Wondering how on Earth you’re going to make it through a weekend in London, let alone a week? This is a common reaction to this grand, yet expensive city. But do not fret – there are lots of ways you can make trips to the Big Smoke both affordable and interesting.
Hostel or Hotel?
Choosing your living arrangements can often be quite overwhelming due to the sheer number of options. MyTravel.com is a great tool which families, friends, and solo travelers can utilise when booking holidays to the city. There are a lot of rooms that are cheaper than hostels, with the best deals available if you book way ahead of the game.
A great way to start thinking like a Londoner is to double-check whether your initial movements require use of the London Underground. Most of the tube stations in central London can be reached by foot, and walking the streets of the city is a great way to absorb the city’s archaic architecture. A single fare on the underground costs £4 – it’s quite simply daylight robbery. Consider investing in a travel card that covers Zones 1 – 2 instead, (which is only £6.60) or bring out the Londoner inside you and buy an Oyster card.
To the Tate!
Exploring the sights and sounds of London without breaking the bank seems like a pretty challenging task. However, a stroll down the South Bank will treat you to glorious views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and it won’t cost you a penny. A wander around the Tate Modern is also free, and the museum is open until 10pm on Friday and Saturday. Children love the Natural History Museum as it’s very interactive and engaging with something new and exciting around every corner. Located just around the corner from the museum is Hyde Park, where you can go boating on the lake (£25 per hour for 2 adults and 2 children).
Pick up a Picnic
London restaurants in general are sure to leave your wallet in a sorry state. Venture to the outskirts of the city for a more modestly priced meal, or for a super cheap meal in central London you might want to consider Tuk Tuk. This is a very tasty Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Thai restaurant in the heart of Soho and main meals are between £4 and £6 – perfect for grabbing a quick bite to eat. A picnic is a much cheaper way to enjoy lunch, and if the sun is shining, it’s a truly satisfying experience.
Groupon is a great service to use for finding discounts all over London (www.groupon.co.uk). Everything from luxury spa treatments to fine dining can be bought online, and there tend to be 2 to 4 offers every day. Livingsocial.com and Crowdity.com are also great for snatching up bargains, so keep your eyes peeled for deals appearing on here. These can be your secret weapons for guaranteeing cheap holidays in the city.