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Visiting London on a Budget: Hints and Tips

Budget Friendly Ways To Visit London

Is it easy to experience London on a budget? Yes, but you have to know where to look! It’s a question that many visitors to the UK ask – how can I experience the nation’s capital while keeping the costs down? Well, here are five top tips from My Time Rewards to help.

London on a Budget

1. Visit free museums

London is full of museums which offer free admission. These include the British Museum near Russell Square, the Natural History Museum in Kensington and the John Soane’s Museum in Lincolns Inn. Here you can see a list of free museums in London. It’s such a great way to spend a day or even an afternoon – and there are lots of special events, such as candle lit tours at the John Soane’s Museum on the first Tuesday of each month.

John Soanes Museum - free London on the My Time Rewards blog

Courtesy of Jonathan Brennan, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/Y1DORQ

2. Avoid Eating Out Where Possible

Where possible, try to avoid eating out. This can be expensive, and if it’s possible you can pick up a lot of groceries from a supermarket to prepare at home. Obviously if you are going to be living out of a hotel, this can be tricky, so the best advice is to look for restaurants that are a decent walking distance from the centre of London. Anything around Covent Garden and Piccadilly is going to be very dear, so look a little further afield – perhaps even just going over the Thames to the South side. If you do eat out, remember that service charge is optional – you can ask for it to be taken off the bill – and that tap water is free. Some places that serve meals for under £10: Prezzo, Chilangos, Pret a Manger and Bella Italia. Members of My Time Rewards can get great deals through Gourmet Society, such as 2 for 1 at hundreds of restaurants across London and the UK.

London on a Budget - save money with My Time Rewards

Courtesy of Andriy Prokopenko, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/ZlE5vl

Another option is to get a takeaway meal and eat it in one of London’s many parks. The latest trend in London is for burritos, which are often £5 – £8 pounds and are very filling.

3. Only Use Free Cashpoints

London on a Budget - use free cashpoints My Time Rewards

Courtesy of Maciej Dakowicz, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/JE1FDY

Make sure you only use cashpoints that offer you withdrawals with no extra charge. These can be found outside and inside banks. If you use a cashpoint inside a shop for example, you may be charged up to £2.00 just for accessing your own money.

4. Book In Advance, or Chase Cancellations

Theatre tickets can be incredibly expensive, but of course it’s a great way to experience the culture in the UK’s capital. The best way of getting theatre tickets in London on a budget is to book in advance, on sites like Ticketmaster, London Theatre Direct and also Last Minute (don’t let the name fool you). Worth remembering that members of My Time Rewards can claim 10% cashback on any bookings made at LastMinute.com, and 20% at Ticketmaster. Another way of getting a deal is to queue on the day, and ask if there are any cancellations. You have to be prepared to be possibly turned away, and if there are tickets available you may not be sitting with your friends.

Courtesy of Richard Paskuski, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/j6iQcW

Courtesy of Richard Paskuski, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/j6iQcW

5. Avoid Taking Taxis!

Whether you choose to hail a black cab, or book a taxi in advance, the price is in general far higher than it would be on public transport. Have a look at the tube or bus maps, or even better – walk or cycle! Citymapper is a great mobile app for getting around London – and it shows prices and duration of all the different options. Also, if you’re staying for longer than a couple of weeks it’s worth getting an Oyster card. In fact, since many buses no longer take cash payments, you may have no choice! Here’s a handy London Transport Guide.

London on a Budget - catch the bus - My Time Rewards

Courtesy of Terry S. Blackman, Creative Commons http://goo.gl/rOKVVs

Your Budget London Ideas

Do you have any ideas to share about how to save money in London? Please comment on the My Time Rewards blog below, or get in touch on Twitter @MyTimeRewards!

Links of things we’ve mentioned:

The John Soane’s MuseumThe British MuseumThe Natural History MuseumPrezzoChilangoPret a MangerBella ItaliaTicketmasterLondon TheatreLast Minute -             CitymapperTransport for LondonGetting around London

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