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Enjoying London on a Shoe-String Budget

 

London has so much to offer to its visitors that it is virtually impossible for most tourists throughout the world to resist the temptation of visiting the city. However, it is basically an expensive city especially for people from third world countries and this becomes a deterring factor that prevents them from coming to the city. Despite this tag of being an expensive city, many aspects of stay in the city are free or very cheap provided you have proper information regarding where and how to get them. As such, if you are on a budget, you can visit London with the help of the following tips.

Accommodation

If you are on a shoe-string budget, you must find a suitable accommodation that will not burn a hole in your pocket. Luckily, London has many such cheap accommodations that offer a place where you can sleep comfortably at night along with most necessary facilities. These accommodations are available in different categories such as dormitories, hostel rooms, bed & breakfast hotels, Travel Inns and other cheap hotels. When you are visiting London, you will be out the whole day visiting various attractions and indulging in other activities and as such, you would only need a hotel for sleeping in the night and that need is amply fulfilled by the cheap accommodations mentioned above. Moreover, you should look for a suitable place in or around central London as most attractions and other places of interest are concentrated in this area. For affordable accommodation in a central location, you can stay at Premier London Notting Hill.

British Museum

Food

Food is another basic need and London offers many cheap places where you can get good and tasty food at budget cost. For a tourist who is on the move the whole day, it makes little sense to waste time in having food at a restaurant which will also be expensive. Luckily, there is a growing trend around London in which food traders are selling their food in markets and along other important places and in this way the fine dining scene has transformed to a great extent making it cheaper, more convenient and involving boxes and paper wrappings. These street food options can be found in various places across the city such as in Berwick Street Market where you can get tasty Vietnamese food Banhmi 11 offering noodle salads, clear pho soup broths, Pizza Pilgrims, Mexican burrito etc. The food is offered from a stationary 3-wheeler van and plenty of choice is available.

At the Kerb, you can find a plethora of street food vendors at several places near Kings Cross Station. A vast variety of food including Bhangra burgers, sweet bites, schitzel, sauerkraut and sticky ribs is available along the walkway north of Kings Cross especially between Tuesday and Friday.

At Brixton’s undercover markets, the street food culture has really blossomed in the last few years and the best part is that there is music to entertain you while you are eating on Thursday and Friday nights. The different dishes that you can get include Middle Eastern specialties, Thai cuisine and boiled dumplings in authentic Beijing style. A most satisfying gourmet experience awaits you at this location.

At White Cross Market you can get the best of British traditional food such as pies, scotch eggs, custard tarts, pork and apple and other varieties, especially on Thursdays and Fridays whereas on Saturdays, you can find such delectable dishes at Broadway market in Hackney.

The other places where you can get tasty and cheap street food are Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Greenwich, and Portobello Road.

Free Attractions

London offers many attractions that do not charge a penny for entrance. These are mostly cultural centres such as museums and art galleries. The most notable among these are the British Museum that exhibits artefacts and masterpieces from across the globe, the Natural History Museum where you can see prehistoric items, the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. The other free places to visit include National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Bank of England Museum, Museum of London, National Maritime Museum Greenwich and many others.

Free Gigs

You can have your fill of free gigs at various places especially on the London Underground where you will find many artists (?) performing along with a container where you can put your donations, if you want. Besides these, you can listen to free music at two famous London churches: St James’s Piccadilly Street and St Martins-in-the-Fields that offer free lunch-hour concert recitals.

Parks and Gardens

London has eight Royal Parks and all of them are free to enter and are beautifully landscaped and offer the best places to unwind. The parks such as Hyde Park, Regents’ Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens also offer many attractions within them.

London also offers many places where you can watch, laugh and enjoy some fantastic stand-up comedy without having to pay a penny. One of these places is Camden where you can see Weirdos Comedy AND Head in Angel for Angel Comedy and in Soho where you can enjoy exhilarating performances by Brooklyn-born Lewis Schaffer.

Moving around the city can be expensive but you can bring down this cost by buying an Oyster Card that you can get even before reaching the city. It offers the fastest and the cheapest way to travel by public transport. Moreover, it eliminates the need to get a ticket each time you board a bus or a tube.

For cheap tickets to theatres, the easiest way is to go to the official TKTS booth in Leicester Square where you can get even half-priced tickets.

 

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