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How to Save Money in London

If you google “the most expensive city in the world” the number one is without any surprise, London! It is nothing new. That’s the thing that travellers worry the most when booking their trip to the city.  But different than what we think, and what media tells us, London can be cheap as well and here I will show you how you can save money in London while enjoying the most of this amazing city.

First of all guys, I know that the currency in UK, the pound, is the strongest currency in the world, which, following the common logic, makes it the most expensive currency in the world, and for those who come from countries that have devalued currency, values in pound can be pretty scary! But I will share a secret with you, that were not supposed to be a secret at all: who converts, doesnt have fun, this sounds much better in portuguese, but the point is: if you start converting and doing the math everytime you want to buy something, darling, DON’T. Bear in mind that you are in somewhere else in the globe, forget about your own currency and buy what sounds cheap accordingly to the amount of money you have in the local currency.

How to Save Money in London

Buy an Oyster Card

This is the best thing if you want to save money with public transport. Oyster is a card that you use to catch any public transport in the city of London, from buses to undergrounds. It is cheaper, faster and easier than buying tickets everytime you need to take the public transports.

Take away

In great part of the restaurants in London you will have two options for eating, you either eat there or take away. Take away is cheaper as they don’t charge the table service, and for those wondering, yeah it is a big difference in the price. I have heard many debates about how expensive it is to eat in London and actually it is not, it can be as cheap as £3 or £4, you just need to be smart and look around, prices there is great, specially for the amount of food that comes in each meal!

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Free attractions

London has SO many free attractions and to be honest, I can pretty much say that all my favorite attractions are actually free, believe it or not. The list of free attractions is looong. Great part of the museums are totally free! Also, we can pretty much all touristic points are free to see, I mean, some like Westerminster Abbey or London Bridge you can pay for an inside visit, but I doesn’t prevent you from admiring the building from outside completly for free!

 

Stay in a central Borough

London  is divided in Borough, for those who don’t understand or didn’t figure out, it is like neighbourghoods or districts. Sometimes, looking for a cheap hotel, we end up finding some in a very far Borough and we think we are making a good deal here but surprise, you are actually not! Although London is a metropole and there is public transport for everywhere, some boroughs are harder accessible than others or even, more expensive than others. London public transport is divided in zones, the higher the zone the more expensive it is. To have an idea, if you stay in the central area, the hotel might be a bit more expensive but public transport to visit the most important points of the city, you will pay around £1 or £2, while if you stay in Zone 4 of the public transport, you will pay around £10 coming and going.

Buy food in the supermarket

Another way to avoid spending all your money with meals, you can buy food in the supermarket, no matter where you are in the world, in general, buying food in the supermarket can save you alot of money.

Drink tap water

I know it might sound very weird for most of people but, different than many places in the world, in London (as well as many places in Europe in general) you can actually drink water directly from a tap without dying from dysentery (people from 1854 would disagree with me here).

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Take the free walking tours

One fun way to visit the touristic points of a city and get to know new people, is to take Walking Tours, they basically work like this, it’s one of two people that work as guides in the city, they form groups (everybody meets in an specific place, like a famous street or  a square) and the guides bring you to the touristic points by walk, while they tell you the history of each point. There are many options of walks, and even FREE ones, which is even better. These walks are very fun and it is great to hear the history from the locals themselves. In the end, of course, you can be a nice samaritan and give a small tip in consideration for their time and work.

In general, London is an expensive city, there is no doubt, afterall, it is a metropole, a capital, and  tend to have a more expensive way of life, besides that, the strong economy also influences, but like many other cities, there is always ways to save some money and make your trip less painful to your wallet.

It is definitely not a reason to avoid visiting the city, London has a huge historical and cultural weight and has so many things to see, being there you will realise it worths each penny you are spending! Don’t forget to check the 5 days Guide to London.

 

How to Save Money in London

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Frank Hubeny
    19 de maio de 2017 at 15:29

    That sounds like good advice for traveling in London although I’ve only been there once.

    • Reply
      Isadora
      19 de maio de 2017 at 15:31

      Thank you Frank!! I have been there twice, but the first I went there, many people tried to scary me out saying its too expensie. But there are always ways to save money . I’m totally in love with that city, I have been there twice already and can’t wait to go back lol

  • Reply
    Catarina
    29 de maio de 2017 at 07:34

    London is beautiful , it is really a shame that is so expensive! But it’s totally worth it 🙂
    Great article! I actually just wrote one about saving money on food while traveling if you wanna check it out 🙂

    • Reply
      Isadora
      30 de maio de 2017 at 23:02

      Lool I know right!! But definitely not a reason to don’t go there!! I gonna check it out for sure! 😀

  • Reply
    Imbarc
    21 de junho de 2017 at 07:39

    Using the ‘Boris bikes’ to get around is always a good time efficient money saver too!

    • Reply
      Isadora
      21 de junho de 2017 at 13:20

      Thats a really good tip!! Then you wouldnt even need to worry about transportation!

  • Reply
    Victoria
    21 de junho de 2017 at 13:57

    Whenever I go somewhere new and have to pay to go into museums I always think “but even the ones in London are free!” There are so many free attractions you’re spoilt for choice. I do love a good London trip 🙂

  • Reply
    Katherine
    21 de junho de 2017 at 14:43

    I loved living in London so much! Like you said, there are heaps of free attractions that you can visit. When I first moved over and was having trouble finding a job, I’d spend days in the museums and art galleries – it was the best! And eating cheap food from Indian takeaways. So delicious!

  • Reply
    Kristi
    21 de junho de 2017 at 14:44

    Great tips! I always feel weird drinking the tap water, but such a great way to save money and the environment!

  • Reply
    Anete
    22 de junho de 2017 at 05:42

    These are very good tips. I have visited London several times and didn’t know about Boroughs until now. Oystercard is a good to have. I remember my first tube trip from zone 1 to zone 4 without Oystercard. I was shocked by the amount I had to pay for that ticket 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelly
    22 de junho de 2017 at 06:06

    This is such a handy guide! We live in London, so when friends come to visit, we try to help them ‘live like locals’ and usually cook for them at home so they can save money. But I’ll definitely need to send this to them when they are out doing touristy things. The part about London’s free attractions is SO true – especially with views. The London Eye is so expensive but there are plenty of free places where you can get the same views!

  • Reply
    Katie Dickinson
    22 de junho de 2017 at 08:32

    I totally agree with staying in a central location – I spent 3 nights off Kings Cross/St. Pancras and then another 3 off Oxford circus – and it saved me a tone in transit fees being so central (and a little bit stubborn since I walked almost everywhere lol). And again, you’re very right about the list of free things to do – walking around Little Venice or Notting Hill are free – and so is the wall and walking along the river! Definitely helps save for a few select tourist items (like Tower of London!)

    • Reply
      Isadora
      22 de junho de 2017 at 12:01

      hahahah the first time I went to London I walked everywhere too!!

  • Reply
    Danijela WorldGlimpses
    22 de junho de 2017 at 10:47

    Great tips! This is probably the first time that I’ve heard someone say “London can be cheap”. Such a good advice on food prices, free tours, transport fees. Thanks, I’ll have that in mind! 🙂

    • Reply
      Isadora
      22 de junho de 2017 at 12:03

      yeeah!! There are always way to make things cheaper hahaha

  • Reply
    Alexxa
    23 de junho de 2017 at 07:55

    I loved my visit to London but I have been told it is a fortune to live there. This is definitely helpful, I have a huge crush on London and would love to call it home (at least for a year or so hehe)

    • Reply
      Isadora
      23 de junho de 2017 at 13:27

      To be honest, me too!! I dream of living there, but indeed the cost of living is quite expensive!

  • Reply
    Aarti kamath
    23 de junho de 2017 at 10:23

    Interesting points! Additionally, tourists could buy chocolates and souvenirs in the supermarket or at the local chocolate shops instead of the airport as they are a lot cheaper!

    • Reply
      Isadora
      23 de junho de 2017 at 13:28

      this is so true!!Buying it in supermarkets would be even cheaper than buying them in the souvenir shops as well!

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