Heading off to the big city with just a bit of pocket money doesn’t immediately seem like something we’d want to do. With such an amazing nightlife, it would almost be rude not to enjoy it, right? It is, in fact, possible to explore the city without spending a full months pay on it – as long as you know where to look.
Here is a neat guide to help you enjoy London even though you’re on a strict budget so that you get to enjoy travelling a bit more often.
Face the tube
Let’s start with the easiest first. London has a fabulous public transport system, and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. While the city is big, it also has a lot of people and many of them happen to be on the tube as well, making it a crowded and warm experience.
By coming to terms with the crowd and familiarising yourself with the tube system, it all becomes a bit more manageable, though, so try not to wimp out and order a cab every time. I first time I used the tube I had to double and triple check the maps to make sure I was going on the right line and in the right direction.
Besides, when you use the public transport system and get yourself an Oyster card, you get to explore the city like a local. They wouldn’t spend their hard-earned money on those overpriced cabs, so why should you?
If you’d like to sit down somewhere more relaxed and be served for once, it’s a good idea to check out a shisha lounge or two – they have great food and a relaxed atmosphere, making it a perfect place to spend a few hours with your friends.
Use the freebies
It’s really easy for tourists to save money as long as they take advantage of all the free things to do in the city. The British Museums, Tate Modern, and the National Gallery are just a few examples of great things to enjoy for absolutely nothing. It’s cultural too – and even a bit educational if you pay attention.
Walking around in the parks, admiring the Thames, and experiencing the Changing of the guards are also fun alternatives that will cost you nothing except for the energy you spend on getting there – or a tiny amount of your oyster fare.
Since you’re probably in the city to do a bit of shopping, why not check out some of the charity and secondhand shops too? Blitz is a well-known option, and they have a vast selection of cool preloved clothes that would just love to join you back home.
The wonderful markets
Booking a table at Duck and Waffle with a magnificent view of the Shard is a great time to spend your afternoon, but not the best alternative when you’re on a budget. Steer clear of the overpriced restaurants and eat at the local markets instead – buy your groceries there as well, by the way, if you’re money-wise enough to stay somewhere with a kitchen.
Borough Market is a great alternative, but you’ll also find excellent street food options at Camden Market. The portions they serve are usually gigantic too, so it should keep you full for a while.