There’s an awful lot to try and cover if you’re planning to explore London in 48 hours. Gray Line have got you covered with our highlights and attractions that you can’t miss

As one of the world’s greatest cities, exploring London in 48 hours is an almost impossible task. There’s just too much to see and do. Gray Line has put together our tips to help you plan your sightseeing trip through one of the most exciting places on the planet. Read on to discover the best sights and attractions in London.

London sightseeing highlights

London is home to some of the most iconic landmarks, such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. As well as holding centuries of history, visiting these spots will surely make your followers on Instagram and TikTok more than a little jealous. 

The River Thames, which snakes through the heart of the city, is an incredibly popular walk that holds all the best views of London’s majestic skyline — as well as some of London’s top attractions. The London Eye, Tower of London and Tate Modern can all be found on its sides. The South Bank of the Thames is one of the city’s most important cultural hotspots and you will find the best shopping and landmarks, such as Buckingham Palace and Picadilly Circus, just to its north.

Another brilliant area to visit is London’s West End. This is where you will find all of the most important and popular musicals and theatres, high-end designer boutiques, and huge parks full of monuments. It is also the location of SoHo and Covent Garden, where some of the best nightlife can be found. North London is another spot for a night on the town. Camden is the place to visit if you fancy spotting a celebrity, such as Harry Styles, having a dance. It’s also home to the celebrated Camden Market, located on the canal and surrounded by some great places to eat.

One of the best ways to see as much as possible is to take a London city tour bus with Gray Line. This will give you an even better view of the sights of the city from our famous open-top buses. You’ll see the world’s most important landmarks and avoid the hustle and bustle of the busy streets. If you’re lucky, you may even get to spot a few of London’s famous residents as well!

What other sites should you make sure to see on your two-day trip to London?

1. St Paul’s Cathedral

Set in the heart of the City of London, the 17th-century St Paul’s Cathedral has long been the most beautiful sight on the London skyline. A gorgeous dome decorated with over 2,300 paintings and mosaics tops the cathedral, and it is awe-inspiring to see up close. One of the best ways to visit St Paul’s is to cross the Millenium Bridge from the Tate Modern and you can’t miss the views from the Golden Gallery while listening to a free organ concert.

2. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is the place to take in one of the 16th-century playwright’s productions as it was meant to be seen. Plays are set in the round, as they were during the time of William Shakespeare, with the audience surrounding the stage. The authentic Tudor theatre was reconstructed over two years and opened in 1997 and doesn’t just stage Shakespeare’s plays — it also hosts music, comedy and much more.

3. V & A Museum (vam.ac.uk)

Possibly London’s best museum, the V&A holds art and design dating from 5,000 years ago to the present day. Its permanent collection is made up of 2.27 million pieces of work spread over 145 galleries. Here you can find exhibitions devoted to David Bowie and Alexander McQueen, or you can wander through casts of Michelangelo’s David, Trajan’s Column, and Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise. And it’s all found in one of London’s grandest and most beautiful buildings.

4. Sir John Soane’s Museum (sjsm.org)

Sir John Soane was one of the great British architects and his home in central London has been preserved as it was at the time of his death in 1837. The museum is home to more than 400,000 artefacts that he collected, including the sarcophagus of the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I and masterpieces by Hogarth, Canaletto, Turner and Piranesi.

7. Covent Garden Piazza (coventgarden.london)

Covent Garden is one of the most famous areas in London. It is full of entertainment, excellent places to eat, theatres and museums. The piazza was the first modern square to be built in London in 1630. The Royal Opera House was added in 1732 and the first record of the famous market is from 1654. The area also holds the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and the London Transport Museum. Covent Garden has a long history of street entertainment — it’s the first place that Punch and Judy is known to have been shown — and there are still street performances almost every day of the year.

6. British Museum (britishmuseum.org)

The British Museum is home to an incredible collection of historical and cultural objects from across the globe. Its collection holds more than eight million items documenting the history of human culture from the very beginning. These include pharaonic antiquities from Egypt and Sudan, the controversial Greek exhibition where the Parthenon Marbles may be seen, and statues said to be from the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Renovations of the museum finished in 2000 when the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court became the largest covered square in Europe. The museum was founded by Sir Hans Sloane from Killyleagh, County Down, who is also considered to be the man who brought drinking chocolate to Europe.

9. Take a River Cruise (toursbywater.com)

Step back in time aboard one of the famous London sightseeing boats, which take you along the iconic Thames River that dates back to at least 878 AD! On a clear day, you may even spot Windsor Castle or the city’s skyline. Alternatively, for a more immersive experience, try an evening dinner cruise aboard a traditional boat!

Other Historical Landmark

  • Tower of London
  • London Eye
  • Big Ben
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Westminster Abbey
  • National Gallery
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Harrods
  • British Museum

With so much to see in London in just two days, it can be overwhelming to plan the perfect itinerary. Gray Line tours can help you make the most of your time in the city with hop-on, hop-off open-top bus tours running departing every 20 minutes, skip-the-line tickets to the most popular attractions and day tours to Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and much, much more.

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