2 Days in London
London is the UK’s economic, transportation and cultural centre and one of the most iconic cities in the world. That’s why millions of people every year decide to spend a 2 or more days in London – despite a few rainy days.
And no surprise, there is lots to see and do – so, where should you even start? We’ll tell you how to spend a wonderful 2 days in the capital. Discover the most important sights and attractions. Small hint: you can save at least 20% on them with our awesome Smartsave discounts!
Day 1 Morning:
Start your first day with London’s most well-known bridge and one of the most famous sights: Tower Bridge. You will walk past the impressive Tower of London, a historical fortress serving as a prison in past days. It now houses many treasures such as the Crown Jewels. Cross the river Thames on the Tower Bridge, consisting of two bridge towers. From the two glass-floor walkways, connecting the towers you will have a unique view of the Tower of London, St. Katherine’s Docks, and HMS Belfast, and maybe even witness the bascules being raised. Learn all about its physical structure, its purpose, and its mechanics, as well as the historical background in permanent and temporary exhibitions.
After crossing the Thames, on the South Bank, Southwark awaits you. In the 15th century known for its many inns, theatres, spas, and other places of entertainment, it still is the place to go for many fun and artsy activities. First up: The View from the Shard. The super-tall skyscraper is in the shape of a glass shard – that’s where the 309-meter-high building got its name from. Shoot up in the high-speed lift and enjoy a one of a kind, incomparable outlook on the huge city – looking so small from up there. Have a great time treating yourself to a nice glass of champagne!
Day 1 Midday:
En route to the next attraction you’ll pass Borough Market. Dating back to at least the 12th century, it is one of the oldest and largest food markets in London. Here you can fill your tummy with some delicious foods from all over the world.
Well recovered and well-fed, continue your journey not only a couple of metres down the Thames, but many centuries back in time. Dive into the Elizabethan age, when taking part in a guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. We all know the phrase “To be or not to be: That is the question!” and famous theatre plays such as Romeo and Juliet. However, on this tour you’ll get a much more in-depth knowledge about the widely known playwright William Shakespeare and his very own Globe Theatre, also known as the Wooden O. The historical background knowledge about the 15th and 16th century won’t come off badly. The engaged tour guides depict life back then in a very pictorial, entertaining way.
At this point you have one essential attraction at the south bank left. Can you guess which one it is? Of course, the London Eye. The structure was originally intended to only be temporary in order to celebrate the millennium. But who could now image the Millennium Wheel not being part of London’s iconic skyline? Firmly established in the cityscape, the cantilevered observation wheel is the most popular tourist attraction in the UK. So, definitely don’t miss out on this one. Have amazing 360-degree views from the 32 capsules, mounted around the slowly moving wheel. At a height of up to 135 metres, get a new perspective of London.
Get your Smartsave discounted tickets at the City Cruises Ticket office at the London Eye Pier and combine a visit to the Eye with a 24-hour River Pass for cruises on the Thames. Check out all of our City Cruises Combo offers! Discover deals at other attractions such as Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Dungeon or Madame Tussaud’s.
For an even more special experience on the river, our insider tip is to get on one of City Cruises’ boats. Have some lunch on the Thames Lunch Cruise or experience a traditional Afternoon Tea on the Afternoon Tea Cruise with scones, cakes, sandwiches, and, of course, tea – for sure a must-do when in England. On the Showboat Dinner Cruise you can enjoy a four-course dinner with wine, live entertainment, a show and dancing, or get on the Thames Jazz Cruise and listen to the ChiJazz quintet. There surely is a themed cruise to everyone’s liking.
Day 1 Afternoon:
In the afternoon, get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and pay a visit to London Stadium built for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Simply get on the tube to Stratford and you’re almost there! The tour through the former Olympic stadium will give you the opportunity to watch goals and races, walk through the players’ tunnels, race on the indoor racing tracks, and see the manager’s dug out as well as the changing rooms. You’ll have plenty of photo opportunities to document your trip and you’ll even get a certificate at the end of the tour. Not only West Ham United and UK Athletics fans will have an interesting and informative experience.
Next door to the Stadium is the Arcelor Mittal Orbit, the UK’s tallest sculpture. The viewing platform atop Anish Kapoor’s unique red lattice structure is 80 metres high, providing fantastic views of the area. To get back down to Earth, get on The Slide. Scream your heart out as you race down the world’s longest tunnel slide.
Afterwards, why not have a coffee whilst the kids can play at one of the exciting playgrounds or head into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to enjoy the beautiful parklands? And for shoppers, the massive Westfield Shopping Mall is right here, too.
Day 2 Morning:
Start your second day in the north of London. Regent’s park is the largest grass area for sports in the city and offers a variety of activities. Located in its heart, you’ll find ZSL London Zoo, a real-life animal kingdom. The world’s oldest scientific Zoo opened its doors to the public in 1847 and has been a popular destination ever since. Young and old alike will love coming face-to-face with some cute monkeys, exploring the Land of the Lions, watching the penguins being fed, and much more. The little ones too won’t come off badly, when they get the chance to pet goats, lamas, and alpacas at the Animal Adventure and the Farmyard.
Before heading back to the city centre, grab a snack from one of the many stalls at Camden Market, offering street food from all over the world – and from Great Britain, of course. Also, check out over 1,000 other shops and stands selling, fashion, music, and art.
If you’re in the mood for more wildlife and would like to discover a totally unexpected side of London, make tracks to the London Wetland Centre. Discover lakes, ponds and meadows that attract thousands of wild birds, otters and other wildlife to this urban oasis. Afterwards, stroll through Barnes, where the Wetland Centre is located and discover a quintessentially British neighbourhood.
Day 2 Afternoon:
In the afternoon, educate yourself a little bit further. Did you know that most of the big museums in London are for free? That’s right! You can enter the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, the Science Museum, Tate Modern, and many more, without paying admission. However, don’t forget about some of the smaller museums.
The Household Cavalry Museum tells the story of the founding and history of the Queen’s cavalry. How did the cavalry’s role change after horses were outmoded and what are its current functions? Get a look behind the scenes of the oldest regiments of the British Army. The museum lets you dress like a cavalryman and see the regiment in action. You can even peek into the horse stables. You’ll be a Royals expert afterwards!
Rather interested in musical history? Dedicated to the lives of German-born British composer George Frederic Handel and American Rockstar Jimi Hendrix, the Handel & Hendrix Museum is all about these two iconic artists who happened to have lived next door to each other – not quite at the same time of course. The museum consists of Handel’s rooms at 25 Brook Street and Hendrix’s old bedroom at house number 23 and regularly hosts live performances, educational activities, and the famous “Hendrix house parties”.
Or how about learning all about the world’s famous nurse at the Florence Nightingale Museum? Located on the banks of the Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament, the museum attracts visitors from all over the world who want to learn more about the ‘Lady with the Lamp’ and her Victorian world.
After all this, you’re probably a little peckish. Head over to Planet Hollywood and finish your day with a hearty meal – American style!
As you can see, there’s lots to do for everyone in London. No matter if you want to know more about the Royals or see some wildlife or discover the city. Smartsave has brilliant offers ranging from museums to famous tourist attractions. Spend a fabulous two days in the British capital and return home with great stories to tell. And be sure to come back here to discover even more!
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