5 days in London UK

This is the essential 5 days in London UK Travel Itinerary that covers the basics of things you need to see and do in London.

I’ve always dreamed of visiting London since I first saw that Lindsay Lohan movie ‘The Parent Trap’. It was my first recollection of hearing a British accent and I was sold into the British dream. Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, the Royal Family–these are just some things London is most known for. There’s so much to see and do in London!

By the way, Philippine passport holders need a UK visa to visit the United Kingdom. For more information, refer to my blog post on how to apply for a UK visa.

If you only have 5 days in London, read on the things to do for first time visitors.

Day 1: Hop-on Hop-off, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Piccadilly Circus

Take a Hop On Hop Off London bus tour to go around the city and enjoy the scenic view.

Spend the morning at the Tower of London, the heritage site of the famed Crowned Jewels. The historic castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. The Tower of London has served as a fortress, royal residence, prison cell, menagerie, treasury, and now a museum.
While in the Tower of London, don’t miss the Beefeater tour, the Yeoman Warders or standing guards in the Tower.

Other places you can see via Hop On Hop Off is the Shakespeare Globe Theatre, London Zoo, London Eye, Imperial War Museum, Madame Tussaud’s and Piccadilly Circus, depending on the 3 routes you choose.

Day 2: Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, Tate Modern, Natural History Museum

Save Day 2 for Museum Day! I love all kinds of museums–whether it be about art, history, science or weird, random things. Let’s be realistic though–one can’t visit all museums in one go. Choose 2 or 3 museums to cover towards your trip, depending on your interest.
First of all, start your day at Trafalgar Square. It’s the center of west end London and can get to anywhere from there.
If there was only one art museum you had to go to, I would suggest you to go to the National Gallery in Traflagar Square. The National Gallery is home to works of the masters such as Monet, Delacroix, Cezanne, Van Gogh and more. Best of all–it’s free!

If you’re more into postmodern art, you will enjoy Tate Modern. Tate Modern houses modern and contemporary art from 1900 to present.

The Natural History Museum houses scientific specimens and historical artifacts to wow museophiles. I was instantly sold when I was told there were dinosaurs! Admission is also free.

The British Museum is dedicated to art, historical artifacts and culture from Ancient Britain and other lost worlds.

Day 3: Road Trip to Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath

By the third day you’re probably already tired of the city, so why not take a road trip and see Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath. I would recommend getting a tour to see the three iconic attractions to save you time as the three are located in different places.
Windsor Castle is the oldest & largest inhabited castle in the world, the official residence of the Queen. It has been the family home of British royalty for almost 1,000 years.

Stonehenge is the most famous neolithic structure in the world, which sits literally in the middle of nowhere. Sure it is now just a ruin but the 5,000-year-old monument served as an important religious site back in the day. You can learn more about Stonehenge and the prehistoric people who built it in their visitor centre. You can read about my Stonehenge experience here.

After lunch, head to another world heritage site, Bath, Avon. Bath is an ancient Roman spa town with magnificent Georgian heritage and architecture. Bath is among Britain’s oldest tourist attractions and is the only place in Britain where you can bat in hot natural springs. It is 48km south of Stonehenge by the River Avon.
The Roman Baths is the most famous tourist attraction in Bath. You can’t bathe in the original Roman baths but can do so at Thermae Bath Spa, just a block over the ancient baths. They also offer massages, steam baths, and an outdoor pool.

Day 4: Buckingham Palace, House of Parliament, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, The Shard

In the morning, go to Buckingham Palace to witness the changing of the guards at 11:15AM (worth checking schedules). The Buckingham Palace was as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837. Today it serves as the sovereign administrative headquarters.

The House of Parliament is a 20-minute walk from the Buckingham Palace. House of Parliament or Palace of Westminster is the ‘heart of British politics’, the meeting place of the two houses of parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It was built in the Middle Ages. You can’t miss the quintessential Big Ben.

As you walk to the Tower Bridge, you can stop over HMS Belfast to learn more about WWII history. The former Royal Navy ship is permanently moored in the River Thames and now serves as a ship museum.

Of course, your London trip isn’t complete without seeing the recognizable Tower Bridge, which is truly the symbol of London.

The Shard is a 95-storey skyscraper and is currently the tallest building in London. It is a short 10-minute walk from the Tower Bridge. One of my favorite places in London to have a drink is Aqua Shard, which provides a striking 360-degree view of London. Whether you plan a romantic evening or just want a swanky nightcap, Aqua is worth seeing and spending on.

Day 5: Relax, Shop, Watch a Show

By the last day of your vacation, you’ll probably be busy packing up and preparing yourself to come back home to your normal lives. Keep your last day chill and simple. For me, I like to treat myself to shopping–every girl deserves some form of retail therapy.
Every Filipino’s trip is never complete without some pasalubong shopping. Spend the day shopping for gifts and souvenirs at some of London’s most famous shopping streets: Regent Street, Oxford Street and Carnaby Street, all located in the West end of London.

Regent Street is most famous for its Christmas illuminations. It is home to popular stores such as Hamley’s, Liberty, Hollister, Superdry and more. If you’re shopping for kids, Hamley’s is London’s most famous toy store. It is located right down Regent Street.

Harrod’s is probably the most famous store in the world, located in Brompton Road, Knightsbridge. It is a 5-acre site with 330 departments and 1 million square feet. Aside from the shopping, it is well worth visiting Harrod’s for its historical value–it is almost 200 years old.

In the evening, complete the London experience by watching a West end show. As a Disney baby, I decided to watch Lion King in Lyceum Theatre.

Other popular shows include The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and The Book of Mormon. If you’re feeling a bit braver, you can check out the avant-garde immersive theatre ‘Sleep No More’ or ‘The Drowned Man’ by Punchdrunk.

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15 thoughts on “5 days in London UK”

  1. This is great. All the people do some researching when they travel ad such posts are really handy. Help determine your days perfectly. When I went to bangkok a couple of days back I just couldn’t find one. I am saving this for my travel to London.

  2. travelerettenyc

    London is really a fabulous city! You have a lot of great suggestions. I think the Tower of London was my favorite attraction. But I also loved the amazing (and free!) museums. And I agree that anyone who goes to London must see a show! Now I can’t wait to go back!

  3. SofarsoSabine

    The famous hop on hop off bus. Lovely to see it in London too! Museums are always good and London has so many. The architecture and the city is just fabulous. Love the photos close to the bridge! Xo Sabine

  4. You are lucky to have fulfilled to visit one of your dream destinations. My dream is to visit south korea. 🙂 nice pics. Want to try to ride that bus. 🙂 if someone wants to go to london, this blog post is an easy to follow guide.

  5. I will go there someday! At least I know where to go. The badly want to see the stonehenge and the windsor castle. Thanks for the itinerary! You look good on your photos.

  6. Isn’t London just amazing ? You have shared such stunning photos , what a fantastic job ! I have got heaps of friends from England , lots from London as well . I would love to go for a long shopping weekend to London , if England only had nicer weather . But again , what an amazing post !!!

  7. For 5 days, you’ve done a lot, great job! I am particularly interested to visit the National History Museum (I like learning about the history of a place), and the Stonehenge of course, what a marvelous structure.

  8. These are probably the perfect places to visit whilst in London! I’ve done them many times and they never get old or boring! I would say the Natural History Museum is my favourite place to get lost for a day out and the fact it’s free is such a bonus although I would then spend a lot of money in the gift shop! Haha! Brilliant itinerary for anyone visiting London for the first time or even on a return visit!

  9. I love London! I’ve been there two times now. When I was in high school and this year. This year I mainly went to London to go to Walker Staker convention. But besides this convention, we visited so much more. London is an awesome city. I also visited the National Gallery. I enjoyed watching all the art. I haven’t visited Stonehenge yet. But I’d love to. And we did a lot of shopping and visited the Science Museum.

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