Planning your first trip to London? But what if you have less than 48 hours to explore?
Here’s a quick guide of some of my favourite places to visit and experience the best of London in less than 48 hours. I’m also excited to share some hidden gems and some cute Instagram worthy spots in London!!
So Here we go….
Visit the Iconic Tourist Spots
The smartest option to spend your first day to get a quick and wholistic experience of this fast paced, crowded city is opting for the Hop on Hop off bus that quickly takes you for a day long tour around all of the iconic tourist attractions that includes the London Eye, Westminster’s Abbey, Buckingham Palace where you can watch the change of guards, the iconic Tower Bridge and many more..
You could even opt for a London pass and save some money if you are interested in going inside and exploring any of their museums and tourist buildings. If you love music and drama, you should definitely not miss watching a musical in one of their theatres; preferably the lion king musical! It might be a little too expensive, but if that’s what you are into.. it’s definitely going to be worth it.
The London eye moves way slower than you ever imagine and the queue that you may have to stand in to get in it, moves even slower than the London eye itself! So, we skipped that and took a lovely cruise on river Thames instead.It was a quite a serene experience to cruise across the length of the city with an interesting audio narration of the history and architecture of the classic English city!
Explore the local food market
Looking for a place to stop for lunch as you are exploring the city?! If you are a foodie and love to try out different cuisines as you travel across different countries, the one place you should definitely not miss is the Borough Market. At this local food market, You can grab almost anything from the tastiest grilled cheese sandwich, spicy hot dogs, Asian noodles and rice bowls, gelato ice creams, numerous varieties of cheese, homemade delicacies, crepes, fruits, sweet treats, London’s classic fish and chips to a vide variety of exotic pastries at a very very affordable price point. Bread ahead is one of the best places to visit in the market that serves freshly baked warm bread and some mouth watering sugar donuts.
This market isn’t open on Saturdays and Sundays, is busiest around noon time and closes at 5pm. So make sure you squeeze in a good 60mins in your day’s itinerary to explore this food heaven!
Don’t forget the classic London phone booth picture!
What’s unique about London is it’s signature red telephone booth that you are sure to find around the corner of every street. These vintage phone booths gives London an old English Charm. So be sure to click some Insta worthy pics of you at one of these red telephone booths that will definitely take you down memory lane when you look back at these clicks after years….
Take a stroll in a lush green park
Start your day two at a park…. London has numerous parks that connect one neighbourhood to the other and a few that are relatively famous among them are the Hyde park, St. James park, Kensington park and Regent Park.
You can literally grab a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and take a beautiful morning stroll along Kensington park and walk right into Hyde park that is adjacent to quite a few classic tourist attractions.
We also grabbed some sweet treats along the way and had a small picnic by ourselves at a park bench in the lush green Hyde park.
You can literally soak into how peaceful and serene it is to hear the birds chirp, to see the chimpmunks running around, the maple leaves fall, to smell some fresh lavender around and be surprised by some fresh berries that grow in nearby bushes. I just loved our time together at the park and wished we could stay there forever…
The best way that I love exploring a new city is to try and live life like localities there, so use the metro lines that connect neighbourhoods and spend hours soaking at a local park ..
Visit a cute cafe- What’s London if not for some coffee and cake?
London is known for the numerous cafes that serve the best cakes in the world!!!! When you’re walking through some of the posh streets of London like St Elizabeth street you will definitely come across some lovely cafes decorated with brightly coloured flower window displays. Now that’s what I call an Instagram worthy spot! You can find so many of these at London, but the two famous cafes that I highly recommend are the Elan Café and the Peggy Porschen Café. Both these cafes attract thousands of travel bloggers around the world for how unique and cute they are. If you follow some London based Instagrammers, you would have already seen a few of these really pretty cafes.
Peggy Porschen is the most photographed cafe in London and was featured in BBC for its summer floral display. I love how they change the theme of how the cafe looks for every season and occasion, giving it a completely new look every time you visit!
They serve the yummiest layer cakes, cutest cup cakes and the most sumptuous hot chocolate bowl.We had some Raspberry lemon rose layer cake, a tangy lemon meringue tarte and some hot chocolate ofcourse!
From there, you can head to covent garden and enjoy some street performers, do a little shopping and explore some hidden gems of colourful streets.
Night life in London at the Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is the perfect way to end your long day. It is a famous entertainment square at the heart of the city with a fountain in between an intersection of many roads. This is like the central hub for night life, music, shopping and fancy restaurants with huge billboards across tall buildings like in NYC. Piccadilly Circus is a central square from where you can just walk across and explore some happening places nearby like Soho, China town, Leicester square and Trafalgar Square. Our long day ended at a French restaurant Called Zedel in Soho and we spent our evening with the Tomy’s! It was quite an interesting evening with twists, turns and the unfolding of an unexpected experience that I can never forget for a lifetime. I’l save that story for later ;)…
Although there are many more exciting places and experiences that London is world famous for, this in my opinion is probably the best way to plan your first trip if you have less than 48 hours to experience the best of the city.
I always enjoy sharing my travel experiences and life updates with you all. If you guys have any other cool places as suggestions that are must visits in London, do leave your recommendations in the comments below. Until next time……