London by a Local - 3 Days
See the sights of London through the eyes of a local. When I lived in London I learned which places are worth paying for, what can be seen and photographed from the outside, alternative (cheaper!) skyline views, and the best local pubs and restaurants.
51 Places • 32 Saves • ago
Free

Day 1 - Southbank and Embankment

My favorite thing to do in London is to walk along Southbank. Start your day grabbing food and coffee at vibrant Borough Market. I recommend a cheese toastie at Kappacasein and coffee at Monmouth, but there are plenty of options for every taste!

do
do
South Bank
Details
do
do
Borough Market
Details
cafe
cafe
Monmouth Coffee Company
Details
eat
eat
Kappacasein Dairy
Details

As you stroll along Southbank you’ll pass Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. If you have the interest and time it’s worth a tour, or you can buy tickets and come back for an evening performance - which is an even better way to see it.

You’ll also pass by Millenium Bridge, with a great view of St Paul’s Cathedral. Grab a photo here!

do
do
Shakespeare's Globe
Details
shop
shop
Tate Modern
Details

Next up is the Tate Modern. Here I believe the most interesting exhibits happen in the basement, or The Tanks! Pop down and see what’s going on.

And now you’re ready for a pint! Grab a spot on the river at nearby Founder’s Arms. I’d also recommend ordering a scotch egg here.

drink
drink
The Founder's Arms
Details

Continue on until you reach The London Eye. Take photos, but pass on the ride! You’ll get a better London skyline view tomorrow!

do
do
lastminute.com London Eye
Details

Instead, make your way across Westminster Bridge. On the other side of the river you’ll find Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster Abbey is definitely worth a tour. It houses the burial places of so many historical and literary figures, and is a breathtaking building.

do
do
Westminster Abbey
Details

After the tour you’ll be feeling peckish. Make your way down the river to Gordon’s Wine Bar. This is London’s oldest wine bar, and you can choose to dine outdoors, or in the underground wine cellars! (Go for this!) Pick out your own cheese and charcuterie board, and select a unique bottle of wine to enjoy!

drink
drink
Gordon's Wine Bar
Details

If you’ve saved room for more, amazing dinners can be found in both nearby Covent Garden, or London’s Chinatown. Here are a few of my top choices, depending on what you fancy!

For steak:

eat
eat
Flat Iron Covent Garden
Details

For curry:

eat
eat
Dishoom Covent Garden
Details

For dumplings:

drink
drink
Dumplings' Legend
Details

Day 2 - History, Parks, and a View

Start your morning with the best views and great food at Aqua Shard. As breakfast is leaps and bounds cheaper than dinner here, you’ll get an impressive meal that you can linger over while taking in all of London, for around the same price or less than paying for a ticket to The Shard’s viewing gallery! Pro tip - use the restroom here! The views continue even in there! Be sure to make a booking early for this one.

eat
eat
Aqua Shard
Details

Full and inspired, you’re ready to take in some history. The Tower of London is not to be missed. Take it from me, I’ve been at least a half a dozen times. Everyone heads straight to the Crown Jewels, which are lovely, but the White Tower and the chapel are my favorite bits. Take the tour with the yeoman, it’s worth it.

do
do
Tower of London
Details

From here, I would recommend a bus to the British Museum. Climb up to the second level, and try to grab windows in the front! What a way to see the city!

If you’re feeling hungry again, you’ll not want to miss afternoon tea at the British Museum. It’s served under the gorgeous roof of the Great Court. Take your time exploring after tea, and take note of any lectures or talks that may be going on! These can be fun and informative to sit in on.

do
do
The British Museum
Details

After getting your fill of tea, cakes, and historical artifacts, get back on the bus or take the tube west. Get off around Victoria, and stroll over to Buckingham Palace and Fountain. Big photo ops here!

do
do
Buckingham Palace
Details

You’re going to want to see Hyde Park. Walk on over, and into the park. Walk along the Serpentine. If you’re in London near the holidays, you’ll find a gigantic Christmas market called Winter Wonderland! In the summer there may be concerts or festivals going on.

do
do
Hyde Park
Details

Now that you’re in West London, an affordable dinner will be a little harder to find. Here are some of my recommendations depending on your taste.

For Indian (needs to be booked early!):

eat
eat
BiBi
Details

For tapas:

eat
eat
Tapas Brindisa South Kensington
Details

For pub grub:

drink
drink
The Windsor Castle
Details

Day 3 - Greenwich and East London

Most likely you’ve been using an Oyster card to get around the city by bus and tube. Did you know that Oyster card will also take you on a boat?!

The Thames Clipper will pick you up at many stops along the river, including Westminster, London Eye, London Bridge City and Tower. Take this west, to Greenwich.

do
do
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers - Westminster Pier
Details
do
do
Greenwich
Details

Walk past the Cutty Sark clipper ship (grab a photo!) and head over to the Old Royal Naval College. These buildings are gorgeous and you may recognize them as background sets to many a period drama! They are definitely worth exploring, before heading up to Greenwich Park.

do
do
Old Royal Naval College
Details
do
do
Greenwich Park
Details

The hill up Greenwich Park may look daunting, but the views from the top are well worth it! When you reach the summit, it’s also worth checking out the Royal Observatory where the prime meridian line passes through!

shop
shop
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Details

When you make your way back down the hill, reward yourself with a pint and some pub grub at The Old Brewery.

drink
drink
The Old Brewery
Details

If taking the boat back, get off at the Tower Millenium Pier. If tubing, head to Shoreditch High Street station.

You’re aiming for Brick Lane.

do
do
Brick Lane Market
Details

Book lover? I’m one to include a bookstore or library into every trip itinerary. If you’re a bookworm like me Brick Lane Bookshop is not to be missed!

shop
shop
Brick Lane Bookshop
Details

If music is more your thing, check out Rough Trade East. You’ll be the envy of your vinyl loving friends.

shop
shop
Rough Trade East
Details

Vintage fashion your cup of tea? Head to Brick Lane Vintage Market.

shop
shop
The Brick Lane Vintage Market
Details

If you’re feeling the need to refuel during all this shopping, grab a salt beef bagel at Beigel Bake.

eat
eat
Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery
Details

If you’re here on the weekend, you could also check out the Truman Brewery Markets!

do
do
The Truman Brewery Markets
Details

If you’re now ready for something more substantial, here are my nearby dinner suggestions.

For views - grab a table at the rooftop bar and grill:

stay
stay
Boundary London
Details

For pizza:

eat
eat
Pizza East Shoreditch
Details

For upscale British:

eat
eat
Lyle's
Details

For curry - worth the trek, order the lamb chops:

eat
eat
Tayyabs
Details

For kitschy but yummy fish and chips:

eat
eat
Poppies Fish & Chips
Details

If it’s your last night in London, grab a cocktail after dinner at Nightjar. A perfect little speakeasy with impressive and delicious drinks. Definitely book ahead!

drink
drink
Nightjar
Details

Where to Stay

While London is extremely easily navigated by public transport, you’ll still want to be relatively central. My favorite area to stay is in Angel/Islington! It has a charming neighborhood feel, with lots of great cafes and restaurants.

Other wonderful and assesible areas are Kings Cross - that tube station will get you anywhere, Soho if you like the night life, Shoreditch if you’re trendy, and maybe a contentious choice, but one of my absolute favorite spots - Bermondsey. Here are some hotel options in each:

Islington

stay
stay
Citadines Apart'hotel Islington London
Details
stay
stay
Hilton London Angel Islington
Details

Kings Cross

stay
stay
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London
stay
stay
The Harrison Pub & Hotel
Details

Soho

stay
stay
The Soho Hotel
stay
stay
Mimi's Hotel Soho
Details

Keep in mind Mimi’s has very small guest rooms!

Shoreditch

stay
stay
The Hoxton, Shoreditch
stay
stay
Boundary London
Details
stay
stay
citizenM London Shoreditch Hotel

Bermondsey

stay
stay
Hilton London Tower Bridge
Details
stay
stay
The Dixon, Tower Bridge, Autograph Collection
Details
stay
stay
Shangri-La The Shard, London

The Shard is a huge splurge!! But if you can 

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Send Nicole Ladonne Blair some gratitude.
Select your tip amount
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London by a Local - 3 Days
See the sights of London through the eyes of a local. When I lived in London I learned which places are worth paying for, what can be seen and photographed from the outside, alternative (cheaper!) skyline views, and the best local pubs and restaurants.
51 Places • 32 Saves • ago
Free

Day 1 - Southbank and Embankment

My favorite thing to do in London is to walk along Southbank. Start your day grabbing food and coffee at vibrant Borough Market. I recommend a cheese toastie at Kappacasein and coffee at Monmouth, but there are plenty of options for every taste!

do
do
South Bank
Details
do
do
Borough Market
Details
cafe
cafe
Monmouth Coffee Company
Details
eat
eat
Kappacasein Dairy
Details

As you stroll along Southbank you’ll pass Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. If you have the interest and time it’s worth a tour, or you can buy tickets and come back for an evening performance - which is an even better way to see it.

You’ll also pass by Millenium Bridge, with a great view of St Paul’s Cathedral. Grab a photo here!

do
do
Shakespeare's Globe
Details
shop
shop
Tate Modern
Details

Next up is the Tate Modern. Here I believe the most interesting exhibits happen in the basement, or The Tanks! Pop down and see what’s going on.

And now you’re ready for a pint! Grab a spot on the river at nearby Founder’s Arms. I’d also recommend ordering a scotch egg here.

drink
drink
The Founder's Arms
Details

Continue on until you reach The London Eye. Take photos, but pass on the ride! You’ll get a better London skyline view tomorrow!

do
do
lastminute.com London Eye
Details

Instead, make your way across Westminster Bridge. On the other side of the river you’ll find Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster Abbey is definitely worth a tour. It houses the burial places of so many historical and literary figures, and is a breathtaking building.

do
do
Westminster Abbey
Details

After the tour you’ll be feeling peckish. Make your way down the river to Gordon’s Wine Bar. This is London’s oldest wine bar, and you can choose to dine outdoors, or in the underground wine cellars! (Go for this!) Pick out your own cheese and charcuterie board, and select a unique bottle of wine to enjoy!

drink
drink
Gordon's Wine Bar
Details

If you’ve saved room for more, amazing dinners can be found in both nearby Covent Garden, or London’s Chinatown. Here are a few of my top choices, depending on what you fancy!

For steak:

eat
eat
Flat Iron Covent Garden
Details

For curry:

eat
eat
Dishoom Covent Garden
Details

For dumplings:

drink
drink
Dumplings' Legend
Details

Day 2 - History, Parks, and a View

Start your morning with the best views and great food at Aqua Shard. As breakfast is leaps and bounds cheaper than dinner here, you’ll get an impressive meal that you can linger over while taking in all of London, for around the same price or less than paying for a ticket to The Shard’s viewing gallery! Pro tip - use the restroom here! The views continue even in there! Be sure to make a booking early for this one.

eat
eat
Aqua Shard
Details

Full and inspired, you’re ready to take in some history. The Tower of London is not to be missed. Take it from me, I’ve been at least a half a dozen times. Everyone heads straight to the Crown Jewels, which are lovely, but the White Tower and the chapel are my favorite bits. Take the tour with the yeoman, it’s worth it.

do
do
Tower of London
Details

From here, I would recommend a bus to the British Museum. Climb up to the second level, and try to grab windows in the front! What a way to see the city!

If you’re feeling hungry again, you’ll not want to miss afternoon tea at the British Museum. It’s served under the gorgeous roof of the Great Court. Take your time exploring after tea, and take note of any lectures or talks that may be going on! These can be fun and informative to sit in on.

do
do
The British Museum
Details

After getting your fill of tea, cakes, and historical artifacts, get back on the bus or take the tube west. Get off around Victoria, and stroll over to Buckingham Palace and Fountain. Big photo ops here!

do
do
Buckingham Palace
Details

You’re going to want to see Hyde Park. Walk on over, and into the park. Walk along the Serpentine. If you’re in London near the holidays, you’ll find a gigantic Christmas market called Winter Wonderland! In the summer there may be concerts or festivals going on.

do
do
Hyde Park
Details

Now that you’re in West London, an affordable dinner will be a little harder to find. Here are some of my recommendations depending on your taste.

For Indian (needs to be booked early!):

eat
eat
BiBi
Details

For tapas:

eat
eat
Tapas Brindisa South Kensington
Details

For pub grub:

drink
drink
The Windsor Castle
Details

Day 3 - Greenwich and East London

Most likely you’ve been using an Oyster card to get around the city by bus and tube. Did you know that Oyster card will also take you on a boat?!

The Thames Clipper will pick you up at many stops along the river, including Westminster, London Eye, London Bridge City and Tower. Take this west, to Greenwich.

do
do
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers - Westminster Pier
Details
do
do
Greenwich
Details

Walk past the Cutty Sark clipper ship (grab a photo!) and head over to the Old Royal Naval College. These buildings are gorgeous and you may recognize them as background sets to many a period drama! They are definitely worth exploring, before heading up to Greenwich Park.

do
do
Old Royal Naval College
Details
do
do
Greenwich Park
Details

The hill up Greenwich Park may look daunting, but the views from the top are well worth it! When you reach the summit, it’s also worth checking out the Royal Observatory where the prime meridian line passes through!

shop
shop
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Details

When you make your way back down the hill, reward yourself with a pint and some pub grub at The Old Brewery.

drink
drink
The Old Brewery
Details

If taking the boat back, get off at the Tower Millenium Pier. If tubing, head to Shoreditch High Street station.

You’re aiming for Brick Lane.

do
do
Brick Lane Market
Details

Book lover? I’m one to include a bookstore or library into every trip itinerary. If you’re a bookworm like me Brick Lane Bookshop is not to be missed!

shop
shop
Brick Lane Bookshop
Details

If music is more your thing, check out Rough Trade East. You’ll be the envy of your vinyl loving friends.

shop
shop
Rough Trade East
Details

Vintage fashion your cup of tea? Head to Brick Lane Vintage Market.

shop
shop
The Brick Lane Vintage Market
Details

If you’re feeling the need to refuel during all this shopping, grab a salt beef bagel at Beigel Bake.

eat
eat
Beigel Bake Brick Lane Bakery
Details

If you’re here on the weekend, you could also check out the Truman Brewery Markets!

do
do
The Truman Brewery Markets
Details

If you’re now ready for something more substantial, here are my nearby dinner suggestions.

For views - grab a table at the rooftop bar and grill:

stay
stay
Boundary London
Details

For pizza:

eat
eat
Pizza East Shoreditch
Details

For upscale British:

eat
eat
Lyle's
Details

For curry - worth the trek, order the lamb chops:

eat
eat
Tayyabs
Details

For kitschy but yummy fish and chips:

eat
eat
Poppies Fish & Chips
Details

If it’s your last night in London, grab a cocktail after dinner at Nightjar. A perfect little speakeasy with impressive and delicious drinks. Definitely book ahead!

drink
drink
Nightjar
Details

Where to Stay

While London is extremely easily navigated by public transport, you’ll still want to be relatively central. My favorite area to stay is in Angel/Islington! It has a charming neighborhood feel, with lots of great cafes and restaurants.

Other wonderful and assesible areas are Kings Cross - that tube station will get you anywhere, Soho if you like the night life, Shoreditch if you’re trendy, and maybe a contentious choice, but one of my absolute favorite spots - Bermondsey. Here are some hotel options in each:

Islington

stay
stay
Citadines Apart'hotel Islington London
Details
stay
stay
Hilton London Angel Islington
Details

Kings Cross

stay
stay
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London
stay
stay
The Harrison Pub & Hotel
Details

Soho

stay
stay
The Soho Hotel
stay
stay
Mimi's Hotel Soho
Details

Keep in mind Mimi’s has very small guest rooms!

Shoreditch

stay
stay
The Hoxton, Shoreditch
stay
stay
Boundary London
Details
stay
stay
citizenM London Shoreditch Hotel

Bermondsey

stay
stay
Hilton London Tower Bridge
Details
stay
stay
The Dixon, Tower Bridge, Autograph Collection
Details
stay
stay
Shangri-La The Shard, London

The Shard is a huge splurge!! But if you can 

Send A Tip
Send Nicole Ladonne Blair some gratitude.
Select your tip amount
$3
$5
$10
$20
Or type in other amount
$