London is on most people’s bucket lists when it comes to destinations to visit. Whether you live in the UK or outside, the English capital is synonymous with culture, class, refinement, fashion, entertainment, and of course, shopping.

Despite that fact, it will come as no surprise that London is not a cheap city to visit if you do it in a total touristic way, and it’s always worthwhile being a little sneaky and doing research beforehand, in order to save money here and there.

For instance, getting around the capital can be difficult if you don’t know where you’re going, and whilst the Tube (the Underground) isn’t that hard to navigate after a few attempts, you could waste precious time en-route. Now, I’m not going to pretend that driving in the centre of London is any fun, and not many people do it, but the area around the capital is stunningly beautiful, and it’s not difficult to travel to the coastal resorts, such as Brighton and Southampton, for instance.

You can easily hire a car, provided you check your driving license requirements from your country of origin, and you can do this rather cheaply, with cheap car hire at Heathrow Airport, UK, great for those on a budget. Once you have a set of wheels at your disposal, you’re free to explore!

We mentioned London itself mainly, and how to save money when visiting. Now, booking accommodation will require a price comparison search, because there are countless hotels, guest houses, and B&Bs in London, and you need to be sure that you’re getting somewhere close to the main attractions, but also low in cost. This can be done, but understandably you’re not going to get a hotel right in the centre for pennies. Consider finding somewhere that charges per room, rather than per person, and split the cost.

Voucher codes are a great way to save money on the go too, especially on food and drink. You’ll find countless apps for this and you simply check what’s available on that day, and off you go with your phone voucher in hand! This can add up to a major saving.

As for what to see and do, always book ahead for attractions that need tickets. For instance, the London Eye is cheaper if you book online in advance, and always use the official box office website. In terms of West End show tickets, never be tempted to hand over money to street vendors, as you could be running the risk of buying a black market ticket, which will cost you money and you get nothing in return. Always use the official theatre box office.

There are free attractions in London, believe it or not, and there are buy one get one free offers on many of them; again, it’s a case of searching online. For instance, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace can be seen for free from the street if you get there early enough to bag a good spot!

London and the surrounding area has so much to offer that it would be a crime not to get out and explore.

Photo Credit: Red London Transport Bus for hire on Marylebone Road via photopin (license)