London Weekend Itinerary for the First Timer

London Weekend Itinerary for the First Timer

First time in London? We’ve got you covered with our London weekend itinerary for first time tourists. From the historical buildings you cannot miss, to the best food spots in the city, and the best views to take in the magic of London. Our guide to your first weekend in London will make sure you don’t miss any of the must see spots!

Table of Contents:

Why You Should Get Excited for Your First Weekend in London

If it’s your first time in London, then you’re in for a treat with our gorgeous city! Rich in history and culture – just take a look at London’s World Heritage Sites. As well as delicious food and drink, there’s so much to be seen – so let’s get straight into our London weekend itinerary for first timers!

Friday Evening Itinerary 

Depending on what time you get into your hotel or accommodation, you may have time to squeeze in some sightseeing this first day! We recommended checking in and getting your shoes straight back on!

the landmarks to see in a london itinerary

Take a look around the local area and choose a local restaurant to eat in that evening! Whilst London’s well-known restaurants are not to be missed, we highly recommend finding local favourites, such as Hatch 77 in Pimlico!

If you’re lucky enough to be staying in Central London, head down to the River Thames for an after dinner stroll. Pop into a riverside pub to catch the sun going down.

Saturday Itinerary 

You’ve got limited time in London during a weekend so we’re going to pack your first weekend day with all the sights! 

  • Start your morning at Buckingham Palace (there’s plenty of cafes on nearby Piccadilly or in Victoria if you want to pick up some breakfast before starting your day)
    • Take in the sight of the Palace, The Mall, and surrounding parks.
    • If the Royal Standard is flying over the Palace then you’ll know King Charles III is in (if the Union Flag is flying, he’s elsewhere).
  • Walk from The Mall towards Trafalgar Square – here you will see not only the Square, but the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery, with Nelson’s Column and the lion statues.
    • The galleries are free to enter so pop in for a wander if you’re an art lover!
  • Walk down Whitehall towards Parliament Square. On the way you’ll see Downing Street. Once you reach Parliament Square you’ll find the stunning Westminster Abbey – used for many Royal occasions.
  • The Houses of Parliament also sit on the river at this point. Be warned, this area is very busy on the weekends.
  • Cross the bridge to the southside of the river and head East where you’ll find County Hall and the London Eye!
    • If you love views, we recommend pre-booking the London Eye and taking a trip to the top of the Millenium Wheel!
  • Once you’re finished, we recommend catching the Uber Boat Eastwards. This is one of the best ways we love to see the city – you pass all the major London landmarks, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Get off at Tower Bridge and the Tower of London to explore ancient London.
    • If visiting in the summer don’t miss out on Superbloom at the Tower where the moat is filled with wildflowers.
the best london weekend itinerary for first timers

Sunday Itinerary 

For your final day in London, we recommend you do it like a Londoner! Here’s some of our favourite ways to spend a Sunday in our city:

  • Londoners love brunch – and we get why! Start your Sunday in London with a delicious brunch to set you up.
    • For some delicious breakfast spots we highly recommend heading to Notting Hill and popping into Sunday in Brooklyn, Eggslut, or Farm Girl.
    • If you’re looking for a spot to get some cute Instagram pictures, take a wander around Notting Hill’s colourful houses after your food.
  • Head back to Central London next if you’re dying to get some London shopping in before your weekend is over, go for Regent Street and Oxford Street. The shops here open at about 12pm on a Sunday. Be warned it will be busy!
  • If you’d rather a more relaxed final day in London, wander down from Notting Hill to Kensington High Street. Stroll towards Kensington Palace Gardens and take in the wonderful Royal Park.
    • For those who enjoy a walk, we recommend aiming for the North side of the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Here you’ll find pedalos to hire which are so much fun!
a relaxed weekend itinerary

What to Pack for a Weekend in London

Now you’ve got your London weekend itinerary it’s time to get packing! Depending on the season you’ll need to pack different types of clothes – winter can be cold, whilst summer can get very hot (London has seen temperatures rise to over 40 degrees Celsius in recent years). Here are the things you should definitely pack:

  • Comfy shoes – be prepared for lots of walking! Trainers are a Londoner’s best friend!
  • A waterproof jacket – no matter the time of year, London can be rainy! We’d recommend a waterproof over an umbrella as it can also get very windy in our city!
  • A contactless card or contactless set up on your phone – paying for transport is easiest via contactless (and also cheaper than buying tickets).
  • A camera – you’re going to have a great time sightseeing so make sure you take lots of pictures to remember your trip!

About The London Eats List

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