London is big and varied and you could spend a lifetime exploring it. Most of us don't have that much time and so you often need to pick and chose and make the most out of the time you have here. See below for some itineraries dependent on the time you have as well as some based on what type of experience you're looking for. Self guided is definitely the best way!
For a whirlwind walking tour:
- In the morning head to Westminster Station to land in the heart of Westminster and see the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey
- From here walk to down Birdcage Walk to Buckingham Palace past St James Park
- Then walk down The Mall to Trafalgar Square to see Nelson's Column. If you have time you could pop into the National Gallery or National Portrait Gallery. They are free and so popping in is possible
- From Trafalgar Square walk up The Strand past the Savoy Hotel to the end of Waterloo Bridge
- Walk across Waterloo Bridge for one of the free views in London
- On the other side you'll end up on the Southbank - stop here for lunch and drinks. On weekends their is a great food market next to the BFI
- After soaking up the Southbank vibes head back over the bridge and up though Covent Garden
- Depending on how speedy you've been and how early you got up, you could continue walking up to The British Museum. You wouldn't be able to spend much time here and it is enormous but you could, again, pop in to see any of the 'must sees'
- From here walk down towards Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. You can then either stop and see a West End Show, visit Chinatown for some Dim Sum or go for a night out in Soho. Or all three!