The iconic city of London is a must see for visitors to Europe. The city has been featured in countless films and novels over the years and is home to landmarks like the London Eye, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. It would take a year or more to fully experience everything London has to offer.
Because this city is so vast and spread out, London is also known for being an expensive destination to visit. From the price of tube tickets to dining out, London can be a hit to anyone’s wallet. With a few simple tips for ways to save money, however, London can be a very affordable place to visit.
Time your trip.
Choose to visit in a time of year that is known for being cheaper such as November or January through March. These are the colder months, but if you aren’t afraid to bundle up a bit, you can easily walk around and see the sights. Londoners are infamous for eating outside even when the temperatures are barely above freezing.
Also, if budget accommodations are up your alley, try to time your trip with a University holiday and stay in the Halls of Residence! They are a really unique opportunity to get a room for cheap and to see inside a university in London. Airbnbs and budget hotels or hostels are also great ways to save money on sleeping arrangements.
Get a visitor Oyster card.
This is something you can order even before you arrive. It saves you 50% on the underground and overground public transportation and in a city as spread out as London, that is a HUGE savings. Visitor Oyster cards also save you money at select restaurants, shopping centers and more, make sure to check online for up to date discounts.
Take advantage of FREE attractions.
Most museums in London are free to the general public! This includes the Tate Modern, National Gallery and even the British Museum. Other attractions like Hyde Park or the Changing of the Guard are also free to witness. A great way to explore London is by foot, and during peak transit times, it is often faster as well. By wandering around on foot, you can take in sites like Big Ben or Westminster Abbey or the London Eye without spending a dime. If you want to venture in to any of these landmarks, however, there will be an entrance fee.
Food can be cheap.
Street food in London is rapidly growing in popularity. Known as the most diverse city in the world, it is easy to find a meal from any origin within the city. Camden Town has a large network of markets with any type of food imaginable including Venezuelan, Turkish and so much more! Happy hours are also extremely popular in London, these aren’t always restricted to the 3-5pm time slot, many restaurants near Universities will do late night happy hours as well after 9pm. Ask at a hostel or check online for student club discount nights.
Saving money in London doesn’t need to mean missing out on attractions or activities. With some preplanning and research, you can easily enjoy a trip to London without breaking the bank and overspending.