London is on most travelers list of must visit destinations. But the high cost of visiting can be a deterrent. However you do not need to spend a fortune to see some of the best London has to offer. Here are 10 simple tips to help you experience London on a budget.
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1.Take a Free Walking Tour of The City
First tip to see London on a Budget is to book a free guided walking tour. Companies like Free Tours by Foot provide excellent tours of the city. These are great opportunities to orient yourself and see some of the iconic sites while learning the history from an expert local guide. While the tour is technically free please remember to tip the guide.
2.Go to Free Events
The changing of the guard is free for all to watch and is a spectacular event to witness at least once in your life. Many other annual events are also free to attend such as the Notting Hill Carnival, Chinese New Year and State Opening of Parliament. Just check the list of events scheduled in the city during your visit. Who knew that seeing London on a budget could be so entertaining.
3.Get Cultured at a Free Museum
One of the best things about this city is the amazing museums you can visit without spending a penny. You can experience London on a budget by seeing mummies and the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum. Or learn about Londons history in the Museum of London. If science is more your thing, then head to the Science Museum. Or learn about plants, animals, minerals and fossils at the Natural History Museum. Other popular spots are the National Gallery and the Tate Modern. London has so much culture to offer and it wont cost you a dime.
One of the things I love the most about London is the amount of green space there is in the city. Spend some time in any of the London parks. Take some time to see an outdoor exhibit, take a stroll through the gardens or enjoy a picnic. There is much to do outdoors in London providing a breath of fresh air in the middle of a packed cosmopolitan city.
5.Get The London Pass
If you are looking to visit some of Londons top attractions, such as the Tower of London pictured below, you can save money by purchasing the London Pass. The pass allows entry to over 60 attractions and tours, provides 1 day of the popular hop on hop off bus, and allows for fast entry at some attractions. Check out their website to see if it is right for you.
I must admit the cabs in London are cute. But they are costly, and navigating London traffic can also take time. So save some cash and see the sights such as The Parliament by walking. You will find most of the city is very walkable. If you are looking to traverse a big distance then use the tip below.
7.Get an Oyster Card
If you want to save money while using public transport then get the Oyster card. There is no better way to see London on a budget. Each ride is about 50% less than paying cash. It also has a daily cap. This means you can travel as much as you want each day for the one low cost. The Oyster card is good on the tube, buses, trams and river bus services. It also provides some savings at select restaurants and events. Click here to get a full list of special offers you can receive with your Oyster card.
8.Take in The View
There are many great places to get a birds eye view of London. But to see London on a Budget with the best free view you must head to the Sky Garden. Just keep in mind that tickets must be booked in advance through their website.
9.Book Your Hotel With Points
Want to stay in a nice hotel at no cost? Use those credit card rewards or hotel loyalty points to stay for free. And while there are other ways to stay in London on a budget, I love the options points provide. I was able to stay in a family room at the beautifully appointed Crown Plaza without paying a dime. I used a free night I earned from my IHG card. Another option would have been to transfer points from my favorite rewards card (Chase Sapphire) to any of the participating hotels like Hyatt.
10.Eat at The Market
Another great way to experience London on a budget is to eat local food. Some great food can be found in London Markets. Not only is it tasty but cost effective and roaming the markets is lots of fun. Depending on what side of town you are in, head to Borough Market, Camden Market or Southbank center food market. Alternatively you can eat in Harrods food hall where plenty of samples are available.