Travelling in London with kids: Fares, Tickets and Advice

Travelling in London with kids: Fares, Tickets and Advice

by Ren Nair
Last Update: 19 Oct 2023

When planning a family trip to London…

…one of the things you’ll be thinking about is how are we going to get around London, and, how travelling in London with kids works.
You’re probably asking yourself what fares children need to pay on London´s public transport and you may even want to know how to use London´s public transport with a buggy.

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Index

• Children´s fares when travelling in London
• Travelling from the airport to central London
• Travelling in London with a buggy

Travelling in London with kids: Fares and transport passes

When travelling in London with kids it is important to know that children will pay different fares on London´s transport depending on their age. There are transport passes for children, and these transport passes will be valid for London´s underground network, buses, DLR, overground and trains within London travel zones.

Children under 11 years of age

Children under the age of 11 travel free on London´s buses and trams, with or without an adult, at any time, and don’t need a ticket.
Children under the age of 11 also travel free on London Underground, DLR (Docklands Light Railway), overground and TFL rail without a ticket if they’re accompanied by a paying adult. Up to 4 children can travel for free with an adult that has a valid ticket.
When entering the London underground with children under the age of 11, it’s advisable to use the larger access doors. These doors are wider and don´t close as fast as the single doors and are designed for people travelling in London with kids, those with luggage or disabled passengers.

Visiting attractions with kids?

Keetoo stands out as one of the top choices for families seeking days out in London, offering substantial savings on gate prices while providing seamless access through the convenience of your phone. With everything stored digitally and total flexibility, Keetoo ensures hassle-free and enjoyable days out with the kids. Simply choose the places you wish to visit, who’s going with you and up pops the saving and you’re on your way!

Children from 11 to 16 years of age

Children between the ages of 11 and 16 can travel at a reduced rate on London´s public transport. There are several options and to make it simple, we’re going to summarise these below.
Children from 11 to 16 years old can also travel with an adult Oyster card or travel card if necessary. But bear in mind, they’ll not benefit from reduced rates on travel.


Option 1: Oyster card with Young Visitor Discount

This is a great option if you’re planning on travelling in London with kids. An Oyster card with young visitor discount will apply half adult rates for 14 days. After 14 days this discount will expire, and the Oyster card will charge full adult rates again. The Oyster card can also be returned at the end of your trip, just like a normal Oyster card.

All you need to do is buy an Oyster card or a Visitor Oyster card, either online or at an underground station, and then ask a member of staff to set the Young Visitor Discount. This discount can be applied at any underground station in London, including the underground station at Heathrow Airport. An adult will need to give their personal details to register the Oyster card before the discount can be applied, and you might be asked to confirm the child´s age.
You and your child will need to be together when asking for the Young Visitor Discount to be set onto an Oyster card, and an adult can request the young visitor discount to be set for up to 4 children (on separate Oyster cards).


Option 2: Zip Oyster Photocard

The Zip Oyster photocard will entitle children of up to 16 years of age to reduced fares on the underground and overground and other TFL services, as well as free travel on trams and buses. The Zip Oyster photocard is normally the best option for children that live in London, as the process to get an Oyster photocard for a child can take some time and there’s an initial registration fee of up to £20 – so this is normally not the best option for visitors.

You can get a Zip Oyster photocard if you live in London, all you need to do is fill in a form that you will find at your local Post Office and return it to the Post Office. You will also need to include a passport sized photo and a copy of the birth certificate or passport and pay the fee. You should get the Zip Oyster photocard in 2 weeks.

If you’re a UK resident, you’ll need to do the process online on TFL’s website and you should get the Zip Oyster photocard within 4 weeks.

If you live outside the UK you will need to do the process online on TFL’s website. When applying, you’ll need to choose which London Visitor Centre (Liverpool Street Station, Victoria Station, Euston, Gatwick, King’s Cross station) you want to collect the Zip Oyster photocard from, as it will not be sent to your home address. You’ll need to apply at least 3 weeks in advance but can also apply up to three months in advance.


Option 3: 1 Day Child Travelcard

A one-day child travelcard will allow unlimited travel at any time of the day on any form of public transport in London for the chosen London travel zones. No ID is needed to purchase this one-day child travelcard, but fares using an Oyster card with young visitor discount are normally cheaper. If you’re visiting London for several days and choose this option you’ll have to buy a one-day child travelcard for each day, and this will work out a lot more expensive than using an Oyster card with young visitor discount.

Option 4: 7 Day Child Travelcard

To buy a 7-day child travelcard in London there are 3 options: 1 – By adding a weekly travelcard into a Zip Oyster photocard. This is undoubtedly the most complicated option, as you need to request a Zip Card Oyster photocard first and then add the 7-day travelcard onto it. 2 – Buy a 7-day child travelcard online. This is probably the easiest way of getting one, as you do not need a Zip Oyster photocard and they will send it to your home address before you travel. 3 – Buy a 7-day child travelcard at a national railway ticket office (not an underground station).


People 16 to 18 years old

People aged 16 to 18 can also apply for a 16 – 18 Zip Oyster photocard, which will apply half adult rates on any form of public transport in London. Travelcards at a reduced price can also be added onto Zip Oyster photocards.
For more information about travelling in London with kids visit: Transport for London.

Travelling in London with kids: Travelling to Central London from the airport
Stansted, Luton and Gatwick airports are all located outside London’s Travel Zones, so fares when travelling with kids to and from these airports are different to fares when travelling in London with kids, so under 11-year old children will need a ticket.

An Oyster card is valid for travel into Central London from Gatwick Airport, but children under 11 will also need a train ticket to get to central London from Gatwick Airport, even if they are accompanied by an adult.

Heathrow and London City Airports are both inside London Travel Zones, so fares are as explained above. Children under 11 travel free and Children under 16 can travel with an Oyster card with young visitor discount.


Travelling in London with a buggy

If you are planning a trip with a baby or toddler, it may be that you wish to bring your buggy or stroller to London, especially if you’re planning on spending the whole day walking around London.

Travelling in London with a buggy can be quite easy if you know which route is best, or it can be a complete nightmare if you have to go up or down 300 steps when there are no lifts.

Don’t stress, we’re going to explain how to travel on London´s public transport with a buggy.


Travelling on London´s buses with a buggy

Public buses in London have a dedicated wheelchair and buggy space as well as easy street-level access. Travelling by bus with a buggy normally is the easiest option to get around London. You can enter the bus via the back door, which makes it a bit easier too. Up to two pushchairs are allowed in the dedicated buggy space on a bus but do bear in mind that during busy periods you may be asked to wait for the next bus or collapse your pushchair.


Travelling on the London Underground with a buggy

The trick to travelling in London with kids using a pushchair is to check London´s accessible underground map in advance and choose your route carefully. Being able to plan your route choosing accessible stations makes life much easier, and it may just mean that you need to get off at the next stop and walk 5 minutes, rather than having to take a buggy and a baby up 100 steps.

Unfortunately, not all underground stations in London are accessible. Most underground stations in London will have escalators, and many stations will also have some stairs at some point before reaching the platform. Many other stations have lifts to some of the platforms, and some stations are completely accessible, with lifts from the ticket office to the platform.

If you need help going up or down the stairs and you ask a member of staff for help, for health and safety reasons they will ask you to carry the baby and they will take the buggy for you.


London Underground Accessibility Maps

On the London Underground map, you will see that accessible underground stations are marked with the symbol of a wheelchair, in either a blue circle or a white circle.

• Blue circle: the underground station is fully accessible, which means that it is possible to go from street-level onto the underground carriage without any steps at all. In these cases, the platform will have an area that is slightly elevated to avoid any steps when getting onto the train.

• White circle: this means that there are no steps from street-level to platform, but there is some unevenness when getting onto the train. This is important for someone using a wheelchair, but it normally isn´t a problem when taking a buggy onto the train.

In addition to this map, there’s a Step Free Tube Map that is a lot more detailed and the one we’d recommend you check when travelling on the London Underground with a buggy. This map highlights the degree of accessibility at each station in detail and it also explains how accessible it is to change between underground lines at different stations.

Welcome to our Blog!

Hi, I’m Ren, a travel lover a mum of 2 and founder of Keetoo, a  leading website and app for tickets for days out.
On this blog, I share our family travel experiences with practical information, pictures and useful tips!

Join us for more tips on London and UK travel

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      Best Alternatives to the London Tourist Passes

      Best Alternatives to the London Tourist Passes

      by Chiara C
      Last Update: 17 September 2023

      If you like the idea of having all your attractions in one place, the Keetoo app is the perfect place to manage your trip to London.

      Unlike the London Tourist Pass, your money goes further and you can take things at your own pace, whilst managing how much you want to add to your account. The flexibility of being able to cancel attractions within 24 hours gives you much more flexibility. No one wants to ride the Hop-on Hop-off in the rain, do they?

      You are also not confined to a time limit, so you don’t have to rush around trying to squeeze in as many attractions as possible into your day, or hurry back to the city within 30 days to use them up. Once you’ve topped up your Keetoo Wallet, it’s there to stay until you want it.

      For every £40, you add to your Keetoo wallet, you’ll get £10 in Kredits for FREE to use on 100’s of attractions. You’ll also get £10 per adult and £6 per child in Kredits for FREE just by signing up.

      Once you’re set up you can manage all your London attractions from one app. Discover the best attractions along with their opening times, prices and directions.

      The Keetoo app is cashless, you can simply book, show your code at the entrance and you’re in.

      Discover more about Keetoo and take London at your pace today.

      Choose your attraction combination and save

      A great day out without compromise.

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      Are London Tourist Passes Worth it?

      Whilst London is full of free things to do, like museums, galleries and iconic sights, some attractions can get a little pricey – especially if you want to pack a lot into your days. This is why London Tourist Passes make sense for a lot of visitors. But are London Tourist Passes worth it for everyone? In this post, we break down the costs and explain who the pass works best for and how to make the most out of yours.

      First, what is a London Tourist Pass?
      There are two types of passes available, The London Pass and the London Pass with Oyster Card.

      The London Pass gives you access to a full list of attractions across London. The prices are as follows (child is aged 5-15):

      • 1 day (£75 adult/ £55 child)
      • 2 days (£99 adult/ £75 child)
      • 3 days (£125 adult/ £89 child)
      • 6 days (£169 adult/ £125 child)
      • 10 days (£199 adult/ £149 child)

      The London Pass with Oyster Card gives you access to these attractions as well as unlimited travel on all London underground, trams, buses, light-rail, Docklands and trains zones 1-6.

      • 1 day (£90 adult/ £64.30 child)
      • 2 days (£119 adult/ £93.60 child)
      • 3 days (£155 adult/ £116.90 child)
      • 6 days (£224 adult/ £157 child)
      • 10 days (£254 adult/ £204 child)

      How to get the most out of your pass
      If you’ve decided to go ahead and get the London Tourist Pass, here is what you’ll need to do to make the most out of it:

      Start early
      Get up and raring to go at the crack of dawn, ok maybe not that early, but 9 am is the optimum time to start your London adventures with the Tourist Pass.

      Plan out your day
      London is a big city, so don’t fall into the trap of planning your day one attraction at a time as you go. Make an itinerary to stick to and work out your journey before you set off.

      Visit the most expensive attractions
      To make the most of your pass, you’ll need to factor in the biggest attractions. The attractions that will add the most value to your pass include the View from the Shard, The Tower of London, Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey and one of the football stadium tours.

      The London Tourist Pass cons:

      You want to see the less popular attractions
      If the big attractions like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and London Bridge Experience are not on your itinerary, the pass is not likely to save you money. Whilst you will find smaller and more unique attractions on the list, it’s these big experiences that give you value for money.

      You want to explore at a leisurely pace
      To make the most out of your pass, you need to visit at least three attractions. So if you’re someone who likes to take their time and sit back and relax, this isn’t the right pass for you.

      You want to live like a London local
      If big attractions and ‘touristy’ sights are not your thing, and you prefer to wander off the beaten track and live like a local, this pass is not the one for you.

      In summary

      • Not all attractions are included – so you may end up spending more
      • Some attractions are not centrally located so you’ll struggle to fit more in if you visit them
      • Not ideal for those who prefer non-popular attractions
      • If you’re staying for over a week and only plan on visiting one attraction per day

      If this is the case, the Keetoo app is the ideal money and time-saving solution on your trip to London.

      Welcome to our Blog!

      Hello! I’m Chiara, an Italian who’s called London home for 8 wonderful years. As a travel enthusiast and the founder of Hidden Gem, I’m on a mission to uncover the city’s best-kept secrets and share them with you. Join me on this exciting journey to explore the hidden treasures of London and beyond!

      Join us for more tips on London and UK travel

      Explore London like a local

      with our insider’s mini guide

      Download for FREE now

        Explore London like a local

        with our insider’s mini guide.
        Download for FREE now


          The Best Combination Tickets for London Attractions

          The Best Combination Tickets for London Attractions

          by Chiara C
          Last Update: 17 July 2023

          Paying for attractions in London individually can end up being costly, especially if you’re planning to pack a lot into your visit to the capital city. This is why combination tickets for London attractions are the best way to save you money. They are also great for inspiring your itinerary if you’re not sure which attractions you want to do yet.

          You can do combos of 2-6 attractions to make the most of your experience in London. Or you could book a tourist pass to save money and discover what London has to offer.

          No matter what attractions you’re planning to visit, make sure you book them online to get the very best deal. Box office prices will always be much higher. So using combination tickets, passes and apps like Keetoo will ensure you are making the most of your money in the big city. Pre-planning your trips in this way means you’ll waste no time in long queues, have your days mapped out and have everything pre-paid and ready to go.

          So, let’s explore the best combination tickets in London!

          The Keetoo app

          The Keetoo app is one of the most flexible ways to explore the city. We know plans change all the time, and even a last-minute rain downpour can derail your plans. So, it’s important to pick a pass that works for you.

          The advantage of Keetoo compared to a Tourist Pass is that you can still visit all the best attractions, but you are not limited to the duration like you are with the Tourist Passes. The London pass limits you in days, whilst the Go City Pass only gives you 30 days to use them. Meanwhile, the Keetoo App means you can easily change your plans and your money will still be in your Keetoo Wallet, for when you’re ready to use it.

          Plus you can use the Keetoo app to plan your trip to London and save whilst you do it. For every £40 you add to your Keetoo wallet, you’ll get £10 in Kredits for free to use at 100’s of attractions. In fact, just by signing up, you’ll get £10 per adult and £6 per child in Kredits added to your account.

          Over 20,000 people are using Keetoo to plan their days out, and it couldn’t be easier to use. Simply book your trips through the app using your Kredits and flash the booking code at the entrance to enter. No more printed tickets and multiple emails to manage – just everything in one place. Also, understandably, plans can often change last minute so this app gives you free 24-hour cancellation, providing you with the flexibility you need to plan your London itinerary.

          Find out more about the Keetoo app here.

          Choose your attraction combination and save

          A great day out without compromise.

          SAVE NOW

          See the best London attractions with a Combination ticket

          The best way to get value for your money is to use combination tickets for the biggest attractions. Things like the London Eye, Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour and The London SEALIFE Centre are the perfect attractions to combine.

          Here are some attractions that are worth combining to inspire your trip, whether you pick 2, 3, 4, 5 or even 6:

          • Madame Tussauds
          • Tower Bridge
          • The Tower of London
          • The London Eye
          • River Cruise
          • SEALIFE Centre
          • London Dungeons
          • The Big Bus Tour
          • London Aquarium
          • The View from the Shard

          Combine the Hop-on and Hop-off bus tour with a London attraction

          One of the most valuable combination tickets in London is the Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour combination ticket. The bus tour is one of the best ways to explore the city. You can simply hop on, sit back and take in the iconic sights of the city. The full tour lasts 3.5-4.5 hours, but the best part is that you can choose which part of the tour you’d like to do most and get on and off when you feel like it.

          Some of the tickets even include a free River Cruise, so you can explore the city from the UK’s most famous river, the Thames.

          Booking one of the Big Bus Tours combination tickets gives you access to any attraction of your choosing such as Madamme Tussauds, the London Eye, The Tower of London or St Pauls Cathedral.

          Dinner and Dine on the West End

          If you’re heading to London to catch a show, it’s worth booking a combination ticket for dinner too. There’s nothing worse than heading to the busy theatre district and not being able to get a table. Plus, you’ll be able to save money by pre-booking too.

          There are many restaurants to choose from such as The Cocktail Club on Shaftesbury Avenue, Brazilian grill Cabana in Covent Garden, steakhouse Black Soho and French restaurant Cafe Rouge.

          You can combine these central restaurants with big hits like Back to The Future: The Musical, ELF: The Musical. Lion King, Mamma Mia, Moulin Rouge and so many more.

          Buy a London Tourist Pass

          Another option to buy combination tickets for London attractions is to purchase a London Tourist Pass. There are multiple options. And it’s worth checking to see if a Tourist Pass is worth it for your itinerary first.

          Here are some of the best Tourist Pass options:


          The London Pass

          With the London Pass, you’ll get access to most of the most popular attractions across the city. You can pick the number of days you’d like the pass for, and you can fit as many of the selected attractions as possible into those days. There is no limit to the attractions you can do in a day. You’ll be able to utilise the fast-track entry to make the experience as seamless as possible. All you need to do is pick your pass duration, download the app, and scan it to enter over 80 attractions across the city. This is a good idea if you like to be on the go all the time. However, you have to see at least three of the big attractions per day to make the most of the pass which leaves little downtime and you may struggle to fit in the attractions that are not centrally located.

          London Go City Explorer Pass
          The London Go City Explorer Pass is different as you can select what attractions you’d like to visit. So you build your itinerary from a choice of over 20 attractions across London. You can select 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions and once activated have up to 30 days to use them all. It’s great for people who want to explore the city at a bit more of a leisurely pace.

          More London (previously Merlin’s Magical London)
          More London is a pre-selected combination ticket with five of the best attractions in London. The five attractions are:

          • The London Eye
          • Madame Tussauds
          • Shrek’s Adventure
          • The London Dungeons
          • SEALIFE London Aquarium

          This ticket is valid for 90 days, so you won’t need to rush to get everything packed into a short trip.

          Welcome to our Blog!

          Hello! I’m Chiara, an Italian who’s called London home for 8 wonderful years. As a travel enthusiast and the founder of Hidden Gem, I’m on a mission to uncover the city’s best-kept secrets and share them with you. Join me on this exciting journey to explore the hidden treasures of London and beyond!

          Join us for more tips on London and UK travel

          Explore London like a local

          with our insider’s mini guide

          Download for FREE now

            Explore London like a local

            with our insider’s mini guide.
            Download for FREE now


              London in Three Days

              London in Three Days

              by Chiara C
              Last Update: 6 July 2023

              There’s so much you can do in London in three days.

              But when planning a trip to London, you really want to make the most of everything that this amazing and diverse city has to offer. We have designed a free itinerary for you to follow which includes London’s top attractions like Big Ben, The London Eye, Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London and St Paul’s cathedral.
              There is so much to see in London that our first advice when spending three days in London is to make sure that you have chosen a fairly central hotel, preferably in zones 1 or 2 if possible. This means you will then spend less time and money on public transport. We would also recommend that you plan and know what routes or itineraries you are going to follow so that you don’t have to think about where to go on the day. It’s also best if you get up early, so save the lie-ins for when you get home!
              If it’s your first time in London and you want to see as much as possible, you need to think about going on a hop-on hop-off bus tour; it’s an easy way to see a lot in a city as big as London and it really helps you to figure out where things are if you use it on your first day. You will also get a free river cruise which is brilliant and something that we would very highly recommend.

              Choose your attraction combination and save

              A great day out without compromise.

              SAVE NOW

              London in three days: Day 1 in London

              • Changing of the Guard
              • Westminster Abbey
              • Big Ben and London Eye
              • Regent Street and Carnaby Street
              • Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus
              • Leicester Square and Covent Garden

              Big Ben and the London Eye our must-sees for your first day in London if you’re are planning on visiting London in three days, so we have designed a walking route that starts at Buckingham Palace to see the famous ceremony of the Changing of the Guard, and then we will go on to explore some of the city´s most important landmarks, such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus…

              This walking route is approximately 4.5 miles long, and we would allow at least 4 – 6 hours, although it could easily take you all day, especially if you go on the London Eye or visit Westminster Abbey.

              Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

              Our walking route starts at Green Park Tube Station. From here, you’ll walk across Green Park to get to Buckingham Palace, where you will get a chance to watch the famous Ceremony of the Changing of the Guard. This ceremony takes place at 11 am, but we recommend that you arrive at least 30 minutes in advance as it does get quite crowded. Check confirmed dates here: Changing of the Guard in London. After watching the changing of the guard ceremony, we will then walk through the small but wonderful St James’s Park.

              Westminster Abbey

              We will then walk along Whitehall, passing 10 Downing Street, and make our way towards Westminster Abbey. It really is a shame to visit London and not visit Westminster Abbey so it’s something that we would recommend. If you buy your tickets in advance you’ll skip the queues and it will be cheaper than buying the entry ticket at the door. It will take you around 2 hours to visit Westminster Abbey.

              Big Ben and London Eye

              From here you can walk past the Houses of Parliament where you can admire the magnificent Big Ben, obviously one of London’s most famous landmarks. You will cross Westminster Bridge and get the perfect photo of Big Ben as well as the London Eye.
              Once you cross Westminster Bridge, you can go towards the London Eye and continue walking along the Southbank until you get to Royal Festival Hall. This is the perfect place to stop for a coffee or a bite if you’re feeling a bit hungry as there are plenty of restaurants and cafes. Just behind the Royal Festival Hall there is also a food market during the weekends, so that’s worth a visit if you fancy a bit of street food.

              Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus

              You will then cross the Thames along the Golden Jubilee Bridge and head towards Trafalgar Square, the famous piazza with the four lions. This is where you will find one of London’s most famous galleries, The National Gallery, which is free to enter. From here it’s only a short walk to another one of London’s famous landmarks, Piccadilly Circus.

              Regent Street and Carnaby Street

              From here, we would recommend that you walk along Regent Street, spotting Hamleys on your right; London’s largest and best toy store. You will then go past Liberty, one of London’s most famous stores, discover Carnaby Street and London’s famous Soho. You will end your route through Soho exploring the infamous Chinatown of London.

              Leicester Square and Covent Garden

              You will next discover Leicester Square where you will come across another two famous shops – M&M’s and LEGO Stores! Leicester Square is where London’s film premieres take place so you might bump into a famous actor if you are lucky (we once saw Will Smith!). From Leicester Square it’s only a short walk to Covent Garden, one of the most beautiful places in London and the perfect way to end your very first busy day exploring London. You will find lots of restaurants in this area so it is the perfect place to have something to eat or drink before heading back to your hotel.

              This is also where you will find most theatres in London. If you can, we recommend watching one of the most famous musicals in London.

              Day 2 in London

              You will start your second day in London by walking along what is possibly London’s busiest and most popular street: Oxford Street. From there you can discover the many secrets that Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens have to offer before heading to explore at least one of London’s most famous museums. At the end of our route, you will definitely want to go to Harrods, London’s most famous department store.

              • Oxford Street and Marble Arch
              • Hyde Park
              • Kensington

              Oxford Street and Marble Arch

              Our starting point for your second day in London is Oxford Street Tube Station. From here you’ll head west, discovering all the high street shops that Oxford Street has to offer. You will walk past John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and Selfridges; one of the oldest department stores in London. As you walk along Oxford Street, keep an eye out for a little sign that indicates St Christopher’s Place, a little piazza with several restaurants and cafes that is hidden away and that definitely deserves a pit stop for a quick rest. Once you get to the end of Oxford Street you’ll find Marble Arch.

              Hyde Park

              As soon as you enter Hyde Park you’ll arrive at Speaker’s Corner. From here we have designed a route through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens for you to discover the most important sights of these two beautiful parks. This includes Peter Pan’s statue, the Italian Water Gardens, Kensington Palace and the Albert Memorial. If you are visiting London with kids don’t forget to take them to the Diana Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground.

              Kensington

              As you exit Hyde Park, you’ll find yourselves in front of the amazing Royal Albert Hall. The Royal Albert Hall offers tours to those who would like to explore one of the world’s most famous concert halls. You will then walk towards South Kensington, where you will find some of London’s most famous museums such as the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. It can take you a few hours to visit each of these museums but they offer free entry so it is worth visiting at least one if you have time.

              Our route takes you along Kensington High Street and Brompton Road until you get to Harrods but, before you head this way, you can always stop for a coffee or something to eat around South Kensington Tube Station as there are several cafes and restaurants in the area.

              Day 3 in London

              If you are visiting London in three days, then we would recommend that you spend some time visiting the famous Tower of London and walking along the Southbank, as well as admiring St Paul’s Cathedral.

              • Monument and North Bank of the river
              • Tower of London and Tower Bridge
              • Southbank

              Tower of London and Tower Bridge

              Walking along the North Bank of Thames you will reach a point where you can no longer continue along the Bank of the river and you just need to follow the road until you see one of London’s most important landmarks: The Tower of London. We highly recommend that you visit the Tower of London as no one should visit London and miss the opportunity to see the Crown Jewels.
              It will take you around 2 hours to visit the Tower of London and it is much easier and more convenient if you use your Keetoo App to do this. Inside the Tower of London there is a wonderful cafe / restaurant where we would recommend you try an authentic British Pie and Mash or stop for some much needed tea and cake.

              Our next stop will be Tower Bridge. Not only do you get to see this magnificent landmark, but you will cross Tower Bridge on foot. Before you go up the steps to get to Tower Bridge though, we would recommend that you have a wander around St Katharine’s Dock as it is one of London’s best kept secrets. There are numerous restaurants in this area, so it’s the ideal place if you are looking to have lunch somewhere. In St Katharine’s Dock is where you can find The Dickens Inn, a unique pub housed in a beautiful 18th century warehouse, serving pub food as well as fine grill and pizzeria.

              You will then continue to walk across Tower Bridge, admiring its beauty. The Tower Bridge Exhibition is also open to the public and has an astonishing viewing platform from where the views are amazing. Another great spot for a picture!

              South Bank

              Once you cross Tower Bridge, you will be able to walk along the South Bank of the river Thames, a very enjoyable walk that will allow you to get a proper feeling of what it means to visit London. You will first walk past London’s City Hall (Greater London Authority’s headquarters) and the HMS Belfast; Europe’s only surviving second world war cruiser, a historic warship and a museum where you will get the opportunity to explore what life was like at war at sea.
              As you continue walking along the South Bank, you will come to Hay’s Galleria, one of our favourite places in London. Here you will find a selection of restaurants and cafes as well as a few shops and stalls. Our next stop will be Borough Market, one of the most spectacular markets in London. Make sure to visit during market opening days (Wednesday – Sunday) as this area is not the same if the market is closed.
              Continue walking along the South Bank, passing Shakespeare’s Globe and Butler’s Wharf until you reach the Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge. Here there’s a perfect view of St Paul’s Cathedral on the other side of the river. You can then cross the Millennium Bridge to go and see St Paul’s Cathedral or continue walking along the South Bank, as you can walk all the way to the London Eye.

              More suggestions to spend three days in London

              London Markets: We highly recommend a visit to Camden Market or Portobello Road in Notting Hill. You could always go to one of these markets first thing in the morning and then head to the Tower of London and start walking along the South Bank, as we mentioned above. It will be an exceptionally long day, but you can always stop and go to your hotel when you have had enough!
              London Museums: Notably the Natural History Museum, Science Museum or the Victoria & Albert Museum. You could spend a whole day in some of these museums if you are not careful so it really depends on how much you want to see. You could always combine a market and a museum, or a museum and the South Bank walk mentioned above.

              Best Travel Options when visiting London in three days

              If you are visiting London in three days, we think that the best way to get around the city is by using an oyster card or a visitor oyster card. You can also use a contactless debit or credit card on London’s public transport system but check bank commission charges if it’s a non-UK card. This is the cheapest way to get around London in three days, and you can use any of those cards to go on public buses, tube, dockland light rail trains or trains within London Travel Zones.

              Welcome to our Blog!

              Hello! I’m Chiara, an Italian who’s called London home for 8 wonderful years. As a travel enthusiast and the founder of Hidden Gem, I’m on a mission to uncover the city’s best-kept secrets and share them with you. Join me on this exciting journey to explore the hidden treasures of London and beyond!

              Join us for more tips on London and UK travel

              Explore London like a local

              with our insider’s mini guide

              Download for FREE now

                Explore London like a local

                with our insider’s mini guide.
                Download for FREE now


                  How to plan a trip to London

                  How to plan a trip to London

                  by Chiara C
                  Last Update: 3 July 2023

                  If you are planning a trip to London,

                  you’ll probably find there’s so much to do and see in London, that planning the perfect trip seems impossible if you want to see a bit of everything.

                  For that reason, we’re going to easily explain how to plan the perfect trip to London, just by following a few easy steps to guarantee that you´ll make the most of your time in this beautiful city. It’s basically a cheat sheet to make sure that you leave with the feeling of having experienced London like a Londoner.
                  When planning a trip to London, we would suggest that you make sure each one of these things makes it to your list:

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                  1. Itineraries to stroll through London’s most famous streets and squares

                  If you are planning your first trip to London, look at our London itineraries. London is a great city for walking and having a walking route already planned is the best way to see London´s iconic landmarks. Some of the key places in London that you shouldn’t miss when visiting for the first time are Oxford Street, Regent Street, Leicester Square or Carnaby Street for example. Make sure you also get slightly lost in London’s famous Soho and explore Chinatown.

                  Take your time to wander round Covent Garden, where you’ll also find many cafes and restaurants, so take a bite and relax watching the world go by in this beautiful part of London. From Covent Garden you can easily walk to Trafalgar Square and then it´s just a 10-minute stroll from here to the Thames, where you´ll get to see Big Ben and the London Eye.

                  A walk along South Bank is also a must. This is where you get to take in the beautiful views that London has to offer, and appreciate it’s wonderful skyline. Walking along the South Bank you can easily get to St Paul´s Cathedral, Borough Market, and the Tower of London.

                  2. Visit at least one of London’s wonderful parks

                  London’s green spaces are fantastic, and you should consider exploring at least Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens which are attached to one another and located in central London. We’d suggest that you’d need a good 2 or 3 hours to walk around there but it is totally worth it. Walk around Serpentine Lake and enjoy the views, look for Peter Pan’s Statue and visit the Diana Memorial Park if you’re travelling to London with kids.

                  St James’ Park is right next to Buckingham Palace, and we highly recommend walking through it if you have the chance. You might get a glimpse of the pelicans! It’s only small but incredibly beautiful. London has many other green spaces that we’d recommend visiting, such as Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park or Hampstead Heath.

                  3. Visit one of London’s Street markets

                  Visiting one of London’s world-famous markets will probably be one of the highlights of your trip to London. London’s markets offer everything from street-food to flowers to antiques, but it’s not only the shopping opportunities that you will find, but the whole experience and feeling that you’ll get when walking round one. The hardest decision you’ll have to make is which one to go to. In our opinion, these are the top three unmissable markets in London: Portobello Road, Camden Market and Borough Market.

                  Portobello Road in Notting Hill is one of London’s most famous markets. Portobello Road market is open on Saturday mornings, so if you are planning a trip to London during a weekend, then this is a must. The earlier you get there, the less crowds of people there will be. Find out more: Notting Hill Guide.

                  Camden Market is open every day of the week, and you can expect to see the unexpected here. Camden Market is unique in every way, and literally has it all. There are large open spaces and tables to enjoy the best street food you can imagine, stalls and shops bursting with antiques, clothes, music, shoes…

                  Borough Market is located next to London Bridge, and there is a full market here from Monday to Sunday. We always recommend Borough Market to friends when they visit London and it never disappoints them. It truly is one of our favourite places in London.

                  Other markets in London worth a visit are Columbia Road Flower Market, Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market, Petticoat Lane Market, Maltby Street and Brixton Market..

                  4. Visit one of London’s most famous museums

                  Most of the museums in London are not only fascinating, but they’re also FREE!! You could easily spend days and days visiting all the different museums in London, so you will undoubtedly have to choose which ones you want to see.

                  If you like the idea of visiting a museum housed in one of the most beautiful buildings, and the idea of walking beside dinosaur skeletons doesn’t scare you, then the Natural History Museum is a must. If you’re planning a trip to London with kids, it’s also one of our first choices, as they can easily spend hours looking at the different exhibitions.

                  The Science Museum is located right next to the Natural History Museum, and it’s also one not to miss if you have kids. This museum is highly interactive with special effects that the kids will love, and the best thing is, that they will learn loads here as they discover how the world works.
                  Other options include delving into the hidden secrets of the British Museum, the National Gallery, or the Tate Modern, or travelling back in time visiting the London Transport Museum.

                  5. Decide which London Attractions you can’t miss…

                  and which ones you can live without seeing
                  This is probably one of the most difficult things to have to decide on. London’s long list of attractions will make this step difficult, but there are a few that are compulsory if you’re visiting London for the first time. The London Eye, visiting Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London and St Paul´s Cathedral are all a must!

                  6. Tuck into some Great British Food in one of London’s Historical Pubs

                  Try a traditional Sunday Roast or the famous British Fish and Chips in one of London’s best pubs. Another possibility that you may not want to miss is experiencing Afternoon Tea.

                  Option 4: 7 Day Child Travelcard

                  To buy a 7-day child travelcard in London there are 3 options: 1 – By adding a weekly travelcard into a Zip Oyster photocard. This is undoubtedly the most complicated option, as you need to request a Zip Card Oyster photocard first and then add the 7-day travelcard onto it. 2 – Buy a 7-day child travelcard online. This is probably the easiest way of getting one, as you do not need a Zip Oyster photocard and they will send it to your home address before you travel. 3 – Buy a 7-day child travelcard at a national railway ticket office (not an underground station).

                  People 16 to 18 years old

                  People aged 16 to 18 can also apply for a 16 – 18 Zip Oyster photocard, which will apply half adult rates on any form of public transport in London. Travelcards at a reduced price can also be added onto Zip Oyster photocards.
                  For more information about travelling in London with kids visit: Transport for London.

                  Travelling in London with kids: Travelling to Central London from the airport
                  Stansted, Luton and Gatwick airports are all located outside London’s Travel Zones, so fares when travelling with kids to and from these airports are different to fares when travelling in London with kids, so under 11-year old children will need a ticket.

                  An Oyster card is valid for travel into Central London from Gatwick Airport, but children under 11 will also need a train ticket to get to central London from Gatwick Airport, even if they are accompanied by an adult.

                  Heathrow and London City Airports are both inside London Travel Zones, so fares are as explained above. Children under 11 travel free and Children under 16 can travel with an Oyster card with young visitor discount.

                  Travelling in London with a buggy

                  If you are planning a trip with a baby or toddler, it may be that you wish to bring your buggy or stroller to London, especially if you’re planning on spending the whole day walking around London.

                  Travelling in London with a buggy can be quite easy if you know which route is best, or it can be a complete nightmare if you have to go up or down 300 steps when there are no lifts.

                  Don’t stress, we’re going to explain how to travel on London´s public transport with a buggy.

                  Travelling on London´s buses with a buggy

                  Public buses in London have a dedicated wheelchair and buggy space as well as easy street-level access. Travelling by bus with a buggy normally is the easiest option to get around London. You can enter the bus via the back door, which makes it a bit easier too. Up to two pushchairs are allowed in the dedicated buggy space on a bus but do bear in mind that during busy periods you may be asked to wait for the next bus or collapse your pushchair.

                  Travelling on the London Underground with a buggy

                  The trick to travelling in London with kids using a pushchair is to check London´s accessible underground map in advance and choose your route carefully. Being able to plan your route choosing accessible stations makes life much easier, and it may just mean that you need to get off at the next stop and walk 5 minutes, rather than having to take a buggy and a baby up 100 steps.

                  Unfortunately, not all underground stations in London are accessible. Most underground stations in London will have escalators, and many stations will also have some stairs at some point before reaching the platform. Many other stations have lifts to some of the platforms, and some stations are completely accessible, with lifts from the ticket office to the platform.

                  If you need help going up or down the stairs and you ask a member of staff for help, for health and safety reasons they will ask you to carry the baby and they will take the buggy for you.

                  London Underground Accessibility Maps

                  On the London Underground map, you will see that accessible underground stations are marked with the symbol of a wheelchair, in either a blue circle or a white circle.

                  • Blue circle: the underground station is fully accessible, which means that it is possible to go from street-level onto the underground carriage without any steps at all. In these cases, the platform will have an area that is slightly elevated to avoid any steps when getting onto the train.

                  • White circle: this means that there are no steps from street-level to platform, but there is some unevenness when getting onto the train. This is important for someone using a wheelchair, but it normally isn´t a problem when taking a buggy onto the train.

                  In addition to this map, there’s a Step Free Tube Map that is a lot more detailed and the one we’d recommend you check when travelling on the London Underground with a buggy. This map highlights the degree of accessibility at each station in detail and it also explains how accessible it is to change between underground lines at different stations.

                  7. Go on a river cruise and admire London’s skyline

                  If it’s your first trip to London and you are visiting with kids, we’d highly recommend going on a river cruise on the Thames.
                  There are sightseeing river cruises along the Thames, with live or recorded commentary.

                  8. Choose the right hotel in the right place

                  London is a big city and choosing a hotel can be a difficult task! First, we need to admit that hotels in London can be a bit expensive and sometimes people will choose a cheaper hotel far from central London if they find it to be cheaper, but the reality is that the money you will be saving on the hotel will most likely be spent on travel fares and journey time.

                  For this reason, it´s particularly important that you know exactly where your chosen hotel is and how long it will take you to get to central London. You may be able to walk to some of London´s attractions or you may need to get the tube or the bus…. but what you don´t want is to find out that you need to get on a train for an hour to reach central London and that each journey will cost you £10.

                  For this reason, there are a few things we think you would like to know:
                  London Travel Zones: Familiarise yourself with London’s Travel Zones and the Underground Map before you choose your hotel.

                  Recommended hotels: Have a look at different Hotel comparison sites as this will give you an idea of different locations and example hotels to consider.

                  9. Choosing transport tickets

                  Once you know what you’ve chosen and what travel zone it’s in, you will be able to choose a travel card suited to your needs. There are two transport cards and which one you need will depend on the number of days you’ll be in London, the travel zone in which your hotel is located, and the approximate number of times you think you will be using public transport.

                  Welcome to our Blog!

                  Hello! I’m Chiara, an Italian who’s called London home for 8 wonderful years. As a travel enthusiast and the founder of Hidden Gem, I’m on a mission to uncover the city’s best-kept secrets and share them with you. Join me on this exciting journey to explore the hidden treasures of London and beyond!

                  Join us for more tips on London and UK travel

                  Explore London like a local

                  with our insider’s mini guide

                  Download for FREE now

                    Explore London like a local

                    with our insider’s mini guide.
                    Download for FREE now