We traveled to London for a relative's wedding. Our daily agenda included a mix of family obligations and a daily challenge: how to enjoy London on a limited budget. It's one of the priciest destinations on the planet, often keeping cost-conscious travelers at bay. These money-saving tips will put London back on your bucket list.
Freebies: The British National Museum, Museum of Natural History and the Museum of London are free, world-class attractions worthy of lengthy exploration. Other London freebies include the National Portrait Gallery and complimentary lunch-hour lectures at University College London every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:15.
Food: In the Golders Green section of London, we found a tasty lineup of kosher shops and restaurants, including Carmelli Bagel Bakery. The cinnamon buns, currant scones and other takeout items provided us with frugal, delicious treats for picnic lunches and midday snacks. Other culinary experts repeatedly advised us that international restaurants provide a far better bargain when dining out in London. Amy Scher, a London enthusiast, raves about her favorite Pakistani establishment: Tayyabs. Scher was able to order a decadent meal of lamb with a high-end appetizer for less than $20 (USD.) "I've purchased fast food meals on the street that cost more than that," Scher said. She also recommends Borough Market, a strollable culinary smorgasbord in London that has been around since the 13th century. Journeywoman.com's Evelyn Hannon has a favorite London souvenir: tea. She purchases packets of 25 flavored bags at Harrods for less than $5 (USD).
Planning: Andrea Dickson, a Wise Bread blogger, recommends planning your tourist route ahead of time. London's tube is more expensive than mass transit in other cities, so you don't want to zigzag across the city unnecessarily. She also recommends grabbing groceries to go at your nearest Tesco of opportunity. This grocery chain is a great option for purchasing picnic items without paying convenience-store prices, according to Dickson.
Parks: The famous Hyde Park offers a mixture of gardens, lawns, concession stands and an extensive lake area. Located in Central London, Hyde Park is one the Royal Parks of London. We had a great time strolling through the park, people-watching and garden-hopping. Hyde Park is adjacent to Kensington Gardens and the Diana Memorial Playground, an innovative playground that pays tribute to Princess Diana. The entire area offers a solid day of low-cost (mostly free) fun for travelers of all ages.