London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world; but it is by no means cheap. Listed as one of the most expensive cities to live in, it certainly does live up to its name.
Nevertheless, the charm that London holds compares to no other and one needs to see it at least once in their lives. Here are some tips that will help you save more some pounds along the way.
Don’t take a taxi – like ever.
The Underground , trains and buses are by far the most cost effective way to get around London. ( Stay far,far away from Taxis if you are on a budget, they even have trains which now take you to the major airport terminals so use them for airport transfers as well.
If you plan to stay out late at night when the underground might be closed, then ask your local train ticketing office for the schedule for the night buses which run 24 hours a day.
Buy a public transport day pass after rush hours on weekdays.
From around 5:30 am- around 8:30 am is the time where everyone in London is rushing to work. The trains, buses and underground is insanely crowded. The cost of a day pass itself is actually more expensive if bought during these hours.
If you are a tourist and not bound by time or a schedule, try and purchase your ticket after 8:30 am or 9 am on weekdays, it will be around 10%-15% cheaper!
Get an Oyster Card
Possibly the best way to save money in London is by getting yourself an Oyster Card travel smartcard for the city’s fantastic public transport system. Using a Visitor Oyster Card is more than 50% cheaper than buying one-day paper Travelcards or single tickets with cash.
Don’t shop for souvenirs in central
Central London! Oxford, Piccadilly, Bond Street, Regent. All great places to eat, shop, party or just to marvel at the charm that is London. You will naturally be tempted to get souvenirs for all your friends and family back home; Everyone wants that “mind the gap” T-Shirt or the cute Union Jack Bobble head- except they are insanely over priced in main thoroughfares such as these – buying small gifts for everyone at your office for example can go well over 100$ in total.
I am not saying that do not indulge in these souvenirs, but try and get them from those districts that are away from central London- and you will find them at least 30%-40% cheaper!
Stay in hostels
This is true for a lot of places in Europe, but really London takes the cake. Hotel prices at most times during the year ( unless you are lucky) are very expensive and can really put a huge dent in your vacation budget.
Look for cheaper options like hostels. You can find good ones at Hostelworld.com among other sites. Just make sure you cross check the hostel reviews from others who have stayed there before!
Visit all the free of cost attractions
London has a host of amazing free attractions and landmarks that you can visit without spending a penny. These include top art galleries and museums including The Museum of Natural History, National Gallery and British Museum, and outdoor spaces such as Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath.
Book Tickets for anything in advance online
You can skip the queues and save on ticketed attractions and exhibitions by booking online and in advance. For example, London Eye tickets are up to 20% cheaper online. One tip is plan ahead as tickets are often issued in time slots.
These are the ones which helped me while I was visiting- but this is by no means an exhaustive list, a quick Google search on money saving tips can tell you even more specific ways to save up those pounds on your U.K vacation!