Must See Sights for London In One Day... With Kids
Dec 01, 2022
While there is a lot of content on cities to visit, I often find myself searching for the “must see sights/must do experiences” in one day! While people usually travel to a city for more than a day, I always like to know the most important, “must do” places.
So, here is London in One Day- 3 must visit places/ must do experiences. I chose London as it is a transit city to other places in Europe via airline routes.
Important Note- this does not include all the places to visit in London, just my perspective on "must have" family experiences.
Top 3 Landmarks/Experiences in London... all you can experience in One Day
Famous Bridge- Many people think it’s the London Bridge but it’s actually the Tower Bridge in London. It was constructed in the late 1800s and has a majestic look.
- Can you go inside? Yes- there is a lift (elevator) OR you can climb 311 steps. Prices are reasonable for adults and children, under 5 years old are free. You walk through one of the towers to the other, portions are open so you can see the cars moving below. You can also see the steam engine. If you don’t want to officially “go inside”- you can walk the bridge as you great views of the bridge, the River Thames, Tower of London, and the city. This experience is cheaper compared to other tourist sites like the London Eye. (And remember, not all the bridges in the world that can you take an elevator and go up)!
- You can also get boat tickets for a tour of London via River Thames. While this is another “touristy” thing to do, kids may enjoy seeing the city on the river- both the west and east ends.
City Center- This is Piccadilly Circus- a road junction in London (has some similarities to Times Square in NYC). It was built over 200 years ago. In this context, a circus, from the Latin word meaning “circle”, is a round open space at a street junction.
- From Piccadilly, you can easily walk to Oxford Circus- a big shopping district on Regent Street. This same Regent Street takes you all the way to Marble Arch. It is a lovely walk and has a lot of stores, including Hamleys, an amazing toy store which unique toys!
- One of the reasons I like this place is because of the easy walking accessibility to other places, lots of people, and especially during the holiday season- lots of lights!
Those of you who are muggles…Who loves Harry Potter? In selecting these “London In A Day” activities- I had to think of what my kids would know about UK- and that’s Big Ben and Harry Potter.
- We did a "Tour for Muggles" in central London which included the famous landmarks that inspired the book. (note this is not the official Warner Bros Studios experience).
- You can book this your through Viator Travel OR Trip Advisor- which is where we found it when I searched for Harry Potter London OR through Tour for Muggles directly. Click Here - Tour for Muggles
- What did we do on the tour?
- For Harry Potter fans (and if you just like to walk)- this 2-hour walking tour took us through Leadenhall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millennium Bridge (hanging bridge), the original “Diagon Alley”, the “Gringotts Wizarding Bank”, and much more! London is a great walking city.
- The tour ended to see the famous Borough Market- a historic market in central London with lots of amazing food options (fruits, fish/meat market, sit down dining, and diverse food trucks too). That’s where we had lunch.
- Finally, we walked along Bankside and the Southbank from Borough Market all the way to Westminster Bridge- adjacent to The London Eye (see below), Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey which are also important landmarks to see.
- Price of Tour: This is a fraction of the price of visiting the Warner Bros Studios in London. While this tour is not the same experience, it felt very real for my kids that that they connected the book to the real-life London!
- What we loved the most on Tour for Muggles?
- The walk around various neighborhoods in London! I lived there before and I learned so much about different neighborhoods that I was unaware of.
- And guess who loved it the most- my daughters! They won the trivia and overall experience brought fiction to real life.
Method of Transportation: Getting from A to B
- One of the things I love about London is the Underground- the tube (known as subway in NYC). It’s very easy to navigate by colors and names of lines. And all the stops are named by the street shown on a map. It can be the best way and affordable to get around.
- Bus Options:
- They have amazing double decker public buses that also take you to the various destinations.
- You can also do a famous "Hop-On Hop Off Big Bus Tour" which has 3 different routes that take you all around central London and parts of the West End. It takes about 1.5 hours each route. It is great way to experience the city and you can cover all the places listed above (outside of the Walking Tour for Muggles) in One Day.
- Taxi / Uber: Both of these are available in London. The taxis are clean and amazing and sometimes more readily available versus Uber at key tourist sites.
Hope this was useful to you planning your visit to London in One Day. Whether you have one day OR more, it's a great place to visit with various sights, parks, landmarks, and experiences.