24 Hours in London

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As with all my #24hrGuides – I don’t advocate spending so little time anywhere… but sometimes it’s helpful to have a 24 hour itinerary to kick off a visit.  Or it may suit if you have a layover in a city and just want a taste – like this guide to Amsterdam! So, here is how to spend 24 hours in London.


12 Midday – Start your visit in the colourful borough of Brixton – this south of the river #foodie haven is home to the Brixton markets, where you can get everything from cheap toothpaste, to amazing African fabrics and delicious street food. It truly is a melting pot of a place. Head to POP Brixton, a permanent pop-up complex of containers with a diverse range of restaurant and bar options. In winter they put a sail roof on, but otherwise it is open to the elements, and a great meeting place on a hot day!


Brixton - 24 Hours in London


2pm – Head over the river (by tube) to Trafalgar Square, to visit the National Portrait Gallery.  These two galleries hold amazing portraits from the 13th – 19th Century, and it is well worth a couple of hours to wander around.


Trafalgar - 24 Hours in London


4pm – It’s time for some pre-dinner frozen margaritas at La Bodega Negra in Soho (Moor Street). One side of this restaurant is an attractive Mexican bistro, the other side looks like the entrance to a s*x shop – an amusing homage to their soho location. Head downstairs to their unique basement bar for something a bit different!


Bodega - 24 Hours in London


5pm – Time for dinner!  Some may ask why you are we having dinner at 5/5:30pm? So you can go to a show, darling!  If you haven’t eaten your body weight in tortilla chips and guacamole at Bodega Negra, move on to Dishoom in Covent Garden – this modern take on Indian food is very creative and tasty.


7pm – Head to one of London’s many theatres and catch a show!

Harry Potter - 24 Hours in London


10pm – Time for a nightcap – try Le Beaujolais Wine Bar (Litchfield St), or The French House (Dean St), which draws the literary crowd and has a no tech rule!


*** Fall into bed at an undisclosed hour ***


9am – Breakfast/brunch is taken very seriously in this age of hipsters and fusion food, and London is no exception. In fact, it has followed NYC’s suit and many places now offer bottomless boozy brunches.  One such place is the purposefully scruffy diner Bad Egg (Ropemaker St) – serving everything from full breakfasts to huevos rancheros + unlimited brunch cocktail options!


10am – Now, get yourself along to one of London’s hidden treasures – Daunt Books.  On Marylebone High Street, this independent bookseller is based in an amazing building with an arched main hall and stained glass… oh, and floor to ceiling books!


11am – Walk the eclectic route 2 miles from Marylebone, down through China Town and Soho, to South Bank.


Soho - 24 Hours in London

12 Midday – Take in a designer hotdog or pulled pork burrito at one of South Bank’s street food trucks. Or pop into Gabriel’s Yard, another pop-up container complex, where there are retailers and food outlets and funky outdoor seats.



All photos © Hannah Henderson and may not be used without permission (sharing this blog post is fine, though!). Images shot with a Canon DSLR T3i Rebel + Canon EF Lens 50mm 1:1.8 STM; and an iPhone6s.



24 Hours in London - HH Lifestyle Travel

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  • bherron80 says:

    I loved Brixton and Marlybone in London but I missed Daunt books-doh! Sounds phenomenal. next time…………….

  • gastro says:

    I love the idea of starting a visit in Brixton. As a foodie this is a great tip! Thanks so much.

  • I’m so glad you start with saying that 24 hours is just too little time because it would be so sad to have just a day in London. But, with that, if I did have just 24 hours, I’d totally make a beeline to Dishoom. I love their food! Follow that with a fun musical and you’ve got a great night. I’d gladly sign up for a day in London just for those 2 things alone!

  • muryan6 says:

    This is a well-thought out itinerary for 24 hours… a little bit of everything that London has to offer.. and Daunt books! As a book lover, I drooled when you said floor to ceiling!

  • Roman says:

    That is a great guide! When in London, I will definitely visit the Bad Egg diner for a brunch. I even saved it as a bookmark in my browser. Can you recommend some other cool places to go for a brunch, preferably in hipster/less touristy areas?

  • Paige Wunder says:

    I love that you laid this out perfectly for a full day in London! I’m heading there for the first time in May and I cannot wait! I will definitely have to eat at La Bodega Negra because I’ve been missing amazing Mexican food while I’ve been here in Asia. Also, did you get to see The Cursed Child?????

    • HHLifestyleTravel says:

      I was so sad, I couldn’t get tickets to The Cursed Child! My friends went and loved it – it’s in 2 parts, one in the afternoon, then you have a dinner break and go back for the second half later! Have a great time in London when you’re there!

  • As much as I love slow travel, these itineraries save the day when you are truly pressed for time. Thank you for this crisp and precise itinerary. I’d love to visit Brixton JUST to buy African fabrics:D Catching a Harry Potter show in one of the iconic theatres in London is surely on my list!

  • Meg Jerrard says:

    Ah London! One of my favorite cities in the world. Totally agree with you that I would never advocate for so little time in such an amazing city, but you’ve put together a great 24 hours if someone wants to know where to begin, or maybe even has a short layover before heading elsewhere. Glad to see a recommendation for the west end – catching a show is my favorite thing about London! I haven’t been back since Harry Potter came out, so I’m dying to go!

  • Haze says:

    I really couldn’t imagine myself doing a 24-hr stay or tour in a city but I actually did 2 years ago in Kuala Lumpur and it was amazing! I like how well-put this itinerary is and surprise surprise! Even with time! Hahaha. This kind of itineraries comes in handy especially for long layovers and to make time more efficient for wanderlusts.

  • RT says:

    Great list! I think once you accept that you won’t be able to see everything in a city like London in 24 hours then you’ll be surprised with how much you can see in 24 hours. Since my blog focus’ on 48 Hour travel, I wrote a post about 2 Days in London and was told that 2 Days was not enough. I don’t think any amount of time in any city is enough. There are things on your list that are not on mine…but if I only had 24 hours I would of been happy with you list and then make a plan to come back.

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