skip to content
Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement
Advertisement Advertisement
Flight information hero image

London City Airport: How to explore London in 24 hours

Got a day to spare in London? It’s surprising how much you can pack into 24 hours, and if you’re flying into LCY you’ll already be right in the heart of the city and able to hit the ground running. 

London is one of the best cities in the world for a stopover. Public transport is extensive, frequent and easy to use, and there are world class attractions in every corner of the capital. Though it clearly won’t be possible to experience everything London has to offer in 24 hours, a well-spent day is more than enough to get a flavour of the city – and leave you wanting to return. Here’s our guide to making your downtime count…

Get a bird’s eye view

Need to get your bearings? Jump on a direct DLR train from London City Airport to Bank and take a five minute walk along King William Street towards Monument. This giant Doric column designed by Sir Christopher Wren is a permanent memorial to the 1666 Great Fire of London, and one of the city’s best known landmarks. For just £4 you can ascend the 311 steps to the observation deck for a panoramic view of the capital, making it one of the best value attractions in the city. 

Take care of business

If you need to catch up on business but don’t want to miss out on all the best views, pay a visit to the new Sky Garden – the self-proclaimed highest public garden in London. Only a four minute walk from Monument, this new space atop 20 Fenchurch Street – better known as the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building – offers the same extraordinary views with the benefit of a lift and a lot more room to sit down! It’s a great place for informal meetings too. Access is free but you need to book a slot online before you visit. Spaces are available up to one hour in advance. 

Experience life on the river

You won’t understand London without seeing its lifeblood, the River Thames. After you’ve witnessed the city from up high, cross over the river at London Bridge and head west along Bankside towards the South Bank. It’s a lovely urban walk, and you’ll pass some of the city’s most recognisable buildings, like Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern art gallery and the art deco Oxo Tower. You’ll soon reach the arts and entertainment venues of the Southbank Centre – keep on walking to reach the gigantic ferris wheel known as the London Eye, or stroll over the Golden Jubilee Bridge towards Embankment for the Theatre District.

See a show

A five minute walk from Embankment will take you into the heart of London’s Theatreland. In a small area roughly bordered by Haymarket, Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square and Charing Cross Road, you’ll find multiple options for taking in a musical or a play, with many theatres offering matinee performances as well as nighttime shows. If you don’t want to book before you arrive, try visiting the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square, which is operated by the Society of London Theatre. It’s not unusual to find excellent seats for same-day performances, often with discounts of up to 30%.

Experience London’s dining scene 

This part of London is also home to some of the capital’s finest dining experiences. Whether you’re looking to impress important clients, or just need a pre-theatre supper, you won’t go wrong with some of the newly-opened options around Covent Garden. Sample high-end tapas at raved-about Barrafinas on Drury Lane; northern Italian fare at Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett’s new Cafe Murano on Tavistock Street, or head to old favourite The Ivy on West Street, which has recently re-opened after a top-to-bottom refurbishment.

Stay the night

If your stopover in London involves an overnight stay, then we suggest sleeping in the east of the city for fast, easy access to LCY on the morning of your flight. And it just so happens that this part of London is home to some of the hottest accommodation options in town. Check out the hip, minimalist rooms at the Ace Hotel on Shoreditch High Street; the reinvented Edwardian splendour of Town Hall Hotel & Apartments in Bethnal Green, or the modern classic style of the Four Seasons in Canary Wharf, to name but three.

Maxine Sheppard


Blog Archive

LCY Tweets

@Ops_officer @AnnabelleDawnT Safe flight guys!
@tracymarkham @LCYFlightInfo Fantastic to hear that!
@eddiej25 Extremely sorry to hear that - could you DM us more details so i can pass this feedback on? Hope you get home soon.
@LamboJambo76 Very sorry to hear that - I've passed this back to the team.
So, who has been to Brick Lane Brews, the café-bar concept at #LondonCityAirport? If not, make sure you visit on yo…
#LondonCityAirport were at the #BTShow this week - thanks for everyone that came to speak to us; it was a busy two…
@casey_are Hi Kevin, sorry to hear this, can you DM us more details?
Have you voted for us yet in the World's Most Scenic Airport' award? Here is a reason to vo…
@JamesWerth @British_Airways fantastic time of day to travel too!
@tallblokerobbie Thanks, Rob. I'll pass this back to the terminal team nevertheless. Thank you for your patience.
@tallblokerobbie That's fantastic to hear! Did you manage to get a name? Sorry you were delayed / cancelled flight though, Rob.
@MissJodieJones Hi, the airline are in the best position to give you up to date information - you can call CityJet on 02076460709
@Dublindamo according to the information I have, it is boarding at gate 24? Weather has been affecting flights today.
@henri_jac @flybe understand your frustration. Hopefully you should be on the move soon.
@KarenFox_ Hi Karen, sorry you are disrupted. Screens are updated by handling agents / airlines - staff awith iPads should be able to help
@henri_jac @flybe Sorry you have been disrupted - staff are aware & dealing with the situation.
Weather conditions are affecting some flights - please check with your airline for specific info regarding this eve…
@danielherval Adverse weather has been causing issues all day - please do check with your airline for the latest information.
@catherinako1 Hi, best to check with your airline or tweet your flight number to @LCYFlightInfo for automated flight information.
@ianmanthorp The website is back up and running - just tested it. I can give you the number if you let me know who you are flying with?

Car parking pre-book online.

Save up to 60% >


Book your holiday.

Click here now >

LCY icon

London City Airport

See all destinations >

Sign up. For news on competitions, new routes and articles. Be the first to know with our newsletter:
Submit >
marketing pixel
Close button

Sign up to our newsletter