One day isn’t nearly enough time to see everything the incredible city of London has to offer. There will always be something more to see or do in this busy and vibrant city, even if you stayed for a year! We’ve packed a ton of the best things to do in London into this handy guide. Here’s how to make the most of your short time in England’s capital city.

Morning in Southwark: Borough Market & Tate Modern

Start your day early with a wander around Borough Market, where you can find stalls stacked high with fresh fruits and vegetables, rare mushrooms, huge cheese wheels, and artisan crafts. The market has many mouthwatering options for breakfast, but our top pick is Monmouth Coffee. With around twenty different kinds of coffee beans, you can choose your own brew or have one of the cheerful baristas pick it out for you. Pair your morning coffee with a croissant from the mountain of warm pastries on the counter. 

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'My work has always been a time machine looking backwards across decades and centuries to arrive at some understanding of my "place" in the contemporary moment.' – @kara_walker_official ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Kara Walker's Fons Americanus was inspired by the Victoria Memorial in front of London's Buckingham Palace. In-keeping with the Memorial's nautical theme, Walker uses water as a theme to refer to the transatlantic slave trade, questioning how we remember history in our public monuments. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Blind and Partially Sighted visitors are invited to a free, in-depth audio description tour of the artist's 2019 Hyundai Commission on 16 December at Tate Modern, meeting at the Clore Hub at 10.15am. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⛲⛲⛲

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Wander up Cathedral Street past the 800-year-old Southwark Cathedral on the banks of the Thames. Follow the river bank east, where you’ll pass the Golden Hinde, the replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship; Winchester Palace, the medieval ruins of a bishop’s palace; and the Clink Museum, a former prison turned museum of crime and punishment. Marvel at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a replica of the famous theatre where many of the Bard’s works were first performed. By now you will have reached the Tate Modern art gallery, Britain’s national gallery of modern art. The permanent collection includes works by Picasso, Paul Klee, and Alison Wilding. Tate Modern has a wide variety of temporary exhibitions, which in the past have included art from Ai Weiwei, Olafur Eliasson, and Kara Walker.

Afternoon in the center: Covent Garden & the British Museum

Cross the river on the pedestrian Millennium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral. Stroll through the gardens of this iconic church to the St Paul’s Tube station, where you can take the Central line to Tottenham Court Road, a long avenue of high-end shops. But instead of doing your shopping on the high street, go a few minutes down the road to Seven Dials. Just next to Covent Garden, the area includes the Seven Dials Market, an old banana warehouse. It’s full of lunch spots: try handmade pasta at Strozzapreti, burgers at Truffle, or fancy fish and chips at Ink. Tucked away down a cobbled side lane is Neal’s Yard, one of London’s prettiest streets. Take some colorful pictures, wander through the wealth of independent stores, and maybe even find some trinkets to bring home. When you’re ready to go, walk from the Seven Dials clock up Shaftesbury Avenue and Museum Street to reach the British Museum.

The British Museum’s collection of over 8 million objects from across human cultures and histories is staggeringly huge. Highlights include the Rosetta Stone, the controversial Parthenon Marbles, and sketches from da Vinci and Botticelli. It’s easy to spend a whole day in this museum, but try and limit yourself to an hour and a half or so as there’s still so much to see and do in London! Stop for a quick refuel at the Cake Shop Gallery, the cafe attached to the London Review Bookshop. Snack on bright handmade cakes, delicious coffee, and a rainbow of different teas.

Late afternoon: Westminster & Buckingham Palace

Walk or take the tube from Holborn to Westminster Station (Piccadilly Line to Green Park, change for the Jubilee Line). Here you can see the famous bell tower housing Big Ben and the imposing and elaborate Westminster Abbey. British monarchs have been crowned in this Gothic church for centuries. Stroll through St James’s Park to marvel at Buckingham Palace, the official home of Queen Elizabeth II. If you’re up for more walking before dinnertime, why not take a wander over to Hyde Park, where you can find Speaker’s Corner. This free speech zone has been a site of discussion and debate since the 19th century, where speakers such as George Orwell have addressed the public.

Evening: Chinatown and the West End

As the sun sets, make your way to London’s Chinatown, stopping to take a picture of the beautiful Chinatown Gate. Here you can take your pick from some of the world’s best restaurants for not only Chinese, but Malaysian, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese food. We recommend the (highly underrated) Tokyo Diner on Newport Place. This Japanese restaurant serves authentic, delicious, and affordable dishes worthy of any foodie’s top ten list. 

Catch an evening show in the nearby West End. Home to some of the most beautiful theatres in Europe, if you’ve booked or are early you can get tickets to shows like Les Misérables, Hamilton, and The Lion King. Most shows start at 7:30pm and end around 10pm. Afterward, walk down to Piccadilly Circus and appreciate London’s answer to Times Square. This normally bustling square is quieter in the evenings, making it a perfect time to watch the bright lights.

Late evening: Cocktails & games

If you’re still going after this – we applaud you! While you could easily end the day here and go back to your Airbnb or hotel room, we have a couple of bonus activities for you if you’re hungry for even more of London:

With nightly jazz, blues, and swing from 9:30pm, Nightjar in Shoreditch serves classic cocktails and vintage spirits until the small hours. This speakeasy-style bar is perfect for lingering at a candlelit table to a soundtrack of live jazz.  Draughts in Waterloo is the board game pub you never knew you needed. Just next to Waterloo station, it’s open until midnight serving craft beer, pub snacks, and an 800-strong library of board games. 

More sights to see

With a limit of 24 hours in this huge and fascinating city, we recommend sticking to the center of London to tick off as many of the big-ticket items as possible. But if you have a little more time, here are a few more places to check out:

Keep your hands free during your London adventures by booking easy luggage storage with Nannybag. Drop your bags at one of our many London locations and be free to enjoy your travels!