Home Business Insights & Advice Can you see London without breaking the bank?

Can you see London without breaking the bank?

by Sarah Dunsby
17th Oct 18 9:00 am

Traveling is enriching and wonderful, but depending on the destination, it can also be expensive – and according to TripAdvisor, London is the most expensive city for tourists anywhere in the world, even more expensive than New York City.

What many people don’t realize, though, is that it doesn’t have to be. Just because a high-end hotel is pricey, doesn’t mean London doesn’t welcome travellers on a budget. Done right, you can see London without breaking the bank.

Choose the right hotel

The biggest expense for any London traveller is lodging; the TripAdvisor survey cited above noted that one night in a four-star hotel in London was about 484 USD. But there’s no reason to stay in four-star accommodations when there are great budget options throughout the city. For example, as of August, Travelodge has 75 properties across London, including new rooms they call “budget chic,” featuring a design overhaul as part of their new Travelodge Plus concept.

Don’t forget to pile on the savings by adding discounts to your hotel deal. Codes.co.uk regularly offers Travelodge discount codes that make a stay at the budget chain even more affordable – and don’t forget to check the site for other deals on London activities.

Take the tube

London’s taxis are absolutely iconic, but they’re also pricey. Instead, get around like a local by taking the tube or the local buses. Public transit is much more affordable than a taxi – and even if you get confused, you’ll likely find something exciting at the end of the line. You can even be prepared to take public transit to your hotel by buying your Oyster card in advance. The visitor’s bureau will send it to you, no matter your starting point.

Get an activity pass

There are so many wonderful activities to do in London, and plenty of them are free. For example, it doesn’t cost a penny to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace or visit Westminster Cathedral. If you want to stretch your budget to see some of the pricier highlights of the city, though, London has the perfect budget option: the London Pass.

A two or three day London Pass for adults is only 114 GBP and provides entry to many of the top – and priciest – destinations across the city. If you want to cruise the Thames, visit Kensington Palace, or go the London Zoo, the London Pass can save you over 100 pounds. It will even fast track your entry into many of these landmarks.

Do your homework

Finally, don’t forget to do your homework before you leave if you want to stick to your budget, and itinerary. Most people want to see Big Ben when they visit London, for example, but the famous clock is under construction until 2021. Make sure you know what’s open, the hours, and where everything is so that you don’t keep running across the city, wasting time. Like any big city, you want to minimize the number of transit trips and build your itinerary around neighbouring destinations, including meals.

London is expensive – especially if you buy admission to individual locations or stay in a pricey hotel. If you take advantage of all the cost-saving options available for visitors to the city, though, you can see all the best things London has to offer without emptying your bank account in the process.

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