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How to save money in London – budget travel tips for tourists

[ 1 ] November 26, 2010 | Alison Adey

Planning to visit London when Kate Middleton and Prince William get married on 29 April 2011? With thousands of people booking last-minute flights to the capital, prices are expected to go through the roof.

So if you’re looking for cheap accommodation, half-price theatre tickets and mouth-watering discounts at top London restaurants, this is the one-stop place to be. Scroll down for budget-busting ways to save money on your trip to London.

Visit London for the royal wedding | Kate Middleton and Prince William to wed on 29 April 2010

Visit London for the royal wedding | Kate Middleton and Prince William to wed on 29 April 2010

* Book those cheap flights

There’s a knack to booking cheap flights – some wait 8 weeks before departure, others book as early as possible. Either way, check out these top tips for bagging those cheap deals and avoid all those hefty taxes!

•    Get an Oyster card

Transport in London is hugely expensive so invest in an Oyster card as soon as you arrive. They only cost £3 and are well worth it. A single journey would cost just £1.50 with an Oyster card, as opposed to a whopping £4 without!

If you’re staying for a week – consider getting a weekly ticket as this can save you up to £15. Lucky enough to be staying in central London? Most places are within walking distance, so do your research before you head out.

•    Save 50% at top London restaurants is the food-lovers’ bible in London. Not only does it offer unbeatable discounts on top restaurants (up to 50% off), you can book online, search by area and collect points towards a free meal.

•    Snap up last-minute theatre deals

Fancy going to the theatre in the West End? TKT booths in Leicester Square offer fantastic deals not to be missed. Buy them on the day for up to 50% off standard prices.

•    Stay in hostels

Accommodation in London is over priced – and if you’re here to see the city, how much time will you actually spend in your room? Hostels are inexpensive, great for meeting people and most have cooking facilities so you can make your own food – a great way to save money. Shared dorms start from as little as £6 per night! Visit to book now!

•    Visit the free attractions

London has hundreds of free attractions. See Buckingham Palace, relax in one of London’s gorgeous green parks or spend the day at the Science museum or Tate Modern.

Looking for more unusual things to do in London? Why not dine on the top deck of a bus or enjoy delicious afternoon tea at one of London’s best restaurants? Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter for all the latest travel news!

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Category: Advice, England, Europe, London, Money-saving tips

About Alison Adey: I was previously Channel Editor for IPC's Homes network (;; and but I bid them a fond farewell in December 2010 to embark on this trip. I also worked for as a features writer for two years. View author profile.

Comments (1)

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  1. Drew says:

    Me, I’m planning on being as far away from London as I can possibly get for the Royal Wedding. My wife’ll be watching it on TV but I’m really not interested at all.

    For those that are though, if you’re struggling to find a hotel room and I’m betting a lot are, you could look into serviced apartments London as an alternative. Failing that, there’s also bed and breakfasts and hostels. And if everything goes up the creek, look for something outside of the central areas and throw yourself on the mercy of the tube.

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