Enjoy the best of London on a budget

London is a great city filled with wonderful experiences and exciting attractions – especially at Christmas! However, visiting the paid attractions can set you back quite a bit as the entrance charges can be expensive. But then if we take into account that London is among the most visited holiday destinations in Europe, it is perfectly understandable. Having said that if you plan your trip well and make the right choices, one can have a fantastic holiday in the city, without having to splurge.

The first things to watch out for is the choice of accommodation. If you look around for discounts then staying at a boutique hotel that offers special deals like any Hyde Park international hotel would definitely help to lower hotel expenses. In fact, if you choose to stay at any of the London Shaftesbury hotels you will find the room tariffs quite affordable.

By booking directly with a property like the Park Grand London Kensington hotel you will get the best rates reserved for guests that book directly at the hotel website. Another way to save on entrance charges at most of the paid attractions is to invest in a London Pass. It offers access to 80 plus attractions that include Kensington Palace, The London Zoo, Kew Gardens. Madame Tussauds and Wimbledon etc. Since the pass offers useful information about each of the attractions it helps to decide which to tour and those to leave perhaps for a later visit.

Sometimes those on a budget tend to skip paid attractions because of the steep entrance charges, but since the London Pass has a flat fee, it incentivises visiting most of the paid attractions. Plus, there are very attractive discounts at cafes and restaurants at these attractions and also fast track entry to beat the long queues. Investing in a London Pass makes touring the tourist hotspots in the city an absolute pleasure.

Another way to save on travel expenses is to buy a contactless card or an Oyster Visitors card. These help to save a good bit of money on travel around the city. Since the daily upper limit on travel costs is capped you can travel multiple times in the day without having to spend an extra penny. These can be used on the Tube, buses and to rent Santander bikes and are easy to top up at any of the Tube stations or shops across the city.

Another area where you can money is on dining out. If you plan to dine at cafes and restaurants it can be quite expensive. A cheaper alternative would be trying the delicious street food at London’s famous food markets. With markets like Borough Market, Camden, Portobello and many others offering a diverse culinary experience at a fraction of restaurant prices, it would be a prudent choice to dine out in the city.

There are of course dozens of free activities and places to explore without having to spend any money. These include visiting the top museums, art galleries, public spaces, gardens and parks etc. When exploring central London, it is best to explore on foot as most of the major tourist spots are within a short distance of one another.

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