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Your Guide to London in a Week

london in a week - buckingham palace

England’s capital city provides everything a great metropolis can offer visitors: historic sights, cultural experiences, entertainment and more. Here are the things you simply must do to make the most of London in a week.

Once you’ve gathered all your trip inspiration, you can start planning your London vacation with AAA Travel.

Travel Like a Local

It’s easy to traverse the city via the London Underground, aka the Tube. Paying the fare is as easy tapping your credit card at the beginning and end of your journey. Or you can purchase an unlimited seven-day Travelcard (with access to buses, too). After one week in London, you’ll be certain to “mind the gap”! 

Alternately, you can take the Hop-On, Hop-Off double-decker bus tour for sightseeing along the way. London is also a very walkable city, so get ready to add up those steps! Of course, you can always take a taxi or ride share to get you where you want to go.

Get a View from Above

On the south bank of the River Thames, the London Eye observation wheel is a good first stop for sweeping views of London’s most iconic sites, including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

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Experience The Royal Treatment

Newly crowned King Charles III’s official London residence is Buckingham Palace. Tours are available of the state rooms inside, depending on the time of year you are traveling and whether you booked in advance. Besides the thrill of getting to enter the palace, visitors are also treated to viewing treasures by Van Dyck, Canaletto and Canova, and beautiful English and French furniture.

Time your visit for the changing of the guards, the formal ceremony when a new group of soldiers replace the current ones protecting the palace. Dates can change, but generally it takes place at around 11 a.m., daily in June and July, and Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday the rest of the year. Arrive early if you want to score a coveted spot at the Buckingham Palace gates.

Tour Westminster Abbey

Not that far from Buckingham Palace is Westminster Abbey. The magnificent church is where many monarchs have had their coronations since 1066, including Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III. It is also the final resting place for more than 3,000 people, including kings and queens, as well as well-known figures such as Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Dickens. A 90-minute verger-guided tour offers an insiders’ look at the top sites, plus access to areas closed to the public.

london in a week - ritz london afternoon tea
Afternoon Tea at the Ritz. (The Ritz London/John Carey)

Have a Spot of Tea

Your journey through London in a week would not be complete without traditional British afternoon tea. Toast to a memorable trip at the Ritz London, where you can enjoy music and dine on sandwiches, scones, pastries and teacakes with your selection from 18 types of loose-leaf tea. This is a dress-up occasion, so no tourist attire of jeans and sneakers permitted; jackets and ties are required for men.

Go for a Garden Stroll

London has many lovely gardens. Following a visit to see Queen Victoria’s childhood rooms in Kensington Palace, make your way to the Sunken Garden to see the recent memorial statue of Diana, Princess of Wales. Also, walk through Kensington Gardens to the stunning Albert Memorial unveiled in 1872. It faces Royal Albert Hall, which Queen Victoria opened in 1871 and today hosts more than 360 events a year. Keep walking and you’ll enter Hyde Park, which has another tribute with the Diana Memorial Fountain.

Visit the Crown Jewels

Another royal site worthy of a visit is the Tower of London, founded by William the Conqueror in 1066. Not only will you get to hear the grim stories of this fortress but also get to see the Crown Jewels.

Day Trip Out of London

Take a tour of Windsor Castle, which was also founded by William the Conquerer in the 11th Century and has been the home of 40 monarchs, including Queen Elizabeth I and II. Tours include the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel, the final resting place of Queen Elizabeth II. It also hosts a changing of the guard ceremony on select days.

Shop

Head to Oxford Street to dedicate some time to shopping. Don’t miss north London’s Camden Market. It boasts more than 1,000 shops, stalls, pubs and cafes. Walk among the stalls to find jewelry, clothing, gifts, home goods and more interesting buys to take home.

See a Show

The West End and Covent Garden are also great for shopping, catching street performances and where you’ll find many of London’s theaters. Plan a night or two to see a show during your week in London. Shows running through March 2024 include “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables.”

seven dials market
Seven Dials Market

Grab Some Grub

Check out the Seven Dials Market in Covent Garden for a quick bite or drink before seeing a show or while exploring the neighborhood. For a sit-down meal, dine at Sartori Ristorante Italiano Pizzeria for excellent service and food. For a traditional pub choice, eat and drink at historic Lamb & Flag, which claims it was a favorite of Charles Dickens.

Plan your week in London with the help of a trusted a AAA travel advisor. Remember, our travel advisor services are included with your membership (that means no extra charge!).

Have you been to London? Share your favorite things about the city in the comments below.

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2 Thoughts on “Your Guide to London in a Week

  1. I took the alternative London tour and had a great walking tour of the street art of west London . I also love Camden , some of my favorite musicians hung out or lived up there. There are great markets and pubs . Next trip I will sure to stop in Richmond to visit my favorite pub from Ted Lasso and visit Paul McCartney’s new photo exhibit from the Beatles.

  2. This all sounds inviting. Not sure I can do it cost wise or physically. Thanking of my first train trip and 1955 from Chicago to Tucson, Arizona to visit my aunt and then train ride through Los Angeles, stopping overnight in San Francisco and being treated really by a relative and seeing many sites. The next day, traveling by California zephyr to Denver, Colorado for one day of touring Denver, and then a bus tour up Mount Evans. The next day going back to Chicago where our car was for my cousins wedding. What a wonderful trip. I have so many memories of trips. My last one was he a ship to get to England by way of Iceland visit my daughter was there for several months.

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