Serving almost 70 million people annually, London’s Heathrow airport is among the busiest in the world. If you haven’t already, you may one day find yourself with the opportunity to spend some time in this fantastic city, so don’t be stuck unprepared. Learn how to maximize a 24 hour layover in London.
- How to spend 24 hours in London
- What to see in London as first timers
- Wifi hotspot you need to know about
- 1 day Paris itinerary
Where to stay in London?
Table of Contents
Here's what we're covering:
How to plan 24 hours in London
Heathrow to the City
First things first, head straight from Heathrow to the city center by using the Heathrow Express. I recommends this mode of transportation because it’s the fastest way to get from the airport to the city, and drops you off conveniently at Paddington station.
Be warned the price for this train ticket is steep, fares can cost between £21-30 for a one-way pass. You can also consider a shared transfer from Heathrow into the city.
Pick up a London Pass
As time is scarce on this layover, it is recommended to purchase the 24 hour London Pass which comes with a hop-on, hop-off bus tour ticket. This is the easiest and most convenient way to see the parts of London that interest you. The London Pass gives you access to the popular Golden Tours, Gray Line Hop-On Hop-Off Bus.
One of the things you have to check out during your short stay are the many museums here to take in the history of the country. The National Gallery is home to national collections of Western Europe’s art ranging from the 13th century to the 19th, and with a suggested donation £5, the museum is financially accessible for visitors and tourists.
When you're there, we recommend that you rent an audio tour to enable a better understanding of the art being viewed.
If museums don’t interest you, then the London Eye is the next stop for anyone on a short layover in the city. As the fourth tallest structure in London, the view alone is unparalleled and will make for a wonderful photo op.
Tickets start at £27.50, and visitors get to enjoy a 30 minute rotation and view of the city. However, it's a good idea to buy advanced skip-the-line tickets for only £28.
Enjoying London cuisine is essential during your layover! I'd highly recommend that you try traditional fish and chips at The Golden Chippy. If you’re feeling something a little more refined, the tea time in London is the way to go. Hotels such as the Marriott, or establishments such as Brown’s Hotel’s Tea-Tox are all great options that you should indulge in.
For all things shopping, there’s no better place to head to than the always trendy Soho district. But don’t forget the other shopping staples, like Oxford Street or the famous department store, Harrods!
Get your London Pass
Looking to save money on your trip? The London Pass gives you access to:
- Free entry to over 80 attractions, tours and museums including Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Thames River Cruise, Tower Bridge, Kensington Palace, Windsor Castle, and more
- Free Hop on Hop off Bus Tour to explore London and discover all of it's iconic landmarks
- Fast Track Entry – skip the lines at selected attractions to save time during busy periods
- Optional Oyster Travelcard to cover all of your transport needs
- Free 160+ page guidebook packed with helpful tips, info and maps
- Over 20 exclusive special offers also available
- Digital pass that can be accessed through your phone
A 1 day pass costs £79 for an adult and £49 for a child. 2 days is £100 and £79 respectively.