quite condensed, so if you focus on walking around the attractions near the Westminster Abbey and Parliament area, you can see a lot of what is typically associated with London in just a few short hours!

  2. I always find myself back at Camden Market when I’m in London. I love all the colour and variety. London is so overwhelming for just one day. That’s a great snapshot of the city in 24 hrs.

  3. It has never even occurred to me trying to sum up the best highlights for a first visit with just one day but I think this list is absolutely perfect Julie! It definitely covers all the “must see” things for people on a limited time and I was far too curious about the gorgeous rose coffee to not have a snoop of the coffee shop round up post – I’ll be heading over to the Notting Hill area to try that rose latte soon that’s for sure πŸ™‚

  4. Great post! I live in London and my best friend is coming to visit me soon with her boyfriend who has never visited the city before! I’ve been trying to think what would be the best things to show him to make sure he a) falls in love with London and b) due to that wants to move here and I get my friend back in my life full time πŸ˜› I’ll definitely take the tips in this post into consideration. πŸ™‚

    Laura

  5. I would add to this that the person should hop on a bus to either go somewhere or just to ride! It’s a fun way to see some things and little easier on your feet. πŸ™‚

  6. My Husband and I are visiting London for four days. We have never been before and have nothing planned. Would you recommend doing all of this in one day or breaking it up?

  7. I LOVE your site. Congratulations on being so awesome! Not only did I spend my Junior Year at UCL (in Bloomsbery) and fell in LOVE with London and travel but I now write a expat blog about Belize. And your site has given me some great ideas. Starting with this awesome post that makes me want to visit London again so badly! Thanks so much.

  8. Going to UK next week. We want to stay one night in London before heading out to Ipswich for a work trip. Where do you recommend staying if we want to try this one day itinerary, spend the night and then take the train to Ipswich?

  9. I always end up gazing at Waterloo Place up towards lower regents street. The buildings are stunning and grand. I love Kensington also…

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