How to Plan the Perfect Girls Trip to London

London is the perfect destination for a girls’ weekend. It offers the huge benefit of being a major travel hub, which is ideal for finding flight deals or if everyone is visiting from different places. More importantly, England’s historic capital offers so many fun things to do on a girls trip to London, whether you’re traveling with family or friends.

From sipping cocktails with a view of London’s skyline to shopping in iconic department stores, to visiting historic castles, there are endless options to suit your group whether it’s your first time or fifth time in London. This guide has all the info you need including where to stay and and the best places to eat on a trip. Everyone will be talking about this trip for years to come!

What Not to Miss on a Girls Trip to London

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How to Get Around London

London is nearly double the size of New York, so it’s a huge city! Even if you stick to the Central London area (and you probably will), your group will need to use transport to get around. Your main options are public transportation, taxis, and city bikes. With the city’s high congestion and parking charges, renting a car is not the best way to go.

The London Underground is the city’s metro or subway station, and it’s also known as the Tube. It’s by far the most efficient way to get around the city, with 11 lines serving 272 stations. Tapping a contactless credit/debit card on the ticket barriers is the easiest way to pay.

London transportation tube

Single journeys between Zone 1 stations cost around £2.70 depending on the time of travel (they are slightly more in peak times). Buy a daily travel card if you plan on traveling via Underground a lot.

While London’s black Hackney cabs can be expensive, they are an essential part of the London experience. You can find them waiting outside of train stations (e.g. Paddington Station, Euston, and King’s Cross). They charge an initial fee of around £2.60 and then £1.70 – 2.30 per km.

Santander Cycles is London’s bike-sharing scheme. There are 800 docking stations and 12,000 bikes in circulation which you just need a contactless card to operate. It costs £1.65 per 30-minute journey. London is not the most bike-friendly city, but cycling through parks and along the Thames might be a fun activity for your London itinerary! 

Best Things To Do on a Girls’ Trip to London

1. Hit Up the Top London Museums

London has almost 200 museums and galleries including 11 national museums. Even better, most of them are free to enter! Here are some of the best museums to check out during your girls’ trip to London:

  • British Museum in Bloomsbury
  • National Gallery in Trafalgar Square
  • Natural History Museum in South Kensington
  • Tate Modern Art Gallery in Southwark
  • Science Museum in South Kensington
  • Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington

The British Museum and the National Gallery (as well as the National Portrait Gallery) are free to visit. They’re also crowd-pleasing, well-located museums in the heart of London near Piccadilly Circus. If you want to soak up some history on your first day in the city, these are great places to visit.

2. Go Shopping in London

One of the main reasons to take a girls’ trip to London is the shopping. London is known for its high-end department stores, legendary flea markets, and home-grown brands. Here are some of the best places to shop in London:

Bond street London girls trip shopping
  • Selfridges – Department store on Oxford Street with designer brands, homeware, gifts, and exclusive products
  • Liberty London – Huge high-end fashion and homeware store in a Tudor revival building. Pick up a Christmas ornament!
  • Fortnum & Mason – 18th-century department store famous for tea, biscuits, and other luxury English food staples
  • Harrods – Luxury 19th-century department store with over 3,000 designer brands plus an in-house label
  • Hamleys – Iconic multistory toy store if you’re traveling with moms and they need souvenirs!
  • Harvey Nichols – English department store in Knightsbridge known for selling a huge range of cosmetics
  • Bond Street – Upmarket shopping street lined mostly with art galleries and jewelry stores
  • The Apple Market – Cross between a street market and mall in Covent Garden
  • Portobello Road Market – 19th-century fresh produce market turned famous antique and gift market in Notting Hill
  • Brick Lane – East London’s hip shopping street selling vintage clothing, records, second-hand books, and more

Leave plenty of room in your suitcase!

3. Book a Unique City Tour of London

If you don’t have much time to explore London, a great travel tip is to book a city tour. It’s a great way to see all the hot spots from a local guide who knows their stuff.

There are many unique ways to see the city. If you’re all partial to London dry gin, why not join the Gin Safari tour? Cycle around on a classic British Pashley bike to all of the top gin joints in London while learning about the city’s gritty social history. 

Fans of the Harry Potter movies will love this magical Harry Potter walking tour. Art-loving ladies will love witnessing London’s best murals on this street art and painting tour where you have the opportunity to make your mark on the city.

4. Night Time Dinner Cruise on the River Thames

The Thames River flows through London into the English Channel. The best time to sail on the river is at night while enjoying a meal and a glass of wine together, looking across the lit-up city. You’ll travel pass St Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater on the South Bank, and the incredible Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey.

This four-course dinner cruise on the Thames is a fantastic way to spend the first night of your girls’ trip to London.

5. Day Trip to Bath, Oxford, or the Cotswolds

If you’re spending more than three days in London, definitely organize a day trip. There are endless things to do in London but you should also take advantage of exploring other beautiful parts of England!

Oxford is a one-hour direct train journey from Paddington Station and the perfect place for an easy day trip. Explore the historic colleges of the University of Oxford, check out the Covered Market, and try punting on the River Cherwell (or hire someone instead!). 

Bath is only slightly further, a 90-minute direct train journey from Paddington. One day is enough time to visit the Roman Baths and the top Jane Austen sites like The Circus Georgian Houses.

Or if you’d all prefer to escape the city for the day, take a special visit to the Cotswolds where you’ll find idyllic English villages. If you’re a large group, the total price for a private tour could be less than you think.

6. Take in the London Skyline Views

London is a beautiful, dynamic city and there’s a lot to see from up above! Here are some of the best vantage points in London:

Book tickets in advance, especially for the Sky Garden as it offers free entrance so tickets get snapped up fast.

7. Enjoy a Cooking Class in London

Because of London’s multicultural population, it’s a great place to take a cooking class of almost any cuisine.

Jamie Oliver Cookery School offers classes in London that will teach you all how to make a range of dishes from South Indian curries to Vietnamese street food. The Gordan Ramsey Cooking Academy also has a range of classes, from 90-minute macaron tutorials to Middle Eastern street food.

8. Live Like Royalty and Visit Historic Sites

England’s Royal Family is famous around the world and there are a few sites that you and your girlfriends might be itching to see in real life. Here are the top spots:

Kew Gardens London
  • Buckingham Palace – Royal palace of King Charles III which is open for tours in summer. Visit for the Changing of the Guards ceremony four times a week at 10:45 am
  • Kew Royal Botanic Gardens – UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best botanic gardens in the world with over 40,000 plant species
  • Windsor Castle – Royal Residence and location of many royal weddings including Prince Harry’s wedding
  • Tower of London – 11th-century castle and prison home to the Crown Jewels
  • Kensington Palace – Former residence of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana overlooking Kensington Gardens

You’ll need tickets for all of these attractions so book in advance!

9. Catch a Show on London’s West End

New York City has Broadway but London has the West End. The city’s theater district is full of musicals, plays, and cabarets which are perfect evening entertainment on a girls’ trip to London.

Some of the best, longest-running shows on the West End are Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap at St. Martin’s Theater, Les Miserables at Queen’s Theater, and The Lion King at Lyceum Theater. If you don’t manage to watch them all on this trip, there’s always next time!

10. Stroll Through the Parks and Gardens

London has a massive number of green spaces from small, square neighborhood parks to sprawling oases. 

St. James’s Park and Green Park are only a five-minute walk from Buckingham Palace. Hire boats to sail on the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Kensington Gardens is a beautiful park super close to the British prime minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street.

Regent’s Park is another great place to visit slightly further north as it’s also home to the London Zoo.

11. Book a Professional Photoshoot with Flytographer

Don’t get together with the girls very often? Book a professional photoshoot so that you have a variety of high-quality photographs to share on social media and help you remember your amazing girls’ trip to London.

Flytographer is the best go-to company for any vacation photoshoot around the world. They only list the best photographers who will choose the most picturesque spots and put you all at ease.

12. Drink Cocktails in an Extra Special Spot

No girls’ trip to London is complete without checking out the best cocktail bars in the city. Luckily, in a city like London, you have so many great choices!

Cocktails in London girls trip

Sabine Rooftop Bar serves classic cocktails and has a huge outdoor terrace with views across The Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the River Thames. The Culpeper is slightly east of Central London in Spitalfields, but it has a beautiful rooftop bar where you’re completely surrounded by skyscrapers.

Looking for a more classic cocktail bar? The Connaught Bar in Mayfair is a great option. Drinking a cocktail in The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel is akin to ordering a drink at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. 

13. Join a Haunted Tour of London

London might be a city of Kings and Queens but it’s also home to dungeons, cemeteries, and criminals. If you or any of the ladies you are traveling with are a dark history buff, you can’t miss taking a haunted tour of London!

One of the best is this Jack the Ripper Walking Tour of London in the Spitalfields neighborhood. Team a ghostly walking tour through London’s parks and spookiest alleyways with a boat ride along the Thames to the Tower of London, supposedly the most haunted building in the city.

14. Enjoy Afternoon Tea or the Tea Bus

Delicious sandwiches, delicate patisserie, fresh scones, cups of hot English tea, sparkling wine… There’s nothing to hate about afternoon tea! It’s one of the best activities on any girls’ trip to London. Here are the top traditional afternoon tea spots in London:

  • The Ritz
  • Fortnum & Mason
  • The Goring
  • The Savoy
  • The Grand Saloon

Oblix at The Shard is a great place for afternoon tea with a view. You can even team up an afternoon tea experience with this sightseeing tour and high tea experience on an iconic red double-decker bus.

15. Try an Immersive Cocktail Experience

Many of London’s cocktail bars have gone all in on one theme with special effects and authentic decor. They make for a super fun night out!

Cahoots in London is a post-war, 1940s-themes speakeasy bar that hosts singalongs around the piano. Moonshine Saloon in Chelsea is Wild West-themed. Head to Cauldron for the opportunity to mix your own cocktail potions that you can enjoy afterward.

Where To Stay on a Girls’ Trip to London

You won’t have any problems finding a London hotel for your trip as there are over 1,000 to choose from.

Celebrating a milestone or just feel like spending more on a luxury option? Gem Langham Court Hotel in Fitzrovia is a housed in well-located, beautiful Art Deco building. Even more impressive is the five-star Athenaeum Hotel overlooking Green Park with fresh, elegant decor and exceptional breakfasts. The property has adjoining rooms and residences available.

Where to Stay on a London girls trip

While comfortable ‘budget’ hotels are not in London’s vocabulary, there are still many comfortable and modern mid-range accommodations. The Montague on The Gardens is a beautiful boutique hotel close to St Pancras Station and The British Museum. Wilde Aparthotels is a lovely aparthotel a stone’s throw from Covent Garden. Inhabit Queen’s Garden Hotel is a slick four-star option that may not look like it’s in an ideal location (hence a cheaper room rate!) but it’s only a short walk from Paddington Station and Kensington Gardens.

Where To Eat on a Girls’ Trip to London

British food has a bad rap for being bland and boring, but London is one of the most international cities on the planet. The best of the best of every cuisine under the sun can be found there!

Check out casual food markets for lunch. Places like Borough Market have hundreds of food stalls from bao buns to tacos to fish and chips, so you can all choose whatever you’re in the mood for.

For dinner on your girls’ trip to London, make the most of the city’s world-class restaurants. Try delicious Cantonese food at Hakkasan in Mayfair, Mediterranean at NOPI in Soho, and Indian culinary delights at Gymkhana in Mayfair. Head to Kerridge’s Bar & Grill in Westminster for Michelin-starred British pub food, or Bancone in Covent Garden which is a great spot for Italian.

Book a Fun and Exciting Girls’ Trip to London

Planning a girls’ trip to London is a great way to catch up with old friends, celebrate a milestone, or spend quality time with family. London is a big city with a diverse culture so you’re sure to find activities, accommodations, and restaurants everyone will enjoy. 

You can stick to the traditional hot spots and enjoy a fancy afternoon tea and visit the Tower of London. Or, you can mix things up by booking an Indian cooking class and joining a haunted tour of London’s dark past. Or you can do everything! Hopefully, this guide offers plenty of inspiration to guarantee that you all have an amazing time.