From May 16th until the 22nd, I’ve travelled to London. I know that I’ve promised a geeky travel guide leading up to the beginning of my journey, but life happened. Why does life always get in the way of the fun stuff? Well, I guess now you’ll get a travel report based on what I did accompanied with my own phots.
London is a beautiful city and depending on one’s interests, budget, and time, the possibilities seem endless. However, everyone who’s already been to London knows how expensive this city is. So, as promised, I’ll give tips on how to spend time in London when the extra coin is at hand and how to spend time in London on a budget. Before scaring anyone off by the prizes, let’s start with all those lovely things you can do on a budget or for no money at all.
So you’ve arrived at you’re accommodation, purchased an Oystercard or Travelcard (more on the advantages and disadvantages of both over here) and are ready to go and explore London, but money is tight? One of the best ways to save money is to pack your lunch. Eating out can be very expensive so reducing that part of the expenses will help a lot. During my travel, I’ve had good and comprehensive breakfast and then packed a sandwich, some apples and water for the day. Although I did allow myself a nice coffee break with the occasional piece of cake once a day, I’ve waited until the evening, when we were back at our accommodation (booked via Airbnb. Highly recommend it!), to have a full meal. By doing that I’ve only eaten out once and saved a lot of money. This advice seems like a no-brainer, but too many tend to underestimate how much you can save by preparing lunch whilst travelling.
There are many sightseeing busses in London which I personally don’t recommend taking. In my experience, it is a lot cheaper if you take a regular bus where you get to see many of the exact same tourist ‘must see’ places depending on the route you take.
While there are many expensive sightseeing opportunities in London (more to that during a later post), there are also many options you can do for free. Many museums such as the British museum, Natural History Museum, and many others are free of charge. My personal favourite museum is the Natural History Museum. Because, dinosaurs, obviously. One museum, I didn’t manage to visit this time around, but visited 10 years ago during my first trip to London is the Science Museum. Stretched over seven floors it offers many educational and entertaining exhibitions. Many of which are ‘hands-on’ exhibits. I tell you, there is nothing better than stuff in museums you’re allowed to touch, regardless your age.
This time around, my two besties and I, visited the Victoria & Albert Museum. In order to keep our spirits alive (as much as I love visiting museums, it can get very exhausting) we decided to run a little competition. The goal was to find the ugliest ceramic among the exhibits and I can honestly say that it is impossible to limit yourself to just one. I mean, come on…
If you don’t feel like spending your entire trip in museums, you can always explore London by foot and visit Covent Garden, Camden (although you have to hide your wallet when exploring Camden), walk along the Thames, explore London’s numerous parks such as Hyde Park, or take a Walking tour. For example, We Are Undiscovered offers several inexpensive or free walking tours. For the Harry Potter lovers among you, there is a fantastic self-guided free walking tour on the-magician.co.uk . This is the most comprehensive and useful self-guided Harry Potter tour I’ve stumbled upon. It even offers a free download with all informations. Additional points to whichever Hogwarts house you belong to for putting the Harry Potter soundtrack on your mp3 player while taking the self-guided tour!
Has anyone done any of these things? Is there anything there anything that can be done for free that I’ve left out? Leave a comment down below!