Author Topic: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?  (Read 6447 times)

lifejoy

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Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« on: July 21, 2015, 11:45:12 AM »
I will be staying at my friend's house (for freeeeee!) but I am going to try and spend sooo little money but still have a ton of fun. Ideas? Tips? Tricks? I'm all ears! Thanks!

Noodle

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2015, 12:08:07 PM »
It has been about 15 years, but I was also in the position of trying to have a fairly cheap visit. I was also staying with someone which eliminated a couple of the most expensive parts, since you can eat at home for some meals (assuming you are volunteering to buy some groceries and perhaps offer to cook or take out your host). For lunches, we would often just pick up sandwiches at a shop or the tearoom for whatever museum or garden we were visiting. We rode the Tube a lot (found it pretty easy to navigate) and for activities tried to alternate free and paid activities...for instance, the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert are all free. Walking around the streets and looking at the interesting buildings was free--we did pay for the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. I was willing to spend a little money on the "icon" attractions because it was my first visit. Honestly, a lot of the fun was just seeing the differences of everyday life...different brands in the stores, different shows on television (at the time, British TV was much more relaxed about what you could say and do on TV), etc.

Nothlit

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 12:54:07 PM »
Try to walk places that are only 15-20 minutes away. Take the tube or bus for places further than that. Pay attention to peak/off-peak tube fares. Enjoy the free museums (Noodle listed a few, and there are others as well). Take a stroll through some of the beautiful parks (St. James's, Green Park, Hyde Park, Kensington...). There is apparently a multistory shopping mall near St. Paul's Cathedral that offers a nice skyline view of the city without having to pay the £18 (or whatever it is) to climb the St. Paul's dome. While you do have to pay to enter St. Paul's or Westminster Abbey during tourist hours, you don't have to pay to attend a church service (in addition to Sunday services they typically have daily vespers or evening services throughout the week), though of course you should be respectful and not take photos or wander around during the service. See how many bridges over the Thames you can walk across. Stroll along the embankment. Go see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Head up to Camden and explore the street markets and go for a walk along the canal. During my recent trip I bought a ~$15 Rick Steves guidebook and led myself on his walking tours -- that's a cheap way to get an experienced overview of different parts of the city. Those are just a few things I can think of right now. :-)
« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 01:00:22 PM by Nothlit »

crazy jane

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 02:29:39 PM »
London Walks. I use to live there and found them to be fabulous. I've been on over 30 different ones. Jack The Ripper with Don was the best one. Burrough Market for great street food. The Tube in the evening is especially entertaining. Holland Park. Both Tate museums. Walk as much as possible. Hempstead Heath. Get an Oyster card for transit ( if that's what they still call it). Did I mention walk everywhere. Eat some Indian Food. Enjoy!

StetsTerhune

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2015, 02:56:37 PM »
I lived in London for a year when I was totally broke. It's got the reputation of one of the most expensive cities, but it is also one of the best cheap cities. At least activities-wise. So many free museums, so many sites to see, parks to walk.  Agree with all the suggestions above, particularly borough market, Indian food and walking.

Beer at pubs is a better deal than in america and is worth it for me -- though only for "cask ale" -- look for the taps that are hand pulled and not pressurized.  For lagers, may as well buy one a  convenient store and drink it on the river or somewhere else pretty.

Fish and chips--go to fishcoteque near waterloo station. Get it to go and take it down to the river to eat, eating in is more expensive.

Teddy25

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2015, 02:57:34 PM »
buy a tube pass. eat lunch at Tesco(drink, sandwich, and candy bar) for less than $5.
a lot of stuff are free, London museum, and the British museum. just walk around!

grantmeaname

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2015, 03:04:33 PM »
When do you go? For how long? London has TONS of great free stuff to do - the parks and museums alone were all of my free time for a whole summer and I never ran out of things to see (and still haven't done the expensive attractions like the Eye and Tower of London).

Check out Brick Lane ("Banglatown"), walk from one end of the City of London to the other on any random street, definitely go to Borough Market, and make it to all the free museums (British Museum; cluster of the Science Museum, National History, and Victoria and Albert all in one place by Hyde Park; National Portrait Gallery; Museum of London). The Symphony is very cheap too. Across the river in Southwark is the famous graffiti tunnel.

Telecaster

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2015, 03:08:25 PM »
I will be staying at my friend's house (for freeeeee!) but I am going to try and spend sooo little money but still have a ton of fun. Ideas? Tips? Tricks? I'm all ears! Thanks!

London and cheap aren't exactly synonymous, but there are a few ways to have fun on the cheap.   Almost all major museums are free!  And London has a ton of great museums, more than you can see in one visit (don't forget the British Library, which is also free).   Churches on the other hand, usually charge admission, but Westminster Abbey and a few others have limited times when they are free as well.   Usually in the evenings for a few hours.

London markets are fun and free.   Markets include Portobello, Camden, and Covent Garden, among others.   Also good opportunities for cheap street food at some of these.   

London has lovely parks.   Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are right in London and are interesting.   Richmond park is just outside of London (easy to get to via Tube) and is a huge nature preserve, complete with wild deer herds and everything.   

If you ride the Tube more than one time (and you will), get an Oyster Card.   Basically, it is half off travel on a number of public systems.   Buy at the friendly info counter at any Tube stop.   

Have fun and report back!

lifejoy

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2015, 03:43:39 PM »
These are superb ideas! And it's making me feel less anxious about going :)

I will be there for a week and a half, I LOVE free museums, and I hope to spend no more than $500 or Ä250. I want to go to plays and Paris for the day, so... Hopefully this is possible! Thanks for the great suggestions :)

crazy jane

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2015, 03:58:43 PM »
Look into taking the bus to Paris. The Eurostar is expensive. Paris is also walkable and everything you eat there is the best food you've ever had. You can do Paris in a day. Beware of pickpockets. That's good advice for London too. Street performers called buskers will solicit donations. Once the pickpockets see where you keep your money you are marked. Keep your luggage in front of you when going through all turnstiles in public transportation facilities.

mskyle

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2015, 04:18:00 PM »
These are superb ideas! And it's making me feel less anxious about going :)

I will be there for a week and a half, I LOVE free museums, and I hope to spend no more than $500 or Ä250. I want to go to plays and Paris for the day, so... Hopefully this is possible! Thanks for the great suggestions :)

Ouch, plays (at least West End shows) and a trip to Paris can get awfully expensive and will eat up a lot of your budget. Eurostar to Paris can cost as little as £72 if you book far enough in advance, but that's still a big chunk of your £250 (I assume that's what you meant rather than Ä250) budget. And it's a long, exhausting day - honestly I would leave Paris for another (wonderful!) trip. London is so full of things to do, and it's your first visit! Don't spend it all on a train! I guess it also depends how close you're staying to St Pancras station - if you can roll out of bed and onto the train, that's a less busy day than if it takes you an hour to get to the station in the first place. Flying is probably not any less expensive once you factor in transport to and from the airport(s). The bus takes 9 hours.

Theater in London is amazing, but can also be expensive. Standing room ("groundlings") tickets at Shakespeare's Globe are pretty cheap. I saw a great production at the Southwark Playhouse, a theater in a tunnel, which is generally less expensive than the West End. I'm sure there are discount ticket sources, same as in any other city. Oh also: in London, they charge for the program! Usually like £5. Not the *worst* price for a souvenir, especially if it's a show you're really excited about, but if you just want it for info about the show, you can peer over the should of the person in front of you or look things up on the website. They are very nice quality, on heavy paper and without all the ads that you get in a New York playbill.

Also hopefully your friend will have ideas on cool "local" kinds of things to do. I got to go to Bouncy Stonehenge because it was near my friends' home - I would never have sought it out or even have known it existed otherwise!

mozar

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2015, 06:06:22 PM »
I say try to go to Paris on a weekend day if you want to enjoy farmers markets and live music. Go to Paris on a weekday (M-W) if you want quiet museums to yourself.
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Gerard

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2015, 09:43:32 PM »
If you haven't already bought your ticket: fly to London, go one-way to Paris (maybe by bus) and fly home from Paris. The departure taxes are much cheaper that way.

Aside from that, or if that's not an option, the advice here  is all awesome, including some lesser known stuff like Brick Lane (go on Sunday, so you can enjoy car boot sales and the brick lane and spitalfields markets). You might find better Indian restaurants (with less aggressive touts) elsewhere, though (Tooting Bec?).

Generally, I found UK restaurant food a bad price/value proposition, especially in pubs, but food from markets was great, and the markets themselves were good tourist fun. By Canadian standards, cheese and alcohol are cheap, so go for it!

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2015, 09:47:15 PM »
The TKTS booth in Leicester Square can be a good source of theatre tickets.  Last week I got a ticket for a show that night for a bit cheaper than the box office (plus a coupon for a free ice cream at the interval, thanks to a promotion that was running then).  You can look online to see what tickets they are offering for that day and the next and compare the prices to the box office.

British Rail has a bunch of 2-for-1 deals, with the caveat that you have to travel by train.  But a Travelcard purchased at a National Rail station will qualify (as will a train ticket for a day trip, if that's what you decide to do), so you may want to look into those deals.  A couple of years ago, we were going to buy Travelcards anyway, so we just made sure to do it at a rail station.  This last trip I was on my own, so I didn't look into the 2-for-1.  But I know an Oyster card doesn't qualify.

Zamboni

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2015, 10:10:32 PM »
following

MMMaybe

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2015, 01:37:30 AM »
Sir John Soanes Museum is awesome. Also check out some of the ancient London pubs like Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese.

cerebus

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2015, 02:54:47 AM »
Oh, London is very easy to live on the cheap. I lived on 900 pounds/month when I was there, including rent/utility contributions on a shared flat and an all-access tube pass.

1) Buy food at market stalls. Vegetables, fruit etc are much cheaper than in the shops. The ones that line the streets outside of tubes are good. There are also some fantastic markets around the place, like the one in Angel Islington near the station where you can get cheap regional food.

2) Camden Market is a good source for cheap clothing.

3) 80% of public activities are free for entry. That includes all of the beautiful parks (I love St James, Richmond, Wimbledon Commons, etc), the art galleries (National Art Gallery, Tate and Tate Modern, I can't even remember half of them now but there's a ton), public exhibitions, etc.

4) Get yourself a monthly Oyster card for zones 1-4, it's an upfront cost but overall well worth it.

My wife and I miss London and often think of going back there. Well, we're moving somewhere and London is a possibility.

Phil_Moore

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2015, 06:41:06 AM »
My favourite things in London in vague order off the top of my head, most of them free:

1.   The British Museum
2.   BFI Southbank
3.   All the other museums (V&A, Science, Natural History, Imperial War etc.)
4.   National Gallery/Tate Modern/National Portrait Gallery
5.   I like Kensington Gardens/Holland Park for personal reasons but you canít go too far wrong with other parks
6.   Borough Market (people seem to like Portobello/Camden, not my cup of tea but YMMV)
7.   Primrose Hill (things are a clichť for a reason, the sunset up there is very nice)
8.   The City is fun to stroll around at the weekend
9.   Greenwich in general, you can take the boat down the Thames there for a tenner then go to the Naval College then have a picnic

To be honest I could spend months on 1-4Ö

Iíve left food & nightlife out of it, because itís hard without knowing tastes.  It isnít all wallet busting though. I picked the Jazz Cafť Camden listings at random and you could go check out Peanut Butter Wolf for £5 in August. (Or, bizarrely, Típau or KRS-One at the same venue for a little more money).

lifejoy

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2015, 07:16:48 AM »
LOL - thank you for the kind correction. Yes, my dream goal is to spend £250. We will probably only see one play... and my friend has some ideas on how to make it cheap. I forget what they were, but I really appreciate all the suggestions here! Woohoo! Luckily I've stopped the habit of "buying souvenirs" purely for the sake of buying souvenirs, because I have so many other fabulous ways to spend my monies.

Gerard

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2015, 08:00:59 AM »
Lifejoy, you might want to consider as "souvenirs" some clothing or housewares things that are good value in the UK... if you were planning such purchases anyway. There are a lot of starting-out clothing designers at Spitalfields who sell their own designs for less than you'd pay for some off the rack stuff in Canada. I saw some beautiful gray nubby silk jackets there that seemed like the kind of thing that smart women might make the core of their professional wardrobe.
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partgypsy

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2015, 08:50:09 AM »
I haven't been since the late 80's I second the markets (both food and clothing/variety) for both buying and people watching, the museums (research ahead which ones have what you are interested in). In addition to pasties, recommend searching out a good but relatively inexpensive indian meal in London, as well and "plowman's lunch" at a pub, (Also fun going to a rave/"house party", but not sure they still have those there ; ) A fun "souvenier" is going to a sweets shop to buy candy bars etc they don't have in the US.

 

Polixenes

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2015, 11:37:19 AM »
I just want to reiterate the comment abou tthe tube map - don't rely on it to figure out a journey. A trip that looks like you need to change trains twice and will end up taking 40 minutes might actually have been a 10 minute walk.

I recommend a walk along the north bank of the Thames. For example, get off the tube at Tower Hill (Tower of London and Tower Bridge are right there, London Dungeon is just across the river but the queues can be too long at peak season) and walk west. Depending on your fitness you could walk all the way to Westminster (Houses of Parliament, the ferris wheel, Westminster Abbey). Along the way you pass St. Paul's, the Fire of London Monument, and can detour to Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square.

mjb

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2015, 12:30:12 PM »
Re: food: Marks & Spencer is a large department store that also sells great, relatively inexpensive, prepared foods. I live on that stuff when I'm in the UK.

The chain EAT is ok as well.

cerebus

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2015, 12:26:19 AM »
Re: food: Marks & Spencer is a large department store that also sells great, relatively inexpensive, prepared foods. I live on that stuff when I'm in the UK.

The chain EAT is ok as well.

I always considered M&S to be a pricey food option. Their clothing is great though. I still have a woolly M&S sweater from around 9 years ago that's going strong.

Ricksun

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2015, 06:39:10 AM »
1. British Museum - Free and you can spend multiple days there and still not see everything
2. Get a Travel card through a RAIL station (same cost and benefits but only some tube stations are also rail stations in which to buy it).  These allow you to use the 2for1 coupons if you're travelling or visiting attractions or eating at certain restaurants with friends.  See days guide out for offers: http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/2for1-london

Have fun - your budget will be hard depending on what you want to experience!

Rick

joshuapalmer87

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2015, 07:30:05 AM »
London's a great city but can be very pricey. Lots of the tips here are great, especially about the walking instead of tube tip. It's worth bearing in mind the "Boris Bikes" too, as they are pretty cheap, especially if you use them exclusively and make sure your trips are under 30 mins.

I'd also recommend the "free" tour from Sandeman's New Europe for both Paris and London - normally ex-pat guides giving a great tour with lots of interesting information, but it is done on tips so not truly free. http://www.newlondon-tours.com/

As for shopping, all of the advice for food so far has missed out two very cheap places to buy food - Lidl (a German supermarket that has taken off here in the UK) and Aldi are very cheap,as are the ethnic supermarkets. In addition, I'd recommend a trip out to Tooting in the evening to have a curry, as the price competition is ferocious and the food is amazing. If you BYOB (bring your own booze) you'll have a great time.

And remember that the UK isn't just London, it gets a lot cheaper once you venture out of the bubble!

JLR

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2015, 04:21:05 AM »
A good thread.

midweststache

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2015, 05:39:16 AM »
1. British Library. (Nerd alert.) They have the only extant copy of Beowulf, the Magna Carta, and some really cool old religious books of all stripes (including the Wicked Bible, with the misprint of "Thou shalt commit adultery). When we went, they had an exhibit with illustration from famous British children's books (Paddington, Wind in the Willows, etc.). A hop, skip and a jump away is Kings Cross Station, and if you have an extra 45 minutes and feel so inclined you can take a picture of yourself pushing a cart into Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter series...

2. Imperial War Museum London. This was my dad's choice, and it was REALLY interesting. Exhibits on life in the country during WWII, exhibits on the history of MI5/MI6, etc. There are some paid exhibits, including a children's spy exhibit (for children, not about child spies) so we just skipped those.

3. We did the Christmas Carol/Dickens London Walks tour on Christmas Day. Was it a paid walking tour? Sure was. Was it awesome and totally worth it for a city that basically shuts down for three days over Christmas? Sure was.

4. I thought the changing of the guard was overrated.

5. Walk everywhere. Tube it if you have to (the Tube is really clean, compared to US transit).

Doubleh

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2015, 06:05:25 AM »
When are you planning to visit? There's an ongoing attempt to get some of the local mustachians to meet up, of we know when you're here we may be able to plan to include you

OK lots of great advice here, as a local here's a few thoughts off the top of my head:

1. No need to pay for a travelcard anymore. With a pay as you go oyster, daily and weekly fare capping nowadays means you will never pay more than you would have done for a travel card - fares add up until you reach the price of the travel card, at which point it stops charging you any more.

2. If you want a west end show, the TKTS booth is the place to go as it is run by the theatres themselves to sell unused tickets. There are other booths that look the same and are generally a rip off. However I think the top trick for tickets is the groundling tickets at Shakespeare's Globe, as mentioned earlier. £5 to see Shakespeare performed as it was inteneded, great atmosphere usually with some degree of audience interaction. I've been several times and always been blown away. Just wear comfy shoes as it is standing, and bring an umbrella just in case!

3. Cheap views of the city - the tate modern has great views over the river to St Paul's from the upper levels and is free, and worth visiting in any case. The Tower Bridge museum is less than £10 and includes a fascinating tour of the workings of the bridge along with a walk across the high level walkways with amazing views - to my mind probably one of the most under-rated attractions in town and worth every penny. Also to the east the emirates skyline has great views and only costs a regular tube fare.

4. Near Tower Bridge is an awesome area; to the north St Katherine's Marina is a beautiful oasis of calm, and has a good food market on Friday lunch times. To the south the cobbled back streets of shad thames feel like something out of a dickens novel, very atmospheric. And the More London scoop is a good place to chill with nice grassy area looking over the bridge and often festivals in the summer.

5. British food is not bad. It also can be very expensive but does not have to be! What is very expensive and bad is food in tourist areas. If you buy food at a restaurant near to any tourist attraction it will almost certainly be bad and overpriced. But maybe a street or two away where the locals eat you can get much better food at a fraction of the price. Here's a good place to get you started:

http://www.timeout.com/london/food-drink/londons-best-cheap-eats

Definitely worth getting the tripadvisor app, even without mobile data you can download their london guide for offline viewing and it will help you to get good cheap food wherever you are. Another great food market I haven't seen mentioned is Greenwich, they have the best noodles I've ever eaten, spun by hand while you watch.

6. As mentioned don't always trust the tube map. Don't be afraid to take buses, they're not just for juveniles and murderers as I gather they are in much of the US. Because you can see where you go you'll get a much better idea of how the city fits together than you do on the tube - no need for a special tour bus. Also bring comfy shoes and walk a lot, its the best way to experience the city.

7. If you have a smartphone or tablet the citymapper app is free and is an invaluable help for getting around - I use it every day. You can plan a journey when you have wifi at your friends house or at most bars, restaurants, coffee, mcdonalds etc. You can also buy a pay as you go sim to put in your phone - maybe not the most mustacian but could save you a packet. For example you can get a "Three" sim with 30 days unlimited data plus loads of minutes and texts for £15 - if that helps you find a cheaper restaurant or avoid a cab fare because you know where to get a bus instead it could easily pay for itself.


UnleashHell

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2015, 07:52:37 AM »

2. Imperial War Museum London. This was my dad's choice, and it was REALLY interesting. Exhibits on life in the country during WWII, exhibits on the history of MI5/MI6, etc. There are some paid exhibits, including a children's spy exhibit (for children, not about child spies) so we just skipped those.



also run by the IWM is the Churchill War rooms. excellent place to visit.

Just doing the walk on the south side of the river from Tower Bridge to Westminster will expose you to an excellent part of London. The bridge, views of the tower, HMS belfast, Southark Cathederal, Borough market (highly recommended), the tate modern, The Globe (only a fiver for standing room at a play) tc, etc etc... well worth a day just walking this route and looking around.
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Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2015, 08:43:29 AM »
I disagree with doing a side trip to Paris unless you don't expect to get to Europe again for a long time. London is huge, there's tons to do, and you can easily kill a week and a half and still have more to see. But then, I'm a slow travel fan.

Aside from that, Cerebus said everything I was going to say. For me, I just loved being on foot and looking at London, which is free. There's so many neighborhoods to explore and enjoy. Pub pints are relatively cheap and many pubs are of historic interest in themselves (e.g., the basement of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese). Eat cheap but well at the markets (South Borough and Camden especially) and curry joints. It's a fantastic city and exceeded my expectations. I can't wait to go back.

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2015, 08:45:00 AM »
Things I have done when I went a few years ago:
Pay by donation walking tour. Very informative and fun. (Loads of different groups do this, but I can't remember the name of the group I went with. I paid 5pound, the guy taking us around would have done pretty well for himself if everyone had paid this much. Some people paid more.
Naval Museum http://www.rmg.co.uk/national-maritime-museum FREE, and Greenwhich is pretty and worth the trip.
Tube is cheaper after 9am when you can get a day pass for 5 pounds (or if you use oyster it will cap at 5 pounds assuming your first trip is after 9am)
Camden Loch Markets/Camden town generally. Hit a pub on the river for a spot of people watching.
Convent Garden markets, same deal, fun for a browse.
As others have said - WALK! London is compact and it's so much fin walking around.
Brick Lane (like the Portland of London, well worth a trip) and East London in general is pretty hip. Wapping was very pretty to walk around...
London is the home of free and cheap. There is also a chain pub called weatherspoons where you can get a pint and a dinner for about 4 pounds... fine dining it isn't, but for basic chow and a good selection of beer it hits the spot.
Also finding places where famous people lived is fun to do... I went and found all the famous punk places (the clash, the sex pistols etc) but you can tailor this to suit. You'll never know where you end up!!!

crazy jane

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Re: Doing London, England on the CHEAP! Ideas? Secret hacks?
« Reply #32 on: July 29, 2015, 02:13:05 PM »
Some of the off the beaten path museums like The Old Operating Theater or The Brahman Tea museum are a nice break from the more touristy places. The London Walks Beachcombing was fabulous. You go on the shore of The Thames and find artifacts from centuries ago. My daughter managed to find some Roman Pottery.