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London Greatest Hits Jaunt
Get to know the best of London in only three days.
The elevator pitch: Do we really need to introduce you? A major cosmopolitan and cultural center, London stands out for its old-world architecture, variety of cuisines, and high-end shopping.
When to go: Summer is temperate (highs rarely exceed 86°F / 30°C) but can get packed with tourists. The spring and fall are great times to visit, with more mild temperatures and much thinner crowds. Winters don’t get super cold or snowy, but are foggy and rainy.
Where to stay: They’re not cheap, but we love the luxe, centrally located Charlotte Street Hotel and the chic London EDITION. For a cheaper, funkier option in the east, try The Hoxton in Shoreditch. If you have an early flight out of Heathrow, you might want to stay in Paddington; The Pilgrm is a cheap, modern option there.
How to get around: London is notoriously spread out. We’ve designed this itinerary to be mostly walking, and will call out the few exceptions. We tend to take Ubers / taxis at night. The tube has tons of lines and can get complicated, but if you’re fairly subway-literate it isn’t too crazy.
Odds and ends: You’ll need a reservation almost everywhere, and we recommend making them early (like, now). Bring an umbrella no matter what time of year you visit!
TRIP OVERVIEW: Greatest Hits
What this is: our Jaunt-approved list of all the spots you’ll want to hit up in London, focusing on getting a feel for the city’s multiple areas
What this isn’t: a guide on where to find the best iconic phone booth to take a picture in (sorry to ruin your dreams of posting a super original pic on Insta!)
Day 1: Central Classics
Breakfast at Caravan in Fitzrovia
Shopping and Sightseeing on Regent Street and Carnaby Street
Lunch at Sketch in Mayfair
Sightseeing at Buckingham Palace
Explore Covent Garden
Dinner at Barrafina in Soho
Drinks at Bourne & Hollingsworth in Fitzrovia
Day 2: Head West to Eat, Drink, and Stroll
Breakfast at Ottolenghi in Notting Hill
Visit Portobello Market in Notting Hill
Explore Notting Hill
Lunch at Darcie & May Green in Paddington
Day Drinking at Pergola Paddington in Paddington
Stroll through Hyde Park
Dinner at Dinings SW3 in Chelsea
Drinks at Barts in South Kensington
Day 3: Explore the East and South
Brunch at Dishoom in Shoreditch
Visit the Columbia Road Flower Market in Shoreditch
Afternoon snack at Borough Market in London Bridge
Visit the Tate Modern in London Bridge
Drinks at Aqua Shard in London Bridge
Dinner at The Ned in The City
THE DETAILED GUIDE
Day 1: Central Classics
Healthy and trendy. Start your day at this chic all-day restaurant and coffee shop with light, international-inspired fare. Afterwards, walk about 10 minutes south to Regent Street.
Walk around this shopping street
Iconic and vibrant. Walk along one of London’s major shopping streets, home to many brands’ flagship stores.
Cool and unique. Head a block east of Regent Street to visit its cooler younger sister, Carnaby Street. This trendy, short street is pedestrian-only, and features insta-ready overhead art installations.
Chic and playful. This insta-famous tea room has certainly made an appearance on your feed. It doubles as a cocktail bar at night, but we love going for lunch or afternoon tea. Don’t forget to check out the bathrooms!
Iconic and luxe. Take a quick detour to the gates of Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s residence in London. You can book tickets for a tour (well in advance), but we prefer a quick walk-by.
Bustling and classic. Walk around this historic neighborhood, featuring markets, restaurants, street performers, and a pedestrian-only Piazza. We recommend grabbing a coffee at Black Penny if you need an afternoon pick-me-up!
Authentic and intimate. We highly recommend this Michelin-starred tapas joint featuring fresh seafood from the Spanish coast. We love this original location in Soho, but they don’t take reservations. If you’re ok with an early dinner, we recommend getting there 20 mins before they open to get a seat. If there’s a wait, you can grab a drink at a nearby pub.
Bourne & Hollingsworth
Acclaimed and cozy. This basement bar has insanely high-quality cocktails and an old-school feel. Make sure you’re headed to the bar, not one of their newer restaurants.
Day 2: Head West to Eat, Drink, Shop, and Stroll
Fresh and innovative. This Mediterranean spot was the original debut of Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi, who now has multiple restaurants across London and many best-selling cookbooks. If you can nab a spot at the communal table, go for it; if it’s crowded, their pastries are perfect to take on the go.
Authentic and vibrant. The world’s largest antique market also has other offerings. The market's in full swing on Saturdays, although it's open Monday-Friday as well (closed on Sundays).
Picturesque and cozy. This famous neighborhood was historically full of artists, but now is home to a more gentrified set. The independent flair lives on, though - Notting Hill is full of independent bookshops and amazing restaurants. Check out the colorful Lancaster Street for an easy Instagram backdrop.
Darcie & May Green
Unique and relaxed. This Australian joint is located on a colorful barge, and is a great spot for a quick lunch. We recommend making a reservation as the space is rather narrow (due to being on, you know, an actual barge).
Airy and fun. After lunch, if you need to decompress before walking for a bit, go grab a drink at this cute outdoor patio with a wide selection of restaurants and bars.
Relaxed and classic. Spend some time strolling through London's largest park. We love the Serpentine, a small lake in the Park, and the Rose Garden. If it's rainy, we recommend the free Serpentine Gallery, which hosts rotating exhibitions of contemporary art.
Legendary and ornate. This famous department store is equal parts shopping destination and London landmark. The Food Hall has amazing restaurants if you want to stop for a bite, but our favorite thing to do is to pick up souvenirs.
Luxe and sleek. Dinner is at this posh spot for Japanese-Euro fusion. We recommend the wagyu foie gras nigiri (if it’s not on the menu, ask!)
Luxe and unique. About a 7 minute walk from Dinings, this speakeasy in one of London's most posh neighborhoods calls themselves "London's worst kept secret". We love their comic book menu! It can get louder at night, so if you're looking for a super quiet night, this probably isn't it.
Day 3: Explore the East and South
Trendy and warm. This iconic Indian restaurant is well worth the hype. If you’re looking to maximize the menu, go for a late breakfast and order the naan breakfast sandwich. Then when breakfast turns to lunch, you can order the rest of the meal from the lunch menu - best of both worlds!
Columbia Road Flower Market
Bustling and charming. This Sunday-only open-air flower market is great for shopping or just people watching! If it’s not a Sunday, stroll around Shoreditch and take in the vibrant street art instead. Walk (45 mins), Uber, or take a bus to Borough Market, your next stop. If you cross over the London Bridge, you’ll have a great view of the Tower Bridge (the thing you probably thought was the London Bridge).
Lively and historic. This outdoor food market with a wide variety of cuisines will have something for everyone. Saturdays are the main day, but can be quite hectic - we like visiting on Sundays, even though some stalls might be closed!
Sleek and bright. Spend the afternoon wandering around this free hub for modern art, housed in the former Bankside Power Station on the Thames.
Scenic and sceney. Stop for a cocktails with a 360-degree views of London, including the famous Tower Bridge. Make sure to check out the bathrooms!
Elegant and lively. Dinner (and after-dinner drinks) are at this Art Deco-style hotel by Soho House, featuring a collection of restaurants and live music in the lobby. Tip: If you have a dinner reservation, you can skip any lines.
What didn’t make the list?
It’s obviously very hard to edit such a vibrant city like London into a 3-day trip! Here’s just a few things we missed.
Grab an almond croissant (trust us) at Gail’s Bakery, with multiple outposts throughout the city.
If you want to try and spot a celeb, stop by Chiltern Firehouse, another insta-famous London stalwart, for lunch, dinner, or drinks.
Grab tickets to a show in the West End.
If you love London, you’ll also love
New York City. Jaunt coming soon!
Los Angeles. Jaunt coming soon!
Madrid. Jaunt coming soon!
Nearby places to visit
Paris. A quick train ride away.
Edinburgh. A 4.5 hour train ride north. Jaunt coming soon!