London is a world-class city and it's a place that many travelers love returning to time and time again. Strolling along the River Thames, seeing Big Ben, taking in some shows, and trying new restaurants are all fun and fabulous tourist activities.
That being said, sometimes a super pricey trip just isn't in the cards for this year, or you're traveling quite a lot in the next few months so you'd like to make sure each trip is fairly cheap.
Read on to find out how to not go broke during your trip to London, England.
Find A Super Affordable Hotel To Stay In
Fancy, posh hotels are lovely, but it's pretty easy to spend your whole vacation budget on a few nights at a really nice place. Instead, find a more affordable place you can stay, and while of course you can go down the path of a hostel, you might not want to do that. And that's totally okay because there are some other options.
Budget Traveller recommends the Caring Hotel. The location is Central London, which sounds great, and you can get a great rate through Expedia. To give you an idea of the kind of price point you could snag, a one night stay is $95.78 USD (for March 5th 2020). You also get breakfast with the room price, which helps you stick to the food budget that you set out for your trip. Ibis London Docklands Canary Wharf is another affordable hotel with many good Trip Advisor reviews. People like the breakfast and staff and Canary Wharf is an interesting area to walk around (and, thankfully, walking in a nice neighborhood doesn't cost anything at all).
Forget Fancy Restaurants And Embrace Fast Casual Fare
Another good way to go to London without going totally broke is to forget about going to fancy and expensive restaurants. Eating out can definitely add up, so opting for fast-casual food is going to be a better idea.
This Reddit post suggests eating at a place called Pret A Manger: "Places like Costa Coffee and Pret A Manger can be cheap for a quick, hot sandwich and coffee too." Thankfully, Pret A Manger has a fairly versatile menu and you could stop in for any meal of the day. Try a Ham and Spinach Frittata (or an Egg White Greek Frittata if you're vegetarian), choose from many sandwiches such as Harissa Carrot and Hummus or Chicken and Bacon, or grab a Salmon and Mango Grain Salad. This is a wonderful way to eat well in London without breaking the bank.
Get An Oyster Card And Rely On Public Transportation
Another way to not go broke in London is to rely on public transportation. Taking cabs everywhere is definitely great but not so good for your wallet. The best thing to do is get an oyster card.
Visit London says that your Oyster card can be used for the tram, DLR, tube, some trains, and also the bus system. You can keep adding money to it, which is incredibly convenient. What will it cost you? According to London Tool Kit, your card is charged every time you travel through the "zones" that make up the London tube. The website explains, "The fare you pay is set by which zones your departure and destination stations are in. Your journey starts when you go through the ticket barrier of the station entrance you depart from and finishes when you pass through the ticket barrier at the exit of your destination." There are "daily caps" so, for instance, the most that you can pay for zones 1-2 is £7.20.
Check Out Activities That Won't Cost You Anything
Finally, the best way to not go broke in London is by checking out activities that won't cost you anything. According to Planet Ware, tourists can get into the British Museum, the Tate Modern, and the National Gallery without having to pay anything. In the case of the Tate Modern and the National Gallery, the permanent collections don't charge you anything, which is awesome.
Visit London suggests visiting Neal's Yard, where people love taking social media pictures. It's a street in Convent Garden and there are tons of places to grab a hot cup of coffee, or just walk around and take in how cute and lovely it is.
It's definitely possible to go to London without going broke, and these are just some suggestions of ways that you can save and things that you can do. You'll still have an incredibly fun time (and taking a photo in front of an iconic red phone booth will be totally free, too).