Transport 3 min read

How to Save Money in London: Our Top 10 Travel Tips

big ben in london behind a red double-decker bus
Published on May 25, 2022
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London is always a great trip out! With so much to do and so much to see, it does not matter whether it’s a family getaway, couples' trip or solo adventure - there is always so much to do in England's capital city.

From the London Eye to the West End, there is always plenty to fill your time. However, all of this fun does usually come at quite an expense!

Especially if you’re from up North, you might be surprised at what takes up most of your budget and where you can save if you book wisely. With that been said, we've put together our ten top tips on how to have the best time in London, without breaking the bank:

1) Shop Train Tickets Wisely

We all know how much train tickets can fluctuate, even on a daily basis.

Here at Hey Discount, we find the best way to save money on your train tickets to London is to book well in advance through sites like Trainline. As the seats sell out, the fares go up! 

If you can, always try and buy off-peak tickets. This just means your train won’t be at peak times such as rush hour and busy commuter times.

Another great way to get a discount if you use the train often is to invest in a railcard. This will get you discount on every train you book.

2) Travel By the Tube

The tube is a great way to travel around London. It's quick, affordable, and pretty easy to use!

You can even download apps that tell you exactly which colour line to take and in what direction. Check out Rail Easy and book your tickets in advance. Getting the tube rather than the bus saves you both time and money. A taxi can cost so much, especially in London.

Using the tube system is far cheaper and saves you a lot of time where you would normally be sitting in traffic. You can even use your contactless card at each station to save queueing for tickets!

3) Book Your Hotel Well in Advance

It’s no secret that hotels in London can be expensive at the best of times!

Just like train tickets, the more rooms that get booked – the higher the remainder are. If you can, plan and book your accommodation months in advance as this is where you will find the best prices.

You can even use comparison sites to find cheaper hotels that you may not know of already.

Another great tip is to take a look at hotels within the business district, as these tend to drop in price for weekend stays. Make sure to always check out what travel discount codes are available before you book!

4) Be Careful When You Choose to Go

An easy mistake to make is booking your stay in London before checking what events are going on.

London is home to major sports stadiums like Wembley and some of the best theatres and museums in the world.

If there’s a popular show on or a big football match, then you will find the prices of everything shoot up. London also often hosts events that take place city-wide, which cause both hotel and train fares to double in price.

A quick look at what’s taking place in London before you book your trip away can save you a lot of money while you’re there!

5) Do Lots of Walking (It’s the Best Thing for Sightseeing!)

As easy as it is to jump on a bus or tube, walking is the cheapest way to get about. 

Not only does it save some of that spending money for more exciting adventures, but it’s the best possible way to sightsee. While you’re walking from one attraction to another, you usually spot a few buildings you can recognise without even having to plan them into your trip!

If you’re relatively fit, you can visit most places in London on foot. It's also the best way to scope out potential restaurants or bars for your evening.

6) Visit Free Attractions & Museums

As there is so much to see and do in London, there are always some great options to visit for free.

Especially if it’s your first time, iconic galleries like the below are an absolute must and have free entry year-round:

  • National Gallery
  • National Portrait Gallery 
  • Tate Britain
  • Tate Modern
  • White Chapel Gallery

More of a history buff? Don't miss the British Museum, Museum of London or Natural History Museum.

You can also take in all the outdoors has to offer in the middle of London completely free! We highly recommend Hyde or Greenwich Park, Greenwich is particularly good for breath-taking views of the city.

There are also many free attractions that are a must-see for visitors. Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Abbey Road and Little Venice, just to name a few, are all absolutely amazing and completely free.

7) Eat at Food Markets

Food markets are a key part of London and have been increasingly popular over recent years.

Even if you aren’t on a budget, we’d recommend visiting Borough or Camden market for some amazing food!

However, if you are looking to save money on your next trip to London, food markets are a must. You can try all the best food London has to offer at a fraction of a restaurant cost - and it's often even tastier. 

8) Drink at Backstreet Bars

If you’re looking for a night out in the big city, then don’t think you have to stick to the main roads for all the excitement!

Even just going one road back from the main areas could find you some much more reasonable prices.

We also recommend taking a look at TripAdvisor before you visit to get an idea of the places you might like to visit. This will help you plan your time, book all the right places and get an idea of the cost before you visit.

9) Find Vouchers for Restaurants & Events

The best way to get a discount anywhere is by finding vouchers online before you go!

Especially in London, there’s always lots to be found and it may even help inspire your trip if you haven’t already planned out where to go.

Take a look at Hey Discount’s best vouchers online ahead of time, book your table or event and save money! You can even find vouchers for popular shows or attractions ahead of time, especially if you’re looking to visit outside of a peak time like the school holidays.

10) Look for Family Passes

If you’re taking the full family on your trip to London, an absolute must-have is a family pass.

All attractions, museums and galleries will offer family passes to save you money. You can even save by booking in advance rather than buying your ticket on the door. Especially if it’s somewhere you’ve promised the family, we would definitely recommend getting it booked as soon as you can!

As London is such a popular tourist spot, attractions and passes can book up quite quickly.

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Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!

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