London is one of the most expensive cities in the world so the idea of doing it on the cheap might seem impossible. Food and drink is expensive wherever you go and the accommodation is usually going to cost you a lot if you want to be anywhere near the centre. A weekend in London can often be as expensive as a weekend abroad somewhere, but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if you keep your eye on cheap flights to London and other modes of transport. You might not believe it but there are ways that you can do a weekend in London without breaking the bank. Just follow these simple tips and the trip will be a lot more affordable.
If you’re only there for a couple of days you might not bother getting an Oyster card and just buy paper tickets instead but it’s going to cost you a lot more money. It’s about half the price if you buy your tickets on an Oyster card and it’s much quicker and easier.
Even cheaper than getting the tube with an Oyster is not getting the tube at all. Obviously, if you’re going long distances you’ll have to use public transport but if you’re just going a couple of stops, you might as well walk it. The tube is very convenient but if you’re relying on it too much, you’ll spend half the trip in stations, missing out on a lot of the city. You’ll also end up spending quite a bit.
Finding a hotel or an Airbnb in London is always going to be expensive unless you’re right out on the edge of the city, which means you’ll be spending more on travel. But you can save a lot of money on accommodation if you find a hostel instead. www.vlondoncity.co.uk has lots of great information on the best ones. A lot of people are reluctant to stay in hostels because they’re picturing crowded sweaty rooms shared with strangers but that’s not always the hostel experience. Most of them have private rooms and fairly good amenities. The rooms will be basic but it doesn’t really matter if you’re out and about all day anyway.
London is full of so many great attractions and a lot of them are free. Most of the art galleries and museums are free so you can visit the national gallery, the Tate, and the British Museum without spending a penny. There are also loads of great parks that you can spend the day in when the weather is nice. If you’re spending your days doing free stuff you’ll save a lot of money so you can spend a bit more on food and drink later on in the evening.
Food and drink are going to be your biggest expense and you’re never going to get it cheap, but you can reduce the amount that you’re spending. Finding chain restaurants is probably the easiest way to do it because they’ll be quite a bit cheaper than the independent places. Visit timeout.com for a list of the cheapest restaurants in the city.
London is always going to be fairly expensive but if you’re careful, you can do it on the cheap.