The Perfect 5 Day London Itinerary (UPDATED 2019)

travel-guide-5-days-in-london

For everyone planning to travel to London, whether it’s your first time in London or your fifth, please know that I am envious already and hope you have the best adventure.  I know London isn’t always for everyone, but to me, it has always been everything. That’s why I create the complete 5-day London itinerary so that you could fall in love with the city as much.

This is a rough 5-day guide to seeing the city as efficiently as possible. You don’t need to follow this London exactly, you can do the days in any order, cut days out or just add this on to an existing itinerary.  So, without further ado, here is how I would spend my 5 Days In London.

Let’s first start off with:

Where to Stay in London

 

Best Hotels in London in 2019

Currently, my favourite place to book hotels is Agoda, its consistently been the cheapest place that I have found hotels and my favourite site to use. I’ll usually look here first (in a private browser) and if I’m feeling paranoid that it’s cheaper elsewhere ill just use Google Hotels or Kayak to double-check rates to make sure I’m getting the best price. Some of the most standout hotel’s I found were:

  1. La Suite West in Hyde Park
  2. The Laslett in Notting Hill
  3. The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences in Mayfair
  4. The Curtain in Shoreditch
  5. Me London in Soho

Best AirBnb’s in London in 2019

I’m not going to play pretend here, personally, when it’s just to the two of us, I prefer staying in hotels but I if I were travelling in a larger group or needed a kitchen, Airbnb is where it’s at.

Airbnb’s in London (and in general) are hard to “recommend” since there is only of it’s kind so once it’s gone it’s gone. But I thought it still might be worthwhile to show you what my top London Airbnb’s for 2019.

  1. The Stylish 1 bedroom in Covent Garden with terrace, Covent Gardens
  2. A Studio Across from Regent’s Park, near Baker St Station
  3. A South Kensington & Chelsea Studio Apartment near Chelsea
  4. The Notting Hill Garden Flat at the top of Portobello Road, Near Ladbroke Grove Station
  5. An Urban Chic Home, near Borough Market

Best Things to Do in London in 2019

Day 1: Notting Hill & Kensington Garden

  • Portobello Road Market:  Get here early, cause this place gets bumping. It’s one of the most iconic markets in the most iconic London neighbourhood.
  • Notting Hill:  Just walk around the neighbourhood, be ready to take some Instagrams because this is where the colourful house live.
  • Kensington Gardens: Opt-out of taking the tube and walk to Kensington Gardens instead. It’s only a 30 mins walk from Portobello Market, so grab a coffee and be on your way.
  • Natural History Museum: Go and see the natural history of things.

Day 2: All The Pretty Things

  • Victoria & Albert Museum: This was my favourite museum because each section of the museum immerses you into a different part of history, it was spectacular. Sidenote, grab your morning coffee at this cafe, its super cute.
  • Buckingham Palace: To be honest, I wouldn’t go to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, it’s way too crowded and depending there you choose to stand, you might get stuck watching the whole thing. But the Palace grounds itself is a sight to be seen.
  • National Art Gallery
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Carnaby Street: After you are done at the Square make your way to Carnaby Street and window shop. Don’t forget to visit Liberty!

Day 3: Harry Potter and Some History

  • Platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross Station
  • Camden Market
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe and Tate Modern: this is all one bullet point because its all really close together so you might as well see it all!
  • Big Ben (currently under construction) and Westminster Abby
  • London Shard: Once you are done wandering make your way to the Shard for some drinks (not food, its expensive a hell). The views are incredible so just indulge in one overpriced drink and maybe some overpriced dessert and watch the sunset in London as the skies change from blue to black.

Day 4: Buying All of The Things

  • Explore Covent Gardens
  • Go shopping on Regent Street for fancy items and Oxford Street for high street items
  • Then head over to Harrods for some window shopping
  • Sunset at Hampstead Heath Park – Grab something before you get here and have a small picnic!

Day 5: Markets, Markets & More Markets

  • Columbia Flower Market: – With a coffeek in hand what better way to spend a Sunday than at Columbia flower market. Don’t expect to see anything but stalls and stall of flowers.
  • Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane Market: They are close by to each other so walk and take in the two different neighbourhoods.
  • Borough Market –  This was my favourite market. Coming here on the weekend means a TON more stalls are open.
  • Leadenhall Market and London Towner Bridge
  • Sunset at Sky Garden –  When someone tells me they are headed to London, I always recommend Sky Garden. But heads up,  you need to book your FREE tickets ahead of time.

Best Places to Eat in London in 2019

Besides all the markets you can eat at, here is a list of amazing restaurants in London updated in 2019.

  1. Bao London, steamed buns in Soho, Fitz, Borough Market & other various locations
  2. Beigel Bake, Bagels in Brick Lane
  3. Bone Daddies, Ramen on Bond Street, Peter Street, High Street & other various locations
  4. Breddo Tacos, Tacos in Soho and Clerkswekk
  5. Dishoom, Indian in Shoreditch, King’s Cross, Carnaby & other various locations
  6. Dumpling Legend, Chinese Soup Dumplings near Soho
  7. Franco Manca, Sourdough Pizza in Belsize Park, Brixton, Earls Court, Canary Wharf, & a ton of other various locations
  8. Granger & Co, Variety of “Australian” Options in Notting Hill, Chelsea, Kings Cross and Clerkenwell
  9. Honest Food, Burgers in South Kennsington, Portobello, Oxford Circus & a ton of other various locations
  10. Mother Clucker, Fried Chicken in Brick Lane, Flat Iron Square, Hawker House & other various locations
  11. Padella, Pasta on Southwark Street
  12. Patty and Bun, Burgers on James Street, Goodge Street, Richmond Road & other various locations
  13. Pho Cafe, Vietnamese Pho in Oxford Circus, Soho, St Paul’s, & a ton of other various locations
  14. Pizza Pilgrims,  Neapolitan pizza in Carnaby, Covent Gardens & other various locations
  15. Sketch London, Tea and other options in Mayfair
  16. Smack, Lobster Rolls on Dean Street
  17. Sunday Barnsbury, Breakfast on Hemingford Road
  18. The Frenchie, Burgers in Primrose Market and South Bank Market
  19. Vietfood, Vietnamese in Soho
  20. Yum Bun, steamed buns in Spitalfields Market, Canary Wharf & other various locations
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9 Comments

  1. Jakiya Brown
    March 1, 2017 / 9:41 am

    Great post!

    Thank you!

    • Tina
      May 2, 2019 / 6:44 pm

      It’s my first time exploring London right now and it was rather challenging to plan an agenda. Thank you for posting this and allowing it to be free to noobies like me!

  2. Cheryl
    April 15, 2017 / 5:56 am

    What month did you visit and was it busy?

    Thanks! 🙂

    • Jennifer
      Author
      June 11, 2017 / 3:02 pm

      We went in January 2016 and it was wonderful – not busy at all. I’ve also been in April and May and it’s great then too, but a bit more rain. In January we only got one day of rain!

  3. Aticha
    April 29, 2019 / 4:23 am

    I have plan to go on September. thank you for you sharing.

  4. Sarah
    July 6, 2019 / 11:05 am

    As a grad student planning a trip to London- this was SO helpful! Thanks for posting!

    I had a quick question about lodging – Where do you stay when you go? In a hostel or hotel? And how much does the location matter for london (How close do I need to be to the city center)? Thanks!

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