If you’d like to buy my 3-Day London Itinerary but it’s not quite in your travel budget at the moment, well, heck! I want you to be able to experience London as easily and efficiently as possible too, so here are some ways to save money when you’re here, and these savings will help cover the cost of the itinerary, and in some cases, you’ll still have some money left over! This also works for The Local Guide to London, and to help cover the cost of a London Photo Session.
Take public transportation instead of a taxi from the airport
Taxis from the airport can be REALLY expensive. That’s because just about every London airport is not actually IN London, so depending on where you’re staying, you could be in for a journey that’s long and costly.
Save yourself a possible £100+ with these two very cheap ways to get to central London from the airport.
An airport transfer bus via National Express is likely going to be the cheapest option for you to get into central London, and then you can take the tube to get to your accommodation. Prices start at £5 one way, and they have buses available from all airports except Southend and City.
Night bus from Heathrow
From around 11:30pm- 5am, the N9 night bus runs from Heathrow every 20 minutes and gets you into central London in about 75 minutes, but it only costs £1.50. Your only other transportation option that late at night is taxi or Uber (or National Express buses start running again at 4:30am), so if you really can’t bear the cost, get yourself into central London via the bus and then either take a taxi to your accommodation or figure out another night bus route that goes by where you’re staying (use the Google Maps app or Citymapper app to figure that out.)
Savings: £15-£50 per person
Book a free-flowing deal on Bookatable
In London, an affordable restaurant turns into not-so-affordable when you’ve had just a couple of drinks. Instead of spending £10+ each for cocktails or prosecco, check out some of Bookatable’s “free flowing deals”. These are restaurants around the city that offer a special unlimited deal, either on drinks or food.
You’ll find the “M” restaurants on this list, like M Victoria, they have a really good deal and the food is yummy too. Beware… they are NOT stingy on keeping your Prosecco glass topped up!
Savings: £10-30 per person (depending on how much you drink. No judgements here people!)
Do the Mad Hatter’s Tea during the week for the Bookatable “Star Deal”
Another Bookatable deal I recommend… if you want to do afternoon tea, the Sanderson Hotel does a fun Mad Hatter-themed one. If you go during the day on a weekday and if you make your reservation on Bookatable via their “star deal”, you’ll get the tea AND a cocktail for only £40. When you have the tea and that cocktail when not booked through this deal, it costs £60. What a difference! If you’re traveling as two, you’ve just saved yourselves almost enough to get the 3-Day London Itinerary. If you’re traveling three or more, then you’ve got money left over!
Savings: £20 per person
Get a travel card for public transportation
If you’re visiting London for seven days, you can save yourself some money by getting a 7-day travel card. It covers all of your travel for the amount of zones that you purchase it for, and if you compare the cost of the travel card to what you’d pay for seven days of daily capping, you’ll see the savings.
Buy a travel card ahead of time here, or you can buy one when you arrive to London. Watch this video for more information about how travel cards work.
*Tip– don’t buy a one-day travel card, you’ll end up spending a lot more than if you just used an Oyster Card!
Savings: £13.50 per person (for zones 1-2), £16 per person (for zones 1-3)
Skip the View from the Shard for these options
The View from the Shard is the tallest viewing spot in the EU, but that comes with a hefty price of £19-£30 for adults depending on a couple of variables. There are a couple great alternatives for free viewpoints over London– the Sky Garden, and the 10th floor of the Tate Modern. Of course, these aren’t as high up as the Shard, but that money you saved, which, we’re talking almost three digits if you’re traveling as a group of four, can be used for so much more, like the 3-Day London Itinerary. Plus, the Sky Garden and the Tate Modern are in the 3-Day Itinerary, making it super easy to do the swap.
Savings: £18-30 per adult, £13-£19 per child
Get drunk at Bar Soho
Nights out in London are FUN but they can REALLY get expensive. I remember coming to London for the first time when I was a study abroad student, and the exchange rate was so bad at that point that I’m not even sure if I was able to afford ANY drinks! WOOF.
Bar Soho, which is (obviously) in London’s Soho area, does a crazy-good happy hour… 50% off all drinks, every day from 5-8pm. I once ordered a bottle of wine that was just £12 during happy hour, and I split it with two other women… what a steal! Don’t expect a luxurious, relaxing bar, but expect good savings if you only drink within the happy hour hours (and actually, by London standards, the prices during not-happy hour are pretty good too.)
Savings: £4-£50 per person (depending on how many you typically tend to knock back in an evening…)
Hey, if you put all of these budget hacks together, you’ll MORE than have enough cash left over to get the 3-Day London Itinerary, in fact you’ll have a nice stack of cash in your hand, ready to be spent on other cool stuff in London.
Some of the links in this article are affiliated, which helps to keep the free London content coming.