This week we’ll take a break from my India journals and head back to Europe. The world’s capital, London, is the epicenter of great food, cultural enclaves and historical museums. But it’s always been notorious for its exorbitant prices and extravagant bites. This week’s sponsored post provides us with some insiders’ tips on how to save some pennies while experiencing London at its best.
London is a great city but it’s also a notoriously pricey place to be! Visitors often shell out way too much money in order to see the sights when all they really want is the authentic London experience.
A few little tips from a resident Londoner are all you need to make some serious savings, especially for longer visits:
Superhighway to Heaven
Catching the tube or train is usually stressful and always expensive! Kill two birds with one stone and get fit while travelling around the city taking in the sights as you go. Having recently undergone a major facelift, the London cycle network (now called the cycle superhighway!) has been repainted bright blue and made wider, which means safer, faster and more direct routes around the city.
You can register for the new cycle hire scheme where the first 30 minutes of every hire period is totally free… which is a pretty good reason to pedal fast!
Compared with the rest of England, Londoners are lucky in that it is still fairly easy to shop well and shop cheap in your local area. Avoid the large supermarket chains as they inflate their prices in the city and staff are likely to throw your items down a conveyor belt without so much of a nod in your direction.
Try the local fruit and vegetable stalls or street markets for better service and really low prices. I’m fortunate that in South East London, I have an outstanding fishmonger and local butcher who only sell free range organic meat at half the price of the supermarket. I’m normally in and out within 10 minutes and always come out with a smile on my face as well as a massive bag of meat!
Visit for Free!
Only in London can you visit some of the finest collections of Egyptian artifacts, come face to face with one of the largest and most terrifying Trex skeletons in the world and realize that Monet picked a pretty dirty pond when he choose to paint his famous “Water-Lilies”… for free! In fact most of the world class museums and galleries in London are free and well worth a look.
Start with the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert museum (conveniently located next door to each other); not only do they showcase some fascinating exhibits, but they are both housed in beautiful buildings.
EZ Phone Home
When ET asked to phone home he probably didn’t realize how expensive it is to place international calls… So if you want to catch up with friends and family at home, avoid using your regular mobile phone service provider – even sending a text message can send your bill soaring.
Get a calling card that will enable you to make cheap international calls. Good services do not require any registration, pre-payment, accounts or credit cards – just dial the special number using a landline (or your mobile phone) followed by the international number of your loved one.
Cruise the River
If you thought London’s amazing transport system was limited to buses, tubes and trains, then think again! Seeing the sights by water offers a whole different perspective on London and is certainly an experience worth trying. The problem is most of the tourist trips are quite expensive, but never fear, a cheap alternative is the River Bus Service. Most take Oyster cards or regular cash ticket payments and you can travel as far as Hampton Court Palace in the west right over to Woolwich in the East.
Along the way you can get off and visit loads of attractions, including Westminster (for the Houses of Parliament and Winston Churchill’s War Cabinet Rooms), Greenwich (for the Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum) or maybe hop off at London bridge pier for a walk along the arty Southbank.
- 7 Free Things to do in London
- How to Live & Work in the UK/Australia
- 7 Unconventional Budget Ski Destinations in Europe
- 8 of the Best Beaches in Europe
- Falling in Love in Italy
- World’s 7 Best Cities to Live
- 8 Most Romantic Spots in the World