How to save money in London

London is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, but it is also one of the most expensive as well. The good news is that there are a number of ways to save money while visiting here. It is still possible to enjoy London without a lot of cash.

Transport

If you are from far away, the first thing that you will need to do is to get to the centre from the airport. If your goal is to save money, then you need to avoid getting taxis. Getting a taxi from Heathrow airport will cost you at least $70 and about twice as much from Gatwick.

It is going to cost a lot less to take a train or the tube. Take the Piccadilly line from Heathrow for less than $8 and you will pay about from Gatwick $13.50 on a Southern line. Other options would be a coach, which is $8.50 from Heathrow. Just remember that these are extremely slow, so do not opt for this route if you are in a rush.

London

[Image source: telegraph.co.uk ]

Getting your hands on an Oyster card is a very good thing to invest your money in. This card can be used to save you lots of cash on buses, the tube, tram and even the river bus. It will only cost you $28for one card. You end up paying $5 for the card and $23 credit. Visitor Oyster cards will save you time by cutting out having to stand in queues. Simply swipe the card at the specially designed readers and the machine will automatically select the cheapest price.

On top of all the savings you will already get with the Oyster card,  all children between the ages of 11 and 15 can travel for free anytime on buses and . An Oyster Photocard is an extra $16. Children under 11 travel for free if they are with an adult who has a card. The cards never expire, so if you have any credit left over, you can keep it for the next time you are in London.

Sightseeing & Entertainment

Sightseeing in London doesn’t have to be expensive. Vouchers can be bought online and have the ability to save you tons of cash. There are vouchers that will get you half-price entry to the London Dungeons – a place you really do not want to miss out on seeing.

If you book early enough online, it is also possible to get 2-for-1 offers on many of the top attractions such as London Eye. Combination tickets that include a River Cruise down the Thames before going on the Eye are also available, but you need to get in quickly.

Walking tours are another great and cheap way to explore London and all that it has to offer. There are a number of wonderful walking tours available, where you can see all the hidden sights that the city has to offer. Many of these tours include maps and an audio accompaniment to help you get around better. Walks are from $9.50 per walk. Some take you through Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and Westminster, while others take you to the Royal Parks, the Malls, Buckingham Palace.

Also, why not try a treasure hunt as a way to see the city? London has various different treasure hunts available where you can explore the sights using a rented tablet with a GPS app installed that challenges you to test your knowledge of the attractions. You’ll see all the main attractions and have to find clues, answer questions and take photos during your hunt to find your next location. Visit the Wildgoose website for more info on treasure hunts in London.

Most of the time, the walks can be found on the internet, which allow you to browse and download them to your MP3 player when you need to. There are also maps that you can download, which mark an easy-to-follow routes.

Keep an eye out for “tkts” booths. These booths are where you will be able to get your hands on official tickets to West End shows at discounted rates. The one option is to get  an ‘advanced purchase’ for tickets up to a week in advance and the other is to ‘tickets for today’ if you want to watch a show at the last minute.

There a number of free attractions in London such as Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Big Ben. There is also the Natural History Museum, the Science museum and the Tate Modern Art Gallery, which are all free to visit throughout the year.

Eating

Buying a special Tastecard allows 50% off and 2-for-1 meals at over 5,500 restaurants across London. This is a great option if you are the type of person who enjoys eating out more than getting fast foods.  At $110 for the whole year, it is the card that food lovers need to get as soon as they get off the plane.

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