Published on September 25, 2023

Perhaps you want to visit London and enjoy your stay without breaking the bank, then reading this article is your best bet of the day. So, if you want to have fun in London on a budget, keep reading.

Without doubt, London is renowned for its rich history, iconic landmarks, and vibrant culture, and it is often perceived as an expensive destination. 

However, with careful planning and insider knowledge, it is possible to enjoy the wonders of this captivating city even on a limited budget. 

In this guide, we will explore how to make the most of your visit to London without compromising on experiences nor breaking the bank.

How to save cost of living When visit London on a Budget

London is cool and full of fun. Honestly, it's a city that will leave you with interesting memories. But, how do you cut the cost of living in London? Let's find out.

1. Affordable transportation options

Affordable Transportation London on a budget

Navigating London can be costly if you rely solely on taxis or private transportation. Instead, opt for more economical alternatives such as using public transport. 

The extensive network of buses, underground trains (the famous Tube), and trams offers affordable access throughout the city. 

It is undeniable that the public transit available in the city offer some of the most affordable transport system in the world.

Just by getting a cheap ticket from bus or train stations, you will be transported to wherever you need to go not only in London but also in the surrounding areas of the United Kingdom.

Most of the main airports have a train that will bring you directly into the city. I would highly recommend taking this over a taxi or rideshare, as it often takes the same amount of time and could save you at least 50% of the cost.

Consider purchasing an Oyster card or contactless payment method for discounted travel fares and convenience.

2. Reside outside Central London

Visit Outside Central London

Just as you know, residing in the main town of a city can come with a hefty cost and central London is not excluded.

Nevertheless, you can still stay in London on a budget if you make plans ahead concerning an affordable place to reside in.

One great way to visit London and save money is by staying somewhere outside of central London.

This doesn’t mean staying outside of London, but rather checking out a neighborhood outside of zone 1 with easy access into central London. 

A few examples of great areas to stay in Zone 2 that have great character include Clapham, West Hampstead, Islington, Hackney, and Fulham. 

3. Affordable dining

Affordable Dining

While London is known for its culinary excellence, dining out can be expensive when you're on a budget. However, there are ways to enjoy delicious meals without overspending.

To experience diverse global cuisine while keeping costs down, seek out popular street food markets like Borough Market or Boxpark Shoreditch where vendors offer mouth-watering dishes at affordable prices. 

Additionally, many independent cafes and eateries offer budget-friendly meal options without compromising on quality or taste.

Consider opting for lunch specials or pre-theater menus to enjoy dining out without straining your wallet.

4. Explore local markets

Explore Local Markets

Shopping in London's market will give you both interesting experience and a touch of the local culture.

There are several to choose from across all areas of the city, where you’ll find the likes of everything from artwork to hand-crafted jewelry and food stalls.

These buzzing marketplaces bring together artists, cottage industries, fresh produce, and eclectic food options. 

Delve into the vibrant atmosphere of Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill or explore Camden Lock Market's alternative scene. 

Bargaining and exploring these markets can be an adventure on its own, providing plenty of affordable options to savor local flavors.

Free Places to Visit in London

Do you know that you don't need to pay a dime to view the best iconic scenery in London? 

Perhaps you like exploring cool places but you want to do that in London without breaking your bank, luckily, here is a list of free Places you can visit in London to have a great time.

1. Free attractions and museums

Free Attractions London

London boasts a plethora of free attractions that provide insight into its remarkable heritage.

Take advantage of complimentary admission at world-class museums like the British Museum and National Gallery where you can immerse yourself in art masterpieces spanning centuries of human history.

Explore historic sites like Westminster Abbey or stroll along Southbank promenade while enjoying stunning views of landmarks such as Big Ben or Tower Bridge - all with no entrance fee.

2. Parks and gardens

Parks in London

Escape from bustling urban life by visiting one of London's many parks and gardens—lush green spaces that offer tranquility amidst the city hubbub—all at no cost!

From Hyde Park's sprawling acres to picturesque Kew Gardens (free entry applies only after 6pm), there are ample opportunities to relax, go for leisurely walks or picnic in beautiful surroundings without spending a penny.

3. Exploring neighborhoods

Neighborhoods London

London is a city of diverse neighborhoods, each with its distinct character and charm. You can explore areas like Shoreditch, known for its vibrant street art scene and trendy boutiques.

Alternatively, you can venture into East London's Brick Lane, famous for its multicultural atmosphere and delicious curry houses.

You can also immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Chinatown or experience the vivacity of Camden Town.

These neighborhoods present opportunities to explore on foot, enjoy free events like music performances and soak up the local ambiance without spending much.

4. Discounted theatre tickets

Theatre Tickets

London's theater scene is renowned worldwide, but tickets to popular shows can be expensive. However, don't despair as there are ways to catch acclaimed productions at discounted rates.

Head to Leicester Square's TKTS booth where you can find same-day discounted tickets. Go early, as they are offered on a first-come-first-served basis. 

By taking advantage of these options, you can enjoy world-class theatrical experiences without emptying your wallet.

5. Outdoor activities

Outdoor Activities London

In addition to parks, London offers various outdoor activities that allow you to soak up the city's energy while staying within budget.

Enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the Thames path using rental bicycles from Santander Cycles. You may also want to experience stunning views by walking across iconic bridges like Millennium Bridge or explore picturesque canal paths.

If you're a nature enthusiast, try visiting Richmond Park, which offers peaceful walks amidst wildlife sightings.

These activities provide opportunities for memorable moments at no cost—all while enjoying London's breathtaking landscapes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is London Cheap Or Expensive?

Compared to most other cities in the world, London is known to be an expensive city. Hence, there is a need to adjust your regular budget.

Can I Visit London On A Budget?

Yes, London can be visited on a budget as long as you follow the guide to lower your cost of living in London.

How Much Should I Budget When Visiting London?

On a daily basis, it is recommended that you budget up to £55 on an average.

Conclusion - London on a Budget

Visiting London doesn't have to drain your bank account. With careful planning, utilizing affordable transportation options, enjoying free attractions, and exploring the city's diverse neighborhoods and markets, London can be experienced on a budget. 

Remember to take advantage of discounted theater tickets, outdoor activities, and affordable dining options to make your visit even more remarkable.

Explore the wonders of this captivating city without breaking the bank—because in London, a world of adventure awaits every traveler, regardless of their budget.

Hermillis Haden
Latest posts by Hermillis Haden (see all)