How to Save Money in London
London is one of the most visited cities in the world, and it’s no wonder. From the 2,000 years’ worth of history in the city, to some of the world’s best theater, music, and comedy, London has so much to offer visitors.
While it is true that London can be expensive—according to CNN, it has been named as the most expensive city for tourists for 2014—you can still visit the city even if budget is an issue. You just need to know where and how to cut down costs and you’d be able to enjoy this UK capital without breaking the bank.
Save on Accommodation
A lot of hotels in the center of London are overpriced. If you stay there, you will definitely see your budget go up in smoke within days.
However, for the more budget-conscious, there are a number of options available to you if you are looking for cheap accommodation in London. If you are traveling solo and want to meet other travelers, stay in a hostel. Many of London’s hostels are situated in the heart of the city so everything is within easy reach. It’s much cheaper than a hotel, and you get to meet people too.
Another option is the caravan and camping parks just a short drive or bus ride into the city. This would be perfect for families or groups of friends driving into London.
There are also quite a few B&Bs located on the outskirts of the city that are a lot cheaper than hotels and offer a glimpse of locals’ life, to boot. You would enjoy the countryside while still having easy access to London via public transport.
Save on Transportation
London is a big city and if you intend to see as much of it as you can, it is a good idea to invest in an Oyster Card. This card gives you access to all public transport such as trains, buses, the tube, and coaches. You use the card by ‘topping up’ credit and there are various options you can choose from.
Another great thing about an Oyster Card is you can also get discounts in some restaurants, venues, and shops so you can save money that way as well. Many of London’s sights are scattered so you really do need to consider your transportation during your stay.
Save on Dining
If you choose to eat in fast food restaurants, that would be cheap, of course. However, if you fancy something healthier, there are some places you can go that won’t empty your pockets. In the city center, for example, there are many restaurants that offer “meal of the day” options, where you can order two courses for only around 10 GBP. Look out for menu boards outside bars and restaurants as they display any offers of the day.
Restaurants also usually have “buy one get one free” offers, along with other deals such as a free dessert with every main course. There are a lot of burrito joints scattered the city, too, and these are really filling meal options that start from around 5GBP. If you fancy something even more exotic, head to a Ramen bar because those tasty noodles are filling and great value for money.
Free Attractions in London
London has some of the world’s best parks and many of them are home to wild deer, birds, exotic plants, ancient monuments, and a host of other things. The best thing is that they are all free, there’s no admission fee at all.
If you are interested in history and factual information, take a trip to the Natural History Museum, The Museum of London, The British Museum, or the Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre. You can spend hours or days there, it’s all free!
If you want something a bit more unusual then head over to the National Portrait Gallery which houses the world’s largest collection of personalities and faces, from the Middle Ages up to present day. For art, don’t miss a trip to the National Gallery and see world famous paintings, and for architecture, definitely visit the Queens House Greenwich or the Goldsmith’s Hall.
There are a host of free attractions in London so sightseeing shouldn’t cost you very much at all.
Indeed, despite its reputation for being expensive, traveling to London can be done by people on a budget. Try it, and you’ll see!