We can’t sugarcoat the fact that London is depressingly expensive. However, there’s no need to resign staying in this amazing city, if one applies a few little money-saving tips here and there. Here are some of our tricks for you that saved us a lot of money.
This one might sound quite obvious, but still worth mentioning. As a tourist in particular, if you spend a day in central London to tick all the icons from your list, don’t take the tube. Central London is much more narrow than it might seem on the map, and most attractions are easily reachable by foot. It’s almost impossible to get lost, as there are many maps on the streets telling you where to head to the attractions. And even if you get lost- embrace your freedom as a traveller.
If the distance is too great to rely on physical condition, I would always advise tourists to take the bus. First of all, a bus ride costs around £1.50, whereas a tube ride starts from £2.60. Moreover, you see much more of London from the top of a double-decker, than in the dusty tube crowds. Even if it takes longer, taking the bus is a must.
I mentioned it before, and I still can’t grasp that museums ARE FREE OF CHARGE. Our personal fav’s are the Victoria& Albert Museum and the National History Museum (both in South Kensington).
4. Spotting celebrities
In three years of living in London, I’ve seen George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Matt Damon, and I COULD have seen (if I had shown some effort) Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy- I will stop bragging right here, otherwise you won’t believe me. The trick is to regularly check when the next film premiere takes place in London. Most of them happen at Leceister Square, yes, right there in a public, open space. You don’t have to pay anything, just make sure that you arrive early enough to secure a spot close to the red carpet.
This one might sound boring, but London has many beautiful parks that invite to a chill afternoon with snacks and rosé.
6. Musical tickets
There are many musical stalls in central London that try to sell you very cheap tickets. If you’re fine with watching Simba as a miniature roaring on stage, while you’re recklessly chewing your crisps, please buy them. You’ll be seated in the last row, and you won’t disturb any other spectators. But if you’re like me, and you actually watch musicals for the sake of art, go to the tickets stalls in the theatres themselves. That’s where you get to choose your seat on the plan, and the prices are reasonable. Even better is to order them online way ahead of your visit.
If you’re visiting London as a tourist, please go to one of the many food markets (Camden Town, Greenwich, Southbank etc.). The prices aren’t as high as in restaurants, and the food is still amazing. Especially if you’re bad at taking decisions, you get to try many different flavours.
In case you’re eating at an actual restaurant, you should always check for discounts on their internet websites. Chain restaurants in particular offer online discounts.
A cheap but awesome restaurant recommendation you should try (if you’re into Lebanese food, that is) is The Cedar in West Hampstead. It’s probably one of the best places we’ve eaten in London for a very reasonable price. Also, don’t underestimate the quantities…
Finally, if you’re staying for longer in London, there’s a way of buying cheaper groceries. Expired products that can still be consumed without any concern (as a student I know this) are considerably discounted.