London is an expensive city by anyone’s standard around the world. This is especially true for Americans traveling to the U.K., but no matter where you are coming from, we all want to save money while traveling. The key is knowing what is free, what to skip, and where to find the best deals. Everything from flights, hotels, restaurants, and museums can be hacked in London. Here’s how to do it.
Consider Alternate Airports
Many people associate London with Heathrow, but London is home to many other airports. There are actually six airports in London, including Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton. Budget airports like easyJet and Ryanair call these airports home. Take them into consideration when booking an inbound flight from other European cities and the U.S. because they might just offer a cheaper flight.
Avoid the West End
The East End might not have all the buzz and famous sites of London’s West End, but it is a beautiful part of the city indeed. The tube can transport you back to the West End in no time at all. Begin your hotel search in the East End and stay out of the city center. Hotels are just as nice but are less expensive than in the tourist hotspots. You might just find you enjoy what the East End has to offer after all.
Enjoy Free London
London is home to some of the best museums in the world and the best part is they are free. This includes the National Gallery, British Museum, and Tate Modern. The Tate houses large modern art collections from Matisse to Rothko. The National Gallery, at Trafalgar Square, is home to works by Van Gogh, da Vinci, and Renoir. No matter where you choose to go, enjoy the free museums of London because you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Do This: Skip That
The River Thames is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon cruising past the many sites of London, but river cruises are expensive. Skip them and take the Thames Clipper. The Clipper serves as a commuter vessel and tourist mobile. It starts in London’s East End and travels under the London Bridge, past the Tower of London, and down to Parliament and more. It is an affordable way to see London from the water and take in all of the sites for a lot less than a pricey cruise. Drinks are served and it runs frequently should you choose to hope on and off along the way.
London on a Budget
As on one of the biggest travel destinations in the world, there is no off-season in London. The best you can do to save money is look for a great deal on accommodations, avoid taxis, stick to the tube, and make the most of the free attractions. The city can be enjoyed on anyone’s budget. Just remember it’s OK to splurge every once in a while and have some fun.