London is famously known as being one of the most expensive cities in Europe. It can be challenging finding a hotel on a budget, let alone the costs of eating out and getting around the city. However, you don’t have to rinse your savings account on your next visit to London with these great and easy ways you can save money.
- Once you have booked your flight or train, it is time to find accommodation. Looking around online for the best hotels in London it soon becomes clear that these are extortionately expensive. With our hotel tool, which is optimised for finding cheap city hotels you will be sure to find a good deal. You can also consider staying in a hostel as these are often much cheaper and let’s be honest, how much time do you spend in your hotel room on a city break anyway? Some of the best hostels include Palmers Lodge and Clink78.
- After travel and accommodation, eating out is definitely the biggest expense you will make on your travel to London. Especially in central restaurants, eating can be surprisingly pricey. Our tip is to avoid the chains and instead visit quirky, independent restaurants. These prices are often much lower and as a bonus you are also supporting the local community. Even around places like Oxford Street or Covent Garden, there are some lovely family-run restaurants to be found where you can dine out on a budget.
- Another way to save on food is to visit the markets. Markets like Maltby Street Market, Borough Market and Chelsea Farmers Market have many food options that usually cost between £5 and £10. These markets have food of all sorts, from breakfast through to dinner and snacks like chocolate brownies or cakes. If you are lucky enough to visit London with nice weather, this is a great opportunity to sit down on a bench and enjoy the passers-by without the extra cost of dining-in somewhere.
- London is blessed with many free museums. Although this for some people might sound boring, this is a fantastic way to keep busy for free. With a plethora of museums ranging from the Natural History Museum for nature-lovers to the National Portrait Gallery for the painting-fanatics, there will be something for all to enjoy. Even if you are visiting London with (young) kids this will be fun as most museums have indoor play-areas or activities for kids.
- Although you might be tempted to buy a travel-ticket every morning, London is best explored by foot. The streets have so much history, you will find something interesting on every corner. Look out for the plaques on houses to see which famous person used to live there! Not only will you see much more than being underground, it is a nice way to get some extra exercise- don’t forget that step-tracker! Want to use public transport for longer journeys? Jump on the bus for as little as £1.50. One route usually goes through the whole of the city and a ride on the classic red double-decker can’t be missed.
- If you would like to do things that you know cost money, it will be worth booking online in advance. It is a nice way to give some structure to your London visit, and saves you lots of money. Visiting The View Of the Shard? Book here in advance to get discounted tickets. For almost every attraction, show or event you can get discounted tickets if you pre-book. Kensington Palace has many events on, like Princess Diana’s fashion story – get a discount on tickets here.
- Set on doing the real touristy things? You must have heard about The London Pass. With this pass you get free entry and fast-track entry to 80+ attractions and one day free bus tour through London. The pass can be optimised to your trip, whether it is one or 10 days. This pass is certainly not cheap, but it is more a form of investment – as you can save up to £132 on a 3-day visit.