21 Aug THE THREE DAY LONDON GUIDE
London is a city that’s ever changing when it comes to restaurants, clubs and other hotspots. Time for an updated city guide!
Because most people visit London for a long weekend, we’ve created a guide that you can use if you only have three days to see London. Don’t worry, the options are endless!
How to get there
Thankfully, you can now easily travel to London by train. As we would have normally flown over, we decided to give the train a go, which is better for the environment and more comfortable. From Amsterdam it only takes 4,5 hours. The best thing is that you arrive in the middle of the city centre! Tip: Buy yourself an Oyster Card at the train station, this way your can easily check in and out, plus you travel with a discount.
Where To Stay
ibis Styles Southwark London
During our most recent stay in London, we stayed at ibis Styles Southwark. ibis Styles is actually the hip and creative sister hotel of the well-known ibus hotels and rooms are available to book for as little as £199,-. Yes, it’s London people, you’re not going to get anything for a better price at a top location like this one. The reception setup is spacious and welcoming with lounge chairs and a bar.
The whole hotel has a broadway theme which makes it fun and colourful! It was the first time we stayed in Southwark and we can highly recommend it! Around the corner, you’ll find many nice eateries and bars like the Iron Flat Square, a hub of food stalls and bars that is open every day of the week. Next to that, you have the London Borough Market around the corner which is a must-visit! From the hotel, you can also easily walk to the Thames River and see Tower Bridge. Book your stay here. Curious about our ibis Styles stay in Paris? You can read it in our Paris Guide!
The Carlton Tower Jumeirah
For those with a more refined palette and luxurious taste, we cannot recommend The Carlton Tower Jumeirah enough. This 5-star hotel has undergone a major revamp during covid and has reopened with two restaurants, a bar, and a world-class wellness centre. The price tag for The Carlton Tower Jumeirah is several times over the ibis Style but honestly, it is worth every penny. The hotel is as grand as you can expect, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, just a few minutes from Harrods and Hyde Park. Honestly, from the moment we stepped foot into the establishment to our departure, everything was faultless.
I do not say this lightly when I say this is by far the best hotel in London I have ever stayed in, and I’ll tell you why.
We stayed in the Junior Suite on the 8/F, which was spacious (of course), tastefully designed (no doubt), and thoughtfully prepared (slippers and towels with our initials embroidered on them?). We also had a bath and a balcony that offers the perfect sunset view and looks over a private garden (which as the hotel guests, we have the privilege to enter and make use of).
You can’t stay at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah and not make use of their wellness centre. The gym on the 9/F is second to none, both in terms of setting and equipment. This is also the few hotels with a full-length swimming pool in a glasshouse setting, allowing so much natural light in without being compromised by the weather (you know what London can be like!) As if the hotel itself is not an escape enough from the city life, The Peak Spa will very much take you to an infinite space of relaxation and tranquility. My only complaint was that my spa treatment didn’t last forever.
Where to Eat in London
Honestly, where do we start? London is full of hotspots, but there are only a few I will mention. We all know Sketch by now, so you won’t find that one on this list. These are our favourites!
It’s almost impossible to make a reservation. Luckily, we managed to get a spot but make sure you reserve on time. Once inside you won’t believe your eyes, what a place! It looks like something out of an Italian fairytale with flowers hanging from the ceiling and the walls covered in drinks. We would have expected hyped places to lack taste and service, but Circolo Popolare completely swept us off our feet. The service for one was amazing and the food..don’t even get us started. We ordered a salad which was big enough for two and a freshly oven baked pizza. Tip: Definitely order one of their inventive cocktails and the tiramisu was the best we have ever tasted.
Like ibis Styles, Seabird is also located in Southwark. This wonderful rooftop restaurant has an amazing outside terrace overlooking the city of London. They serve a wonderful selection of seafoods with Spanish and Portuguese influences, including 15 different oysters! The inside looks like a decor created in Tulum, which includes a bar where they create amazing cocktails served in tropical animal glasses. seabirdlondon.com
If you wanna go posh, plus British, you need to visit GBR. Situated in The Dukes hotel, it’s British food at it’s best. The interior is classical British with a James Bond vibe. Furthermore, the staff is lovely and are happy to accommodate you with special requirements. They also offer all day dining and a killer high tea, so if you’re up for some great British flavours, you should check it out. www.gbrrestaurantslondon.com
It was there 10 years ago, and it’s still good. Ping Pong is an Asian Fusion restaurant with incredible dimsum dishes. It’s great for lunch and even better for dinner. Don’t forget to order the Jasmine flower tea, because it’s an actual flower opening up in the clear tea glass.
This place is good for pink latté’s and your instagram account. The outside is such a treat with the pretty (fake) flowers.
Again, a wonderful place for your insta feed. The walls are covered in roses and the interior features marble tables where you can perfectly pose against the rose wall. Oh, this place is also famous for it’s cakes and great looking coffees. (almost forgot about that part!)
I used to work in Camden Town and this area is a food Walhalla. There are many international food stands with delicious, homemade foods and vegans can go crazy here. Rumer has it, that you can find the best vegan burgers here.. www.camdenmarket.com
Farm Girl Café
They are a holistic Australian farm café with delicious (and healthy!) foods. They are based in Chelsea, Soho and Nothing Hill. Make a reservation to avoid a fully booked café.
» Boxpark Shoreditch
It’s been around for a few years now, but if you like to try quality streetfood, you should eat at Boxpark. There are options enough to fill your tummy and you can go shopping after that (then again, maybe before is better, otherwise you might not fit those new pants) Check here for the latest food stands.
Located in the historic St. Thomas Church in the heart of London Bridge, minutes from Borough Market, Duddell’s London is offering an authentic and delicious Cantonese cuisine. Just look at the interior, wow! The dim-sum here is hand-crafted and the cocktails are Asian-inspired.
Where to Shop
Shopping in London is something that you can’t get around. Depending what your taste is or how much you want to spend, there are options for everything. We’ve highlighted our personal favourite shopping districts and added a few that you just have to see for yourself.
» Oxford Street
It’s the largest and longest shopping street in London. You will find all the commercial brands here like ZARA, Mango, Nike, H&M etc. Also check out the shopping mall Selfridges. It’s amazing!
This is for the Chanel lovers among us. Big brands show off their impressive shopping windows and you can find Harrods here, the topnotch shopping warehouse that is worth checking out, especially the food hall and the toy kingdom.
One of my favorite shopping area’s in London! It used to be a horse stable market so you will find many alleys and secret corners here. It’s great for bargain shopping and you can find local goods, weird stuff, plus there is even a crazy techno/house store which you need to check out, it’s like walking into a club!
This street is full of amazing shops! Some are boutique, others are more mainstream like Adidas or Superga. Sneaker lovers should check Carnaby Street!
There we have the boxpark again! This place is worth checking out for specialty clothes and unique items. I bought some glitter socks there, I mean, what a catch! Read our full Shorditch Guide!
What To See & Do
Like New York, London is a city where you can’t get bored. There is a lot to see and do, but to narrow it down, these are my personal tips.
» Visit Some of London’s Parks
London is greener than you might think. There are several parks to choose from besides the famous Hyde Park. Primrose Hill, Regents Park and lesser known Hampstead Heath are my favourites. They are more local and offer stunning views and nature. If you are in Primrose Hill, make sure you walk into the neighbourhood and check out the coloured houses.
» Sky Garden
I didn’t manage to go because I forgot to make a reservation but if you do have the time, visit the Sky Garden. Stunning views over the city with an indoor tropical garden. Entrance is free but you need to book a time slot. They do accept walk-ins after 6 pm during the week. sky garden.London
Bonus » If you like gardens, check out Kew Gardens. It’s about 30 minutes’ travel from Central London and their Victorian glasshouse just opened. See over 10,000 plants in the world’s biggest glasshouse. www.kew.org
» Coal Drops Yard
Currently, it is the place to be. Hip and happening with restaurants, cafés, and businesses all tucked into one. Find out what’s it like.
» Covent Garden
What’s not to love about this area? Street theater, live opera singers, musicians, local goods, shops, restaurants, and a market. Covent Garden is the place I never skip when I’m in London.
» Museums in London are free!
Oh yes, they should do this anywhere in the world don’t you think? We love the Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, and The Victoria & Albert museum.
We hope you can enjoy London for three days! After all, it was Elke’s “hometown” for many years. Let me know if you’ve used our tips, we’d love to hear them!