How to spend 48 hours in London? – City Guide

Hi there,

If you’re reading this blogpost, you probably want to visit London (again). The first time that I visited this beautiful city was in 2019 together with my family. Exploring this big city in 2 days is quite a challenge, but by making a good planning in advance, we were able to get the most out of it! Wondering what’s the best way to schedule 48 hours in London? Then read on quickly…

We made this city trip with an organization where we had the freedom to spend the 2 days in London according to our own wishes.

The first day started very early in the morning because we had to be in Calais (France) in time for the ferry to Dover (UK). There is often a choice between taking the train under the canal or crossing by ferry. The train ride takes about 35 minutes and the ferry about 2 hours. Quite a time difference, but despite that we still crossed the canal by ferry.

The ferry also has a big advantage. This allows you to experience a sunrise from the water and gives you a perfect view of the white chalk cliffs of Dover when you arrive in the UK.

White chalk cliffs of Dover

Book your train/ferry tickets here.

Once arrived in Dover it is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to the center of London by bus.

We arrived in Central London at 9 am. Time for some breakfast!

We had planned to have breakfast at ‘The Breakfast Club’ in the Soho district, but once there it turned out that there was already an extremely long queue. The owner of the restaurant next to it invited us to have breakfast with him and we did. The food was great and looked just as “instagramable” as by their neighbors.

From here we walked to Trafalgar Square where we (TIP) bought tickets for the (hop-on-hop-off) Big Bus Tours for 2 days. These have multiple routes and will drop you off at all the famous sights.

Buy your Big Bus tickets here.

We took the Big Bus from Trafalgar Square and got dropped off at the Tower of London. From here you can walk across the Tower Bridge towards the Shard. 

In less than 2 minutes you can walk from the Shard to Borough Market. This is a cozy and covered market where all kinds of food are available. We were here at a very busy time so it could be a little hectic in some places. watch your belongings carefully because when there are a lot of people you can quickly get robbed here.

Of course, there are always thing not going as planned during a city trip. The fact was that we would walk from the market to “the Walkie-Talkie”. This skyscraper has the so-called “Sky Garden” on the top floor, where you can see a beautiful view of London at a height of about 150 meters. When we arrived at the building, it turned out that the Sky Garden was already full and we should have booked an appointment in advance. Unfortunately, we had to delete this from our planning, which is of course a shame. The Sky Garden is free for visitors and offers a great view over London. (TIP: If you would like to visit the Sky Garden, book an appointment online in advance)

Click here to book your visit to the Sky Garden!

20 Fenchurch Street

Luckily London has so many other beautiful things to offer, so on to the next sight. From here we went with the Big Bus to the Big Ben. Unfortunately, it was under construction and half-wrapped in steel pipes. Despite that, it was still special to see this building in real life. Next to the Big Ben is Westminster Abbey, an important church where the coronations and funerals of British royalty take place.

After the visit to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey we continued with the Big Bus. This time we stayed until we arrived at King’s Cross Station. This station houses an artistic steel construction, which is well worth a visit for photographers and architecture enthusiasts. Furthermore, this station also houses the well-known Platform 9 3/4, known from the Harry Potter films. However, to get your picture taken with this well-known cart, you first have to stand in a long queue.

Time for FOOD!

Back to central London for dinner. London is a city where many cultures come together and there is admittedly all kinds of food available. We chose to eat at an Italian restaurant near Piccadilly Circus, so that we could visit it after dinner.

Piccadilly Circus is a square known for its large billboards. In the evening these are even better to see than during the day and well worth a visit when in London.

DAY 2:

We started the day at Buckingham Palace. This palace is the official residence of the British monarch in London. This impressive building has a facade of no less than 108 meters wide and 24 meters high, so it’s very big!

Buckingham Palace

From here we walked via Constitution Hill and the Wellington Arch to the corner of Hyde Park. (TIP for car enthusiasts) Also located here on the corner of Hyde Park is the Lanesborough. This is a 5-star hotel where supercars are often parked in front of the building.

From here we got back on the Big Bus to London’s most famous department store: Harrods. This is a must see for all fashion enthusiasts! In this department store you will find all the major brands and much more. You can easily wander around here for a whole day and have not seen all the rooms yet.

After a short shopping session we went on the road again with the Big Bus. This time we got dropped off in the district of Kensington and Chelsea. This is where the famous Portobello Road is located in the neighbourhood Notting Hill.

The market on Portobello Road is one of London’s most visited tourist attractions. The houses here all have different colors that create a cheerful street scene and are great fun to take pictures with.

From here we returned to the downtown area, getting off at St Paul’s Cathedral. This beautiful church has an impressive dome that ensures that the top of the church rises no less than 108 meters above the ground.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

(TIP) To take an impressive photo of this church: walk to the back, there you can find a shopping center called One New Change. The dome of the church reflects between the two glass facades and provides spectacular pictures!

In the evening we drove a special evening route with the Big Bus along all the famous sights. All buildings in London light up beautifully in the evening and provide an amazing view of the city. This route also runs along the Thames where there is a spectacular view of the London Eye which is illuminated at night.

In short, this was my trip to London with a schedule that gives you an idea of what you could do/see in 48 hours. Of course there is so much more to experience in this great city and therefore hope that it will soon be possible to visit again.

Safe Travels!

Click here to find the best hotels in London.

I took these things with me on my trip:
Backpack -> Click here
Cap -> Click here
Camera -> Click here
Mini tripod -> Click here

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