Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge... There's no shortage of things to do and see in London!

Sightseeing on a budget

Abby071

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  • Added on: January 2nd, 2009
For those wanting to discover London's south bank for free, you can do it on foot with lots of different downloadable walking guides. You can view the Thames from a new perspective and take a look at the London Eye, Big Ben and other famous landmarks whilst blowing away the cobwebs and keeping that new year resolution not to spend lots of money this year!

Anymore money saving ideas from anyone?
Abby

Marnath

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  • Added on: January 12th, 2009
Hit up the national museums as they are free. The science and natural history museums were great.

Spend some time in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, both are beautiful and also free. Instead of going out to lunch you can stop in a market or get some street food and picnic with the locals.

I would also suggest getting a day card or clam shell card for the tube. They charge 4 pound for individual tickets, day is much cheaper and the clam shell is supposed to be the lowest rates and I believe starts at 20 pounds.. Never used one personally.

Freedomtrip

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  • Added on: January 16th, 2009
The card Marnath is referring to is called an Oyster card. They are about 25 quid a week for unlimited rides on the buses and underground. It is completely worth it as I used to live in London and loved the freedom of the underground to connect me to all parts of the city.

Check out the free markets that happen on the weekend. I lived in Camden Town and they markets there are fabulous. Cheap food, good people watching and funny trinkets. Also, Brick Lane is a great area for a super cheap and super authentic Indian meal and they have great vintage stores around the area.

Once a week or a month the tower of London does the changing of the keys ceremony and it's free but you have to register in advance because otherwise the tower is pretty expensive to visit.

Hyde Park and Regent's Park are completely free and completely beautiful. It's fun to bring a picnic on a nice day.

Libby

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  • Added on: January 17th, 2009
I've never found an Oyster card that is unlimited travel, but you can get a good discounts. They are really good for people who don't have a whole lot of travel to do in the run of a day.

When I go to London I buy a London Tube Pass for international visitors. Those are unlimited travel but have to be purchased before you arrive. They can be activitated when you get there.

Freedomtrip

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  • Added on: January 20th, 2009
An unlimited travel Oyster card can be purchased at the windows on the underground for a flat rate. You can get them for one week or if you want to register, you can get them for one month of even one year. You choose how many zones you want to travel through although most tourists never really need anything more than zone 2. It saves so much money.

Libby

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  • Added on: January 21st, 2009
How much does it cost to purchase the unlimited pass while you are there? I was going to buy mine before I went and it costs $61 CDN for the 7 day, zones 1&2

2wanderers

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  • Added on: January 21st, 2009
Fares are listed here. £25.80 (C$47.29) for zones 1-2. You'll also need to buy a single ticket to get in from the airport (zone 6, if its Heathrow). The cash fare is £4 each way, though the fares for oyster card holders are cheaper (£3.80 peak hours, £2.20 off peak).

Eppyboy

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  • Added on: January 28th, 2009
My sister is going to London for a weekend this was a sampe itinerary I gave her. Many of the things I suggested were free and this was all based on an unlimited zone 1 ticket.

She was staying near Regent Park, but the places will generally apply:

Day 1:

Take baker line (brown) Regents park toward Elephant and Castle to Piccadilly Circus

You can either get out and walk around a little to see whats around or

Transfer to Purple line (Picadilly line) towards Cockfosters to Leicester square

Leicester square (very touristy part of london but nice nonetheless). Now if you dont want to walk that much you can go back to Leicester square and take the picadilly line towards cockfosters one stop to Covent Garden (i highly recommend walking though) just follow the signs, very easy to find it, again touristy but nice, they have street performances, shopping etc...

From Covent Garden get back on the picadilly circus line (but now go towards the other way) Get off at knightsbridge

another touristy area (shit the whole city is) and there you find harrod's of london, like macys very famous and huge department store, good shops around probably can find dinner there.

If you dont want to do that you can get back on the piccadilly circus line or you can walk like 2 miles or something to the thames (river) and see the tower of london bridge lit up at night (if it is a nice night, very nice picture with the river in teh background)

But unfortunately by tube you would have to do this:

piccadilly towards cockfosters to kings cross - transfer to circle line going towards the stop of tower hill

get out and there should be signs to tower of london or the river, or just ask "hey where is the tower bridge"

i think it is a nice sight at night

Day 2 - wake up early

Take Baker Line (brown) from Regent Park to Charing Cross

Get out this should be trafalgar square. Take photos look around very nice, nice fountains etc...

Walk to Admiralty Arch (its huge jenny you cant miss it) walk through it and then take the walk down to buckingham palace.

make sure you stop on your right for that photo i told you about with the guards (i dont even know what the hell they are guarding haha).

From Buck Palace go to the left and walk on buckingham palace road (NOT BUCK GATE ROAD) and then make a left on bressenden road then a left on victoria street and you should first come to westminister cathederal (free to enter) very very nice

From West Cathedral - continue on victoria street walking the same direction until you hit westminster abby - you cannot miss it. It is NOT free to enter, actually quite expensive, if you wish to go in you can but if not take pictures and from there you should get your first shot at Big Ben! Hopefully you have nice weather for it, but it is pretty cool, that whole area is really cool.

Keep walking until you hit broad sanctuary and basically you will hit the Thames (river). You should get your first glimpse at the London Eye. Now my friend's love the London Eye, i think it is 30 Euros but on a nice day it is a great site (i personally have never done it, BUT if the weather is nice you can and this is how you get there).

Simply walk on Bridge street across the Westminster bridge road bridge turn left on Belvedere road and just walk towards it. Note - there could be a huge line for it, not sure not guaranteeing anything.

If you choose NOT to do it, before you cross the bridge go into the westminister tube station, not hard to miss either, many entrances or just ask.

From Westminster take the District or Circle line (green or yellow in the direction of the stop of Tower Hill (if you go the day before you should remember it), and go to the Tower of London. Go inside, not that cheap but worth it, if you do the tour it is like 2 hours maybe more im not sure just ask how long it takes, if you walk around yourself inside its ok but not sure if you can and you dont really get the story.

I suggest before you do the tower of london get lunch, just look around that area for something quick, if you are daring and want to keep going keep going

After tower of London I suggest walking across the Tower Bridge, I think it is cool. Once across this part isn't so exciting, but you have to make a right on Tooley street, which turns into duke st hill or something anyway just walk straight then when you see the water again and a bridge, walk across it, it is called the london bridge even though the original is in Arizona across Lake Havasau, dont ask I dont know. Anyway walk across the London bridge and then walk to the tube station called Monument. You will probably be hungry by this point, it may even be the late afternoon, dinner or happy hour time.

So take the tube from monument transfer meaning walk inside monument station to the central line which is technically called Bank station, if you dont want to do that you can simply take circle or district line to embankment transfer to the northern line, then once on the northern line get off at leicester square for dinner or drinks and walk to covent garden or eat there.

To get home from covent garden or picadilly line, take the picadilly line back to picadilly circus then take the baker line (brown) to regent park and you are back.

i am attaching a large print version of the tube map so you can put the pieces together yourself and see it.

Enjoy here is your 1.5 itin for london
Josh has taken his much needed vacation and will be going on another Christmas to New Years 2011/2012. However, before he does read about his past trips http://blogs.bootsnall.com/eppyboy

Nomadic Matt

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  • Added on: June 25th, 2009
I don't want to plug my own stuff but I wrote a post that might help you out. I was in London on a real budget and this is what I managed to do cheaply.

Skyehiker

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  • Added on: July 22nd, 2009
Id' be careful referring to lines by their colors :).

The "purple" line isn't known by most locals at the Picadilly Line, but actually the Met line/Metropolitan line...as it's purple on the tube maps. The Picadilly Line is a dark/navy blue on most tube maps.

And, if you're interchanging b/n tube & train, sometimes station staff refer to either by line color. Example: one traveler that was just here arrived via Eurostar from Paris to Kings Cross and asked to get on the Pink Line (which she was thinking of, accurately, as the Hammersmith & City Line). She was directed to the pink line all right, but it was the National Rail train that runs to Cambridge!

No fault of hers, and no fault of the staff member's, just a misunderstanding.


And, it goes w/o saying that if your'e traveling on weekends, check tube closures for whatever color line you're one (transport for london always has planned engineering works for the weekends, with partial to full line closures and station closures on some routes)

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. ---St. Augustine

Frank Wilson

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  • Added on: August 5th, 2010
Buy the tube pass and start your sight seeing by walk. Tubes stations are all over London, you can easily access almost all the major attractions and tourist spots in London.



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