London is one of the most expensive cities to visit on the planet. Once you learn your way around a bit you can keep your budget under control, but when you first arrive it feels like you are being beaten up by shockingly high prices. Cheap hotels are available in some neighborhoods, but expect a tiny and worn-out-looking windowless room if you go too low. See our recommended London hotels and hostels page for great value at well-located places.
The good news is that almost all of the famous museums, including the huge and amazing British Museum, are free to enter for everyone. The “free” walking tours given by Sandeman’s New London are also excellent and worth the small tip you’ll give the guide at the end. But most of the other famous attractions are crazy expensive, so research the many free things to do if your budget is tight. On the other hand, our review of the London Pass shows that it’s quite good value for many visitors. We’ve prepared a long article featuring the best things to do in London, which should be helpful for a first-time visitor or planner.
Food and drinks can also be frustratingly expensive, especially if you stay in the main tourist areas. Finding your way to other residential neighborhoods is a money-saving key, and it’ll give you a better feel for the city at the same time. If you are trying to keep costs low while having a great time anyway be sure to check out our London budget travel tips. Most people stay in London, but there are many great and cheap day trips out of London to consider as well.