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Visiting London on a budget

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London is an incredible place to explore: metropolitan meets history in a city where it’s impossible to see everything it has to offer. So where on earth do you start getting planning your trip there? Particularly when you’re on a budget. It is not known for being cheap.

Lucky for you London is the kind of place which lends itself to so many surprisingly affordable spots. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, you’re bound to be rewarded for your efforts.

We'll be visiting London in December. I've already booked it.  It's the first time we've taken the kids and the first time me and my husband will have been there together too! 

We'll be doing it on a budget and have already made some cost-effective decisions such as booking budget accommodation and choosing to get cheap coach tickets instead of driving.  We have breakfast at the accommodation and we'll take a packed lunch each day.  In the evenings we will treat ourselves to a meal out. 

We also have a few plans to see some top tourist spots on foot and to visit some of the free entry museums.  London doesn't have to be expensive, even with kids!

Here are some more great ideas for how you can visit London on a budget.

Travelling from outside the UK?

Before we get started, I've just popped back to update this post with a little Covid update in case you are travelling from outside of the UK to visit London.  Please check the latest travel advice as it is changing all the time in 2020 and 2021.  According to the EVW website: 'All travellers need to obtain a Health Declaration form called Public Passenger Locator Form to enter the United Kingdom. This new entry requirement has been introduced by the Government of the United Kingdom due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can apply at the same time you submit your EVW.  The UK Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW UK) is a form of travel authorisation which allows citizens from eligible countries to enter the UK. It can be used instead of a visa, eliminating the need to go to a UK visa application centre.' 

Free walking tours

One of the best ways to see a city - and to save some money while you’re at it - is going on a free walking tour. It gives you a chance to soak in the sights, while not breaking the bank. London has many distinct and diverse neighbourhoods, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. You could opt for famous movie moments, be humbled by the historical heritage, or perhaps even get spooky with a ghost tour. The city is yours to discover.

Park life

Despite London being so populated and built up, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many green spaces there are in the city. From Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and other Royal Parks - you won’t be short of spots to have a stroll. Even in the colder months, the parks are still beautiful and could offer a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re looking for a gorgeous view of London’s landscape, head up Primrose Hill - located north of Regent’s Park.

London Zoo

If you’re swinging by Regent’s Park, why not pay a visit to London Zoo? Don’t worry, the tickets won’t cost you an arm and a leg. With the help of Discount London, you can see some of the top tourist sights of the capital, while still sticking with your budget. There are plenty of discount deals you can pick from, including Tower Bridge Exhibition and a tour of Westminster Abbey.

Galleries and museums

If you want to continue the culture, you should make the most of the fact that a lot of galleries and museums in London offer free entry. Donations are optional. You can see wonderful works of art from all over the world. You can step back in time. All without leaving the city centre. The only tough part is picking which one to visit first.

Final word

London really can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be.  Even if you're on a limited budget, you'll find plenty to see and do.