How to Visit London on a Budget

Are you looking forward to your solo trip to London this summer? It’s an amazing city to discover, and with your money-saving mindset, you can have an incredible time without spending too much! We will try to cover in this article to calculate the cheapest way to visit london. Here are a few suggestions to help you manage your budget for food, transportation, and other expenses.

how to visit london on a budget, london visit cheap

Thinking in Pounds:

First things first, switch your thinking to pounds (£) while you’re in London. It’ll be easier to manage your budget and avoid surprise sticker shock. Here’s a handy conversion table to get you started:

US Dollars Pounds Sterling
10 8.2
20 16.4
30 24.6
40 32.8
50 41.0

Budgeting for Food:

Your plan of one “real meal” a day with snacks in between is smart! Here’s a breakdown:

Food: You can spend £25-30 per day. This budget covers a £15 “proper meal” (lunch or dinner) and also includes snacks such as fruit, yogurt, or sandwiches to enjoy throughout the day.

Snacks: Many hotels offer complimentary tea service, which can save you money on breakfast.

Drinks: Beer and wine can quickly add up, so be mindful of your consumption.

Budget-Friendly Options:

JD Wetherspoons pubs: Enjoy a pint and a burger for around £8, with other meals under £10.

Subway: Grab a sandwich and drink lunch for around £3 (might be slightly more in London).

Greggs bakers: Greggs bakery offers a wide range of pastries, pies, doughnuts, and breakfast rolls at budget-friendly prices.

Supermarkets: Boots, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s offer meal deals at lunchtime for around £3, including a sandwich, drink, and crisps.

Markets: Explore Borough Market for street food and Brick Lane for delicious Indian cuisine.

Picnics: Pack your own lunch for a scenic picnic in one of London’s many parks.

Transportation:

London offers a superb public transit system, enabling easy navigation without the use of a vehicle.

Here’s what to consider:

Oyster Card: Invest in an Oyster card for discounted fares on the Tube, buses, and trams. You can top it up as needed.

Walking: Many attractions are within walking distance of each other, especially in central London. Embrace the opportunity to explore on foot!

Free Walking Tours: Join a free walking tour for a fun and informative way to see the city.

Cycling: Rent a bike for a more active and eco-friendly way to explore London.

how to visit london on a budget
Hyde Park

Additional Activities:

  1. Free Activities: London has many free museums and attractions, like the National Gallery, British Museum, and Hyde Park.
  2. London Pass: If you plan on visiting several paid attractions, consider a London Pass for discounted entry and travel.
  3. Theater: You’re right, London theater is fantastic and often cheaper than New York! Look for deals and discounts online or at the box office.
  4. Unplanned Adventures: Embrace the unexpected! Follow your curiosity and explore hidden gems you might discover along the way.
  5. Apps: Download helpful apps like Citymapper for navigating public transport and Time Out London for event listings and discounts.
  6. Accommodation: While your hotel cost is already budgeted, consider staying in hostels or guesthouses for a more social and budget-friendly option.
  7. Buy Souvenirs: Be mindful of souvenir prices, especially in tourist areas. Look for unique and locally-made items at markets or independent shops.I would recommend Camden Town Market. This place has amazing collections for tourists who want to buy souvenirs. 

visit british museum
British Museum

Free and Discounted Attractions:

London offers a wealth of free and discounted activities to keep you entertained:

Museums: Many museums, like the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, offer free entry.

Parks: London has stunning parks such as Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, and Greenwich Park. These parks are ideal for enjoying picnics, going for walks, and observing people.

Changing of the Guard: Watch the renowned ceremony at Buckingham Palace without paying anything.

Street Performances: Keep an eye out for talented street performers throughout the city.

Free Walking Tours: Join a free walking tour to learn about London’s history and hidden gems.

Libraries: Public libraries provide complimentary Wi-Fi, computer usage, and activities such as book readings and author discussions.

Festivals and Events: Take a look at the schedule of free festivals and events in London, including the Notting Hill Carnival and the Mayor’s Thames Festival.

national gallery visit
National Gallery

Remember:

  • It’s crucial to budget, but don’t get too worked up about every little expense.
  • Have a great time! London is a lively city with countless opportunities for solo travelers.
  • Initiate conversations with locals – they’re usually willing to reveal their favorite places and insider advice.
  • Stay adaptable and embrace new adventures – that’s the essence of solo travel!

Bonus Tip:

Explore the forum discussion “London for the financially challenged” to discover additional money-saving suggestions and advice. By following these tips and making a small amount of preparation, you can enjoy an amazing and inexpensive solo trip to London!

 

FAQ:

This depends on your travel style and spending habits. However, a good starting point for a budget-conscious traveler is around £50-£70 per day for food, transportation, and some activities. Accommodation costs can vary significantly, but consider aiming for something around £80-£100 per night.

Absolutely! Many online resources offer tips and recommendations for budget travel in London. Look for blog posts, articles, and forums like "London for the financially challenged" mentioned earlier.

There are several ways to eat well without breaking the bank! Consider supermarkets like Tesco or Sainsbury's for affordable groceries and meal deals. Pub lunches are often budget-friendly, with chains like JD Wetherspoons offering good value. Explore street food markets like Borough Market for delicious and diverse options.

Many hotels offer a complimentary breakfast buffet. Additionally, some hostels include breakfast in their room rates. Pack some snacks like granola bars or fruit to supplement if needed.

London's public transport system is excellent and affordable. Invest in an Oyster card for discounted fares on the Tube (underground), buses, and trams. Walking is also a fantastic way to explore central London and see the city up close.

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