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10th February 2018
London has everything going for it, and is great to visit at any time of year. However, planning a trip to one of the biggest, busiest and most expensive capitals in the world can be a bit daunting, not to mention pricey. Don’t worry; with a few helpful tips and ideas, you can plan a trip to this amazing city on a strict budget.
Look Out for Free Options
There are so many places in London that you can visit without even opening your wallet. Even just walking around the market districts like Covent Garden, Carnaby Street and Oxford Circus can take you to expose you to some amazing architecture, restaurants and atmosphere. If window shopping might be too tempting, the riverside is another great place to head. Walk along the South Bank to see all walks of life from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben to the stunning sights on Waterloo Bridge, the skate and graffiti park and the wonderful iconic buildings along the Thames.
The Tower of London and Tower Bridge is a famous landmark that is free for all to see. If you’re really curious to see inside London’s famous medieval Tower, you can get hold of 2 for 1 tickets with a National Rail train ticket. Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus are also some of London’s most iconic sights that you don’t need to pay a penny to experience.
London’s parks are beautiful and most are free to visit, so take your pick and trade in skyscrapers and traffic for a picnic, wildlife and greenery.
If you need some free or cheap options, then Time Out can be a great resource. They always share updates on deals, events, attractions and daily goings on.
Trip Advisor rates The British Museum as one of the top things to see in London, and many exhibitions and displays don’t cost a penny to see. They exhibit art and culture from around the world, and from various points in history. Check out their events calendar to see what’s on.
The Victoria & Albert Museum (otherwise known as the V&A), The Science Museum and The Natural History Museum are incredible museums in London, all within close proximity of each other in the South Kensington area. A really popular choice for visiting tourists, all offer something completely different so they offer something for everyone and in return, you can make a donation that you can afford if you choose to do so.
Don’t stop at these though, there are so many other free museums, galleries and exhibitions to go to – Time Out have a dedicated page listing out their top picks.
Experience London’s History
Buckingham Palace’s ‘Changing of the Guard’ ceremony happens every day at 11.30am, and you don’t need a ticket to watch. It is a must-see for any fans of the Royal Family or British history.
A Place to Rest Your Head
If you can’t fit in all that you want to in a single day, the biggest expense that you’re likely to face will probably be affordable accommodation. Hotels can start at more than £100 a night and choosing the best place to stay is difficult when the city is a huge and diverse place. There is a growing trend in people using the service of Airbnb where you can book a room in someone’s home for a really competitive price. You can easily find a room for less than £30 per night in Central London – just be sure to book enough in advance as the best places go quickly. It’s an amazing option if you want to save money but hate the idea of staying in a hostel. The majority of Airbnb places are empty rooms in people’s homes or whole apartments that they rent out. It’s more expensive to have the place to yourself, and at the end of the day, if you will be out spending your time exploring most of the day, all you need is somewhere warm, safe and convenient to sleep.
No matter where you eat out, expect prices to be higher than you’re used to. A great option to save money on food is to look up coupons and money off vouchers. Alternatively, invest in a Tastecard which will get you 50% off or 2 for 1 deals in participating restaurants. Groupon also have some lovely afternoon tea destinations, cooking lessons or dining experiences on offer.