London: the city of iconic landmarks, designer shopping and posh bars. It’s by all means not the cheapest city to visit in the UK, but we’re here to let you in on some of London’s best kept budget secrets.
Travelling in London
Although flying to the capital can be expensive, if you book train tickets well in advance, the journey can work out a lot cheaper. As for when you arrive, London is a really easy city to get around. The underground is the perfect mode of transport for those looking to see all the sites across London. You can purchase a pay as you go Oyster Card for unlimited use on the underground. There is a refundable £5 deposit on the Oyster Card but it is a very cost efficient option if you’re looking to travel to many different areas within the city.
Barclays Cycle Hire, or ‘Boris Bikes’ as they’re more famously known, are another great way to get around the city. You can pay for a bike from 30 mins right up until 24 hours if you prefer travelling over ground, but make sure you return them on time or you risk a £150 late fee!
Free Days Out in the City
Although London is an expensive city, there are loads of activities you can enjoy without parting with your cash. For example, the majority of London’s most famous museums such as the Tate Modern, the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery are free to enter. If you’re not much of a museum person, landmarks such as Big Ben offer free admission for all visitors. London is also renowned for its amazing, eclectic markets so if you’re visiting the city it’s worthwhile checking out those in Camden, Portobello Road and Broadway.
Eating on the Cheap
Unsurprisingly, London is generally much warmer than Bonnie Scotland, so if you are travelling down in the warmer months, take full advantage of being able to eat outside! If you’re looking to buy lunch on a budget, why not grab some sandwiches and eat them in the sunshine in Hyde Park? With stunning views of Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park is the perfect place to enjoy a cheap picnic. If you’re planning to go for dinner in the city, there are loads of amazing restaurants that don’t cost a fortune including The Diner, which has six restaurants across the city serving delicious American cuisine. If you’d rather something a little more British, try Stockpot on Old Compton Street. It’s a tasty bistro which serves quintessentially British food on the cheap.
Nightlife for Skint Students
London is full to the brim of the best pubs and clubs in the country, but they’re often incredibly expensive just to step in the door! Instead of hitting the clubs, why not see what else the city has to offer? London is really well known for its comedy clubs and most are very inexpensive, or completely free. The Comedy Cafe, the Covent Garden Comedy Club and The Comedy Store are all well worth checking out while you’re in the city and will ensure you leave with a smile on your face.
Before you leave to visit London, it’s always worthwhile checking to see if any of your favourite bands or artists are playing gigs in the city whilst you’re visiting. With amazing venues like the O2 arena and the Camden Roundhouse, it’s definitely an experience you’ll never forget.
Safety in the City
The big city can be a scary place but there are simple precautions you can take to make sure you stay safe during your visit. Firstly, make sure you’re mobile phone is fully charged before you leave in the morning, this means if you get lost you can either consult your trusty GPS mapping or phone for help. It’s also an idea not to carry too much cash on you at any one time in case you’re the victim of pick pocketing. Ensure your belongings are close to you at all times to avoid anything going missing or being stolen. This doesn’t mean you need to raid your grandad’s cupboard to find an old bum bag – just make sure you’re bag can be securely fastened and isn’t left where you can’t see it. When you’re out at night it’s a good idea to stay in well-lit areas close to main roads and stick with your pals to avoid getting lost.
London is an exciting city and has an amazing array of budget friendly activities. If you are going to enjoy a break in London this year – take full advantage of student deals and stay safe!