Whether your London visit is layover-length or long enough to spend a few days in this stately city, we have plenty of recommendations for where to eat, sleep, and explore. These suggestions are based on a weekend trip courtesy of our friends at Visit London.

Photo by Giulia Dini

FRIDAY EVENING

First thing’s first, check into your hotel — the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in Knightsbridge is the perfect place for a good night’s sleep in the heart of central London. Drop off your bags and freshen up.  

Photo by Antoine Buchet

Then, it’s time for a quick dinner before your first night out. 

Head to London’s trendy Brixton area for a meal at Pop Brixton, an eatery comprised of 16 street food stalls (and four bars) housed in shipping containers. 

Take your dinner to go or eat at a communal dining table inside — check the schedule before you arrive to see if there will be live music or entertainment that night.

If you’re not ready to turn in and want a bit of unconventional fun, head to Bounce! That’s right; Europe’s biggest ping pong social club has found a home in London, and it’s quite the ball. Attendees can jump into a game of their own, or watch the action from the bar with a beer and a snack!

SATURDAY

Greet the day the best way possible: with a delicious breakfast. Head to Richoux for an elegant spread of mushrooms on toast, baked goat’s cheese, Welsh rarebit, or Richoux florentine — take your pick!

Photo by Giulia Dini

If it’s a sunny Saturday in London, head to Kew Botanic Gardens and marvel at the extensive collection of plants, flowers, and trees. Explore the greenhouse exhibits or simply take a stroll through the gorgeous grounds.

From there, make the trip to Westminster. Ogle Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey while snapping as many photos as you want! Then, for an expansive view of the Thames, take a trip on the London Eye, a fantastic visual introduction to the far stretches of the city of London.

For lunch, you’ll find plenty of choices in the Covent Garden area. Covent Garden itself is always bustling, especially on the weekends, but if you don’t mind a wait, the food offerings are delicious. For a quieter, sit-down meal, the Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard areas offer cozy cafés such as Canela, Brasserie Max, and Native.

In the afternoon, take a post-lunch stroll through Hyde Park and gaze at the watery surface of Serpentine Lake. Enjoy the fresh air while planning your next activities.

Photo by Giulia Dini

It’s time for some museum adventures, and the Natural History Museum of London is one of the best in the world. Fan of dinosaurs or botanical prints? The Natural History Museum is the perfect place for you to spend the afternoon. Make sure to snap pictures of Hintze Hall, the museum’s main room.

Photo by Kevin Wong

After a day of exploring, head back to West London for some dinner at The Shed, which is committed to farm to table excellence and reinvigorating traditional British cooking.

Still up for a night out after your meal? Raffles Chelsea is right by the Jumeirah, and a great place to sip a classy cocktail while keeping an eye out for local socialites.  

Photo by Antoine Buchet
Photo by Shadzii

 

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Photo by Andre Tamburrini

SUNDAY

Recover from your night out on Sunday morning by ordering room service at the Jumeirah and watching the sun rise over London. While enjoying freshly baked croissants and a cup of tea, make a plan to explore London’s eastern neighborhoods.

Make Camden Market your first stop of the day, where you’re bound to enjoy the colorful murals, living street art, fantastic storefronts, and miles of markets. Search through the stalls for homemade jewelry, clothing, vintage vinyl, and fun antiques.

Photo by Camille Danielich

From there, head to the Churchill War Rooms for a trip to the past. The War Rooms are an intimate glimpse into the headquarters where Churchill made crucial strategic decisions regarding World War II. For history buffs, this is a must-visit.

After this historical stop, check out East London. This area of the city has seen a rise in the amount of quirky shops and street art in recent years, and the neighborhoods of Shoreditch and Hackney are absolutely worth a visit. Stroll through the streets, take a Street Art Tour, visit the Brick Lane Market for vintage clothes, and head to London Fields for a quick stroll. For a late afternoon drink, head to pubs like the Red Lion or the Ridley Road Market Bar.  

Even if your visit to England’s capital city is only for a weekend, you’re sure to experience the culture, cuisine, and charm that draw so many to its ancient streets.

Photo by Andre Tamburrini
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Camille Danielich
Camille is a writer, traveler, and visual storyteller from New Jersey. She has lived in the Czech Republic, Thailand and in New York. She's always looking forward to her next adventure and probably won't stop instagramming her food anytime soon. Follow along on instagram

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