You don’t have to splash a lot of cash to make the most of your time in London. Follow these 10 tips and you’ll have a stellar experience, while keeping those purse strings nice and tight.
1. Visitor Oyster card
As soon as you can, get yourself a Visitor Oyster Card for your visit. You could save more than 50% by using an Oyster rather than buying one-day tickets or other physical passes. You can order one online and use them for food, drink and activity discounts. They are also extremely convenient; there’s no need to waste time booking, just tap your card and hop on. And most importantly, no booking fees!
2. The eco option
Sometimes it is faster to walk, particularly during rush hour. If you’re only going through a couple of stops, consider walking or renting a bicycle during peak times.
3. Free attractions
There are plenty of free landmarks and activities around London, including high class art galleries and museums. The Tate Modern, the Southbank Centre art complex, and the National Gallery and British Museum are all free of charge. You can even soak up the culture in London’s many outdoor spaces; Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath boast a variety of art to feast your eyes upon. You can even see the iconic changing of the guard absolutely free.
4. Cheap West End tickets
Get your tickets early and revel in your savings, or if you really have to buy last minute go to Leicester Square and pop into the TKTS Booth. Or if you’re feeling lucky, queue at the theatre for returns and stand-by tickets.
5. The London Pass
Over 60 of London’s top attractions accept The London Pass, giving you free and sometimes fast track entry to attractions such as Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London, the Thames River Cruise and London Bridge Experience.
6. Book online in advance
Not sure you’ll visit enough attractions to get your money’s worth from The London Pass? Just book in advance online, and look for special promotions, there are always plenty online.
7. Nights out
A London Nightlife Ticket gives you free entry to some of the capital’s best nightclubs, and includes special offers for certain restaurants, bars and bowling alleys. Look for happy hours and student club nights for better deals, or look into small venues with cheap gig tickets.
8. Small shows
London has a bustling comedy and live music scene. You can even find a few cabarets in unexpected venues. Smaller shows cost a lot less and will give you an authentic London experience – you don’t have to go for the biggest shows to have a great time.
9. Shop a bargain
Whether you like perusing markets or visiting high street gems, there are plenty of purse friendly retail options. Retro shops, vintage stalls and bargain giants such as Primark are sure to scratch your retail therapy itch. While you’re at a market, why not try haggling?
10. Sleep savvy
Don’t splash out on hotels or rented accommodation! Opt for a serviced apartment to get the most for your money, while also ensuring the rest of your trip goes by smoothly.