London’s said to be the most expensive city in the world to live in and with the average tourist forking out £312 in just one night it’s not exactly wallet friendly to visit either. There are however several tips and tricks you can follow to make your visit slightly less of a burden on your bank account.
Buy an oyster card
The Oyster Card, hardly London’s best kept secret but an essential money and time-saving tool for anyone heading to the capital for more than a day. Available online, at stations or at the airport, a Visitor Oyster Card costs £3 plus however much credit you’d like to pre-load (for two days I’d recommend £15 credit for unlimited off-peak travel in Zones 1 and 2, or £20 if you’re planning on using it to get from the airport into London).
If possible try to avoid public transport before 09:30 and between 16:00 and 19:00 as it’s going to cost you more, the perfect excuse for a lie in.
Skip the sightseeing buses
Hop-on hop-off buses might take you past all the best sites but so do the regular buses and at a fraction of the cost. Bus route 11 is my pick for all the top sites, taking you down the upmarket Kings Road and then on past Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben before finishing up in Shoreditch, home to indie shops and edgy bars.
If you’re sightseeing on a budget you need not worry as not only is London home to some of the biggest and best museums out there but most of them are completely free! A few of my favourites are the Victoria and Albert Museum, National Gallery, British Museum and National Maritime Museum, plenty enough to keep you busy for a few days.
Head for the supermarkets
London is filled with restaurants just waiting to drain your pockets, but it’s also dotted with supermarkets to save them. At Sainsbury’s or Tesco you can grab a meal deal, which includes a sandwich or salad, a snack and a drink, for just £3. If you’re really looking to save your pennies go towards closing time where most of the sandwiches are reduced to half price.
Check for offers on restaurants
If sandwiches and salads are starting to lose their appeal (no-one will blame you..) or you just fancy a break from the inevitable rain make sure you check online for deals at restaurants. Voucher Codes is my go to website with dozens of great deals for popular restaurants.
Discount theatre tickets
If you fancy an evening of sophistication at the West End but don’t fancy the £60 plus price tag than fear not. There are three main ways to get your hands on discounted theatre tickets: firstly check out the Discount London Theatre website, if that’s still a little pricey then head down to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square or go straight to the source and head to the theatre’s box office.