How to visit London on a budget?

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Without a doubt, London (even with the flickering Pound) has long been associated with the stereotype of being an expensive city, or if not, the most expensive one in Europe. To a certain extent, I wouldn’t deny that it costs more than the other cities, but there are definitely ways to visit London on a slight budget. My suggestions may be ubiquitous but that just means that it works!!!

Transport

First of all, if you are already thinking about taking taxis or Uber then you are probably not travelling on a budget?! For a fact, there are many railway lines in the tube network, which means that you might not need to take the tube each time you visit a different landmark. In Central London for instance, where most of the tourist attractions are located, they are generally within walkable distances (about 15 – 20-minute walk).

There aren’t free meals in this world, so for a bit more physical effort in exchange for transport costs, it is definitely worth it. Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown… squeeze these places in a day and spend on just 2 rides each day!

It might also be advisable to take the Oyster card as a future investment – London is an amazing city worth multiple visits!

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Accommodation

Property prices are skyrocketing here so do not expect cheap lodging in London. Apart from hostels, Airbnbs are also great economical choices for central locations. But since the transport network is so developed, it might actually not hurt to stay slightly further away in the less busy districts of London to save on the buck. Also, travelling in the low seasons definitely helps with lower pricing. Expect something around SGD 200 per night for a decent stay.

Food

As all Asians know and do well, breakfast is the most important meal of the day so… if your accommodation happens to offer free breakfast… I guess half of your daily calorie intake is already taken care of!

I understand there are must-try restaurants and you should definitely try them! But for those with budgetary constraints, there is also every Brit’s favourite hangout: TESCO! MARKS & SPENCER! Look out for end-of-the-day deals for 2 to 3 pounds for a decent sandwich or even packed meals!

Attractions

Yes, Harry Potter and musicals are must-gos in London… but if you cannot care less, like myself, it seems like there is something free for everyone to do, I mean really, penniless. The museums are going to hate people like me and I’m probably one out of a million who actually pack their daily schedule visiting museums in London (I swear I will donate the next time I visit!).

Genuinely, the museums are super well-maintained, well-crafted and cost nothing. I cannot forget my visit to the Saatchi Gallery which displayed very controversial, thought-provoking and creative works. The National Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum etc… they are great 2 to 3-hour explorations!

Shopping

How can I forget the best part – shopping! The reason why we count those pennies is just so that we can spend buying our favourite local brands! Don’t forget Ted Baker, Jo Malone, Primark, Tkmaxx… the list goes on…

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