5 ways to save money in London

March 12, 2014 12:53 pm

Going on holiday can be expensive; you’ve read up on all the city has to offer, you’ve saved up for months, come with your currency changed and you don’t want to leave until you’ve seen and done everything – no matter how much it costs.

As London isn’t the cheapest place to go, don’t despair, there are ways to cut corners and have a penny or two left over without the stress and worry about running out of money.

We’ve put together five ways you can save money during your visit to London, without sacrificing on the experience.


Walk instead of taking the tube

Contrary to what everyone believes, although London is a vast city, spanning over 600 square miles, the centre is actually very accessible. Most of the time rather than getting the tube, you can walk from A to B in just as much time, sometimes even quicker. The routes are deceptive and can seem quick and easy, but it is more cost-effective and, on a nice day, more enjoyable to walk around the city yourself. It’s also a cheap way of cramming in more sightseeing, as you never know what old building is hiding down the old cobbled mews waiting to be discovered.


Go for a picnic in the park

When the sun shines London is a beautiful place to take sanctuary and forget about the hustle and bustle. There are many pockets of greenery dotted around the city, such as Green Park, Hyde Park and St James Park which are the most central. All within a short walk from each other and well connected to transport links why not save on your lunch bill and find a local supermarket for a fun DIY picnic on the cheap. You’ll also find some hidden treasures such as London Zoo nestled in Regents Park and Kensington’s Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park, too.


Free entry

Not every London attraction charges entry, there are many historical sites and culture-rich locations where you can visit for free – and fun for all the family. If art is your thing, Tate Modern and Tate Britain are must-sees for an edifying visit, as well as the National Gallery for some classic landscapes and portraits. If you prefer a bit of history, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is your go-to place for everything naval and is the biggest museum of its kind in the world. However, if you have small children and need to recharge your batteries with something fun, Namco on the Southbank is perfect for injecting a bit of excitement to your day with the arcades and games, including bowling.


Hostel not hotel

If you’re really trying to cut costs, why not sacrifice a posh hotel for a recommended and well-kept hostel instead. London has plenty of options to choose from, from backpacker basics to upmarket apartments and family-friendly hostels. You can either get a B&B option or one with a kitchen so you can cook your own meals and prepare snacks for your day ahead on a lower budget. With lockable safes and keys to your rooms you can rest assured that any possessions will be kept secure, however, if you’re worried, keep any valuables on you just in case.


Discount Theatre Tickets

If you’re a theatre buff and you like a good musical and have dreamt of seeing a West End show then look out for last minute deals. Avoid the ticket touts as they push the price up for their own commission, and instead head to Leicester Square for the best selection of discounted tickets to the hottest shows. Grab a bargain and be spontaneous, you can even get a dinner package as well if you want to make a night of it. If you’re planning you’re evening in advance, there are plenty of local bars and pubs in the area that offer impressive happy hour deals if you want a pre-theatre aperitif.


With a London Pass you can start saving money before you’ve even begun. With a one-off fee of a set duration, pick your pass for 1, 2, 3 or 6 days – with the longer the duration the better value for money.

The London Pass includes free entry into over 60 of London’s best attractions, as well as a free travelcard allowing you to travel across the extensive tube, train, bus and overground network, and a free 180 page guidebook.

You can even go one step further and buy a Dining Guide, giving you huge discounts and deals on some of London’s most popular restaurants around the city – perfect for a much needed break, and great for keeping the cost down.

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