When you only have one day in London, you are going to have to plan your trip carefully. London is a big place and there are so many amazing sites to see. While you won’t be able to see everything, you can visit a number of popular attractions with this London in a Day itinerary.
One Day in London: List of What to Do
Changing of the Guard at St James Palace
One of the top things to do in London is going to see the Changing of the Guard.
If you don’t have 2 hours to devote to seeing changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, I suggest that you go see it at St James Palace.
It is not only shorter, but it is also far less crowded.
The Changing of the Guard at St James Palace begins at about 10:20 and lasts for about 45 minutes.
Start the London Big Bus Tour
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is that if you need to see London in a day, you should book a Big Bus Tour.
A one-day ticket for the Big Bus London will allow you to see many sights in London without having to worry about transportation.
You can pick up the Big Bus London Red Line up after the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Green Park Station.
Get off at STOP 7 [Trafalgar Square}
One of the best parts about visiting London is the museums! Museums in London are FREE and they are pretty amazing.
While you won’t be able to do anything but touch the surface of the National Gallery due to your limited time, we have compiled a list of 10 works you should see while in the museum!
10 Paintings You Have to See in the National Gallery
- The Entombment (or Christ being carried to his Tomb) Michelangelo (Room 8)
- The Adoration of the Kings Jean Gossart (Room 14)
- Samson and Delilah Peter Paul Rubens (Room 18)
- Self Portrait at the Age of 34 Rembrandt (Room 22)
- The Supper at Emmaus Caravaggio (Room 31)
- Bathers at Asnières Georges Seurat (Room 43)
- Bathers at La Grenouillère Claude Monet (Room 44)
- An Allegory (‘Vision of a Knight’) Raphael (Room 61)
- The Madonna of the Pinks (‘La Madonna dei Garofani’) Raphael(Room 61)
- Sunflowers Vincent van Gogh (Currently being cleaned)
Get off at STOP 13 [Covent Garden]
Once belonging to the Pharaoh Thotmes III (1460 BC), Cleopatra’s Needle was given to England as a gift from Alexandria in 1878.
On each side of the obelisk are hieroglyphics and at the top of the obelisk, you can see a sphinx making offerings to the Gods of Heliopolis.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Get off at STOP 14 [St Paul’s Cathedral]
A trip to St Paul’s is a wonderful experience as you will get to enjoy the Cathedral, crypt, and three galleries (in the Dome). You will want to give yourself 1-2 hours here.
l experience that can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of religious affiliation.
Tower of London
Get off at STOP 16 [Tower of London]
Founded in 1066, the Tower of London has quite a history. Not only was it a castle and fortress, but it was also a prison and has some pretty amazing stories.
You can see the place where Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned, the Gates where Ann Boylan entered before facing her fate, the armor that Henry XVIII wore as well as the Crown Jewels.
To fully understand the historical importance of the tower, be sure to get the free Tower of London Beefeater Tour.
Get off at STOP 18 [Westminster Pier]
You probably remember seeing Westminster Abbey if you watched the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
This church is not just where the Royals marry, it is where they are crowned.
William the Conqueror began the tradition of being crowned in Westminster Abbey and every British sovereign since (with the exception of Edward V and Edward VIII) has done the same.
The interior of the abbey also has tombs of such remarkable Brits as Sir Isaac Newton, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Robert Browning.
You will want to give yourself plenty of time to explore the different tombs and memorials inside.
Get off at STOP 23 [Buckingham Palace]
The official residence of the His Majesty, King Charles, Buckingham Palace has been the home to the royal family since 1837.
One day in London will not give you enough time to tour Buckingham Palace, but you still should stop by to see it from the outside.
Have you been to London for the day? Is there anything you would change about this list?