Despite the fact that the 2012 London Olympics are slowly becoming a distant memory, London is still holding strong in its position as one of the most popular cities in the world for tourists to visit. The city can, however, be a little pricey for those travelling with a bit of a budget, so here are some top tips on things to do when in London for less.
London is a big city, a very big city. This though can have pros and cons for travellers. On the plus side it means that there is always something to do, for every budget and whatever the weather. On the other hand, it means that getting around the place can be confusing and pricey. Make sure to stay somewhere central such as Kings Cross Hotel The Jesmond Dene. From there you can explore central London on foot, catch tubes around the capital and easily grab a train to anywhere else in the country.
If you’re very tight on money but want to do something cultural, London is the ideal place for this. With countless parks and numerous museums that offer free entry, you’ll never be bored. For art buffs, head to the Tate Modern; science geeks will love the Science Museum; and for a bit of history, everywhere is drenched in it, but the Natural History Museum or British Museum will provide you with it all in one place.
Feeling hungry? Don’t head to one of the touristy chain restaurants on the main streets. Pop into one of the local pubs away from the tourist hubs; but make sure to choose one in a nice area and check the menu first. Alternatively check out the local markets; you can pick up all kinds of street food and fresh fruit, fish, meat and vegetables at any of these. The street food in London encompasses everything, from good old fish and chips to Indian curries and Korean tacos. You’re bound to find at least one thing that you’ll like. If you’re staying somewhere that gives you access to a kitchen, try buying food from local shops and markets and cooking it up yourself. You’re guaranteed to have something yummy and much cheaper then.
If you’ve got a little more to spend, make sure to book an evening at one of London’s West End shows. Try to make a decision in advance of a few shows that take your fancy then head down to the box offices on the day to get tickets at a much lower price. There are also plenty of other shows and acts that you can see much cheaper around London that are off the West End. Many pubs play live music nightly and places such as the Soho Theatre will present new aspiring writer and actors.
And if all else fails, London is the perfect place to just wander around and see what you come across. There are a number of great places to walk, such as along the Bank of the Thames. If you feel like you’ll get lost, many tour companies provide experienced guides who will take you around all the big sights for a minimal price.