The only problem is you’re on a tight budget. Yep, you’re in one of the most expensive cities in the world and you’re on a budget.
The good news is that there are ways and means of enjoying everything that the big smoke has to offer without maxing out credit cards or blowing your budget in one day. We’ve asked a number of native Londoners for the lowdown on how to make your money go further in the capital.
These streets were made for walking – and cycling…
The great thing about most areas of London is that there is always something of interest around the next corner. That means walking is often the best means of transport – it’s free and you won’t be stuck in traffic, or trapped face first in somebody’s armpit on the Underground! It’s also a very intimate way to learn about the city and the rich history that exists on practically every street.
Plus, if you really want to feel the wind blowing through your hair as you take in the sights, why not hop on a Boris bike? You may have seen the blue bikes lined up on various pavements in the city. For just £3 for a 30 minute ride, including bike hire, you could be halfway across the city in no time.
Check out the free sights and attractions
One of the best things about visiting or living in London is that there is so much free stuff to do. From loitering outside Buckingham Palace to catching a street performance in Covent Garden or visiting one of the many museums or art galleries in the city, you can have a thoroughly enjoyable day on a shoestring.
Want to see a show? London theatre ticket prices can be terrifying, but with a little know how and the right timing, you could be watching some of theatre land’s finest productions. Check out the reduced price ticket booth in Leicester Square’s Clocktower Building. Established since 1980, this reliable ticket outlet offers some great discounts.
Hire a car for day trips
This might seem like expensive advice, but if you are planning some days out on the outskirts of London (Legoland and Royal Ascot are just two examples), hiring a car can work out to be more effective than taking the train, especially if there is a group of you.
Most car hire outlets allow you to hire a car for 24 hours at a good price and if you plan your day out well, you will certainly get your money’s worth. And once you are out of the gridlocked city you will find that the outer London roads are fairly clear and free flowing.
Exchange your currency the clever way
Are you going to be exchanging foreign currency in London? If the answer is yes, then you really need to have your wits about you in the capital. That little bureau de change booth on the corner of a West End street might give you fast access to your cash, but you will pay a high premium. Don’t be fooled by 0% commission deals or any other marketing fluff you may be offered. Althoughyou won’t be charged any itemised fees, you’ll pay dearly through being given a lower exchange rate.
Using the services of a specialist foreign currency exchange service will ensure that you get the best exchange rate, access to low or no fees on each transaction and expert assistance on every currency exchange you make. And the best bit? You can do it all from your mobile phone or anywhere with an Internet connection.
Daniel Abrahams is a keen personal finance writer, startup mentor at ABC Startups and the Co-Founder of OPP award-winning comparison website, MyTravelMoney.
Image credit: Thinkstock