Explore London on budget: Typical costs & saving tips


As many of us know, London is considered to be one of the most expensive cities to live. Indeed, it is true, as a student living here for 3 years, I have learn how to save money, how to budget myself and I have experience myself how much expensive it is. But still, many students and people come here to live every year. It can be managable, but very hard for a long-term.
However, this post is to share with you some inside tips for saving some extra cash while visiting London or UK in general as a student or as a visitor. See my 50 reasons to go here!

View from my house builduing at Brick Lane.


Student View:
As a student, I have lived my first year in a student hall (they are truly expensive, what a student can afford for that?), second year I moved to a flatshare with a friends and my third year I have been flatsharing with "random" people. It was a good experience, didn't mind at all moving all the time (at least I could have discovered new areas of London as well as I have been slowly moving towards the center and closer to uni), additionally throughout the time I have learned how and where to research and seek for.

General view:
If you are visiting here, obvioulsy check Booking for any affordable places or I do also recommend Airbnb. If you are not a type of person who want to stay in hostels or shared rooms, check Airbnb for private rooms (maybe even a whole flat/apartemnt!) If you have sign up through my link, you can get around 16 GBP / 600 Czk off your first booking! (what a great deal no?) I have already booked through it many times and had a great experience with it!
You can also try to find coach surfing or any short-term lets rooms/flats when people are going away for holidays or have spare rooms.

I do recommend to at least once too try the double decker bus and the London tube. Before travelling by public transport, purchase an Oyster card for 5 GBP + top up credits there. (5GBP will be refunded at the end if you will not be using it anymore and will return it). In London, travelling by tubes depends on the destination of travelling and it's divided by zones. The price of a bus is fixed for any number of stops you will go.
I recommend to get an oyster if you are planning to travel a lot. If you are planning to walk or if you are there just for a short time, you can get a daily ticket or on the bus you can pay pay as you go by a contactless card.
If you are staying for longer, you may purchase a weekly pass or even a monthly.

London is very well conected, so I assume as a tourist you will be travelling in zone 1 (where the major sightseeing sights are), thus you might be using buses a lot to travel from one spot to another. Taxis are very expensive there (black cabs), if you do need one, try to get applications like Uber (use discount code for 10 GBP off the ride by using a promo code thuyp73ue) or Gett (similar to Uber and you can also get 10 GBP off by using a code GTHVGEL) Codes can be used only if you are a first time user of those applications! The app can estimate the time of the driver getting to you also the price for it.

London is very easy to walk around, especially in the center. I like myself walking when I am travelling, so I can see more of the city. If you are deciding to travel a bit further then a center, national rail is well connected to other cities or also to further zones of London.


British food is not the fanciest one or the good tasting one as we know. However, London is great that it offers various cuisuines from all over the world. Whatever you have taste for you can definitely find it in London. Do some research or just pop in randomly to any on the way as they have places to eat and to drink at every streets of London.

Food in an averagre restaurants can cost you around 25 GBP per person and it can go up even more or less. London has some great fast foods, and I am not talking about McDonald or Burger Kings. They got some nice healthy fast foods with hot meals, sandwiches or salads. Check for Eat, Itsu, Pret-a-manger, Lion and many more. Sandwiches or meal deals can be found also in supermarket chains such as Boots, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose etc. (meal deals around 3 GBP)

You should definitely go for food markets which are on many places around London, food there are delicious and cheap! (around 5 GBP) Check for Brick Lane (on weekends are food markets), Borough market, Camden town or at the South Bank (weekends).

The city offers plenty of restaurants of every cuisuine you can think of. That is the best part of it, the variety and international offer. One day you can have Lebaneese for lunch and Italian dinner. Yes, why not. You will find places for food almost at every corner. I like to check news or Time out for some new suggestions, filtering through locations, cuisuines or price budgets.


London offers many activities for free so do take a chance of it. You might purchase tickets for tourist attractions soon to avoid anything. Places where you need tickets are for example London Eye, Tower Bridge or Towers of London. However, there are many museums, galleries, parks and outdoor attractions where you do not have to pay for entrance. Even though London is very expesinve, you can find many cheap or free alternatives to enjoy still. London is very nice sceneric city and if you are staying a little bit more, you can go and explore the further zones of London, not only the city.
I often use Time Out: London to search for interesting activities, new pop ups, exhibitions or for new commers there is also a great guide for eating and going out in every London's neigbourhood!

I am preparing something exciting for you so follow me and stay tunned xx Any questions you may have, pop me an email or to comment and I am happy to answer or also share your tips and observations:) xx

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