Welcome welcome welcome! In following post we will focus on making your life easier when in London. I have been there multiple times, and I need to admit, I love this vibrant city. In the first place I’d like to highlight that I am not sure if I’d like to live there as it is very busy, but going and visiting it from time to time is perfect. There are multiple occassions people travel to London: party, see their friends, study, work, celebrate and simply just see the sights. Let’s have a closer look into the last one.
London is a huge city, with multiple important places to tick off, of your Bucket List. Of course, if you really want to get a real feel of London, I suppose you’d need weeks or even months to do so. However if you happen to be a cabin crew (like me), who has 24 hours on layover, or you simply passing through London onto your next destination – I have prepared for you 1 day in London Tour guide.
So let’s get right into it!
🇬🇧 London is the largest city in United Kingdom – and there are almost 9 million people living there. To show you how vast this amount is – there are “only” 5.5 million people living in Scotland.
🇬🇧 Also, worth noting is, that soon there is going to be big celebration period for London! Exactly in 2047. London will celebrate then its 2000 years of being founded by Romans. 26 years from now on, note that date!
🇬🇧 When it comes to nationalities that live in London those are 5 most popular:
United Kingdom, India, Poland, Ireland, Nigeria and so on.
🇬🇧 Tourism wise, London is a very popular tourist destination, with 65 million visits per year, with tourists spending as much as $20 billion (in 2015).
🇬🇧 If you are following Sports World, you surely know that London has hosted Olympic Games 3 times: in 1908, 1948 and most recently in 2012.
🇬🇧 When being in London you simply have to experience the underground transportation. Waterloo is the busiest underground station with 95 million passengers per year.
Following 1 day in London Tour, is simply a suggestion of 10 places that you should see on the day. For you, I have figured out the best way and order to see the places, and offered you a choice of moving between them either by walk or underground (it is completely up to you which way you’d like to take!).
Following order is my best suggestion:
- The Shard
- Tower Bridge
- Tower of London
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Oxford Street
- Piccadilly Circus
- Trafalgar Square
- Buckingham Palace
- Big Ben
- London Eye
As this tour is quite flexible, you can also change the order and start in London Eye, going backwards – to Big Ben and Palace and so on. I thought Shard would be the best place to start to see the city from above and maybe experience sunrise? That of course is dependent on what time you’ll start your tour and in which season (Winter, Summer..).
For the sake of this suggested tour, let’s start from The Shard:
It is one of my favorite places London. Not so while ago. I have actually mentioned it in THIS post before. Shard is a popular tourist attraction, because of the view its offering from 72nd floor, where you can see panoramic views of London and areas up to 40 miles from there. Quite exciting!
- £20 flexible ticket – LINK (you can purchase it till the end of January 2021, but you can use it till the end of the year)
- I recommend getting fast track ticket to avoid queues
- 10 am – that is the first opening time
Next point on our 24 hours in London Tour is Tower Bridge. To get there from The Shard you can walk (11 minutes) or take underground (9 minutes).
This world well known bridge crosses River Thames. It was first opened in 1886. As the name suggests, this bridge has 2 towers that were built to withstand the weight of the suspended bridge. Interesting fact – to raise the bridge, only 5 minutes is required. Cost of building it back in XIX century would be worth in today’s money £153 million!
To get onto 3rd point of our “little” tour, you won’t need underground, as the Tower of London is just 5 minutes away by walk.
tower of london
Don’t confuse this name with a bridge! This historic place is a castle, right by the river. Built in as early as 1078. It is almost 1000 years old, how crazy is that?! Then, it was used as a prison from 1100 to 1950 (but not only) It’s been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.
There are Crown Jewels located in Tower of London and their value apparently exceeds £20 BILLION.
- £25 adult ticket
- If you want to see Crown Jewels, there is an additional queues to them, so add at least 20 minutes to your spending time there
Next point on our 24 hours in London Tour is St Paul’s Cathedral. It’s a point little bit further away so this time personally I would choose depending on the weather , sunny walk (23 minutes) or rainy – underground (15 minutes).
st. paul’s cathedral
One of the most impressive cathedrals in London. If you’ll attempt to see it through Millennium Bridge you won’t be disappointed as the view is the best! It looks magnificent (also it makes a good photo op if you are a blogger / vlogger). Cathedral was completed in 1710. It has been London’s highest building for more than 300 years till 1963. What kind of services took place there? For example:
*Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana
* 80th, 90th Birthday of Queen
*peace services ending I and II World War
*funerals of Churchill or Thatcher
Bit of useful information:
- £20 adult ticket for the entrance to the dome and building
- It is free to see on Sunday, but just for worship, NOT for sightseeing
From St Paul’s Cathedral you can go see Oxford Street, in this case I would use underground as it’s much faster than walking (10 min vs 43 min)
Most loved by shoppers and fashionistas major street in London. It has more than 300 shops. During Christmas time it is super decorated, with unbelievably beautiful decorations and installations. Oxford Street is almost 2 km long.
When you’re tired after exhausting shopping experience, then make your way to Piccadilly Circus, which is very close to the Oxford Street. Up to you, you can choose to walk (11 minutes) or go by underground (3 minutes). Depending how much time you’ve got left until the end of the tour.
Piccadilly Circus is a big road junction with huge advertising screens. Basically, in simple words it is UK’s version of Times Square in New York. I suppose 😀 It is a place where underground lines of Bakerloo and Piccadilly are meeting. Interesting information for yo, I have researched how much would it be to advertise on one of those screens and apparently the price is £4 million per year!
Next stop on our tour is Trafalgar Square. To get there from Piccadilly Circus take an underground (3 minutes) or have a short walk (7 minutes).
You simply gotta visit it the next time you are in London. It is a public square that is right outside The National Gallery (btw. you can enter and see some art for free). This public space has seen a lot of political and national gatherings starting from Bloody Sunday to New Year’s Eve celebrations. My favorite part of this square are those stunning fountains you can see from 1845.
Remember: it is illegal to feed pigeons there!
What would be a visit to London without seeing Buckingham Palace when having 24 hours in London? Let’s go! It is 16 minutes by walk (probably you can take underground as well, however it won’t be faster)
Home to the Royal Family. Landmark of London. Must see spot for every tourist that comes to UK. On a normal day (pre-pandemic) there were crowds all day just right outside the main gate, hoping to see even a glimpse of UK’s ruler. You can see this massive palace from July to September (as the Queen resides somewhere else during that time). I am saying massive, but that feels like an understatement! This place has 775 rooms, 78 bathrooms and 52 royal bedrooms. You can see it for £27 per person.
Continuing our 24 hours in London tour, from Buckingham Palace we will make our way to place you probably have heard of since the first time you’ve heard about UK. And yes, that’s the famous clock – Big Ben! It’s 17 minutes by walk or 13 minutes with the help of the underground.
Whenever you think of London – you surely picture this building in your mind, am I right? 🙂
Big Ben is the massive clock tower right by the river Thames and Westminster. It was built back in 1859. If you recently have traveled to London to see it, you might encountered some disappointment, as the building is ongoing some renovations from 2017 – 2021 (planned). This symbol of London has been officially renamed in 2012 after Queen Elizabeth – Elizabeth Tower.
From Big Ben and Westminster Bridge you will already be able to see famous London Eye, and that’s actually one of the best places to do a picture if you’d like! There is only a short walk from there – only 9 minutes.
London’s attraction just by the river Thames. It’s an observation wheel with great views of UK capital from the highest point. It’s been incredibly popular with tourists. When you visited it pre-pandemic queues were enormous (45 minutes at least), unless you bought a special pass (fast track). Attraction is being visited by 3 million visitors yearly. You can purchase tickets online, or by the side of London Eye, and cost of adult ticket is £27.
Thank you so much for reading this post, and I hope that this guide of 24 Hours in London Tour helped you organise your day in the best way possible!
Till the next time