London has a reputation as an expensive city to visit, from accommodation to transport, eating out, entertainment and entrance fees, all aspects of a trip to London are expected to be a drain on your wallet! But it doesn`t have to be so; as always a little research and planning can result in a great trip on a shoestring budget. Eating out is always a major part of a holiday budget and while cosmopolitan London is packed with a vast array of cuisines and many top class fine dining restaurants, it is also home to some fantastic middle to lower budget dining options. The beauty is in the sheer number of dining options available, there will always be some reasonably priced gems between fine dining heaven and low budget nightmare! Just ask someone who lives locally; they will always know where to find good food at great prices. In today`s wired world you will also find many recommendations on the internet from bloggers and review sites.
By the time you have sampled the great cuisine you may need some exercise and there is no cheaper way to get around London than walking. If your destinations are far apart you can purchase an Oyster card for use on public transport. It is a much cheaper way to pay for public transport than with cash. You simply top it up with money and use it each time you take a journey. You will need to pay a deposit for it, but this is refundable. Simply take it to a tube station to have your deposit returned before you leave. Even better there are no forms to fill in or registration process to go through. If a guided tour is too expensive, try a hop on, hop off bus tour which is also a good way to navigate an unfamiliar city. A boat trip is another economical option and there are some free walking tours available. If you want to see a show, cheap tickets can be found at tkts, an official half-price ticket booth in Leicester Square. You can get tickets for shows on the day or up to a week in advance.
You might be surprised to know that all of London`s major museums are free and some of the famous art galleries too like the Tate Modern. Don`t forget London`s beautiful parks and gardens, for example Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and St. James`s Park . Take a trip up the Mall to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. It takes place at 11.30am every day in the summer and ever y other day in the winter. There are many landmark sites to view, all for free. Take a stroll along the South Bank and Trafalgar Square to see the London Eye and Nelson`s Column. If some of the sights you want to see charge a fee, you can obtain a sightseeing pass which lets you visit over 55 attractions at a fixed price and you can visit them more than once. You might be surprised at the number of low cost things to do in and around London!
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