Coming up with an Italy itinerary is no easy task.
Smaller than many other countries in terms of size, Italy is ranked as one of the best countries for tourists and it probably is the biggest country in the world in terms of what it has to offer to its visitors. Gorgeous cities and quaint villages; archeological sites and an abundance of art; natural sites that go from the Alps in the North of the country to the volcanoes of Sicily and the marvelous beaches of Sardinia; an incredible cultural heritage; food traditions like nowhere else – you name it. The reasons to visit Italy are many.
Having doubts? Make sure to read my post “17 Reasons To Visit Italy As Soon As Possible.”
With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why many travelers, and especially Italy’s first timers, fall for the mistake of packing too much in their Italy itinerary, in a desperate attempt to see as much of the country as possible in the short time they have available, fearful that they may never be able to return after that trip because there are so many more places to visit in the world.
But you see, Italy is a country that deserves no rush. We Italians are masters at the art of enjoying life, and we wish you’d do the same when you visit our beautiful country. This is to say: we are confident that once you visit for the first time, you will keep coming back.
Plan an Italy itinerary that will make you enjoy the country rather than just see it, and chances are you will be holding a new ticket to fly to Italy within a few days of returning from your trip.
With the intent of helping you, I have decided to create 5 easy to follow itineraries. Whether you want to go for the classic sights or to the north or the south; whether you want to visit the Italian islands or stuff your face with the best food in the world, here you are bound to find an Italy itinerary to suit your needs.
Each of these itineraries is intended for a trip that lasts a minimum of 10 days (which implies a trip of 11 or 12 days including your flights). You can easily add a night in the places I suggest if you have more time, but by all means do not add random far away destinations (again, the biggest mistake when visiting Italy for the first time would be to pack your itinerary too much).
If you have less than 10 days, you will have to strike off a destination from the itinerary or – if you want – just get in touch with me and we can work on a perfect custom made Italy itinerary for you.
Continue reading to find your perfect Italy itinerary.
The Best Italy Itinerary
Classic Italy Itinerary #1: Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre, Venice
10 Days in Italy itinerary
I always say that if you are visiting a place for the first time, you should get the most popular attractions out of the way. Pick this Italy itinerary if it is your first time in the country. If you have 10 days, stick to it religiously and don’t add any more places to it – do so, and you’d end up seeing more, but from the train! If you have more than 10 days in Italy, you can add more destinations at the end (see my recommendations below).
For this itinerary, I recommend flying into Rome Fiumicino airport and flying out of Venice Marco Polo airport, which is well connected to the rest of Italy, Europe and the world via a series of direct and connecting flights.
In short, this is what your Italy itinerary will look like:
3 nights in Rome
2 nights in Florence
1 night in Pisa
2 nights in Cinque Terre
2 nights in Venice
If you are landing in Rome from the other side of the world, chances are you will be exhausted and in need of a shower. Head to your hotel and take a power nap, and venture out later in the day.
Check out my post “How To Get From Fiumicino Airport To Rome City Center.”
I recommend picking an easy activity for your arrival day, such as a food tour. The following ones are all good options with an afternoon or evening starting time:
For the other 2 days you have in town, make sure to follow the itinerary highlighted in my post “The Perfect Itinerary To See Rome In 2 Days.” It will take you to all the main highlights of the city, including the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the best squares of Rome, and the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.
For more about Rome, read my post “30 Unmissable, Fun And Cheap Things To Do In Rome.”
Remember you will need to get skip the line tickets ahead of time to visit most attractions.
Make sure to take a look at these posts for guidance on how to skip the lines:
GET YOUR SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS HERE
Make sure to read my post “A Complete Guide To Where To Stay In Rome.”
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN ROME HERE
The second leg of this classic Italy itinerary will take you to Tuscany.
You can travel to Florence by train. The journey takes around 1.5 hours, and if you take an early train you can drop your bags at your hotel and have the entire afternoon available to explore. Get your train tickets in advance here. Alternatively, you can rent a car to be even more flexible and independent. Check out the prices of car rental here.
You have a day and a half in Florence to roam the city and visit its most important attractions. The ones you really should not miss are the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza Duomo, the Baptistery of St. John; Uffizi Palace and Gallery; Ponte Vecchio; Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio, Academy Gallery; Santa Croce church; Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens and Santa Maria Novella church.
Remember you will need to get skip the line tickets ahead of time to visit most attractions. These are some tickets you may want to get:
GET YOUR SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS HERE
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN FLORENCE HERE
I must admit I am more of a Siena fan than Pisa, but for the purpose of this Italy itinerary it makes way more sense to see Pisa as it is on the way to Cinque Terre.
If you are traveling around Italy by train, get an early train to Pisa. Get your train tickets in advance here. You will be spending just a night there on your way to Cinque Terre. The city is small enough that you can see its main attractions in a day.
The center of Pisa is small. Its main attractions are the Baptistery, the Cathedral and the Leaning Tower and you obviously should not skip the Campo Santo and a walk along the river and the old historical center. You can easily visit Pisa independently, but you may want to join a guided tour to see its highlights (you can book it here).
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN PISA HERE
It will take you around 1 hour and 10 minutes to get from Pisa Central Station to Riomaggiore (you need to change in La Spezia), the first of the 5 villages of Cinque Terre. Check out the train timetable and get tickets in advance here.
This is one of the most scenic parts of Italy, and you are bound to fall in love with it. Once there, you can enjoy several activities. Most people go there to hike from one village to the other (the most famous trail is Sentiero Azzurro); but you can also enjoy a day at the beach; go wine tasting; and gorge on all the local food.
Check out my post “5 Excellent Reasons To Visit Cinque Terre.”
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN CINQUE TERRE HERE
The last leg of your classic Italy itinerary will take you to Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Brace yourself as it is quite a trip from Cinque Terre – it will take you between 4 and 6 hours by train, with several changes, or 4 by car. If you are traveling by train, make sure to book the earliest train possible so that you can have at least a few hours to explore Venice on the same day – check out the train timetable and get tickets in advance here.
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN VENICE HERE
Venice has no shortage of incredible sights and you will enjoy getting lost in its narrow alleys and breathing through its history. St. Mark’s Square is an unmissable place, and you will want to visit St. Mark’s Basilica and climb the tower. You should also check out Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sights, and then head to Rialto Bridge and go on a boat ride along the Grand Canal. If you find that you have some extra time, head out to Burano for half a day too.
Make sure to read my post “17 Incredible Things To Do In Venice” for more inspiration.
In Venice, you are better off getting some skip the line tickets in advance to visit its most popular attractions. Here are some you may want to consider:
GET YOUR SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS HERE
Do you have more time?
Continue your journey across the North of Italy and head to Verona, an easy train ride from Venice, a charming small town where you should visit the fabulous Arena, Castle Vecchio, Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza Bra and Juliet’s House.
From Verona, hop on the train again or rent a car and drive all the way to Trentino to visit the charming mountain villages and enjoy the marvelous landscape of the Dolomites.
Make sure to check out these posts for more inspiration:
Classic Italy Itinerary #2: Rome, Florence and Tuscany, Naples and the Amalfi Coast
10 Days in Italy itinerary
This first part of this Italy itinerary is similar to the one above. It doesn’t include Cinque Terre (though you could in theory go there on a day trip from Florence such as this one) and Venice, but you will get to see Naples, Sorrento and the breathtaking Amalfi Coast instead.
For the purpose of this itinerary, you should fly into Rome Fiumicino Airport on your way in. To fly back, you have the option to fly from Naples Capodichino airport and get a connecting flight to your final destination, or drive back to Rome Fiumicino airport from Sorrento (about 3 hours drive, depending on traffic, and you are better off getting a private transfer in this case).
Here is what your 10 days in Italy will look like:
3 nights in Rome
3 nights in Florence and Tuscany
1 night in Naples
3 nights on the Amalfi Coast
Much like in the previous itinerary, for this itinerary you will have 3 nights in Rome. Check out my indications above for tips on how to get to the city from the airport, where to stay, and the best places to visit and don’t forget to get skip-the-line tickets for the various tourist attractions.
GET YOUR SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS HERE
Florence and Tuscany
From Rome, take an early train to Florence. This time you will have 3 nights there (and 3 full days) and since you are not going to Cinque Terre, you should definitely enjoy a bit more of Tuscany, taking a day trip to Siena and the lovely hills of Tuscany.
These are the best day guided day trips you can take from Florence:
The third part of this Italy itinerary will take you to one of the most unique and beautiful parts of Italy.
From Florence Santa Maria Novella Station, the trail will take you to Naples in just about 3 hours. Opt for an early train (Check out the train timetable and get tickets in advance here), so that as soon as you arrive you can drop your bags at your hotel, have lunch, and then set off to explore.
Naples is a fun place to visit, and you will absolutely love the food there. This is where pizza was invented – you simply cannot leave without having tried it and I promise you it will be like nothing you have tried before. If you want to get properly acquainted with all the local flavors, join a guided food tour. This one starts at 11:00 am and 6:00 pm so fits perfectly in your itinerary.
Among the places to visit in Naples, make sure to not to skip Castel Ovo, Cappella San Severo, Catacombs of San Gennaro, Capodimonte Palace. Visit the Cathedral and browse around the Presepi shops (this is something truly unique to Naples!).
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN NAPLES HERE
From Naples, take an early Circumvesuviana train (this is a regional train and you don’t need to get tickets in advance) and get off at Pompeii Scavi station – the journey takes little over 30 minutes. Once at the station, drop off your bags at the luggage storage facility (BAGBNB storage costs just €5 per day per bag) and head to Pompeii Archeological site. I recommend getting fast track entrance tickets before visiting – you can get them here.
Factor in about 3 hours for your visit, after which you can head back to the station, pick up your bags and get back on the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. I recommend using Sorrento as your base for the next 3 nights, as it is the easiest starting point to explore the Amalfi Coast.
Depending on which time you arrive in Sorrento, you have enough time for a walk along the waterfront and you can even embark on a Limoncello tasting tour.
From Sorrento, you can visit Capri on a boat tour or go there independently (it’s an easy 20 minutes boat ride) and go to the Amalfi Coast. These are some good tour options:
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN SORRENTO HERE
Do you have more time?
If you have more than 10 days in Italy, you may want to add a day in Rome and one in Tuscany or, quite simply, add another (southern) leg to your trip.
Make sure to check my post “The Perfect Itinerary For 3 Days In Rome.”
If you’d rather continue your journey south, I recommend spending a day in Matera, one of the most scenic cities in southern Italy famous for its Sassi, and then continue on to Lecce, in Puglia, which you can use as a base to explore the marvelous Salento where you can spend a day basking in the sun in one of the pretty beach of Polignano a Mare and explore – among others – small towns such as Ostuni, Gallipoli, Alberobello and Locorotondo.
The Islands of Italy Itinerary: Catania, Aeolian Islands, Cagliari and South Sardinia
10 Days in the best Italian Islands
This itinerary is perfect if you have already been to all the main places to visit in Italy want to visit two regions that get significantly less visitors compared to others, and care to see some truly unique places. It’s an itinerary you can follow in any season but which – if you are a fan of the beach – you should definitely consider for your summer holidays.
For the purpose of this itinerary, you will have to fly into Catania – there are connecting flights via Rome Fiumicino; get a flight from Catania to Cagliari (there usually are direct flights) and fly back from Cagliari via Rome Fiumicino.
Here is what your itinerary will look like:
3 nights in Catania
2 nights in the Aeolian Islands
2 nights in Cagliari
3 nights in the south of Sardinia
Catania is one of the most interesting cities in the south of Italy. At the base of Mount Etna, the center of the city is packed with interesting historical sights – the Cathedral, the Roman Amphitheater, the Benedectine Monastery among others.
Make sure to read my post “A Great Guide To The Things To Do In Catania, Italy” for more inspiration on the city’s attractions.
Once you are done visiting Catania, you can take day trips from the city to explore the incredible surroundings. I recommend visiting Mount Etna – read my post “Everything You Need To Know To Visit Mount Etna” for practical tips to plan your visit. Another great day trip from Catania is the one to the lovely Noto and Syracuse.
Here is a selection of good day trips from Catania:
If you’d rather move around independently, make sure to rent a car directly at the airport. Check out the prices of car rental here.
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN CATANIA HERE
From Catania, hop on a train to Messina and from there to Milazzo. I recommend going as early as possible as between the train and the hydrofoil ride it may end up being quite a long journey. You can consult the train timetable and buy train tickets here. Once in Milazzo, take a ferry to one of the Aeolian Islands.
The island you should pick to stay will depend on your taste. Vulcano will give you a nice combination of easy hikes, nice beaches and mud baths. But for a truly unique experience, go to Stromboli where you can hike the active volcano (if you want to do that, you may want to book this Volcano Stromboli summit crater guided hike).
You may want to check out my posts “Everything You Need To Know To Visit Vulcano Island, Sicily” and “Everything You Need To Know To Hike Stromboli Volcano” for a better idea on what to expect and which island to pick.
FIND A ROOM IN THE AEOLIAN ISLANDS HERE
From the Aeolian Islands, make your way back to Catania from where you can catch a flight to Cagliari. You won’t need a car much when you are in Cagliari, but I wholeheartedly recommend it for the remainder of your visit as it is the best way to reach the beaches and other places that aren’t in the city. The easiest thing is to pick it up directly at the airport. Check out the prices of car rental here.
Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and a place where you will truly be able to breathe the local atmosphere. A truly lovely city (and I am not just saying this because I live there), it has yet to be discovered by mass tourism. For as small as it is, the Sardinian capital has a lot to offer to its visitors: a well kept historical center with gorgeous churches and well curated museums; a few incredible beaches and easily reached hiking trails for stunning views; a nature reserve with pink flamingoes; a thriving nightlife and much more.
Make sure to read my post “15 Great Things To Do In Cagliari” for more inspiration. For ideas on places to stay, check out my post “A Guide To Hotels In Cagliari: Where To Stay In Sardinia’s Capital.”
CHECK OUT THE BEST HOTEL DEALS IN CAGLIARI HERE
You could explore the south of Sardinia directly from Cagliari if you wanted, and take a series of day trips to places such as Barumini – a great archeological site; to one of the many wineries; or to one or more of the incredible beaches.
Make sure to read my posts “A Guide To The Beaches In Cagliari And Its Surroundings” and “An Excellent Guide To The Best Beaches In Sardinia.”
Yet, I believe that you may well want to finish off your holiday with a proper beach vacation, since after all you are in Sardinia. Not far from Cagliari you will find a number of small sea-side resort town and villages where you can base yourself for a few days to explore the nearby beaches. Places like Costa Rei and Villasimius, on the south-eastern coast, or Chia on the south-west, offer a good combination of excellent beaches that are much loved by the locals; good accommodation options (you may be better off renting a small apartment); a few good restaurants and – quite importantly – that much needed holiday atmosphere.
Of all of them, my favorite is Costa Rei – my family owns a property there and it is my favorite place to escape from the stress of city life.
Check out my post “A Local’s Guide To Costa Rei, Sardinia.”
FIND A ROOM IN COSTA REI HERE
Do you have more time?
If you have more than 10 days, you can simply add a night in each destination or decide to include places such as Corfu and Palermo in your Sicily itinerary, and/ or Alghero, Bosa, Asinara Island to your Sardinia itinerary. If you need more inspiration to decide, make sure to read my posts:
A Few Extra Tips To Plan Your Perfect Trip To Italy
If you need more help in planning your Italy itinerary, head over to my post “What To Do And What To Avoid When Planning A Trip To Italy.”
I also recommend reading my post “67 Extremely Useful Travel Tips For Italy” for other useful travel tips – both for planning or for when you are already in the country.
I won’t ever tire to repeat that you need to buy skip-the-line tickets for most attractions you intend to visit well ahead of time – especially if your itinerary doesn’t allow much of a leeway. For Rome, I have compiled a number of posts that give you exact guidelines on how to find the ticket that is most suitable to your needs.
If you are unsure about which third party site to use to buy attraction tickets or guided tours, make sure to read my post “A Completely Honest GetYourGuide Review.”
GET YOUR SKIP-THE-LINE TICKETS HERE
Guided tours of Italy
I know, part of the fun of traveling to Italy is planning your Italy itinerary yourself. But really guy – I promise you that even the most experienced travelers find the planning bits hard at times.
There really is nothing wrong in booking a guided tour of Italy – even more so if it is your first time in the country. G Adventures has great tours of Italy that are suitable for travelers of all ages, styles and budgets. You can check them out here.
CHECK OUT THESE GUIDED TOURS OF ITALY
Best time to visit Italy
This is the trickiest question of all! Let me start by saying that any time is a good time to visit Italy and that my country is gorgeous year round. Having said that, your decision on when to visit depends on the kind of trip you want to do – if you are hoping to hit the beach, definitely visit between June and September – and on when you actually have time off.
What I can tell you though is that Italy tends to be significantly more crowded between May and September, and that in Italians usually go on holidays in August and that’s when cities will empty of locals and be packed with tourists.
A guide book is definitely a good add on to any Italy itinerary. Bring it with you for quick tips on places to visit, attractions, restaurants and local food and even local information and useful numbers.
These are the guide books I recommend the most:
Italy guarantees medical assistance to anybody on its soil, regardless of their legal status as residents, migrants or tourists. Either way, I still recommend getting a good insurance for your trip.
Check out my post “Why You Need A Good Travel Insurance.” Get a good travel insurance here.
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Getting The London Dungeon tickets is easier than you can imagine. This post will help you find a way that suits you.
When it comes to interactive attractions, few places in London are as entertaining as The London Dungeon – and scary as well. Walking through this place, actors will tell you an interesting – if only a bit dark – part of the story of the British capital. It’s a fun way to learn more about the city.
The only issue with visiting The London Dungeon is that entrances are timed, so while you can get London Dungeon tickets on the spot, you can’t really expect to walk in when you are in the area, and it may be better off getting tickets in advance, especially if you intend to visit at a specific time and if you have limited time in the city.
If you are planning a trip to London and intend to visit the Dungeon, you are probably looking for the most convenient way of getting London Dungeon tickets. This post is for you then! Here, I will explain all the available options to get London Dungeon tickets and tell you everything you need to know to plan your visit. Before that, however, let me give you some background information about this fun attraction.
Visiting the London Dungeon will let you into the darkest secrets of the city
Why You Must Visit The London Dungeon
London is a fantastic city. I have spent many years there, studying and working, and I enjoy visiting at any opportunity. This is a city that will capture you with its eclectic vibe – historical sites sit right next to the most modern, state-of-the-art building; and no matter your travel taste, budget and interests you are bound to find something for you. It’s no wonder this is one of the most visited cities in the world.
One of the places I enjoy visiting the most when I am in town is The London Dungeon. I freak out – literally – every time I do, and always wonder why I am even doing that to myself. But in the end it is such a fun experience that I am always glad I went.
London’s scariest attraction is a real must-see if you fancy filling up on adrenaline while in the city.
The 20 live actors at The London Dungeon put up a very interactive show (in fact, there are 19 different shows and you never know which one you’ll be taking part in) which is a mix of humorous and frightening and which will take you through more than 1000 years of history. You will be let into the city’s darkest secrets, with histories of the plague, serial killers, fires, murder and what not. You can expect to be immersed in London just as it used to be during its darkest time – smells, noises, rats, cockroaches and the like.
You will meet Guy Fawkes, one of the most famous participants of the Gunpowder Plot, who back in 1605 tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament and who’s now celebrated each 5 November on Guy Fawkes Day. You will walk inside Sweeney Todd’s barber shop on Fleet Street (by the way, if you haven’t watched the musical directed by Tim Burton and starring an incredible Johnny Depp, it’s about time you do). You will explore Whitechapel in search of Jack the Ripper and, at the end of your visit, be judged for your crimes and board the Newgate Prison Ride to Doom.
This is all to say that The London Dungeon really is a cool, alternative way to learn more about the history of the city, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Yet, you should be prepared for it – visiting this attraction requires a bit of planning, and you really should get London Dungeon tickets in advance if you want to maximize your time in the city.
Continue reading this post to learn how to get London Dungeon tickets and skip the line.
Are you in a rush? Here’s a shortcut!
5 Smart Ways Of Getting The London Dungeon Tickets
There are five main ways to get London Dungeon tickets in advance. Below, I will highlight the various solutions available so you can pick whichever is most suitable to you.
In general, I recommend getting tickets to the London Dungeon via third party sites as to me they are easier to get (no pop-up windows, no redirect to other sites etc) and use and have very flexible cancellation policies.
Finally, here are the best ways of nailing your London Dungeon ticket.
During your visit you will join the Tyrant Boat Ride
Way N. 1: Buy your London Dungeon tickets on the official website
This is the official website of the London Dungeon. Standard daily tickets bought via the official website cost £24 GBP for adults (around $30), whereas children between 3 and 15 pay £19 ($24 USD).
Once you select how many tickets you need, you will have to pick a time slot for your visit. You will then be taken to another page to select any extra and finally to the purchase page, where you can select to pay via Paypal or credit or debit card.
You will be given the option to receive your e-tickets via email, so you can print them at home. You can also download the PDF version of your ticket on your smartphone to have it scanned at the entrance. Alternatively, you can opt to pick up your ticket at the ticket counter. You will need to show your booking reference and the credit or debit card you used to buy it. However this option is not encouraged because it means having to line at the counter.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: The official website doesn’t mention anything about refunds, cancellations and date changes once the tickets have been purchased. If you want to be 100% certain of getting a refund in case you need to cancel, you should book your tickets via GetYourGuide, which has a free cancellation policy for all tickets. More on that below.
You also have the option of getting Flexi Tickets, which cost £27 GBP for adults (around $34), and £22 (little less than $28 USD) for children between 3 and 15. These tickets are not timed and you have until 31 December 2020 to use them. What is confusing about this option is that there is no mention of how to select a time for the day you finally decide to visit.
Finally, you can get combo tickets for the London Dungeon with other attractions – for a total of 3 attractions. These include Madame Tussauds, The London Eye, Sea Life and Shrek’s Adventure.
GOOD TO KNOW: I don’t recommend taking children younger than 12 to the London Dungeon. Some rides require minimum height of 1 meter, and some stories are simply too gruesome for them.
This is my least favorite way of getting London Dungeon tickets. There is no mention of cancellations and other information I’d expect to receive in order to make an informed purchase.
Third party resellers are usually the best option for attraction tickets
Way N. 2: Buy your London Dungeon tickets on third party reseller sites
This is my recommended way of getting London Dungeon tickets. My go to site is usually GetYourGuide. I know you’d think that getting tickets via a third party site may end up being more expensive, but more often than not it actually isn’t, and in any case the benefits are so many that pay those extra pennies may be totally worth it.
Getting tickets via third party resellers is super straightforward – there a no pop-ups, no new annoying screens opening. Just pick the day and time of your visit, select how many tickets you want to purchase, pay and tickets will be delivered in your email. You can even download an app so that you don’t have to worry about fiddling with your emails or printing the vouchers. You even get a reminder that your activity is coming up!
Tickets bought via GetYourGuide are fully refunded for cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.
This below is the best option:
- London Dungeon tickets – at €27.15 Euro ($30.50 USD) for advanced purchase ($38 USD for same day) these tickets have the exact same price of those on the official website. But they are much easier to get, and to cancel in case something comes up and you can’t go.
Make sure to read my post A Completely Honest GetYourGuide Review if you care to know more about third party booking sites.
You can buy joint tickets to also visit the London Eye
Way N. 3: Buy your London Dungeon tickets together with the London Eye
The London Eye is one of the best attractions in London, not to mention one of the most visited ones. As it is at just one minute walk from the London Dungeon, most people plan to visit them on the same day – starting with the Dungeon and then moving to London Eye for some of the most impressive views of London.
The good news is that you can get joint London Eye and London Dungeon tickets, which also allow you to save about 10% off the final price. You can get your London Eye and London Dungeon tickets here.
Way N. 4: Buy the London City Pass
If you like the idea of having all your attraction tickets in one place and are looking for some savings, then getting a city pass may be a good option. What I don’t like about city passes is that once you get them, you have to book the date and time for the attraction you want to visit separately – it kind of defies the purpose, if you ask me. Anyways, if this is something you want to consider, you will be glad to know that you can get a London Dungeon ticket with most city passes.
These are the 2 best London Pass options that include the London Dungeon:
- London explorer pass – at $81 USD for 3 attractions, you can pick up to 7 attractions and save up to 35%. The list of included attractions is wider than the other options
- London 5 attractions pass – at $80 US you get access to 5 popular attractions in town.
Way N. 5: Take a guided tour of London
If you have very limited time in London, you may want to take a guided tour that takes you to all the most important landmarks in town. There only really is one walking tour of London that takes you to the Dungeon – you can book it here. Keep in mind that the Dungeon is the only attraction you actually walk into – you’ll see the others on a walk. The tour costs around $93 USD and lasts 7 hours.
London is a great city to explore
Other Useful Information For Visiting The London Dungeon
What to expect
The London Dungeon is not your classic museum. It’s so dark there that even if you could take photos (which you can’t, so cell phones and camera must remain off) they wouldn’t really turn out clear. All for the best, really – this way you can really, fully enjoy this unique attraction.
Tours usually last about 90 minutes and are in groups of up to 40 visitors. During the tour you will be taking two underground rides – one of them is usually a boat ride, the infamous Tyrant Boat Ride that back in the day used to go all the way to the Tower of London.
GOOD TO KNOW: Tours only run in English.
Book in advance
Booking in advance is pretty much essential when planning to visit the London Dungeon. Not only you will be able to get a better price (last minute tickets are more expensive), but you’ll also be able to pick your favorite time slot.
GOOD TO KNOW: Should you decide to get tickets directly at the venue, you may want to know that this is a cashless attractions and only payments via card – preferably contactless – are accepted. One more reason to get tickets in advance!
What to do if the London Dungeon tickets are sold out
Your best bet to find the London Dungeon tickets at the very last minute, when they seem to be sold out, is to search if third party reseller sites have anything available. They usually buy tickets in bulks, which means that they will likely have something – and you can also hope for some last minute cancellations. So, check out this site for your chance of getting a last minute ticket.
How to get to The London Dungeon
The London Dungeon is located on Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd. It’s a minute’s walk from The London Eye, so it’s very easy to reach.
The nearest metro stations are Westminster (which is a 5 minutes walk), Charing Cross, Embankment and Waterloo.
If you are traveling by train, you need to get off at London Waterloo East. Walking from there will take you 9 minutes at most.
Buses 77, 211 and 381 all have stops close to The London Eye, from where you can easily reach The London Dungeon.
Not far from the London Dungeon, you will find the London Eye for incredible views
The London Dungeon is open every day but Christmas. It is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The first tour starts at 10:00 am and the last one at 3:45 pm.
Modification to the reservation and refunds
The official website of the London Dungeon makes no mention of changes to the reservation, cancellations and refunds. The best option if you want to purchase tickets that allow modifications and last minute cancellations is to get tickets via a third party reseller site such as GetYourGuide. You can get your ticket here.
Is the London Dungeon crowded?
Let’s start with the good news: the most fun day to visit the London Dungeon is by far Halloween. And now the bad news: that is also the most crowded day. So, if you aren’t a fan of the crowds, stay away on that day.
In general, this is a crowded attractions and groups can be of up to 40 visitors, so don’t expect to have the place all to yourself. Having said that, since you have to book your visit in advance you can expect for things to run fairly smoothly.
Prices for The London Dungeon tickets and free visits
Official London Dungeon standard tickets cost £24 GBP for adults (around $30), and £19 ($24 USD) for visitors aged 3 to 15.
Flexi Tickets cost £27 GBP for adults (around $34), and £22 (little less than $28 USD) for children between 3 and 15.
Children up to 3 years old can get in for free.
All visitors have to go through security checks. You will be able to take in a small bag or backpack, baby bags and strollers, and a bottle of water. You can’t take in large backpacks, motorcycle helmets, strollers that can’t be folded. Needless to say, you can’t take in sharp items, weapons, and food and drink unless purchased on the venue. To make the security checks run smoother, avoid bringing in any prohibited item.
You can’t take photos inside The London Dungeon. Should you want some souvenirs of your visit, you can opt to have your photos taken throughout the tour for an extra £20 – around $25 USD.
Toilets and other facilities at The London Dungeon
There are toilets at the venue and you can use them before the tour begins, and right at the end.
The London Dungeon is fully accessible, however, only one wheelchair user per hour is admitted. You will mostly be standing throughout the tour.
Please take care to notice that pregnant women can’t ride the Tyrant Boat and the Drop Dead Drop – if you are pregnant, members will help you by showing you alternative routes.
There is no luggage storage at the London Dungeon. The closest place you can use to store your bags is at Waterloo Train station.
Other nearby attractions
Nearby attractions include The London Eye and SEA LIFE London Aquarium.
Further readings about London
Make sure to read my other posts about London:
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Seeing London in 2 days is definitely ambitious.
The British capital is a massive, spread out city that requires a lot of time to be properly explored. If you only have 2 days in London and it is your first time there, you will be glad to know that you can see some of its main sights (definitely not all of them). However, you won’t really be able to get off the beaten path – leave that for another visit, when you have more time in the city.
Don’t worry if you don’t know how to plan your time in London. I have lived there for 8 years (yep, that much), and London is probably the city I know best after my hometown. During my time there, family and friends would visit me and I always took them around town, trying to squeeze in as much as possible in a short time. This is to say that I have a lot of experience in crafting itineraries to see London in a short amount of time.
In this post, I provide a carefully crafted itinerary to make the most of London in 2 days – so it is perfect if you are spending a weekend in the city, or if you want to include it in a longer UK or even Europe trip. I will also be sharing some practical information that will help you plan your trip.
In a rush? Check out these guided tours of London:
Piccadilly Circus is one of the most popular places to visit in London
How To Use This London In 2 Days Itinerary
Before I get into the details of this itinerary for 2 days in London, let me underline that 2 days are really not enough to see all that the city has to offer. If you want to save some time at tourist attractions, you need to get skip the line, timed entrance tickets to the attractions you want to visit.
London is one of the most visited cities in the world and it can get crowded with tourists. Though some attractions are free to visit (quite welcome news in a city that is so expensive) and don’t require pre-bookings, others, such as the Tower of London, London Eye or The Shard must be booked in advance. If you forget to do so, you may find yourself stuck in a line at the ticket counter – not the best way to spend your time when you are trying to see London in 2 days, really!
Don’t worry though. Keep on reading this post as I will guide you through the city, suggesting which places are free to visit and which require advanced bookings.
This 2-days itinerary is based on the assumption that you are spending 2 days in London – in other words 2 full days and 3 nights. You can try to squeeze everything in even if you only have 2 nights, as long as your flight or train gets in very early in the morning on your first day, and leaves very late on your way out of the city.
This itinerary is based on long personal experience – I know London can get to you, so I tried not to pack it too much, and mix in some museums and exhibit with open air attractions that are also free.
TIP: If you are coming from the other side of the world, you will be exhausted and jet lagged. Make sure to drink lots of water, take some melatonin drops to help you regulate your sleep, and go to bed early!
If you are too thrilled to sleep, you may want to join a guided food tour of London for a fun introduction to the city. I know Britain hardly has the reputation of a foodie destination, but honestly it does not deserve it. You can find good food in the country, and especially traditional food is truly tasty and comforting. This Secret British food tour has 3 daily departures and lets you taste some of the local staples. It also goes to Borough Market, which happens to be my favorite market in London (and where I used to shop for real delicacies). You can book it here.
Here are some extra tips to help you make the most of your 2 days in London:
- Leave as early as possible in the morning.
- Have lunch on the go. This is never an issue in London – there are plenty of places where you can grab a sandwich or a salad. Pret-A-Manger is a popular sandwich chain you will find all over town. If you can’t find anything to suit your tastebuds, a grocery store such as Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury or Waitrose will have a good selection of ready made sandwiches and salads.
- Get an Oyster Card if you intend to use public transportation (more about that below).
- Check out the opening times of museums – if they are open late, leave them for the end of the day.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
Follow this itinerary and I guarantee you will enjoy seeing London in 2 days.
The Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben as seen from London Eye
A Fantastic Itinerary To See London In 2 Days
The first of your London in 2 days itinerary will be quite intense. You will visit some places that require pre-bookings and others that are free. I have left those as the last stops as they can be visited at any time of day and – in my opinion – they are much more interesting in the evening.
Map of day 1
You can download a map of your day 1 itinerary here, so that you can have an idea of the walking distances and – if necessary – rearrange it to use public transportation. Feel free to ignore any attraction that doesn’t suite your interests or budget.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The opening times of London Eye vary depending on the season. It usually opens at 10:00 am and closes between 6:00 and 8:30 pm.
NEAREST METRO STATIONS: Westminster, Charing Cross, Embankment and Waterloo.
I first went on London Eye in 2010 and loved the views from it. This is probably the most touristy thing to do in London, but who cares when the views are so incredible? You will get to see the Houses of Parliament, the Big Ben and Westminster Abbey from above, and much more. Even on a rainy day, it is a real fun thing to do.
The lines to get on London Eye can get quite long so if you are visiting London in 2 days make sure to book it in advance. You can get your tickets here or here.
GOOD TO KNOW: At just one minute walk from the London Eye, London Dungeon is one of the most interactive attractions in town. You can get joint tickets that will allow you to visit both attractions for a discounted price here. If you visit both, you’ll have to opt for the London Dungeon first. The tour lasts 90 minutes.
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
The Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben are among London’s most iconic buildings. You have definitely seen them many times on TV, if anything on the news. As the name says, the Houses of Parliament is the seat of the British Parliament, and where all political decisions are taken in the United Kingdom.
If you want to take a tour, you may opt for this Exclusive Houses of Parliament Tour & Skip the Line Westminster Abbey Tour – however, keep in mind it lasts almost 4 hours which is not ideal when you are trying to visit London in 2 days. Just snap a few photos from the bridge and then move on to the Abbey.
GOOD TO KNOW: Big Ben is currently being restored so the views is a bit obstructed at the moment.
The iconic London Eye
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The Abbey is open Mondays to Fridays from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. It closes at 6:00 pm on Wednesday. Closed on Sundays
Quite possibly the most famous church in the country, Westminster Abbey was founded in 960 AD and since 1066 it’s been the place where royal weddings and coronations take place. It’s also the burial ground of British personalities such as Isaac Newton. Other than that, it is a very beautiful church to visit.
Factor in at least one hour for your visit, and keep in mind there may be a line at the ticket counter so you may be better off getting a ticket in advance. These are the best options:
Trafalgar Square, a popular hang out place for locals an tourists
National Gallery and Trafalgar Square
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The National Gallery is open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. It closes at 9:00 pm on Fridays.
The National Gallery is at 15 minutes walk from Westminster Abbey. If you are not up for the walk or if the weather is bad, you may hop on the subway. It’s just one stop from Westminster – you must get off at Charing Cross. The gallery is located in Trafalgar Square, one of London most famous squares.
This is my favorite museum in London, by a long shot. I can’t even remember how many times I have been there! First of all, it is free – so even if your budget to visit London in 2 days is limited, you have no excuse not to go. But most importantly, it has an incredible art collection and it is so well organized that it is easy to navigate. You can spend hours there, and I am sure you will. For a more complete experience you may want to opt for an audio-guide. You can get it from the Sainsbury wing for £5 (around $5.2 USD).
TIP: Check out the website of the National Gallery for special exhibits as those may require advance bookings.
Your itinerary to see London in 2 days has to include Piccadilly Circus, as this is as London as it gets. A major crossroads in town, it’s within easy walking distance from Trafalgar Square.
The square actually is smaller than you imagine (in fact, so small that my mom was quite disappointed when she finally saw it, and exclaimed: “that’s it!?”). I still think it is a fun place, with all the neon lights, the commercial signs, the chain shops and the traffic and noise. Make sure to at least pop by for a photo or two.
Leicester Square is very close to Piccadilly Circus. Home to cinemas and once popular clubs (back in the day, it was where the Hyppodrome and the Equinox were located – I remember spending a night or two there!), it is as touristy as it gets but honestly a cool place to walk by. There are a few take away places and restaurants but honestly they are way overpriced so don’t stop there to eat!
This used to be one of my favorite places in London – so I inevitably have to included it in your itinerary to see London in 2 days. It’s at just 5 minutes walk from Leicester Square. Once a flower market, it now has some nice shops, a few restaurants and some market stalls – all of them equally overpriced.
What you will surely love about it is the festive atmosphere. This is a place packed with street artists. Look down from the balcony and there almost certainly will be someone playing some music or singing. Walk to one end and there will be more than one performer entertaining children and adult alike.
Covent Garden is especially charming around Christmas time, when all the decorations are up and you can drink mulled wine and eat pasties from one of the pubs to keep warm. Mind you – it can get extremely crowded!
A view of the Tower of London from the South Bank
The second of your London in 2 days itinerary will be pretty much as intense as day 1. Some of the places mentioned in the itinerary require advanced bookings, but there are a few which are also free!
Map of day 2
You can download the map of your day 2 itinerary here. Most places are within easy walking distance one from the other and I have made sure to include a scenic walk too.
Tower of London
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The Tower of London is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm and Sunday and Monday from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.
NEAREST METRO STATION: Tower Hill on the District and Circle lines.
The Tower of London is an absolute must see when you visit London in 2 days. Again, this is a place I have visited many times. It’s where you’ll get to see the Crown Jewels – and quite a sight they are (I can still remember my dad’s expression as he eyes a giant amethyst on one of the crowns!). This is also where some key events in British history took place – it’s here that Anne Boleyn execution took place.
TIP: Plan your visit to the Tower of London as soon as it opens, so make sure to be there a bit before 9:00 am.
The Tower of London is one of the most popular attractions in the city – advanced bookings are required. These are some of the best options:
You can’t miss the Tower Bridge if you have 2 days in London!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can walk along the bridge at any time of day and night, but if you want to enter the exhibit, this is open from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Once you exit the Tower of London, walk to your left and go up a short flight of stairs to find yourself on Tower Bridge, the most famous bridge in London. If you want to learn more about the history of the bridge or walk the glass walkway that connects the two towers, you will have to visit the Tower Bridge Exhibit – you can get tickets here. Otherwise, continue walking to the other side until you reach the South Bank.
A walk along the South Bank
Walking along the South Bank is probably my favorite thing to do in London since I grew up (while I was young, it was hanging out in Covent Garden). Since I have left the city, I make it a point to head there any time I visit, as the views are absolutely stunning. The photo of Tower Bridge above was taken from the South Bank last time I was in London. Along the banks of the river you will find a multitude of pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants where you can stop for a bite or a drink – or else, just continue walking and enjoy the views.
GOOD TO KNOW: Beware of touts and scams along the South Bank. This is the kind of place where you’ll spot the 3 cups or 3 cards game. I once enjoyed sitting and calling the police, just to see how fast these scammers would react once they realized police was coming and let me tell you, they were quick!
The Shard, London’s most famous skyscraper
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The Shard is open every day from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm in the summer time. During the winter, it is open from 10:00 to 7:00 pm Sunday to Wednesday and from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm Thursday to Saturday.
If you have already been on the London Eye, you can probably skip The Shard. Otherwise, make sure to go up to its viewing deck, which was opened in 2013 (the skyscraper was inaugurated in 2012 and it is 95 storey tall). The views from there are phenomenal. Make sure to book it in advance as there generally is a line at the ticket counter. You can get your tickets from the official website or here (the price is the same).
This is one of the most popular attractions in London, especially if you are curious about the Windsor royal family, so I thought I should include it in this London in 2 days itinerary.
Most people go there to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony, but if you are not a fan of crowds you’re better off avoiding it and go in the afternoon, when most people will have dispersed in St. James Park in front of it. If on the other hand you are keen on seeing the ceremony, make sure to start your day there and then proceed with the rest of your day in the city.
If you want to get inside, you really should book in advance and join a guided tour – you won’t be allowed to roam by yourself. These are the best guided tour options:
This is London’s most famous park – and the largest one – and a great addition to this itinerary to see London in 2 days. Go in the summer, and you will find people laying in the sun – make sure to grab a chair and do the same for a while! Visit in the winter, and it is a great place for a walk, and you will spot lots of people running, biking and exercising.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Harrods is located in Brompton Road, in Knightsbridge (that’s also the closes metro station).
I guess I shouldn’t be calling Harrods a free attraction as you will inevitably end up shopping there, and spending some money. I guess what I mean to say is that there is no admission fee and once you are inside you are free to browse on all the floors. The hats and gowns section is a lot of fun to see for girls – you can’t take photos though. While living there, I loved going to the deli section in search of some Sardinian delicatessen. I still remember how excited I was when I realized I could get Sardinian Pecorino there.
All in all, this is a fun place to spend an hour or so hence a nice addition to this itinerary to see London in 2 days.
The main hall of the British Museum
Guided Tours Of London
This London in 2 days itinerary is completely doable independently. If you are not confident enough to explore on your own, or if you are a hassle free person, you may want to join a guided tour at least for a day. The ones I have selected below go to all the most famous attractions, so you only have to worry about wearing comfortable shoes and bringing your camera.
Using A 48 Hours London Pass
I must admit I am not really a fan of city passes. I find they are hardly money savers, and they definitely aren’t time savers as once you get them you still need to book all attractions you want to visit separately. Having said so, many find them convenient because they have all the tickets they need in one place, so it may be a good idea to invest in one when you are planning to visit London in 2 days.
These are the 2 best London Pass options:
You will be using the subway if you visiting London in 2 days
Practical Tips To Make The Most Of London In 2 Days
Where to stay in London
Good news! London has no shortage of good accommodation options. Bad news! If you want something decent in terms of location, cleanliness, services, you have to be prepared to spend. Hotels in London are truly expensive.
Anyways, when visiting London in 2 days, location is essential so that you can minimize the time you spend commuting from one area to the other. Keep in mind London is massive, so you should pick areas such as Kensington or Westminster Borough for your stay. I don’t recommend staying in areas such as Covent Garden unless you want to pay an arm and a leg – besides, it can be chaotic. On the other hand, Shoreditch, which is not as central as other areas, is a truly cool area with many good restaurants and gastro-pubs and well connected to the main attractions via public transportation.
These are some good places to stay in London – I picked something for all budgets:
Stay tuned as I will be writing a more detailed guide on where to stay in London.
When to visit London
London is a great destination year round and – no matter which time of the year you go – it is packed with tourists. I personally find it beautiful when the Christmas decorations are up – which doesn’t necessarily mean around Christmas time. You will find the city already adorned at the beginning of November. Keep in mind that the city can get bitterly cold in the winter, and terribly hot in the summer. If you are hoping for good weather, April and May or September and October may be your best choices.
I honestly do not recommend moving around by bus
How to get to London
London is served by 5 international airports – London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City are all served by main airlines; whereas Stansted and Luton are served by budget airlines. London City is actually in the Docklands and you can get there by bus from Central London. The other airports are all located at the outskirts of the city and well connected to the city center by either bus, train or metro. If you are flying from the other side of the world, chances are you will be landing in either Heathrow or Gatwick.
Whichever airport you are flying into, I recommend opting to take the train as it is faster and more comfortable. Buses may be cheaper, but they are significantly slower and between the speed-bumps, roundabouts and the way drivers think they are in for a race, you will likely end up with motion sickness.
Heathrow Express runs to Paddington Train Station, with trains departing every 15 minutes and taking just 15 minutes to get there. You can get your train tickets here. The metro (Piccadilly Line) is cheaper, but – depending on where you have to get off – much slower, way more crowded and significantly less comfortable.
Gatwick Express runs to Victoria Station, with trains departing every 15 minutes and taking around 15 minutes to get there. You can get your train tickets here.
Stansted Express runs to London Liverpool Street Station, with trains departing every 15 minutes. The journey takes 47 minutes. You can get your train tickets here.
Alternatively, these are some good transfer options
How to move around London
I wholeheartedly suggest moving around London by subway (called underground or “the tube”). Between the 11 metro lines and the light-rail ones, all areas of the city are easy to reach and well connected. The also are many buses, but traffic is terrible, and the buses hardly on time so you can’t really rely on them.
The main issue with London Underground is the fact that it is extremely old, with some lines with truly narrow tunnels requiring trains to frequently stop and let others pass before moving on. Because they are so old, most metro stations are not accessible at all – making moving around a real nightmare for people with disabilities or if you are carrying a heavy suitcase. Last but not least, the underground (as well as buses) doesn’t run 24/7 so you have to rely on night buses after 11:30 or midnight, and these are not very frequent or efficient.
The cheapest way to use public transportation in London is if you have an Oyster Card. You can touch in and out every time you get on the subway or the bus, and top it up at any metro station. You can buy it as soon as you get to town (they sell them at the airport) or have one delivered to your post address. You can get yours here.
Alternatively, you can get a one day unlimited travel card here or opt for a hop-on hop-off river cruise that takes you to all the best attractions. You can get your ticket here.
My overall recommendation is to move around by metro during the day, and using Uber once public transportation stops at night.
Luggage storage in London
If your flight isn’t scheduled until the evening but you must check out of your hotel, you may still take advantage of your time in London to continue exploring. In this case, I recommend making use of the luggage storage facilities you will find scattered around town – there always is one at a train station, so you can pick up your bags on your way to the airport. Stasher is a good company that offer luggage storage and you can book it online.
Other useful tips
Get a guide book
Make sure to carry a good guidebook for information about the best places to visit in London in 2 days. Make sure to get an up-to-date one with a good map!
These are some good guide books:
Get a data plan for your smartphone
Make sure to get a data plan for your phone to make sure you can use it. It will come in handy even when you are planning on visiting London in 2 days. Being able to have data to use Google Maps or Uber will be definitely handy.
Tap water is safe to drink in London – but it honestly tastes bad. You can probably get some filtered water at your accommodation before leaving and fill up at fountains in places like museums.
Mind the scams
Like any other city that is crowded with tourists, scams are common in London, as well as pickpockets in crowded places such as metro station or the subway. Beware of the fake theater tickets that are sold in places such as Leicester Square – if you want to see a show, you can probably get tickets online. For example you can get your tickets to Mamma Mia the musical here. Fake charity collectors are another nuisance – if you want to do good, you can definitely give money to a charity online!
Get a good travel insurance
Whether you are visiting London in 2 days or more, you will need a good travel insurance. Check out my post “Why You Need A Good Travel Insurance.” Get your travel insurance here.
Further readings about London
For more ideas about London, read these other posts:
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Make sure to discover London hidden gems before others do!
My friends think that I am one of the luckiest people in the world because I travel the world and get to see many new places all the time – a month in Vietnam, then Tunisia… name it, I am going! Yet, one of the places I am most attached to is London. I have lived there, I have worked there, I have so many friends that I try to visit as often as possible. Normally I’m looking for special airfare deals and to save on the lodging, because I don’t want to always crush in at my friends’ place, though they are most welcoming!
Yet, London is expensive which means that every time I go I end up spending a fortune. In order to save as much as possible, I generally make a list of the absolute essentials I may be needing, then go searching for coupons and discounts to help me save every cent I can. At the end of the day, I get everything I need and more for less than half of what I would normally spend!
One of the things I enjoy the more is hitting the tourist spots all around London. In the years I have lived there, I had visited all the popular places listed in most guide books – but I have always been more interested in the parts of London most people don’t know about, so that’s what I go looking for now. Since I know the city so well, I thought I’d spill the secret and tell you about the best London hidden gems – make sure to visit them before they get fully discovered!
Hampsted Pergola and Hill Garden are among London hidden gems
5 Unmissable London Hidden Gems
Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden
Coming from Sardinia, where there aren’t too many people in such a vast land, I am used to a lot of wide open spaces and spending time outdoors. One of my favorite London hidden gems is Hampstead Pergola – probably one of the best ‘secret gardens’ I’ve ever found, not to mention that visiting is one of the best things to do in London for couples – so go there if you are feeling romantic!
Essentially a raised, colonnaded walkway constructed by a wealthy philanthropist to join two gardens divided by a public walkway, it must have been beautiful in its prime but is even more so now that nature has reclaimed much of it.
The ornate stonework and latticed domes are almost overgrown by climbing vines and other creepers including rambling roses, jasmine and honeysuckle – making for quite a heady perfume on a warm summer day! It overlooks the gorgeous Hill Garden below and both are eerily beautiful, elegant and a popular destination for artists of every kind.
The Hill Garden also has a formal pond and little benches with sweet inscriptions for to enjoy. Make sure to go before everyone else does!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Hampstead Pergola and Hill Garden is located in The Pergola, Inverforth Cl, London. The easiest way to get there from central London is to get a northbound Northern Line train, getting off at Hampstead Station. From there, it is an easy 15 minutes walk.
In search for something unique in Highgate Cemetery
I am not normally one to count a cemetery as a tourist destination, but this one is incredible, and one of the real London hidden gems, because there are so many famous people buried here and it has become a kind of nature reserve filled with mature trees, shrubbery and wildflowers that are a haven for birds and small animals. In Victorian times, people also had quite a romantic attitude towards death so there are hundreds of elaborately carved headstones, Egyptian sepulchers and Gothic style tombs.
It is no longer free to tour either section, but exploring the heavily wooded 20 hectares and trying to read the inscriptions on overgrown, often crumbling headstones while marveling at the beauty and intricacy of others is something you will enjoy immensely. And if you are into that kind of thing, one fun thing to do is searching for the graves of Highgate Cemetery’s more famous residents or check out the Queen’s Wood or Highgate Wood nearby for a less morbid day out.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Highgate Cemetery is located in Swain’s Ln, Highgate, London. Before visiting, make sure to check the website to double check it is open on the day you wish to go. The easiest way to get there is by metro. Get a northbound Northern Line train and get off at Archway Station. From there, it is about a 15 minutes walk.
Pickering Place truly is a hidden gem
You may want to visit Pickering Place for a number of reasons, the first of which is the fact that it was home to the Texas legation (effectively a small embassy) from 1842 – 1845 as commemorated by a small brass plaque.
This is one of the most interesting London hidden gems, located almost directly opposite King Henry’s old barn at St. James Palace and is accessed by a narrow passageway running next to the famous Berry Bros & Rudd wine merchant – their one day wine school being the main reason you may want to go all the way to Pickering Square to begin with!
Legend says that it was the venue for the last sword duel in London, although I couldn’t find anyone to tell me who the two duelers were or what they were dueling about! Yet, it is easy to believe it, because it is hidden away and quite close to the royal court of the time. The seclusion of the square made it a notorious bear baiting venue – but now it houses nothing but some potted plants, a sundial and a snapshot of the 16th century frozen in time!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The closest metro station to Pickering Place is Green Park, which is served by the Piccadilly Line. From there, it is a 6 minutes walk.
Hidden in Trafalgar Square is Britain’s Smallest Police Station
Britain’s Smallest Police Station
Any visit to London has to include a trip to Trafalgar Square and with all the other attractions it would be easy to miss the little building that is discreetly located in one corner of the square – this definitely is one of the cutest London hidden gems.
Calling it a building is a bit of a stretch really, especially considering the fact that the structure that used to be Britain’s Smallest Police Station was made out of a hollowed out ornamental lamp post! But apparently it was supposed to be able to hold up to two prisoners, or at least one policeman with a direct line to Scotland Yard.
There is a little conspiracy surrounding its construction as there was originally some objection to a police presence in the square, which being in the center of London has been host to many public demonstrations and protests over the year. It would be nice if this little police station was dressed up and opened to the public in some way – basically used as more than a storage closet but for now it is fun to just peer through the windows and imagine a policeman inside!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Britain’s Smallest Police Station is located in Trafalgar Square.
Isabella Plantation doesn’t even look like London!f
As I mentioned already, I love the outdoors in all shapes and forms, but there is nothing more beautiful to me than flowers in full bloom – whether it is in the wild or in a garden somewhere! And Isabella Plantation takes that idea to a whole new level with a 40 acre woodland garden that is home to 100 different varieties of azaleas, 50 species of rhododendrons and more than 125 hybrid rhododendrons varieties. This is one of the true London hidden gems!
The best time to visit Isabella Plantation is obviously in spring and the beginning of summer, when the majority of the flowers will be in bloom. But thanks to a few evergreen varieties of both flowers and trees, little ponds and mini lakes scattered throughout the plantation – it is beautiful year round and always worth a visit. Last year I was lucky enough to see the plantation in what was probably the most vivid display in years, and the best part is that it is completely free!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Isabella Plantation is located inside Richmond Park. It is a bit of a way to get there but I promise you it is worth it. Take the Piccadilly Line, westbound, and get off at Earl’s Court. From there, hop on a District Line train to Putney Bridge Station. Then, take bus n. 85 heading to Warren Road Coombe, from where it is a 15 minutes walk.
Final Thoughts On London Hidden Gems
London is old, and dates back all the way to the Roman times – so there is a lot of history in this beautiful city. And with many years to explore it I found many more London hidden gems that I will never forget, although I am pretty sure that there are many other treasures I walked right past! But it just goes to show that no matter how well known and popular a destination is, there are secrets waiting to be discovered everywhere you go! As I have said throughout this post, make sure to hit these London hidden gems before everyone else discovers them!
Have you ever been to London? What’s your favorite part of the city?
Further readings about London
Planning a trip to London? Make sure to check out my other posts:
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Getting a Thailand Visa on Arrival is easier than you think, provided you know what’s required and follow a few simple steps.
As I am sure you know already, like for most place you will need a visa to travel to Thailand. Most people travel all the way to the embassy to get their visa, looking for a Thai diplomatic mission, applying for a visa, and then waiting for it to arrive. That is a bit of a hassle, especially for those of us that don’t live in major cities where there are consulates and embassies.
The good news is that some people are no longer required to physically go to the embassy to get their Thailand visa. Instead, if you are eligible, you can fill in an application to get your Thailand Visa on Arrival. iVisa is the most reputable company that will help you getting your visa for Thailand. The procedure is fast, simple, and cheap.
In this post, I will explain clarify what you need to know to get your Thailand Visa on Arrival and share some tips to help you with the application. Let me first ask the most important question, though!
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Do I Need A Visa For Thailand?
Nationals of more than 60 countries do not actually need a visa for Thailand. All you will be required to show upon arrival is your valid passport and proof of onward travel. But for some other nationalities, it is necessary to get a visa before traveling. Hence the good news that some can actually get a Thailand Visa on Arrival.
With iVisa, you can easily obtain a pre-registration document that makes the process of getting your Thailand Visa on Arrival a lot more easier.
To know if you’re one of the citizens that can apply for the Thailand Visa on Arrival, head to iVisa website here and use the visa checker. You have to write your nationality in the drop-down menu and select Thailand as your destination. This will immediately show you if you’re able to apply for a pre-registration with iVisa and if you can get your Thailand Visa on Arrival once you enter the country.
Let me make it simple for you. You will be able to apply for the Thailand Visa on Arrival if you are a national of Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan or Vanuatu.
Continue reading to learn what you need to know to get the Thailand Visa on Arrival.
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What Is The Thailand Visa On Arrival?
The Thailand Visa on Arrival is a program that allows citizens from 18 countries to obtain their visas upon entering Thailand, at the immigration checkpoint.
iVisa doesn’t actually issue the visa. What they do is a pre-registration service that allows nationals of some countries who arrive in Thailand via Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Mueang Airport, Phuket Airport or Chiang Mai Airport to get their visa on arrival in a much quicker, smoother way.
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What’s the procedure to apply for a Thailand visa?
Applying for the Thailand Visa on Arrival via iVisa is quite straightforward. There is a two-step application and if for whatever reason you are stuck, you call iVisa’s support service which is available 24/7 and someone will follow you in the application process. These are the two steps you need to follow:
- Easy peasy: just provide your personal information such as name, address, passport info, etc. You will need to pick a processing time, but bear in mind that the price varies depending on how soon you want the visa.
- Pay and review. Before you hit the summit button for your application, read all the information you have provided to make sure it is 100% accurate. Once the request is processed, you can’t make any changes.
It will take you no more than 10 minutes to fill out the application form, and once you are done, iVisa will take care of the rest so you can continue about your daily business.
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What documents do I need to apply for a Thailand Visa?
Here are the documents you need to apply for your Thailand Visa on Arrival:
- Your passport with at least 1-month validity (for Indian passport holders the passport must be valid for at least 6 months)
- A digital photo taken no later than 3 months before the submission of your application.
- The dates of your trip.
- Your flight details.
- Your accommodation details.
- A credit or debit card or PayPal account for payment.
iVisa will then send you your pre-registration document. Once you get to Thailand, you will have to provide these documents to get your Thailand Visa on Arrival:
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- A copy of the pre-registration sent to you by iVisa.
- Passport with at least one blank page that will be stamped by the Thai immigration officer.
Airports in which you can obtain the Thailand Visa on Arrival
First of all, let me remind you that you must be eligible for the Thailand Visa on Arrival program – make sure to check if you are here.
The Thailand Visa on Arrival is only available in these ports of entry:
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- Suvarnabhumi International Airport
- Don Mueang International Airport
- Chiang Mai International Airport
- Phuket International Airport
What if I am flying into a different airport?
This pre-registration service by iVisa is only available for travelers entering via Suvarnabhumi Airport, Don Mueang Airport, Phuket Airport and Chiang Mai Airport.
If you are flying into a different airport, you will have to obtain the Visa on Arrival there (no-preregistration).
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Where will I find Visa on Arrival counters at the airport?
Once you disembark your flight, follow the signs to Immigration. You will easily spot a sign saying “Visa on Arrival.” It’s a massive sign so you really can’t miss it.
In the Visa on Arrival area, make sure to get into the lane for the e-Visa on Arrival holder (that’s the line for those who have pre-registered).
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How much does a Thailand Visa on Arrival cost?
The Thailand Visa on Arrival costs 2,000 Thai Baht – that’s around 62 USD. You need to pay that in cash and in Thai currency upon arrival in Thailand.
iVisa will also charge you a $35 USD standard service fee for the pre-registration service. If you want to go for the rush processing or the super rush processing the service fee is $50 or $70 USD, respectively.
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How long does the Thailand Visa on Arrival pre-registration process take?
This really depends on which processing time you pick. iVisa offers three options:
- Standard Processing Time: 6 days
- Rush Processing: 4 days
- Super Rush Processing: 2 days
What’s the validity of a Thailand Visa on Arrival?
The Thailand Visa on Arrival is valid for 15 days after your arrival in the country, meaning the date you get the visa in Thailand and not the date you register for it on iVisa. Keep in mind it is a Single Entry visa.
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Will I get an actual visa when applying for the Thailand Visa on Arrival?
iVisa does not provide an actual visa. You will get a pre-registration document. Once you get to Thailand, you will need to show this letter and your passport at the immigration area – make sure to go to the dedicated Visa on Arrival desk to get your visa.
How long can I stay in the country if I have a Thailand Visa on Arrival?
You can stay for up to 15 days.
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What documents will I need to show upon arriving to get the visa issued?
These are the documents you will need to get your visa:
- Passport with at least one blank page – this will be stamped by the Thai immigration officer.
- Visa on Arrival pre-registration form which you have received from iVisa.
- Cash for each person traveling (2,000 Thai Baht in local currency) for the visa stamping fee.
GOOD TO KNOW: You may be asked to show proof of funds to support your stay in Thailand so don’t be alarmed if you get that question!
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Further readings about Thailand
Make sure to read my posts to better plan your trip to Thailand:
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