Wondering how to spend 48 hours in London? The options are endless – this is a city where you can live for years and still stumble across something new and exciting. With just two days to experience the city, we’ve put together a whirlwind London itinerary that takes you to all the best places, from jungle sky gardens to Caribbean restaurants and hip cocktail bars.
How much you manage to fit in is up to you, but follow this guide for a getaway that’s the perfect mix of activity and leisurely indulgence…
How to Spend 48 Hours in London
Kick Things Off With Breakfast at Hawksmoor
Hawksmoor is best known for their steaks and burgers, but this is one of the best full English breakfasts in the country. Plum Pudding bacon, sausage (made with pork, beef & mutton), black pudding, fried eggs, hash brown, grilled mushrooms, roast tomatoes, trotter baked beans and toast. A proper feast.
Need a Break? Make a Pitstop For Some Coffee!
Looking for a caffeine fix? You’ve come to the right place. Micro-roasters, Australian-style spots and hip coffee stores are all over the city of London.
Some of our favourites include Dark Arts Coffee in Hackney (a slick coffee store/roastery in Hackney, in a railway arch where everyone seems to have tattoos and ride a motorcycle) and Shoreditch Grind (the original outpost of the fantastic Grind coffee stores, the cool Shoreditch location serves coffee, food and cocktails up to 18 hours a day).
Check Out Some Unique Photo Spots
Ah London, the city of influencers and wannabe influencers, right? While you might smirk at the endless amount of photoshoots you’ll spot on the streets, there’s no denying this is one seriously photogenic place.
Pretty pink restaurants, futuristic space-age toilets and jungle skyline views are just some of our favourite things to snap for our London Instagram. Top places to snap include:
- Portobello Road, Notting Hill
- King’s Cross Light Tunnel
Sky Garden Sketch (and its amazing space-style toilets!)
Go For Dinner at One of The City’s New Michelin Star Restaurants
The Great Britain and Ireland Michelin Stars for 2020 were recently announced, with some amazing new restaurants making into the guide for the first time. Some of the hottest new places include a ‘surprise tasting menu’ at Mãos’ communal 16-seater table, where guest all dine together.
You’ll have to book well in advance (like, yesterday, maybe?!) but if you can nab a table then it’s a truly memorable experience.
Check out London’s Pubs & Clubs
London is a place for all sorts of people – including partygoers. Huge bashes in the showbiz world take place here – award ceremonies, album launches, after-show parties, you name it. The city is home to the famous Ministry of Sound nightclub, as well as the UK’s biggest club: Studio 338. If you keep your eyes open, you may even bump into some of the world’s biggest stars in London nightclubs.
Image: Sarah Koury
Spend the Night at an Austin Powers-Worthy Hotel
Could this be the grooviest hotel in London? A former 1970s council office building has been restored for The Standard’s first hotel outside America, and it’s got serious Austin Powers vibes.
The Standard in London has 266 rooms, a bar, recording studio, and three restaurants – one on the rooftop. The colourful rooms and red telephone box lift are just some of the highlights.
Enjoy a Lively Brunch at The Breakfast Club
Okay yes, you will have to queue to grab a table at this iconic brunch spot (there’s several locations), but it’s worth it. The drinks are boozy, the atmosphere is electric and the food is delicious. Our go-to order is the Waffle Benedict.
A simply incredible dish where they combine Butternut Shakshuka served on green chilli & cheddar waffles. The best of both worlds, with a wonderful kick to it.
Browse the Victoria and Albert Museum
Often abbreviated to the ‘V&A Museum’, the Victoria and Albert Museum is a leading museum in the art and design world, and it houses a permanent collection of more than 2.3 million objects. This collection spans more than 5,000 years of creativity in just about every medium.
Want to see even more amazing exhibition? Here’s the best exhibitions coming to London in 2020.
Fill Your Belly at a Gourmet Food Market
Think you can manage to squeeze some more food in after brunch? Good! Every weekend, the city streets explode with dozens of delicious food markets in London cropping up across the capital. There’s incredible local produce, organic goodies and stalls and pop up restaurants from some of the most creative chefs in the county.
Visit Buckingham Palace
When the Queen visits her palace in Scotland in the summer, you can buy tickets to view Buckingham Palace. The palace was built in 1837 and has been the home of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria.
One tour you could try is the State Rooms tour, which takes you around the rooms the family uses for welcoming visitors on state visits. Tours have limited availability, so you should book well in advance. If you don’t fancy a tour, you can watch the Changing of the Guards ceremony for free.
Have a Pre-Dinner Cocktail… Or Two!
There’s plenty of watering holes in the city, but we love Original Sin. This is a small and dark bar with a fantastic ambiance and a fun atmosphere. You’ll find your fair share of hipsters here at Original Sin but you’ll also find some well-made cocktails.
Try their Cognac cocktail, the Comeback, which also includes maple syrup, apple vinegar, and apricots.
Experience a Caribbean Feast in Notting Hill
Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, Creole, Cajun, West Indian, and many, many more droolworthy flavours, all mixed into a unique style of cooking that you’ll find in islands across the Caribbean.
Cottons is a famous hotspot in Notting Hill, where we guarantee you will be won over by the show-stopping food. Its food, drink and trademark colourful interiors are all totally tropical, inspired by islands from Jamaica to Margarita.
Enjoy an Evening of Theatre in the West End
The West End is the London equivalent of Broadway, so you’ve probably heard of some its theatres, such as the Apollo and the London Palladium.
While in the city, you can see some truly fabulous shows, including classics such as Les Miserables, which has been running at Queen’s Theatre since 2004, and Grease: The Musical, which is running at the Churchill Theatre.