London is a city that spans over 1500 square miles, quite the distance to try and travel in one day! That being said, most of the most iconic city sites can be found within the centre of the city and the borough of Westminster. This makes a one day stop off in the city that little bit easier to digest, and gives you a whole host of easy-to-find city sights to explore.
Whether you’re visiting with family or have a day stop off during a work trip, getting a 24-hour glimpse of the city will put you in good stead for the next time you visit.
Here are a few tips to make the most of a day trip to the city, you’ll be surprised at how much you can see in just a day!
Book a central hotel
One of the best ways to utilise your time in the city is by booking an overnight stay at a centrally located hotel like the Barbican Rooms in East London. With event spaces such as the Barbican and the winding lanes of Shoreditch nearby, you’ll also have quick access to public transport, zipping you into the city centre in under 15 minutes.
Utilise London’s public transport
What a perfect Segway into our section on using of public transport during your stay!
Whilst buses are great to use during off-peak hours, especially with their cheaper-than-tube prices, the city centre can get very congested during peak times. That being said, it’s best to keep to the tube system.
If you’re planning on using public transport a lot during the day, then it might be worth investing in a day travel card, giving you 24-hour access to tubes and buses.
But walk the city centre
If you’re keeping fairly central, it’s wise (if you’re able, anyway) to travel by foot. Not only will this save you money in the roughly two-mile radius of the city centre, but will also help you get a sense of the city’s unique atmosphere.
When travelling London streets, it truly is the journey, not the destination that you’ll remember.
Walking the city centre
A day trip route to the city can be hard to plan, but if you keep central and stick to the river, you can tick off many of the London must-sees in one go.
Start off at Westminster, which is served by the Circle, District and Jubilee lines to get a glimpse of British Parliament, Westminster Abbey and the iconic Big Ben. As it is located on the banks of the River Thames, cross Westminster Bridge and walk along towards the South Bank.
The South Bank is the central hub of Thameside London. Here you’ll find entertainment venues such as the British Film Institute and National Theatre, alongside the Southbank Centre and London Eye. If you have time, pop into the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall and explore the wide range of art installations inside.
Walking along the Southbank, you’ll pass the imposing Tate Modern and keep heading along past the historic Globe Theatre and the legendary privateer ship, the Golden Hinde.
Head for a bite to eat at Borough Market, which is located just behind London Bridge Station. Here you’ll find a bustling market full of international cuisine, the perfect spot for riverside refreshments and vivid examples of London’s age old market culture.
If you get a chance or you’re not too exhausted, head to Oxford and Piccadilly Circus to see the neon-lit hustle and bustle of London’s West End. For show-stopping entertainment in the evening, Soho plays host to a wide range of theatres and comedy venues.