Top Five Things to Do in London if You’re Short On Time

Top Five Things to Do in London if You’re Short On Time

If you’re stopping through London and only have a day or two to see the sights, here are my top five picks to experience a variety of what London has to offer.

Walk through a Park

I’m not doing to include walking in a park as a specific thing to do because you can walk in ROUTE to other places. Instead of taking a street, please walk through a park when you can!

The parks are all beautiful and well maintained in London. It’s peaceful and depending on the time of year, very green, loaded with blooms and wildlife abounds. I recommend walking through the gardens at Kensington Palace.

Even if you don’t have enough time to do the tour inside, the gardens on the outside and surrounding park are free and gorgeous. Other notable parks: Hyde Park (millions of daffodils in Spring) and Green Park.

The Boroughs Market

If you’re a foodie, this is THE market to go to. This gorgeous bustling farmers market has quality vendors and a huge selection of International ‘street food’.

Go hungry and eat everything! There are also many take away items you may want to grab to take back to your hotel (cheeses, meats, olives, pastries, truffles, sauces and more) Get hours here. 

Forget the London Eye

The SHARD is where it’s at! Typically no lines or minimal lines, this is the TALLEST building in all of Europe at the whopping 95 stories high.

The floor to ceiling glass panoramic view is outstanding and there is no rush to leave. Enjoy a glass of champagne and try to forget how high you actually are above the ground. The Shard is located across the Thames River in the Southwark neighborhood across from the Tower of London.

Fish & Chips

There are many excellent places to get Fish & Chips in London, but the best ones we had were at Poppie’s in Camden. Camden itself is an exciting neighborhood to walk around in chock full of hip shops and interesting food. You may spot some youngin’s sporting a mohawk or two (yeah, that’s still a thing).

Poppie’s is a great place to settle in for a beer and fish and chips after meandering around the crowded streets of Camden. Poppie’s offers cod and haddock as choices for your fish and chips – cod being juicier and haddock firmer. Both excellent, just a matter of preference. You’ll get thick hot potato ‘chips’ or fries with your platter as well. For fun – ask for a side of mushy peas! Take advantage of the bathroom stop (as there are few ‘free’ ones around town). Poppie’s has fun toilets that are legit old fashioned ‘crappers’.

Tower of London

The Tower of London is super touristy, but still worth it. This medieval set of buildings has something for everyone! From glitzy crown jewels and ginormous gold punch bowls (must be nice to be a Royal) to a torture device museum. Lots of history (self-guided tours & guided tours) and you can do a couple hours here, or all day – they even have guards pacing and doing their bit.

tower of london top 5 things to do

You could visit the Tower and then walk across the London Bridge to the Shard (about .6 mile walk) and then to Boroughs Market nearby to eat a hearty lunch.

See Mousetrap

Mousetrap has been playing in London’s West end since 1952. Other plays come and go, but Mousetrap, by Agatha Cristie is so perfectly British, funny and witty. I was on the edge of my antiquated seat the entire time!

They also have a little bar in this theater, so grab a glass of wine during intermission. The bathrooms are limited, so make sure to go early. Definitely see this play! It runs most nights and sometimes there are matinee showings. Check out tickets here.

Many of the theater district restaurants stay open late, so plan on eating after dinner and avoid the crowds. China town is also a couple of blocks over, so make sure to venture over there as well.