When you’re gearing up to experience all that London has on offer, take a moment to consider some of our suggestions of how to experience all the great things on offer without the price tag.
Get London Passes
If you’re planning on hitting quite a lot of the major sites in a short time frame, it can be very worthwhile to invest in a pass, to get you discounts across the big names.
Take a look at the London Pass, which offers entry to over 60 London attractions and tours, as well as fast-track entry into many of the most crowded London experiences. All for the day price of £59. Perfect if you’re planning on visiting many in a day – or get longer passes for a few days – instead of paying the individual entry fee at each location.
Minimise Transport and Accommodation Costs
Make sure you get yourself an Oyster Card if you’re going to be jetting back and forth across London. It’s absolutely better value than a day pass or similar. The Oyster will help reduce those upfront travel costs once you’re within the London area.
If you want a whole host of deals to assist you in getting to London or booking accommodation cheaply, Student Money Saver has an ever-changing list of discounted transport options. They also run deals to cut down on booking costs through services like AirBnB. Saving on these large costs upfront can assist with your ability to spend more once you’re in London itself.
Use Online Deals
Before you turn up to the big tourist sites of London, it can be really worthwhile to investigate just how much you might pay by booking through an online deal. Sites like GroupOn have regular passes to experience the best in tourist attractions, restaurants, bars and pubs, and more, for a discounted price. Groupon also have experiences of all varieties, so even if you’re just planning on a quiet dinner with your favourite person, there’s an offer to minimise the cost.
For the very biggest attractions, take a look at Discount London before you book. It’s worth investigating the online deals that continue to be updated and change; there’s always new ways to benefit from more discounted offers.
Shop At A Discount
Shopping in London is incredibly varied, and if you’re coming as a young person in particular, it can feel a bit costly. However if you’re determined to hit the retail therapy hard, consider investing in an NUS card.
Even if you are not a student, it can be worth investigating the tax back rules for those with non-EU passports. If you plan to leave the EU sometime soon, you can be eligible to get a refund of VAT from every purchase. Make sure to ask in store about this scheme.
Make Use of Free Sights
The great thing about London is that there are so many options of free things you can do to still experience the best sights in the city. Take a look at some suggestions of the best free walks across the city, as these will guide you to the best sights you can see in any one of London’s diverse areas on foot. It saves on transport, and the London-vibe is very clear even without going to the bigger and more obvious tourist attractions.
Most of the major museums and art galleries will have free collections or free entry (up to a point). See the best art and artefacts imaginable without paying a cent – just resist the call of the museum or gallery shop! Free galleries don’t just take the form of the most major collections – there is a whole host of art on display in smaller galleries across town, most of which do not charge entry. The Sir John Soane, for instance, is always free, as well as the White Cube for more contemporary tastes. Investigate the Art Pass website for more listings of exhibitions coming to London.
For even more ideas of free things to do in London, take a look at this list.