Money,  Travel and days out

The Skinflints’ Guide To London (How To Do The Big Smoke Without Breaking The Bank)

Anyone that has ever set foot inside zone 6 will know that London is famous for being much more expensive than anywhere else in the UK. Of course, the folks that live there just seem to put up with it, but for someone travelling from another city or country, it can be a big shock! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to see this beautiful city and experience what it has to offer that won’t clear out your wallet before you’ve even begun. Read on to find out what they are.



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Public transport

One of the best ways to see the city is to use the buses, trains, and tubes that crisscross its borders. It one of the cheapest ways as well, and much less expensive than using black cabs or even Ubers.

In fact, you can buy a day travel card that will allow you to use any public transport within zones 1 (central London ) to 6 (outer London) and in-between. You can even use your debit card at the touch ticket points now, and it will automatically take off the cost of your journey up to a set amount. Something that can be hugely convenient and save you money and that you can read more about here.

Museums and galleries

Now, one of the best things to do in London that will cost you nothing is to visit the many galleries and museums that are located there. Something that you can find out more about in my post here.

Of course, one of the most favoured being The National History Museum situated on Cromwell Road. There you will find collections and exhibits on Space, the Ocean, Human Evolution, and most famously Dinosaurs. The building itself built by Alfred Waterhouse in 19th Century is also noteworthy, and of course you can miss the Blue Whale skeleton suspended in main entrance haul, a site that is worth the visit alone.


Of course, the National History Museum is not the only place of note to enjoy for free. In fact, many people head straight for Bankside, where the Tate Modern is located in an old Power Station. Open from 10am to 6pm the Tate Modern is also free to enjoy, and you can augment your visit by crossing the Millenium Bridge over the Thames to get there.


The Tate Modern in an impressive structure.

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Once you arrive head in through the main entrance and discover whether there is a large-scale sculpture exhibition in the main turbine hall. Past ones include metal spiders, cracked concrete, and even twirling slides that allowed visitors to travel from the top to the bottom floor.

Deals and special offers

Now, not everything that is fun in London is free, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay through the nose either. In fact, if you are savvy and use deals, vouchers, and special offers you can do things that would typically cost a great deal more.


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For example, attending an event such as an expo, or taking a Thames river cruise can be made much more affordable by looking for a voucher first. You may even be able to see your favourite plays and musicals in London at a reduced cost by using a ticket website to check and compare prices before you book. Yes, you will have to pay out a little for such an experience, but if the rest of your trip is low cost and almost free, you can use such activities a the main event, and build the rest of your excursion around them.

A note on dining out

Lastly, something that is consistently overpriced in London is the food. This applies whether you are grabbing a sandwich on the go or sitting down to a slap up meal in a restaurant. That is why, if you are not using a voucher or coupon for meals your best bet is to visit a supermarket and grab come picnic items and then head to the nearest park.

Luckily, there are parks of varying sizes dotted all over London, some of the largest and most famous being Regents Park, Crystal Palace Park and Hyde Park in where you can check out the famous speakers corner, hire a deckchair, or feed the ducks with any lunch scraps you may have left over.

Rest assured that won’t be the only one eating alfresco there either unless it’s pouring with rain. Picnicking in the park is also fantastic way of saving the money you do have for more significant and exciting experience when visiting the city of London.

The Skinflint's Guide To London

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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