Sightseeing London in a Day? What Not to Miss on a Quick Trip

Collage of Big Ben, London Eye, Red phone booth and Taxi.

There’s no such thing as sightseeing London in a day and experiencing it all. In fact, you could tour the city for weeks and not see everything. 

That doesn’t mean that you should skip this city if you only have a day to explore. You just need to carefully select a few must-see attractions to get the most out of your brief experience.

To achieve the best result, we suggest that the attractions you select for your one-day sightseeing London in a day adventure should coordinate to your personal interests. Our list of recommendations will give you some great ideas to choose from, and there are many other ideas on this website. Have fun exploring your options, and then fill your itinerary with attractions that will leave you feeling relaxed and fulfilled.

Top Spots When Sightseeing London in a Day


Buckingham Palace

This 775-room palace is the official home to the British Royal family. It’s also the administrative headquarters and features large state rooms that serve as event space for weddings and other celebrations. If you visit London in the summer, you can tour the state rooms to get a taste of true luxury.

Covent Garden

Plan to spend a morning or afternoon exploring the stores, craft stalls, and entertainers in this west end district. It’s home to the London Film Museum, St. Paul’s Church, multiple markets, and the car-free piazza. You can shop for fashion and many other items while exploring a bit of history and buying handmade crafts often exclusive to Covent Garden.

London Dungeons

History, humor, and macabre come together in the dungeons of London. You’ll escape into the past with storyteller guides, rides, and hands-on activities. While the experience is meant to include some scary moments, it’s nothing that most children over the age of eight can’t handle.

London Eye

Maybe you can’t visit all must-see London attractions in one day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t view those attractions from a distance. The London Eye is a massive Ferris wheel that delivers breathtaking views across the city.

This attraction is often bundled with others, so you can get a price break if you have time to visit all attractions in the deal. Shop around to discover a variety of bundled deals that will give you access to this relaxing yet fulfilling attraction.

River Thames Cruise

If you’re going to do one thing in London, make it a sightseeing cruise along the Thames River. You’ll get a distant view of the city’s biggest attractions while learning a bit about the history of London. River boats also allow you to rest your feet in the middle of a jam-packed day of sightseeing.

The Shard

You’ll find this masterpiece of a building close to the Tower of London, so consider visiting those attractions together to save time. The building has a unique design that commands attention in the sky, but it was designed to contain a full city or community in one building. It houses a mix of retail stores, offices, apartments, and restaurants. It’s also home to an impressive gallery and the Shangri-La hotel.

The Theatre District

London is home to vibrant theatres, and there’s almost always a musical to see somewhere. You can check out the shows hitting the stage during your visit before you leave home, so make sure you book tickets well in advance.

Some of the best shows at the most popular theatres will sell out of tickets weeks if not months in advance. If you only have one day to catch the show, you want to secure your tickets early.

Tower of London

Whether you’re a history buff or not, you will enjoy a tour of this dynamic fortress that was once a prison. The tales are rich with intrigue and the history unforgettable, so spring for the guided tour over a self-guided tour. While you’re there, get a look at the Crown Jewels, take pictures of the spectacular Tower Bridge, and walk through the tower green where criminals were once contained.

Westminster Abbey

Standing for more than a thousand years, this central London church has extensive history. You can stop by to attend daily church services or just tour the building to learn more about that history. Most visitors can stop at Westminster Abbey and Buckingham palace in one morning or afternoon. You may even squeeze in a stop at nearby St. James Park.

Ready to Experience Sightseeing London in a Day? 

If you struggle to settle on just a few points of interest or attractions when sightseeing London in a day, remember that no one can really see all of London in a single day. Your goal is to see what matters most to you or perhaps explore one neighborhood and then return to take in even more of the city. You don’t have to see everything to enjoy your trip to London even when only sightseeing London in a day or two on this visit.

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