London is a diverse city with an abundance of culture and history. There is a vibrant music scene, museums and attractions, wide range of eateries with cuisines from all over the world, events, an active nightlife, entertainment for all ages, sightseeing and architecture, markets and shops. There is something for everyone, from every walk of life. London is magnificent and fabulous but all this comes at a cost; one thing the city is not, is cheap. But don’t let that dissuade you! With a few money saving hacks you can still get the most out of your next trip to London…
Moving About Town
Try to walk where you can, or even cycle using the city’s bike scheme, and don’t fall into the convenience loop of cabs; the cost racks up way too quick. Making use of the tube is generally a fast and easy way to cover larger areas too; travel cards that cover the zones needed can be good value, particularly during off peak travel.
If coming into London from train, booking ahead and planning your route can save you money, especially if you can be flexible with your times/ days of travel to get the cheapest deal. For example, personally I travel into the capital on the thameslink line and always look up in advance what route is cheapest (and fastest, if I am in a hurry) depending on the purpose of my visit; ie where in London my specific destination is, or if I am going to be travelling around within the city on that occasion.
Also, if I am travelling south of the river on an open return ticket and my return travel is intended to be late in the evening, I make sure to check thameslink trains going from East Croydon to Farringdon as I know from experience that missing late night trains can be a costly and stressful mistake. So, my point here is, check your journey routes and train times carefully, not just to save money on advance tickets if possible, but to avoid unexpected and unnecessary travel costs too!
The pennies quickly pile up when it comes to eating in London. Even a can of coke can come at a hefty cost if you fall into one of the more touristy sides of town. Fear not though! With some planning ahead you can cut costs quite easily.
Taking a picnic or packed lunch from home, or at least bringing your own drinks in reusable flasks, can save money. If you plan to eat out, check what restaurants, cafes and takeaways are nearby; see what deals they have on offer then prepare with some downloaded or printed off vouchers.
Knowledge is Free
The UK can proudly boast some of the best museums in the world; what’s more though is that many of them are free to enter. The same can said for a number of galleries too! The British Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum all fall into this bracket. They aren’t the only ones though and these are places well worth a visit.
There are all sorts of Markets across London. If you’re likely to want souvenirs, these are the places to go. They’re cheaper, varied and authentic to the spirit of London itself.
There are an overwhelming amount of parks around which are lovingly maintained and surrounded by gorgeous floral arrangements and iconic London architecture. Well worth a visit and certainly candidates for some excellent Instagram snaps too.
A Nifty Night Out
If you’re planning on having a night out, the smart choice is to check out what bars and clubs have promo offers. If you look online there are plenty of places that have happy hours and 2-for-1 on cocktails.
Do you have any money saving hacks for visiting London?
*This is a collaborative post
You might also want to read: The best free or cheap things to do in London