Staying On Budget in London


With such an abundance of culture, history, and beauty, it’s easy to see why London is such a popular tourist destination. London has 71 Michelin-starred restaurants, over 170 museums, and 35 glorious bridges. As a city that is known for being quite pricey, we’re sharing some tips for traveling on budget.

Visit Places that are Close Together

It may sound like a no-brainer, but visiting attractions that are close to one another geographically will be a budget-saver. Visit Westminster to see Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, and Westminster Abbey.

You can even take a free tour of the Houses of Commons. If you hit up Kensington, you can visit a few free museums—Victoria and Albert V&A, Science Museum, and National History Museum—as well as Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park.

You could even head to Stratford, the home of London’s 2012 Olympic park and the Westfield shopping mall. After hosting the 2012 Olympics, the London Aquatics Centre is now a public swimming pool if you want to take a dip in a pool fit for the Olympics.

Choose an area each day and plan your experience that way.

Buy an Oyster Card

No, this isn’t one of the Michelin-starred restaurants mentioned earlier. An Oyster Card is like a pre-paid transit pass. It’s a fraction of the cost of paper tickets and there’s a daily cap—everything after you hit the cap is free for the rest of the day.

Eat Street Food

London has some incredible street food. In the past, you may have heard jokes about food in London being awful in the past, but that’s certainly not true today.

Visit Maltby Street Market for an incredible foodie experience—from pastries, to dumplings, to fresh produce being juiced on demand, Maltby Street Market is said to have become as good, if not better than Borough Market.

Visit A Roman Temple

One of Britain’s most important archaeological sites, London Mithraeum (also known as the Temple of Mithras, Walbrook) is a free hidden gem in the center of the city. It was only discovered in 1954 during a building’s construction.

Some areas are reconstructed, but what exists there is a replication of the first building phase, said to have been around AD 240.

Free Museums

Visit the British Museum which hosts artifacts from all over the world. The museum’s contents tell a captivating story of the history of mankind.

Check out the Royal Academy of Arts to see pieces by artists like Michelangelo, Constable, and Gainsborough.

You could also stop by the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, IWM London, the National Maritime Museum, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre, or a whole host of other attractions that will help you travel on budget.

Take a Stroll through Covent Market

While we can’t promise that you won’t want to buy everything you see—in fact, we almost guarantee it—taking a stroll through Covent market is an incredible place to browse.

From jewelry, to sweets, to soaps that smell like sweets, there’s something for everyone at Covent Market.

Go on a Walking Tour

If true crime is your thing, a guide will help you follow the footsteps of the notorious Jack the Ripper.

The tour starts on Whitechapel High Street and you’ll spend about two hours passing many locations connected to Jack the Ripper’s crimes, including The Princess Alice Pub, Osborn Street, The Ten Bells Pub, Dorset Street, Ye Frying Pan on Brick Lane, Mitre Square and Goulston Street.

London is an incredible place to visit.

There is no shortage of things to do, places to eat, or sights to see. Regardless of your budget, there’s something in London for everyone—you just need to know where to look.

Photo of author

Kristoffer Fons

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