48 Hours in London – Guide For First Timers

Spending 48 hours in the British capital requires a tight itinerary if you want to get the most out of this city. From exploring must-see attractions to eating delicious street food, experiencing a musical on Broadway and pub-hopping to extravagant nightclubs, there’s so much to see and do in this short span of time. If it is your first time in the city, this guide will give you a 48 hours in London snapshot to help you sketch your days, so that you don’t miss out anything important.

If when you arrive in London your hotel isn’t ready then you may be wondering what you are supposed to do. Don’t worry, keep calm and carry on. There are various luggage spots where you can leave your luggage and go off exploring while you wait for your hotel to be ready. Take a look at luggage storage liverpool street station for example, they will look after your suitcases and other baggage. Then all you need to do is come back later to pick it up before you check in to your hotel. 

Day 1

Breakfast at Sketch

Sketch – The Parlour restaurant is based near the busy Oxford Circus district. Its unique exterior hints at how brilliantly weird it gets inside. You can enjoy breakfast menus throughout the day till 6pm. The food here looks more like an exhibition piece than hearty grub.

Sketch The Parlour, London
Sketch – The Parlour via Flickr by calium

Culture fix : Visit Tate Museum

If you want to explore the most impressive exhibitions of international modern art, Tate Modern is the right place to hit. You’ll find masterpieces by Hogarth, Gainsborough, Whistler, Millais, and more. Admission to most of the museum is free. The spaces are divided and you can choose to pay for the individual exhibitions, which is quite cool because you can enjoy the space for free and you can skip an artist if you’re simply not interested.

Inside the Tate Modern Museum, London
Inside the Tate Modern Museum, London

Globe Theatre

Visiting and watching Shakespearean plays at the Globe Theatre is a must-do experience. This is one of the most famous play houses of all the time, where Shakespeare performed many of his greatest plays.

Globe Theater London
Globe Theater via Flickr by brownpau

Lunch at the Anchor

When you are done with exploring the museum and theatre, stop for lunch at The Anchor pub to enjoy a traditional Brit meal in a relaxing atmosphere. You can’t go to London and not have a pint at a pub.

The Anchor pub London
Image via Flickr by garryknight

Oxford Street

Spend your afternoon browsing the popular Oxford Street. The street is in the West End of London. It will offer you brilliant window shopping (or real shopping) options, housing around 300 shops. Time can pass really fast in this street.

Oxford Circus London
Image via Flickr by cwmoy1

Time for Afternoon Tea

Follow the customs of traditional Afternoon Tea at the Ritz Hotel. Going for afternoon tea is an institution in itself. You can choose from a choice of several varieties of tea and enjoy delightful sweet and savoury snacks.

Tea at The Ritz London
Image via Flickr by TofflerAnn

Drink at Mahiki

Visit one of London’s most affluent and famous bars – Mahiki, and energize after a busy day with a delicious cocktail.

Mahiki bar London
Image via Flickr by Ewan-M

Dinner Spot: Chicken Shop

Wind down after a long day with a delicious dinner at Chicken Shop. Chicken Shop with its modern decor offers mouthwatering chicken dishes and a fine selection of craft beers. You can visit any of the five outlets, which are located in Tooting, Whitechapel, Holborn and Kentish Town.

Chicken Shop, Kentish Town, London
Image via Flickr by Ewan-M

Day 2

Portobello Road Market

Start your Day 2 with a shopping spree. Visit Portobello Road Market, which is located in Notting Hill. Enjoy shopping in the world’s largest antiques market, where you can find over 1,000 shops that are set up every day.

Portobello Road Market London
Image via Flickr by DG Jones

Hyde Park     

Head to Hyde Park to spend a leisurely afternoon. You can wander around and even get in a little snooze time beneath a tree. Spend some time with nature in one of the Royal Parks of London.

Hyde Park London
Image via Flickr by foomtsuruhashi

Lunch at Hakkasan Mayfair

For lunch head to Mayfair to enjoy Cantonese Cuisine and signature cocktails.

Etcetera Theatre, Camden

Visit Etcetera Theatre, which is a typical small pub theatre. The pubs seats just 42 people. Etcetera is situated above the Oxford Arms in Camden.

Victoria Park

Explore East London to see another side of London. Victoria Park is a great spring spot with a community feel. The green space is one of London’s oldest and most historic recreational parks.

Victoria Park London
Image via Flickr by Drew Emerson

Late-night at V&A London

When in London, do not miss London’s vibrant nightlife. In South Kensington, the Victoria and Albert Museum keeps its doors open until late on the last Friday of every month. Enjoy pop-up bars, food options, live music and DJs.

V&A Friday Late
Image via Flickr by V&A Friday Late

If after spending two days here, you still have a few hours left in the city, enjoy a stroll in any of the many perfect parks of London. You can also enjoy watching the sunset over the Serpentine, which shall give your journey a perfect ending.

5 thoughts on “48 Hours in London – Guide For First Timers

  1. I guess one can squeeze in more sightseeing on Day 1, it is always good to travel light also (not so many meals and that too heavy).
    Day 2 looks jam packed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great ideas for visiting London. As a Londoner it’s always interesting to me where people will pick to go! We call our theatre land the West End by the way rather than Broadway 🙂 I love that you can’t leave without a pint in a pub – this is so true 🙂


    1. Thanks for your Londoner input! 🙂 I wish I could go get a pint in a pub in London right about now. I could use one. haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha – you’re always welcome to come for a pint with us anytime you make it over here again 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like the perfect itinerary, thanks for sharing!


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