You are planning to visit London for a few days or a week without breaking the bank ? You are in the right place ! London is an amazing city with so much to offer, but can become expensive very quickly. But don’t worry it is possible to visit London on budget.
I am now living in London, but before I settled down as a student, I came to visit the city for 4 days. I was not having a lot of money at that time, nevertheless, I got the most of London for less than 200 Pounds and I really enjoyed my trip in the amazing capital city of London on budget.
In this post blog, I will give you all my tips to spend 4 days in London on a budget, spending less than 200 Euros in total. I did not include the cost of getting in London in the budget but I will give you great tips to get to London for cheap.
Let’s discover my tips to visit London on budget !
How to get in London on budget
As I traveled to London from Paris (France), I have opted for a Flixbus coach, which only cost me 30 Euros for the round trip.
If you come from an European country, there are multiple Coaches companies you can choose, such as Flixbus, Blablabus, Megabus or Eurolines. I wisely advise you to book in advance so you can find fair prices.
You can also check the flights prices from companies like Vueling, Ryanair or transavia. Sometimes the ticket flights are the same prices as the coach prices. Your trip will be more comfortable and faster by plane.
If you need more tips to find cheap flights you can check that blog post : How to find cheap flights.
Get arround London on budget
To get arround London I have opted for the Oyster card, I have bought the card for 5 Pounds, and charged it with 35 Pounds, the card is pre-loaded with pay as you go credit for you to spend and travel.
The pay as you go Oyster card is the cheapest and most flexible way to travel in London, especially if your visit London for between 1 to 5 days. It will always be cheaper than paying the full cash fare.
During my 4 days trip, I got arround all the main London attractions and areas with the OysterCard, and there were even still money on the card when I left London.
You can get your money left back as well as the 5 pounds you spend to have the card, but you have to return the card to the guichet.
Accomodation on Budget
Concerning the accomodation I have opted for The Generator hostel. This hostel is well located in the center of London, close to the station Russell Square and a few minutes walk from the British Museum. You can get there with multiple buses or the picadilly line.
I paid only 19 Pounds a night for a bed in a women dormitory. The rooms and the bathrooms are clean, there is a curtain that allows you to have privacy, a drawer under each bed to put your things, you just have to bring your own cadena.
In total this accomodation cost me only 57 Pounds for 3 nights.
Several option for accomodations in London on budget are available.
On Airbnb you can find cheap accomodations for a very good price, you have the choice between an entire place, a private rooms, hotel rooms or shared rooms.
Or you can also check booking.com where you can find good offers.
Eat on budget
To eat on budget, I chose to eat in the ”Prêt à manger” spreaded all arround the city. ”Prêt à manger” offers good quality food for an affordable price. They offer meal deals with a sandwich or a salad, with a drink and a dessert. I also tried some street food in Camden Town and soho.
If you want to eat in London on budget, you can try the supermarkets, the street food, try to find good meal deals in bakeries, eat an English breakfast in a local cafe or if you like it, opt for Prêt à manger like me.
You can get your food and enjoy a picnic one of the multiple parks of the city like the Hyde park or the Green Park.
Things to do in London for cheap or free
There are plenty of activities to experience in London on budget or even for free.
The sky garden
The sky garden, is the highest London public garden, it is a vibrant social area, which offer a 360 degree views on the city.
You can get your tickets online for free, but you have to book at least 3 weeks in advance, because places are limited.
Changing the guard at Buckingham Palace
Changing of The King’s Guard takes place in front of the Buckingham Palace at 10:45am and lasts for about 45 minutes. To get the best view you should arrive at least 15 minutes before the start. The Changing of The King’s Guard are from August to May on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
No tickets are required, it is a must see in London for free.
The tower bridge is an iconic landmark built in 1894, the bridge is build with two tall towers and a walkway connecting them. It crosses the River Thames and can open up in the middle to let big ships pass.
The tower bridge is a must-see if you visit London, you will get amazing views of the city on the bridge. You can also have a walk along Thames. If you want to learn more about hystory you can even visit inside the towers.
You have certainly already seen that famous clock tower in London, maybe on TV or in movies, it is the Big Ben. Actually, the official name of the tower is ”The Elizabeth Tower”, the tower is quite impressive with its 96 meters tall.
The Big Ben is located right next the Houses of Parliament. You can get there with the Jubilee, District and Circle lines. The nearest station is Westminster Underground Station.
Near from the Big Ben you will find The statue of Winston Churchill and the Westminster Abbaye. You can also visit the Buckingham Palace located between the St Jame’s Park and the Green Park. You can spend an afternoon visiting all these areas, and have a Picnic in one of the parks.
If you have enough budget and want to get a high view of the city you can walk along the Thames to reach the London Eye.
If you are a Harry Potter fan you certainly know the Millenium Bridge also known as the “wobbly bridge” or the “Harry Potter Bridge”. If you have time you can have a walk on that remarkable bridge and take some great pictures. You can also visit the St Paul’s Cathedral located close to the bridge.
Trafalgar Square is a historic and bustling public space surrounded by fountains and statues. It is a vibrant hub for locals and tourists. It offers a mix of architectural beauty, cultural institutions, and a lovely atmosphere. You can get there with the Northern line, the nearest station is Sharing Cross.
There are plenty of museums to visit in London and they are free of charge. I have personally visited the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. These Museums are both interesting and worth the visit.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is an iconic Museum in London, and I can confirm that it is an amazing place to explore. The museum features a remarkable architecture in the inside. You can see huge dinosaur skeletons, fascinating fossils, and sparkling gemstones. Learn about different species and our planet’s history. Don’t miss it, I promise that it really worths !
The Science Museum in London is an interresting museum to visit, especially if you are a science lover. It is full of cool stuff ! You can discover interactive exhibits, learn about space, inventions, and transportation. I personnally enjoyed the space part a lot.
Chinatown and soho
Chinatown definitely worth the visit, it is a quite small area with a couple of streets in which there are plenty of Chinese restaurants, cafes and food shops. The area of Chinatown is located in London’s Soho. You will easily recognise this area as all the buildings and streets decorated arround the Chinese theme, with symbols such as dragons and lanterns.
I recommend you to try one of my favorite dessert in Chinatown, “The bubble waffle”. It is a delicious Korean bubble waffle, topped with the toppings of your choice. A delicious scoop of ice cream, kinders, oreos, redfruits, nutella and more … .
Close to Chinatown you can find the famous m&m’s shop of London but also a Lego shop. Both have a great atmosphere. The m&m’s shop has plenty of novelty M&M statues around to pose and take photos with. The store has three floors to shop and browse. They sell original and fun m&m’s products. The Lego store is also a fun store to visit, it provides good photos opportunities.
Picadilly and oxford street
Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street are iconic destinations in London.
Piccadilly Circus is a bustling intersection famous worldwide for its iconic neon signs, big screens, and vibrant energy. It is a place that never sleeps, surrounded by theathers, shops and other entertainments.
Oxford Street, is the most popular street in London. This street is one of the best place for shopping. The street offers plenty of shops and boutiques such as Gap, TK max, Nike, River Island, Primark. But also department stores like Selfridges, John Lewis & Partners, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer.
You can shopping with any budget in that street.
Camden town is a small dynamic area known for its alternative culture and market, in which you can find delicious and cheap street food but also a wide range of fashion and craft. It is the ideal place for music lovers, as the neighborhood’s music scene showcased in iconic venues like the Electric Ballroom and the Roundhouse.
Personally, I did not find anything special in this area, except the street food. But I don’t think it worths your time for a 4 days trip the capital.
Notting Hills is a cosmopolitan neighborhood recognised for its iconic colorful houses, charming streets and the Portobello Road Market. The neighborhood also host the annual Notting Hill Carnival which celebrates Caribbean culture.
If you are a picture lover, you can get great instagram pictures in front of the colorful houses.
Extra tips to travel in london on budget
Avoid tourist traps
Be aware of tourist traps, like overpriced restaurants, and souvenir shops, if you want to buy souvenir from London, most of the products offered in the tourist shops can be found on Amazon.
Currency echange rate
Be also mindful of currency exchange rates when traveling to the UK, as it can impacts on your budget. Try to use a debit card or credit card that does not charge fees for foreign transactions.
I hope this blog post helped you to organise your trip in London on budget, share your experience in comment below !