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Travelling to London

Travel Forums Europe Travelling to London

1. Posted by johnrodric (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y

Hi everyone! ;)

I will be soon travelling to London, to explore this city. I have heard much of its amazing attractions. But i want to make it in minimum cash.. I don't have enough this time. Can you suggest me which place should I direct my money ?

I would be glad to have your suggestions on

-free attractions
-cheapest London hotels
-where to eat in the city?
-Can a bit of shopping be my piece of cake?
-Packing essentials?
-Anything I need to be mindful of, while taking up a travel?

2. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 5y

There are a few free attractions to take in - have a look at visitlondon.com
The cheapest hotels are the small B&B's that you'll find all over the area. Your best move is to ask at any Tourist Info booth. It's pointless recommending anything here, as it's such a vast place and suggesting a cheap bed in (say) Clapham, would be hopeless if you're up in Islington.
Eating in London on minimum cash? Buy the food in shops and create your own meal. A bread roll, slice of cheese and ham, a bottle of water and a packet of fresh fruit will cost you around £2.00 when bought in a shop. To buy the same thing in a cafe will cost you perhaps four times as much. If you want to eat in cheaply, then really McDonalds takes a lot of beating price-wise. Before 10.30 you can get a breakfast meal with a hot drink for under £3. I don't like the place very much - but if I'm out and in a hurry, it's very convenient and extremely quick.
If you're referring to eating in the actual 'City' of London - a very small area that will take you just a few minutes to walk across, then check out the Sandwich bars around St.
Paul's Cathedral. Many of them make the food to order - and it's delicious.
Packing essentials?.... Just what you'd normally take. There's nothing unusual about travelling through London that requires any 'Special' packing needs. An umbrella - maybe. It rains a lot. There are a couple of £1 shops in the Oxford Street vicinity. You can buy a cheapo there and just bin it when you move on. They're rubbish quality, but do work for awhile. Plus, for a pound - so what.
Your best way of getting about is to buy a 'travel' (zone) card. I think they're about £8 a day and you can get on and off any Underground train and red bus as many times as you want. Yes - it's expensive comapared to other capital cities, but then so is London. It still offers good value for money though - and once you've bought it, the whole region is at your fingertips for the day. If you're worn out and heading back to your room at around 5pm, sell your zonecard on at an Underground Station. Yes - it's illegal, but so is parking up in a 'Parking Fee' zone for awhile without paying. Everyone does it.
Enjoy your trip.

3. Posted by ericdornan (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5y

Hnmmmm.... you will get a suitable hotel near Oxford Circus in London .. that area has quite many cheap hotels. Or check out in the Westminster or Holborn . Being famous tourists' spots, these area offer a good choice.

4. Posted by lucyloo4 (Budding Member 53 posts) 5y

Its worth investing in a oyster card to use on the tubes, trains and buses, it will save you a bit of money.

Also check out www.timeout.com/london/
for tips on free stuff happening in London

London is not a cheap place to visit...
But luckily there are lots of things you can do for free…

Here are my top 5:

1. Walk
There are so many places you can just jump off the tube and wander around, here is a seriously touristy example…
Get off the tube at Waterloo and walk from the London eye and cross the railway bridge that has a footpath (great views of the Thames, houses of parliament) and follow Northumberland Ave to Trafalgar square, from there, head through Leicester square and then to Chinatown and cross over to Soho, and keep going to oxford street and pick up some souvenirs in the shops and stalls around.
The best thing about London is the little things you’ll notice along the way, and some great photo opps!

2. Free galleries
There are loads of galleires and museums that you can get into for free, for example the National gallery and national portrait gallery (trafalgar square) The british museum (nothing quite like it!) and Imperial War Museum.

3.Museum road
Get off the tube in South Kensington and follow the crowds to the free museums, The V&A, Science museum and natural history museum

4.Parks
So many parks in London to wander around (in all weather), some of the best are Hyde Park, Regents park, Richmond Park and Primrose hill (great views of London)

5.Markets
It doesn’t cost you anything to browse…
It’s a cliché, but Camden market really is a interesting little patch of London, where you can soak up the atmosphere and the wide varity of people living in London!

5. Posted by dc484153 (Budding Member 16 posts) 5y

1. Basically all of the museums in London are free, so definitely check out the museums. The british museum is an amazing museum and is not to be missed. The tate modern (modern art museum) is in a convenient location near other attractions such as Shakespeare's Globe and St.Paul's Cathedral, right at the Millennium Bridge. Also check out Museum Road--Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, and Science Museum. You can probably spend quite a bit of time here if you see all of these. I went to Portobello Market, which is every saturday. It's a very long stretch of food and merchandise vendors. You can find some great deals on souvenirs here, and there are a few blocks of just food, so you can likely find a cheap meal. Take a stroll around the parks if you want something to do for free. Hyde park is great--you can see Kensington Palace, which is where Princess Diana lived (you can pay to go inside, I believe, but I was fine just seeing it from the outside), a lake, sculptures, etc. I got lost in there for hours just walking around--especially if it's a nice day, it can be quite lovely. St.James Park right in front of Buckingham palace (which is also free to see...not to go inside, of course, but to walk up to) is very nice. You can walk through St.James Park to get between Buckingham Palace and near Big Ben/Westminster Abbey.
One thing I recommend for St.Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey...look into going for a service instead of during the day for a tour. If you go for a service, you do not pay an admission fee. You'll have to sacrifice an hour of your time, but perhaps you'll be able to stay after and walk around, or walk around a bit before the service. Either way, you'll have experienced the site without paying. Westminster Abbey normally is £15 including headset. St.Paul's Cathedral is £10 with headset, but includes admission to the crypt and to climb 600 steps to the top. That was really worth it in my opinion, but I would rather have gone to a service in Westminster Abbey to save the money, as I was not too impressed with the place in relation to the cost (I just don't think you should pay to get into a church in the first place!)

2. Your best bet would be to look on Expedia, Priceline, or one of those websites to find a cheap hotel. I stayed with a friend in London, but I got a hotel at the Jury's Inn next to the airport the night before my flight, which I believe ran me £59 for the night. That was at the airport, so I imagine in central London hotels would cost a bit more. You can look into a hostel (depending on age--some require that you be young to stay there) or look into a bed&breakfast. If a hotel is what you must have, and you wouldn't mind sacrificing location for price, you can get the Piccadilly line on the tube right from the airport and stay at an airport hotel. The Jury's Inn is conveniently located to the tube station, in my opinion. Otherwise, look on a travel website for London hotels and put in the dates you'll need the hotel for, and organize the list by price to see what comes up cheap.

Here's a tip--when you find a hotel that you think you'd like, go to google.com/maps and type the address of the hotel in the search box. When the hotel comes up on the map and you zoom in a bit, look for the "London Underground" icon closest to your hotel. If you click on the icon, it tells you all of the lines that stop at that station, so you'll know what line you need to take to return to your hotel. The London Underground is exceptionally easy to navigate, so no matter where you stay, you'll have no trouble getting around in terms of transferring trains and getting to where you need to go.

3. You will always be able to find SOMETHING to eat on a budget. Pub food is generally not too expensive if you're looking to sit down somewhere. They're very convenient--you just walk up to the counter and order, and they bring everything to you. (This was convenient traveling in a big group, as we did not have to worry about splitting the bill). You will find SOMETHING there that fits your budget. If you're out during the day and just want a little snack, look for a Tesco shop. They're convenience stores all over the place in London, and they have sandwich deals where you can get a triangle sandwich and a drink (and i believe a bag of crisps too) for about £4, i think it was. Also, there are many pret-a-manger cafes that have sandwiches and salads where you could find something cheap...I got a baguette sandwich for just under £4.

If you want to splurge on a meal one night (and by splurge I mean not eat on as tiny a budget as these cheap offers I mentioned) I recommend DaMario off Gloucester Road in Kensington (get off at the Gloucester Road tube station and walk down the road toward Hyde Park. The restaurant is on a corner on the right side of the road a few blocks down from the tube station). It used to be Princess Diana's favorite restaurant, and they have her name engraved in the steps and a pizza named after her. It's basically just a litte italian restaurant with DELICIOUS personal pizzas, pasta dishes, etc. Sit downstairs if you can--it's more quiet. They have a website, if you do a google search for it. I got the American pizza which had pepperoni, peppers, and a few other little toppings that I forget. I'm from around New York, but this pizza at DaMario might have been the best pizza I've had in my life. it ran about £9, and the beer was £3, but it was well worth it.

4. Shopping would be expensive, as the British pound is very strong. It is almost a 2:1 Pound:U.S. Dollar ratio, so when I went if I wanted to buy something, it cost me twice as much as it would have in the U.S. Of course, you should get some souvenirs, but don't expect to do hardcore shopping without spending A LOT. Use your money elsewhere.

5. Depending on when you go, London will be quite cold. Even in the summer, the temperature doesn't go above 60-70 degrees fahrenheit. Wear layers in the winter, especially if you will be outside walking around most of the day. Have a small umbrella on hand, just in case you run into some bad weather. London is damp much of the time, but there could be a shower and you want to be prepared. A pocket umbrella would do just fine. Also, if you don't plan on using the underground, bring good walking shoes.

6. If you are a student, be mindful of student/youth discounts and take advantage of them whenever you can. I bought a day pass each day that I was there, which I think ran about £5.60 for zones 1-2. That's really all you need in terms of zones...I saw probably every tourist location and more in London on a zone 1-2 pass and I had no trouble. I think the airport might have been the only thing, but from the airport I just bought a ticket to central london, and on the way to the airport I just bought a ticket to the airport--I didn't use a pass. I don't believe that the airport is in zone 1-2 so you would have to pay extra for that ticket. But the underground is so easy to use, I picked up how to use it in hours, not days. You will be a pro by the second day ou are there.

Have a great trip!

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7. Posted by Daniel.J.B (Budding Member 32 posts) 5y

Me and a few mates did a cheap tour of London a couple of months back. As others have said, museums are a big attraction, I found the British Museum and the Natural History Museum particularly interesting. Camden Market is well worth a visit if you're after something a bit different, got some decent food there as well.
Most importantly, be sure to take in a game at the home of football, White Hart Lane!

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