London has a rich and storied history that includes murderous monarchs, royal intrigue, and cultural accomplishments. From Charlie Chaplin to the Beatles, numerous greats have called London home. Whether you’re a history buff or avid theater-goer, you’ll find this city offers a little of everything. A single day in London is hardly adequate to experience its delights, but it will certainly give you a well-rounded start to your stay.

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge over the River Thames.

Morning: Enjoy an Elegant Breakfast

Book a breakfast table at The Ivy Chelsea Garden and dine amid the lush plants, soothing water features, and plush rosy décor. The extensive breakfast menu includes a little of everything, but you can’t go wrong with a Garden Breakfast. This meal offers a fresh take on the classic full English and includes poached eggs, potato hash, grilled halloumi, baked beans, avocado, and watercress.

Midmorning: Tour the Tower of London

Over its 900-year history, the Tower of London has served as a royal residence, prison, barracks, menagerie, and mint. Henry VIII’s wives Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard were both held in the tower pending their executions. Edward IV’s sons, the princes Edward and Richard entered the tower never to be seen again.

Today, the Tower of London houses the Crown Jewels and the Line of Kings exhibit featuring historic armor. The Yeoman Warders, known commonly as Beefeaters, guard the tower and offer guided 60-minute tours.

Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens in London.

Noon: Explore Kensington Gardens

The royal Kensington Gardens draw millions of visitors each year. Covering 265 acres, this attraction features ornamental gardens, historic statues, and whimsical sculptures. You can rest for a spell on the benches in Queen Anne’s Alcove, or take children to play in the Diana Memorial Playground.

Enjoy lunch at the gardens before you leave. The Orangery Restaurant serves lunch from noon to 2 p.m. The elegant mains include options like duck breast, beef short ribs, and corn-fed chicken breast.

Afternoon: Visit London’s Museums

London’s landscape features engaging museums covering everything from art to nature. The Natural History Museum explores the mysteries of prehistoric earth, modern mammals, human biology, and beyond. In the Museum of London, you can explore the evolution of the city from Roman times through the Medieval Ages, and onward to today.

If you’re interested in art, the Tate Modern houses a permanent collection with the likes of Matisse, Beuys, and Rothko. The Design Museum focuses on contemporary art and fashion. If you’re in the mood for something lighthearted, try Pollock’s Toy Museum where you’ll find Victorian delights like doll houses, toy soldiers, and teddy bears.

Evening: Catch a Broadway Show

London’s West End hosts a busy schedule of Broadway performances throughout the year. During Kids Week in August, you can get a free ticket for any child under the age of 16 when accompanied by an adult with a full-price ticket. Gracing the stages in 2017 you’ll find An American in Paris, The Book of Mormon, Les Miserables, The Lion King, Wicked, and more.

Book your tickets, flights, and rooms early no matter what you’re planning for your stay. Wildly popular, London is a city where the best picks fill up fast.