Discover London In 48 Hours – An Itinerary For Families

*This is a collaborative guest post

Travelling to London with kids can seem a little bit overwhelming, there are so many things to do in London – how to choose?! This London itinerary has been put together with a family trip to London in mind, to reduce time spent travelling and maximise fun!

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about London? I bet it’s one of these: Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Hampton Court Palace, Tower of London and the Crown jewels exhibition, Big Ben, double-decker buses. I doubt that you thought about London Zoo.

Pay a Visit to the Gorilla Kingdom and the Tiger Territory

Discover London In 48 Hours - An Itinerary For Families

If you’re travelling with your kids, London Zoo should be high on your list. Why? It’s because your kids will love to see all the animals and it’s a great way to spend a sunny afternoon. This is the favourite place for most families visiting London, so both you and your kids might even end up getting new friends while you’re at it.

Make sure not to miss the “Clore Rainforest Lookout”. You will get an idea about how it feels to walk in the jungle. Lemurs and tamarin monkeys  will be your hosts during this adventure.

London’s Tourist Attractions on Fast Forward

It gets better. If you book your hotel in the central area, you can arrive to the Zoo with one of the hop-on-hop-off buses or by using an Oyster Card on the underground. This means that you could pass by Big Ben, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park before going to socialise with gorillas. You can even stop for a ride on London Eye to get an amazing view over the city.

And don’t worry if you’re like me and have no clue about history and such things – there’s an audio guide on the bus. It will give you enough information for you to get a better feel of London.

Affordable accommodation in London

“Book a hotel in the central area of London?  Who can afford that?“ you might be thinking. Just in case that has crossed your mind, let me tell you one thing: contrary to popular belief, there are quite a few budget options even in central London. For example, this private flat on airbnb is under €100. Otherwise, you can also choose to book a family suite at the Hilton, in Kensington.

From both these places you can arrive easily to central London using public transportation and any of the many tube stations across the capital.

To ice-cream or not to ice-cream, that is the question!

One of the best places to have an ice-cream in London is Chin Chin Labs in Camden Town. Now only because how good their ice-cream is, but also because it’s a chemistry lesson for you and your kids. The place looks more like a lab than an ice-cream shop. Wait. It actually is a lab!

I want to become an astronaut when I grow up

Another great place that you’ll have the opportunity to visit exactly because you’re travelling with your kids is Science Museum. It is so family friendly and has activities suitable for all ages: young kids, old kids and grown-up kids like yourself spread across seven floors. I, for sure, could spend more than 48 hours here without getting bored. It’s open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. And it’s all free.

Discover London In 48 Hours - An Itinerary For Families

Guess what? You can even watch an IMAX movie here. They usually have three or four kid friendly screenings every day. You can either book online in advance or on the spot.

Or maybe I could also be a pirate when I grow up

Any kid out there who doesn’t like boats? Seeing London from the river gives another perspective over the touristic attractions. And going on a cruise on Thames while in London is a must. You can either take Jason’s canal boat trip or one of the many Thames River cruises.

Jason’s canal boat trip takes around 45 minutes one way. It will take you from Little Venice to Camden lock, giving you many opportunities for wonderful pictures. If you start at Little Venice, you will also learn more about London’s secrets since you will have a guide on the boat.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this sample family day itinerary, before we start wrapping up with a quick summary of London for kids, there’s something else you should know. All of the attractions here can be found on London Pass. Which means, you don’t need to buy seperate entrance tickets, just buy one pass and get in over 60 attractions & save a bundle on your London family vacation.

Discover London In 48 Hours - An Itinerary For Families

London with kids itinerary:

Day 1

  • Ride the London Eye.
  • Take the hop-on-hop-off bus to Regent Park. Depending on the route you choose, you can pass by Big Ben, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park.
  • Spend the afternoon in London Zoo learning new things about animals and making friends with the tigers.
  • Learn chemistry while enjoying an ice-cream at Chin Chin Labs.

Day 2

  • See London from the river. You can do that with Jason’s canal boat trip. Otherwise, choose among the Thames River cruises.
  • Become a scientist while visiting Science Museum. Make sure to also book a ticket for an IMAX movie – I have a feeling it won’t be just your kids who would love the IMAX technology or stop off at the Natural History Museum and be a paleontologist for the day.

Remember that when travelling with your kids, it’s not only them learning a lot of things from you, but also you learning a lot of things from them. So make the most of this time before they grow up and let you travel by yourself again.

By the way, what’s your favourite tourist attraction that you’ve discovered thanks to your kids? For us it’s the Warner Bros Studio Tour – the Harry Potter Studio. It’s such a great day out and we would never have discovered it without the children’s love of Harry Potter.


  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

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  1. Fab itinerary – the thing with London is, every time you visit you can see something new 🙂

    I would highly recommend both the Buckingham Palace tour and UK Parliament tour – both fascinating for children and grown ups alike! We also really enjoy walking along the South Bank and just taking in the atmosphere – the kids love the free play park by the Millennium wheel x

  2. I’ve never thought to go to London Zoo, I must add this to our list. Now Holly is older we are definitely doing more trips to London, as we are lucky it’s not too far. I think we could do with a whole weekend though and just tick a few more things off that we would love to do. x

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