Rick Steves' Best of London in 7 Days Tour, Day by Day
London has just what you need for a quick escape: direct flights, the best live theater scene on the planet, an inviting pub on every corner, and the simple pleasure of conversing with Europeans with (almost) no language barrier. During your week-long stay in London, your Rick Steves guide will lead you on a magical history tour along the Thames and through the Tower, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, historic neighborhoods, and plenty of priceless art — and even take you on a train trip to Windsor Castle. Join us for this slideshow preview of our Best of London in 7 Days tour. Let's go!
Day 1: Welcome to London
We'll meet at our hotel in central London this afternoon to get acquainted. Then we'll set off on a neighborhood walk before stepping aboard our very own vintage double-decker bus for a panoramic tour of "The Old Smoke" (London). We'll finish the evening with a "Welcome to London" dinner together.
Day 2: Westminster and Whitehall
After an Underground/Tube orientation, we'll wander through the City of Westminster. Our walk will take us past Buckingham Palace, punctuated by the smartly dressed, stony-faced Queen's Guard, and through St. James Park, a favorite for its resident pelicans, on our way to the majestic Westminster Abbey. We'll enjoy a guided tour of the abbey, where England's kings and queens have been crowned and buried since 1066, and continue with a history-laced walking tour along Whitehall. After a busy morning, we'll rest our feet while enjoying that quintessentially English experience: afternoon tea. Then you'll be ready to explore the treasure-packed British Museum.
Day 3: The Tower, The City, and St. Paul's
This morning we'll head out early to witness the opening ceremony at the medieval Tower of London. Our early arrival will leave us first in line to join a Yeoman Warder "Beefeater" for an entertaining tour and a close-up look at the UK's magnificent collection of Crown Jewels. This afternoon, we'll take a walking tour of The City, the oldest part of London and today one of the world's key financial centers. Then we'll continue on to England's national church — Christopher Wren's majestically domed St. Paul's Cathedral — and hear how local "fire watcher" volunteers saved this symbol of British resolve during the bombing raids of World War II. Your evening is free — consider staying near St. Paul's to hear the evensong.
Day 4: East London and the Churchill War Rooms
Today we'll venture out to the culturally diverse East End of London, where we'll find our lunch on a food tour. The tour will guide us through the history of the East End, tasting the influence of cultures along the way — from a traditional English bacon butty to Indian curries and the beloved London takeaway fish and chips. Once we have had our fill, we'll visit the Churchill War Rooms, where we'll get the inside story on the London Blitz and Britain's leadership during World War II. This evening is free and perfect for the theater (book a popular show in advance online or pick up a ticket in London).
Day 5: Historic Windsor Castle
Today we'll catch a train and head out of town to Windsor Castle, the largest and oldest castle residence in the world. We'll spend the morning touring the Royal Family's castle, ornate St. George's Chapel, and the surrounding park. The remainder of the day is yours for poking around the quaint town of Windsor or for more sightseeing back in London. Tonight, join your guide and fellow tour members for a pint at a local pub and share the stories of your day's experience. This is another good night for the theater.
Day 6: Borough Market and the South Bank
We'll begin our morning with a tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, the half-timbered and thatched-roofed replica of the original theater that was home to the playwright's productions in the late 1500s. Then we'll take a walking tour along the South Bank of the Thames. We'll see the Tower Bridge and Southwark Cathedral, and learn how this side of the river has evolved since Roman times. We'll end our tour at Borough Market, one of the oldest and largest food markets in London, with colorful produce and the wafting scents of grilled-cheese and duck-confit sandwiches. The afternoon is yours to enjoy lunch at the market, visit the Tate Modern, hop on a Thames River cruise, or take a ride on the London Eye. Tonight, we'll meet for our "last supper" and raise a toast to London and new friends. Cheers!
Day 7: Tour Over After Breakfast
Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Heathrow and Gatwick airports can be easily reached by Tube, train, or bus from our London neighborhood. For those not ready to return home yet, London is a great jumping off point to Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, and many other exciting destinations. Cheerio!
Ready to experience jolly old London? We still have plenty of seats available on 2022 departures. Learn more about our Best of London in 7 Days tour!