London in one day (museums, galleries and markets)

Coming to London for a day? Are you too busy or maybe just a bit lazy to plan your stay? Well, that's OK. Living in London for more than 8 years we put together some great tips what do in London, what galleries, museums and Royal palaces are worth to visit, where to eat and much more.

We have 2 versions of this program. The first is more focused on historic icons and attractions (read more here...), the second on museums and galleries and London markets (see below).


Transport: we recommend you to buy Oyster card ( click here for more info about London public transport).

You won't be able to visit all museums in one day. Please use below suggestions as a source of information so you can plan your great day in London.

London in one day (focused on museums, galleries and markets)


Tate modern and Shakespeare Globe theatreTATE MODERN AND SHAKESPEARE GLOBE THEATRE

Our self-guided tour starts at the Tower of London (Tower Hill tube station, Circle Line). Walk along the Tower, cross the Tower Bridge and turn right towards HMS Belfast. Carry on along the river heading to Globe theatre and Tate Modern.

Tate Modern is a modern art gallery. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group (together with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives and Tate Online). Tate Modern is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with around 4.7 million visitors per year. Tate is based in the former Bankside Power Station. Admission: free.

Tip: Buy a ticket for an evening play in the Globe theatre (prices start at £5 - standing).
Tip: There is a cafe at the top floor of the Tate Modern with amazing views of St Paul's Cathedral, river Thames and Big Ben.
Find more info about the Tower, Tower Bridge and Globe Theatre in London historic icons and attractions guide

Find more info about Tate Modern in London galleries and museums guide

Somerset House - Courtauld GalleriesSOMERSET HOUSE

If you want to visit St Paul's Cathedral simply cross the Millennium Bridge otherwise carry on walking direction London Eye and Big Ben and cross the Waterloo Bridge. At its end you will find Somerset House with the Courtauld Gallery (remarkable art collection, including famous Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces).
Find more info about Somerset House in London galleries and museums guide

The British MuseumBRITISH MUSEUM

From the Somerset House head to British Museum - take a bus number 1, 59 or 68 direction Russell Square. From there you can walk to the Museum (10 mins walk, follow the signs).

The British Museum is widely considered to be one of the world's greatest museums of human history and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some eight million works, is amongst the finest, most comprehensive, and largest in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.
Find more info about the British Museum in London galleries and museums guide


The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects.

The Natural History Museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 70 million items within five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology.

How to get there: walk back direction Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road tube station. Get the bus number 14. It will take you to South Kensington where all mentioned museums are.

Tip: On the way to South Kensington you can get off at famous Harrod's and visit beautifully decorated "food hall".
Find more info about the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum in London galleries and museums guide



Tate Britain is an art gallery situated on Millbank in London, and part of the Tate gallery network in Britain, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is the oldest gallery in the network, opening in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the works of J. M. W. Turner.

How to get there: Get the tube at South Kensington (South Kensington tube station, District line) and go to Victoria station. Change for Victoria line a go one station to Pimlico.
Find more info about Tate Britain London galleries and museums guide


The National Gallery is an art museum on Trafalgar Square. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.

The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery housing a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people.

How to get there: From the Tate Britain walk along the river to Westminster Abbey and Parliament (15 mins walk). Then along Downing Street - number 10 walk to Trafalgar Square and visit National Gallery and/or Portrait Gallery.

Tip: You can also visit Churchill's war rooms. It's close to the Parliament.
Tip: There is a cafe at The National Portrait Gallery with great views over Trafalgar Square and Nelson Column.
Find more info about National Gallery, Portrait Gallery and Churchill's war rooms London galleries and museums guide

National Gallery explored go to Leicester Square where you can buy half priced and discounted theatre tickets at TKTS ( -musicals and theatres normally start around 8pm, finishing at 10pm.
After the long day you deserve a good dinner. There are plenty of restaurants around Leicester Square, in Chinatown and in Soho.

You can close the day in one of the London famous clubs or with a nice evening walk along the river Thames - highly recommended.
Find more info about London night life in London arts, music and culture guide

Find more info about top London restaurants in Food and drink guide in London guide

Updated on 05/2012.

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