Four days strolling through London, watching time go by in little coffee shops, dinner dates with friends, drifting from one museum to the next… the only thing that could’ve made it more perfect would be if I had Benedict Cumberbatch by my side! Oh well…always keep something to wish for, right? The first part of my wish came true though, when I went to London by myself for four days.
London is known to be not that cheap, and it definitely wasn’t. But I’ll show you how much I spent during my city trip in London and how you can reduce these costs yourself.
Amsterdam – London return ticket: €80
For months I’d been telling my London friends: “No, I swear, I’m really coming over!” And yet I still wasn’t going to London because… I don’t know. Probably because you have to cross the water or something, since I traveled to lots of other places in the meantime. So when iDbus asked me to go with them to London I finally made up my mind: I said yes and picked a date. I wasn’t fully prepared though, because a day pass for the London metro is about 11 euros. Ouch. Your better option is to buy an Oyster Card, which can save you a lot of money on every trip.
The bus is one of the cheapest ways of getting to London. If you’re lucky you’ll find a return ticket with Ryanair for the same price (or even less!) so that can be an option as well. Make sure to keep in mind the costs of getting from the airport to the city (if you go by bus, it drops you off in the city).
I know, you can get this a lot cheaper if you’re staying three nights, but I got the option of staying in a budget hotel (at least budget for London standards – it was about €90 per night, so only €45 per person if you’re with two people), so of course I decided to take it. My price was this high because I was on my own and thus had no one to split the costs with (although this stay was sponsored, luckily! I chose the hotel myself). I also stayed in a hostel for one night. I quite enjoyed both options.
If you really want to save money on your stay (which I usually do) your best bet is choosing a hostel. You’ll pay around €20 per night for a decent hostel (with decent I mean clean and not a party hostel). So you can have your stay for around €60 total. That will get you a bed in a dorm room. If you want to stay for free, maybe you could decide to go couch surfing.
Every day I spent around €40 on food. That’s quite something if you realise my breakfast was included almost every day, and I also had tiramisu, a few nuts and some wine for dinner one night (I was tired and couldn’t find a restaurant with takeout pizza near my hotel). I spent quite a bit on good lunches in cafes, or just some cake in the middle of the day. The other three days I went out for dinner as well. You can save up on food by choosing a hostel which includes breakfast (like Astor Hyde Park) and go to the supermarket for lunch. I could also say you could save up some money by not eating cake, but I’m really against saving money on things that make you happy ;-)
Well, I am the budget queen after all. The only time I spent money was when I visted the Sherlock Holmes museum. All other attractions were outside or free (London has a lot of free museums). Moreover, my favorite thing to do is still wandering around a city, which luckily doesn’t cost you one penny.
My guess for how much money you could spend: €325
My biggest expense was my accommodation, which is a bit distorted because if I would’ve paid it myself (it was kindly sponsored by iDbus) I only would’ve spent half of those costs, because I would’ve shared the room with a friend. After that my biggest expense was food… I wonder how that happened?