London for the Busy Traveler

Make every second count on your tour to London when time is short in such a big, bustling city.

As Where celebrates 80 years of magazines across the globe—from Paris to New York and beyond—the London team looks back at eight glorious decades of Where magazines across the globe.

In London, Where has been going strong since 1975. The city boasts more hotel rooms and more visitors than ever before. Join our expert editors on their special itineraries, designed to give a flavour of London in 80 minutes. While the world's pace is frenetic, it's still possible to experience London's offerings in less than two hours.


South Bank

Stretching three miles along the River Thames, London’s South Bank has everything for your 80-minute walking tour. Begin at Westminster Bridge and head east, past the Sea Life London Aquarium and London Dungeon.

Sea Life London Aquarium, London, UK
Drop into the London Aquarium, on the river. (©Sea Life London Aquarium)

Stop to marvel at the landmark Coca-Cola London Eye, its 32 capsules representing the number of boroughs in the city. Continue onto the mammoth Southbank Centre, built in 1951, and housing the Grade I-listed Royal Festival Hall.

Watch the skateboarders in the graffiti-clad Undercroft, beneath the centre, then head to the National Theatre. The Sherling High-Level Walkway gives fantastic views into the theatre’s workshops.

Further along the river is the OXO Tower, home to designer boutiques and the OXO Restaurant & Bar with its garden terrace and panoramic views. Soon you will reach the newly-expanded Tate Modern gallery, with free daily tours.

Carry on along the Thames, following Bankside until you reach Borough Market where you can revive with some gourmet street food.

Borough Market, London, UK
After your walk, sample gourmet food at one of ths stalls at this famous market. (©Borough Market)


Covent Garden

Begin your tour by browsing Covent Garden Market, dating back to 1654. Originally a fruit and vegetable market, the covered arcade is now lined with stalls selling hand-crafted souvenirs. Stroll into the cobbled square outside the market and no doubt you’ll see jugglers, hula hoopers, escapologists and other street entertainers.

Covent Garden Market, London, UK
The glass-roofed Covent Garden Market has handcrafted souvenirs, and sometimes antiques. (©Covent Garden)

The famous Royal Opera House is around the corner, boasting world-class ballet and opera performances year round. You can also take a backstage tour of the venue. Head to the nearby London Film Museum houses the long-term exhibition, “Bond in Motion,” with the largest official collection of James Bond vehicles.

London Film Museum, London, UK
See Bond cars of all descriptions at the London Film Museum. (©London Film Museum)

Near the London Coliseum, which also stages opera and ballet, you’ll find The Salisbury, a pub with etched glass mirrors, framed pictures and a mahogany-panelled bar. Back when homosexuality was illegal, the pub was a haven for the theatrical gay community, while in the 1960s it became known as "the actors’ pub."


Carnaby Street

Walk south of Oxford Circus, and you’ll stand at the epicentre of the Swinging Sixties, and Carnaby Street is still loved for it. Begin your visitor at 1 Carnaby Street, where you’ll see a plaque to John Stephen, the man who was dubbed the "King of Carnaby Street." He was the fashion entrepreneur who turned the area into the shopping destination that it is today.

Carnaby Street Sign in London
Carnaby Street has been welcoming shoppers since the '60s. (©Anthony Baggett/Istock)

The connection to music is still apparent today with regular events. Pop into Pharrell Williams’ Billionaire Boy Club, and to Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green.

The department store Liberty seems to belong to another era, thanks to its mock-Tudor style building. High-end brands sit alongside the traditional haberdashery department, with fabrics iconic for their prints.

Kingly Court, a three-storey collection of boutique shops, restaurants and bars buzzes in the evening. Cahoots is a hidden bar, with a "To Trains" sign outside the door paying homage to the London underground. Make a toast to your trip while you sit in old tube carriages and drink a cocktail. This is one place that’s definitely still swinging.

The historic department store, Liberty, offers plenty of things to do and places to explore in just 80 minutes. (©Liberty)