London is known to be two things: incredibly entertaining and incredibly expensive. However, these two attributes are not intertwined. Therefore, if you are seeking a full London experience but are working on a budget, you don't have to worry about coming up short. London has dozens of activities to enjoy for a low cost. Here are some Flyavel recommended tips to traveling with a budget in London:
Get an Oyster Card
One of the best ways to get around London is not by taxi. We at Flyavel are in agreement with other travelers who say that the Oyster Card (weird name, yes) is one of the best ways to access London's amazing public transportation. Using the Visitor Oyster Card is going to save you big money. Opt for the Oyster Card over other cards or single tickets, which add up overtime.
Also, having a Visitor Oyster Card means you can access discounts and special offers, such as free or discounted food and drinks at participating restaurants and stores!
Visit Free Attractions
Though many attractions in London can be quite expensive, there are plenty of spaces and places to check out that will cost you absolutely nothing but leave you awe-inspired and with plenty of memories stored in your camera. For example, you can visit Little Venice, a space between the Regents and Paddington Canal. There are always a number of house boats to admire and the nearby Regents Park to stroll through.
Other parks that are free include Hyde Park, Royal Kensington Gardens, as well as St. James' or Henry VIII's hunting grounds (Richmond Park).
Want family-friendly entertainment? Head to Wilton's, one of the oldest surviving Grand Music Halls in the entire world. It has been around since the 1850s, and some performances are put on for free! Just be sure to reserve your ticket in advance, since they disappear FAST.
Of course, no trip to London is complete without seeing one free show in particular: the changing of the guard. It is a miraculous display of pageantry that shouldn't be missed.
There are a number of free museums in London. For anyone who loves visiting these centers of learning, London is perfect for jumping from institution to institution. Here are the museums with free admission in London:
The Tate Modern Art Museum – One of the most visited modern art museums in the world. This national gallery is incredible and hosts works from world renowned artists like Ai WeiWei, Doris Salcedo, and much more. There is even a cafe on site that sites alongside the Thames. (Website)
The Science Museum – Science and technological innovations abound. Interactive galleries and other special exhibitions are fun for children and children at heart. (Website)
The Victoria and Albert Museum – Many travelers call this one of the greatest art and design museums in the world. There are artifacts here that span over 3,000 years of art history. (Website)
The Natural History Museum – Not only is the architecture amazing, but so is the animatronic, life-size Tyrannosaurus Rex. (Website)
The Museum of London (Moorgate or Docklands) – Whichever site you choose, there are thousands of years of history in a single building. Everything you ever wanted to know about London can be learned here. (Website)
The National Maritime Museum (Greenwich) – The British have a long history of nautical exploits. This is the world's largest maritime museum, filled with stories, artifacts, and fascinating information. (Website)
Grant Museum of Zoology – Rare or now-extinct animals are on display here. A truly amazing museum that's for free! (Website)
The Imperial War Museum – This museum highlights battles from the World Wars and the lingering effects. Learn how war shapes society here. (Website)
Of course, there are many more museums in London that allow for free admission or discounted tickets. The ones listed above, however, come with a Flyavel gold star of approval!
There are pubs and thousands of ethnic dining spots that are both cheap and satisfying. You can also purchase pre-made sandwiches at certain cafes like Pret A Manger and Eat, grab meals from supermarkets, dine al fresco in a park, or visit the food trucks scattered around London, like Bleecker Street Burger, Well Kneaded, and Anna Mae's Mac N Cheese. Many hotels and hostels will also have free breakfast, which you should never skip out on! You can load up for the day the right way, without having to pay any extra cent.
Now that you know some Flyavel approved ways of getting around London on a budget, don't forget to secure some cheap airfare. London might be an expensive to live, but to visit? You can certainly pinch your coins and still experience the city to the fullest. Happy Travels!