London on a budget

London has a reputation for being an expensive city, but there are plenty of things to do and ways to save money if you are on a budget. Here is my ultimate guide of how see London without breaking the bank and still have an amazing time.

Museums
We’ll start with the most obvious choice, which is London’s museums. There are so many incredible museums that are free to visit. A few of the most famous include; the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and my personal favourite the V&A, these are all located together in South Kensington and you could spend an entire day inside just one.
If you don’t want to venture too far, take a walk to the RAF museum, it is only a 10-minute walk from the Stay Club and if you are an aircraft enthusiast, it can’t be missed.
For art, Trafalgar Square has the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. Filled with hundreds of paintings, exploring these two free galleries are a fabulous way to spend a few hours on a rainy day.
There are many more free or cheap museums in London and a lot of them also feature free tours and talks. Check the webpage of the museum you are interested in to see what they provide.

Save money on Travel
One of the biggest expenses in London is the tube. One way to save is to try and travel off peak. TFL travel is discounted between 09:30 – 16:00 and then again after 19:30.
The next rule is to never buy individual tickets – using an Oyster card is always cheaper and if you plan to travel around a lot, getting a weekly pass on your oyster might work out better.
Another way to save some money on train fares is to walk more, you get to see more of London, do some exercise and, often in Zone 1, it’s just a 10 minute walk between stations. Something else to consider is, it may be easier to get off the tube somewhere a little further away, and walk, instead of changing trains.
The savings might seem small, but they soon start to add up.
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Food
Street food trucks in London are amazing and very reasonably priced. You can now even find one or two in Colindale by the station.
Some recommended places to grab a cheap bite are Camden, there are lots of food trucks by the Lock or if you prefer somewhere less busy, Southbank has some good ones by the river.
Another way to save money on food is by simply being prepared. When you know you will be out all day take some snacks to avoid eating out. Also, lot of supermarkets do very reasonable meal deals where you can choose 3 items for a good price, I find a lot of my money goes to food and eating out so paying attention to these things can make a big difference when you don’t have much to spend.
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Festivals and Events
London is not a city where you can easily get bored, there are always festivals, parades or events to see and a lot of them are free. Southbank Centre hosts a lot of events or check Time Out London which lists festivals and concerts and events around the city.
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Stay Club Partners and Stay Campus Events
Another fabulous benefit of staying and studying with Stay Campus is, because we are such friendly people, we have made friends with a lot of the local business and they provide residents with discounts. Just show your room key or lanyard at Taco Bell, ITJL, or Spaccanapoli for a discount. For full information of all the partners and discounts check here
We also have a great events programme here at Stay Campus, with weekly discos, games nights and a full-sized cinema you don’t even need to go out and the best part – all the events are free.
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Markets
For discount shopping head to one of London’s many markets and get ready to barter. Camden has a lot of bargains and you can get a good deal if you ask. There is also Portobello Road in Notting Hill which is one of my favourite markets to visit on a Saturday and there is everything from clothes to antiques. If you prefer Highstreet shopping, Primark is super cheap and has a huge selection of clothes and now, even a Harry Potter section for all your wizarding needs.
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Theatre Tickets
The west End is outrageously expensive, but if you are flexible then you can pick up discounted tickets from box offices around London on the day of performance, there are also lots of smaller independent theatres which offer great shows with much cheaper prices.

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