London is believed to be one of the most expensive cities in the world. Therefore preparing your trip to the capital of the UK should allow you to avoid many disappointments when already here.
- Airport Transfer
- Transportation in London
- Affordable Food in London
- London Entertainment
- Shopping in capital
- FREE Breathtaking Spots
If you are coming from America and will most likely travel from Heathrow ensure you take the tube as it will cost you just over £3 whereas trains and taxis will be much more expensive.
If you land at any other London airport check that airport site for transfers and especially the coach fares as usually easyBus, National Express or Stansted Express will cost you less than £10.
It is rather expensive to get from one part of London to the other. You can do it when PAYG or ideally you should get an Oyster card to save on travels in the city. Oyster is a plastic ticket you get having filled a quick form at the tube cash counter and when paying for it £5. In return it will save you at least 50% off you PAYG journey fare. Head to TFL (Transport for London) website to get your visitors Oyster card now. If you are coming for 2 days start with uploading to your card at least £15. You will be able to add some more later and you can get a refund for any unused credit anyway. Do not overlook all the discounts you get thanks to getting your Oyster card. They include cheaper food, drinks and entertainment when in London.
When checking the transportation links in London I suggest using Citymapper and checking TFL website for any live updates as Citymapper do not includes them.
Booking a room or a flat through airBnB is not always cheaper than booking it at the hotel. Especially in highly competitive cities such as London. Before booking any accommodation visit HolidayPirates website and go to ‘Search & Book’ and then check prices for Hotels in London for your stay. Order them according to your criteria and see on which page they offer you the best deal so that you can do your booking there. If you fancy getting some cashback to ensure you book the hotel via a cahsback site such as TopCashback as it can offer you often a generous cashback of 5-15% depending on the site you will go for to book your accommodation. If the cashback offers on the US site is not as good as on the UK site register for the British one and ensure you withdraw your money via PayPal 🙂
When in London you need to try the local cuisine and visit a few pubs and restaurants. Check out the latest discounts using apps such as Happiour, CityMunch or TooGoodToGo.
They all show you which restaurants offer discounted price meals (usually towards the afternoon and evening) so that you do not have to pay the full price for it if you dine later. Many regular food chains such as Itsu, Abokado, EAT & another high street ones offer some reduced prices on food before they close their branches on a day. So these may be perfect for a quick bite on the go.
When booking a restaurant table check sites such as Tablepouncer offer usually 50% off the regular price on bookings made last minute. Always google if a restaurant of your choice offers any deals and discounts on their website as they sometimes do 🙂 alternatively check an app called Vouchercloud to see if there are any vouchers for places you want to visit.
Visiting many popular sightseeing spots in London can cost an arm and a leg but not if you get an app called 241 Passport as it offer many 2 for 1 entries to sightseeing places, restaurants and beauty salons. The apps allow you to enjoy some of the below:
– 2-for-1 on Main Courses at popular restaurants including Busaba Eathai, Banana Tree, Belgo, Brasserie Blanc, Smith & Wollensky and La Tasca
– 2-for-1 drinks offer at Mahiki and Roadhouse
– 2-for-1 on admission to attractions incl. The London Bridge Experience and The Tower of London, Vintage London Bus Tour and many more
– 2-for-1 on treatments at spas
– New 2-for-1 offers are added every month.
You can get the app for around £30 for 30 days but you will soon see its cost paid back on the top of the savings you will make when in London thanks to it.
You can also get the London Pass, however, its prices start from £62 for adults and £42 for kids hence comparing it against 241 Passport and planning your trip should help you when choosing the best money saving card for you.
When you feel like updating your wardrobe visit shops at Oxford Street but ensure you get a gift card to save a few £s when shopping in them (order your cards from Zeek) or simply walk into Primark or TKmaxx to get some amazing fashion for a fraction of the cost. If you are staying in London for a bit longer and can get clothes online I would suggest sites such as M&M Direct.
If you don’t fancy booking London Eye well in advance to save on its ticket cost as well as skipping the queues consider visiting these places to get as good view like the one you get when in London Eye.
–SkyGarden– the entry is free if you book your tickets at:http://skygarden.london/booking so you do not need to dine there to get to see the spectacular view → book 3 weeks in advance to get a slot!
– Emirates Air Line – for as little as £3.5 or £1.7 – paid when using your Oyster you can get to see East London from Greenwich through Docklands to Canary Wharf.
– The top of the tower at the Monument – it will give you 360-degree panoramic views on the city, having climbed 311 steps to the top of it for as little as £4.50 for adults and £2.30 for children ticket.
Ah if you fancy drinking coffee in a church visit HOST coffee, open Monday to Fridays between 7.15 am — 4.30 pm
Other unusual places include Camden Town, St Dunstan in the East or Highgate Cemetery’s with its catacombs:-)
For updates on whats going on in London visit Londonist and check out what they collate under their popular: ‘Things to do this weekend’
Whatever you decide to do before and when in London I am sure you will like it and that there will be many great memories created in a process. I hope however that my tips will allow you to enjoy London for les, so that you can experience a bit more when in this fantastic city 🙂
For anything, I might have overlooked above check complete guide to London from my lovely friend Cora:-)