big ben and london bridge

Itinerary For 3 Days In London


Get the most out of your sojourn in the city of dreams with this concise itinerary for 3 days in London. Sadly, three days was all I had for my very first trip to London. It was my first trip out of the United States and it was my first trip period. Not to mention I was doing it dolo. While I had traveled back to London several times since my days of studying abroad, this itinerary for 3 days in London would have definitely come in handy. 

My term at my university was coming to an end and I was going to spend the last semester of my year in another country. That was insane to me. I mean sort of, I really had been waiting for the experience for such a long time. I had been preparing for this for 21 years it seemed like! For the first time, with my passport in hand, I was headed to the city that swallowed her up as Cillian Murphy’s character says in Breakfast on Pluto.

Flying Solo

Imagine London being your very first destination out of the country as a young traveler. I was young, alive and bursting with unadulterated excitement at the realization that I was going to be traveling on my own, outside of the U.S. I hadn’t even so much as left the state of California at that time! I had however, spent the majority of my life up until this point,  fantasizing about different parts of the world. My head half full of imagination and half full of what I’d seen on tv or read in magazines.  For this city chick who was ready to take on the unknown magic, London couldn’t have been more dreamy.

I’ve traveled so much since my very first trip abroad, that I feel like I’ve got the short trips down to a formula now.  The three most important things for a good trip I feel are transportation, lodging and experience. You want to make sure to plan ahead for these three things, because they really can save you so much time in the end. They also can determine whether or not you have a fulfilling trip!

#1 Transportation

Airport To The City of London

  • London has about 6 airports all of which have direct transportation to London city by way of express trains or the underground train which is the London Tube. This will be your cheapest route to the center of London. And is an experience in itself.
  • Public buses, trams, the underground train are all available as options for getting around London. But trust me, you’re going to want to get yourself the Visitor Oyster Card which allows you to travel on just about all of the city’s public transit options
  • Oyster cards are rechargeable too and you can prepay ahead of time and save yourself the hassle. The tube can be a little daunting for new visitors so it’s definitely best to prepay.

#2 Lodging

Now on my first trip to London, I distinctly remember spending approximately £150.00 which today converts to $208.00 USD. While today that might not seem like a big deal, at the time I really had no idea how much I was spending. Only later did I come to realize, that it definitely was a lot for a college student.

As far as my hotel room I can hardly remember much about it. It was a fairly chic boutique hotel and I do remember that it was cold and icy the day I arrived. I was really unfamiliar with jetlag too so that is something else you’ll want to prep for. I did not. I hardly slept on the plane because I was way too excited to know better. So I landed, checked in and crashed. It was wonderful. If I had to redo my first few days in London, I definitely would’ve spent more time looking for some chic and modern hotels like the ones I listed down below. 

Today travel and lodging are synonymous to me. The hotel, Airbnb, lodging, etc. can really make your trip that much more special no matter how much time you spend in it. I think coming back to a beautiful space can be so comforting when you’re so far away from home.

Hotels in London City

Mimi’s Hotel – Soho

citizenM London – Bankside

Strand Palace Hotel-Covent Garden

 

#3 Experience

My biggest tip here is plan, plan, plan! If you know for certain that you will want to visit specific landmarks, museums, palaces etc.–then it would be in your best interest to prepay for any of those visits. Don’t waste your time standing in lines or missing out because you arrived too late! 

 

Day 1 – City of London

The Tower of London

Sky Garden

St. Paul’s Cathedral

 

Day 2 – Covent Garden

Trafalgar Square

Piccadilly Circus

Somerset House

Neal’s Yard

Royal Opera House

 

Day 3 – Westminster + Chelsea

London Eye + Big Ben

Buckingham Palace

Chelsea Physic Garden

big ben double decker bus

london bridge on a foggy daylondon tube

Diary Entry


That’s right! Guess where I am? Sorry I’m writing this two days late. It’s actually my last day here (London), I am off to Italy in a few hours where I will be studying in Siena for the next four months.


I can’t believe I’m finally here, I mean for the longest time I’ve wanted this so much and now I’m here. London is great, but two days is not nearly enough time to really see the city. Jim (Morrison) was right, people really are hip here and I couldn’t look more out of place with my California sandals in mid-January! 

You know what’s funny though? Being here is pretty much like being anywhere really. I mean when in the U.S. or “The States” as they say—this is a whole other world away and you imagine that when you land you’ll get this really strange foreign feeling. But actually when you’re here, you’re just here just as you would be anywhere else. 

My first day here in London wasn’t all that exciting, I was jet-lagged and slept most of the afternoon and then London went dark by 5 pm. It was bitterly cold and everything was covered in snow which was new to me, so I ended up back in my hotel room watching the only 4 channels this hotel seems to offer. And yet this is the first time in my life I’ve ever felt so incredibly free and independent! I’m 21 traveling for the first time alone with nothing but my passport and my bag in a fantastic hotel room and it feels so damn amazing!

Yesterday (Day 2) was better, went to Central London and got lost a bit. I ended up in an entirely different station where I met this guy named David on the tube. He was pretty nice and helped me get around and told me to call him next time I’m in the city. I think I will, it would be nice to have someone to show me around and a new friend never hurt. 

So! I’ll be in Italy in a few hours. This should be interesting seeing how I don’t know a word of Italian. Let’s just hope the coffee in Italy lives up to its reputation! If you like posts like these check out some of my posts on my other traveling experiences. Hopefully they offer some insight if you plan on a trip anytime in the near future!

3 Comments

  1. Unwanted Life

    May 4, 2021

    £150 for three nights stay probably isn’t a lot now, although it still seems a lot to me. Where abouts in London did you stay? What nightlife activities did you enjoy?

    • thepalmqueen

      May 4, 2021

      Oh no that was per night! And I was definitely on a budget at the time lol. I believe I stayed at a hotel nearest the Gatwick airport

  2. Kelly Diane

    May 4, 2021

    Well done on taking your first solo trip so far from home. I recently visited London and completed agree its so important to plan ahead.

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Sara

Always inspired by travel and on-the-go living, my blog is for everyday women looking for inspiration and ways to elevate their everyday wherever they are.

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