Itinerary for London: How to spend a long weekend in London
Got a day or three to spend in London? Here's our Plum suggestions to keep you entertained and occupied.
Find expert tips, here on Plum Guide. From where to stay, what to eat, and what to see in some of the world’s finest cities. Find expert-approved homes too: Plum Guide is a collection of the very best vacation rentals in the world, approved by our expert Home Critics after a rigorous 150 point test.
London is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring places you can visit (and no, we're not biased). Be it your first time or your 10th, and no matter what your tastes or interests are, it has all kinds of things to do and see that will charm all types.
You’re spoilt for options when you visit a place like London, so a little guidance from the pros is always wise and welcome - there’s no shame in admitting that! This is especially true when you’re only visiting for a long weekend and want to pack as much as possible in your itinerary, right?
Are you ready? This is how to spend your next long weekend in the best city in the world (see, no bias!):
Getting in on Friday night? After a long week, we’re always more than a little tired. Oh, and we’re usually very, very hungry. Our advice? Grab a bite (and maybe some drinks too). And what better place for this than Soho? This area is also a great welcome to the lively energy that makes London so special.
If you have never been to Sketch (and even if you have), it's a mandatory stop. We recommend this spot for its effortlessly cool aura and impeccably designed space - so perfect for the 'gram. Enjoy a delicious dinner of Lobster Fricassee, or try out one of the offered tasting menus.
Other excellent options around for a memorable bite include Blanchette - we’re partial to the Madagascan Tiger Prawn with Fennel and Pernod Sauce. You could also try the Octo Hummus at The Palomar, the Fried Baby Squid at 10 Greek Street, or the Sour Turmeric Curry at Kiln.
After that, head to Soho Theatre for a spot of stand-up or some top-notch cabaret that will make it into the top five you’ll ever see in your life, guaranteed! You can check what’s currently showing here.
Still have some energy after the show and don’t want to go to bed quite yet? Check out Milk & Honey for some drinks (only an option with reservations!). Our favourites on their ever changing cocktail menu include the London Calling Florodora, and Poet’s Dream.
Other brilliant options for late drinks in the area are Milroy’s for its unbeatable whiskey bar selection, and Kettner’s for its lovely ambience. We’d recommend you try the Pornstar cocktail or the Jasmine & Cardamom twinkle if you end up at the latter.
Want to stay in Soho?
Soho is the right spot to park yourself if you like the busy city vibe and want to be surrounded by multiple restaurants, bars and, of course, the rows upon rows of shops in the nearby Oxford and Regent Streets. It's the ideal London location if you're planning to indulge in some retail therapy.
There are also a ton of lovely Plum homes to rest your head in:
A striking and sophisticated space with bold colours and luxe finishes. The perfect space for anyone who wants to relax in style.
Minimal without being boring and with the most stunning architectural details (the ceiling is to die for!). You’ll feel right at home here f you enjoy simple elegance.
Uniquely London, young and rebellious. This is an eclectic space that is as interesting as the area where it is located. If you’re a free spirit and love the non-conventional, this is where you belong.
There are few things quite as quintessentially London as visiting Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, so we'd be remiss not to mention it in this long weekend itinerary for London.
This entire area has a relaxed yet alive atmosphere, especially on a Saturday morning. Here. you’ll be able to enjoy exploring antiques and other curiosities. There's a ton of lovely vintage clothing and other unique finds.
The one caveat when visiting Notting Hill, and specifically the market, is that these streets tend to get crowded as the day advances. We recommend arriving early to enjoy and shop before most other people arrive and it gets a little… well.. mental.
For some guilt-free deliciousness, visit Redemption for lunch. We recommend the Jack Soft Tacos followed by a not-so-traditional Eton Mess. After eating here, you’ll never again think that vegan food is “meh” or flavourless. Trust us.
All fuelled up? Hop on the tube and head to the Victoria & Albert Museum for your culture fix. This is a must-stop for anyone into decorative arts, design, and beautiful things in general. If you want souvenirs that are a bit more original than what every other tourist gets, the shop in this museum offers some beautiful pieces to choose from.
After your museum time is over, you're in luck if you are a matcha lover (or a novice looking to get started) because you're not too far from one of our matcha favourites - Tombo.
Tombo is a traditional Japanese cafe that not only offers unique food options to end your day on the right note, but is also a matcha paradise with all kinds of options for enjoying the traditional Japanese drink. They have a wide variety of matcha foods,from tea and assorted drinks (our fave is the Salted Caramel Hojicha Latte) to ice creams (try the Tokyo Sundae!) and other desserts like the Purple Potato & Matcha Swiss Roll and the Matcha Tart.
Want to stay in Notting Hill?
Notting Hill is eclectic and a bit romantic. Traditional and contemporary, with a mix of city life and beautiful calm. Some of our favourite Plum properties in the area are:
Perfect for a female get-getter travelling on her own. With an impeccable decor filled with a feminine aura and modern and luxurious touches.
This is a gorgeous space that perfectly mixes some traditional touches with a contemporary perspective. colourful, but softly, it inspires without overwhelming and feels both like a creative and peaceful space.
A perfect spot for creatives and readers who like modern spaces and creative stimulation without losing the elegance of small traditional touches.
Prefer to stay in Chelsea?
As posh as it gets, and perfect for those with the most refined tastes. Some of our recommended homes in Chelsea are:
Elegant to a fault. This traditional but somehow also young home is as vast as it is decadent. You’ll love it here if you enjoy living life largely. You even have a lift and a home cinema space!
Traditionally elegant and yet fresh, this is a space for the discerning few who mix exquisite taste with a little irreverence and fun. Perfect for a family or a couple spending a few days in the city.
Anyone looking for a younger and more fun and modern space will feel right at home here. The fireplace is a perfect marriage of history and modern design, and you’ll be surrounded by more books than you can possibly read in just a few days!
Sundays can be chilled out even in a busy city like London. There’s no shortage of things to do, but many Londoners take it a little slower than they do the rest of the week. Some of our favourite Sunday activities include bottomless brunching or wandering our way through of London’s many beautiful parks (weather dependent, of course).
Head to Mayfair if you want to experience a taste of the London high life. Start your day with some Eggs Benedict at Cecconi’s. If contemporary art is your thing, stop by Maddox Galleries for a look.
The next stop is obviously lunch, but we’re doing it picnic style! You have many options when it comes to beautiful parks in London and it would be a shame not to take advantage of them during your stay.
If you’re coming from Mayfair, St. James’s Park is close by and some of the attractions of there include the Tiffany Fountain and the pelicans you’re likely to spot!
Another good option is the Victoria Embankment Gardens, They're peaceful despite their super central location, and have the advantage of being close to the South Bank in case you fancy a little meander by the Thames afterwards.
Primrose Hill is an absolute treat when it comes to views of the city. If you can wait eat a little later you’ll not only avoid the crowds but you’ll get to witness a sunset fit for a postcard.
Once you've recharged via picnic food and nature, your next stop is Covent Garden. This lovely and lively London location offers a whole host of options for drinks and many shops. Don’t miss it.
After such a relaxing day, we assume you’ll probably have a bit of energy left before tucking into bed and calling it a night. If this is the case, head back to the West End and enjoy a bit of musical theatre at the Apollo or Victoria Palace.
If you have yet to see it, Wicked will lift your spirits with its optimism and it’s a sure crowd-pleaser, as is the mega-hit Hamilton. Book in advance for a chance to catch it.
Want to stay in Mayfair?
If you love classic British elegance, this is the place for you. Stay at one of these chic options:
Fit for a true queen (or king), this space is as elegant as it is fun! This is an ideal flat for art lovers who also enjoy regal touches all around.
If you’re more of a serious and professional taste, this flat is the one for you. With fully serviced spaces and even luxury toiletries on offer, you'll want to extend your long weekend to longer.
For a homier (but not any less luxurious) feel, this flat with a perfect kitchen and beautiful velvety furniture will make you feel right at home.
Unlike most other big cities, many museums, including the most famous ones, are usually free to visit in London.
Except for some special exhibitions, you can cross most names on your list without having to pay admission, which makes London a great cultural destination for those on a budget, or those who want to leave a few extra pounds in their pockets to be spent at the lovely museum shops!
You can start your day heading to Bloomsbury to tour the British Museum. This is a huge stop that could take all day, but you should still be able to appreciate the main parts of it by spending only the morning there. If you're not on a diet and enjoy pastries, you could have some traditional British baked goods at Fortitude for breakfast before venturing into the museum walls.
After all this museum walking you’ll probably be hungry again, so go grab some inexpensive but delicious fish and chips at Micky’s Fish & Chips for lunch, and then walk around Westminster Abbey and delight your eyes in the architectural wonder that is good old Big Ben.
If it’s summertime, you could take a tour inside Buckingham Palace, but even when it’s not open to the public it's still a treat to walk around such a magnificent building. The whole area around it has a special aura about it.
Depending on what time you’re scheduled to depart (hopefully not until very late or early the next morning!), head onwards to the National Gallery and also to the National Portrait Gallery that is just next door. Both house inspiring works of art that is sure to delight any lover of the arts.
Feeling peckish after all the artsy activities? Enjoy the rooftop restaurant at the National Portrait Gallery which offers stunning panoramic views of the city and a delightful afternoon tea in the English tradition, or an amazing Steak Tarte for a filling dinner, depending on the time you manage to finish your gallery tours. This would be the most fabulous way to end your London visit on a high (and delicious) note.
Want to stay in Bloomsbury?
Bloomsbury is perfect for anyone looking to stay close to the action, but still cocooned in as much calm as possible as well. We recommend the following options for your stay:
If you like culture and simple elegance but aren’t one to make a fuss, this is a gorgeous and super practical space. Perfect for solo travellers
If you're travelling in a group or just love big eccentric and fun spaces, this penthouse will fit the bill. It is a place as interesting as the city where it is located, and that is saying something!
How should you choose where to stay?
We would normally advise you to pick a property near your main planned activities during the trip, be it shopping, tourist attractions, cultural activities, or your own work, but since this itinerary is for a fun weekend that includes a variety of things to do all around London, we advise you to choose based on the mood and style of the property and the general vibe of the area.