London has always been a top destination in UK and around the world. With the projected 18.7 million international tourists flocking to this city this 2014, it was able to successfully snatch back the title “most popular tourist destination in the world” from Bangkok, the winner in the year 2013. It is a crown based on the esteemed Mastercard Global Cities Index report.
Being a titled destination, every traveller must have London in their bucket list of places to visit before they die. Many are daunted, though, because it is thought to be such an expensive city. You are almost right in your presumption; this is why TripAdvisor has tagged it “the most expensive city in the world.” Based on the growing number of London visitors, a good deal of tourists still flocks to this city despite being a pricey destination.
“ … And that number keeps going up, undoubtedly because London truly offers something for everyone: history, culture, endless attractions, shopping and, yes, even great dining… This exciting city of eight million people is a fascinating mix of old and new with a respect for tradition, and a reputation for setting fashion and cultural trends.”
If you, don’t t have much money to splurge, however, would you want to miss London? Learn a few practical and inexpensive ways to enjoy London in this article by Nicole Pensiero, “Travel: London’s Affordable Pleasures” posted in South Jersey Times so you can take it by storm with nary a big expense.
“I was determined to enjoy some of London’s many offerings without wiping out my budget on a recent five-day trip. As a repeat traveler to “the Old Smoke,” I’ve learned that this is a city where it’s all about priorities. So, if the West End theatre district holds allure, look for discounted offers and/or see a full-priced show that’s earned raves. If history’s what you crave, take advantage of the fact that almost all London museums are free of cost, while special exhibits may set you back a few pounds, but are generally worth it… If you’re a foodie on a budget, get in one or two gourmet dinners on your trip, or at least a high-end afternoon tea.
And if you’re just open to trying something new, most hotel concierges have the inside dish on fun happenings around town.”
There are other ways to keep your expenses low; try these.
- Go for cheap, clean hotels near the subway (Underground): What do you need an expensive room for when you will be pretty outside most of the time to enjoy London! One spot worth checking is Earl’s Court Holiday Inn Express that’s only a 7-minute walk to West Brompton stop, a great hub that launches you to many city destinations. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi, clean, spacious and quiet rooms – these are adequate reasons to give it a try.
- Buy an Oyster Card and take the Underground: This will be cheaper than taking the cab. Your other option is to hop on and off the famous red double-decker buses, one fun travel mode for short jaunts around London you mustn’t miss.
- Research inexpensive bites: Doing research will merely let you forego the price, but not the taste or ambiance. Try Pret A Manger and Café in the Crypt located at St. Martin in the Fields. The former is a British fast-food chain of about 200 restaurants in London that offer delicious food choices. The latter is a cafeteria-style restaurant that offers full-course meals from breakfast to dinner. For an affordable “fine –dining” experience complete with a glass or bottle of wine, savor a set-price lunch or dinner for £12.50 at The Little French Restaurant tucked on a side street in the Earl’s Court. “The Coq au Vin D’Alsace was impressive; the atmosphere, absolutely charming.”
- Immerse in the London culture for free: Take time to visit government-run museums such as Imperial War Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.
Once you are in London, it is almost necessary to splurge a bit. After all you can’t be in London every day of your life. Take stock of what you want to experience the most and that’s where you can spend your painstakingly saved money – Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Sealife London Aquarium, etc. You can also do a bit of shopping to have some souvenirs to remember London by.