I can’t believe that Spring Break is here. Andy and I were reminiscing about our trip to London last April. We had an amazing trip and could not have picked a better time to visit. The temperatures were mild and the city’s parks were green and blooming. The weather continued to get better during our stay in London. The temps were in the upper sixties during the day but lower in the early mornings and evenings hours. Come rain or shine I knew that we would fall in love with London. We did pack our umbrella however we never used it. We had 6 glorious days of sunshine.
London is notorious for being pricey. Although Andy and I did splurge on our accommodations and a couple fancy dinners we managed to make the most of our stay without going bankrupt. Here are a few insider saving tips:
- Walk, Walk, Walk
One of the cheapest and best things you can do in London is just wander around and see the sights. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked almost everywhere. One of our favorite walks is along the Thames. During our walks we passed many iconic landmarks like the London Eye, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, HMS Belfast, Tower of London and of course Big Ben. Walking also allowed us to really take in all the beautiful architecture and gave us the opportunity to familiarize ourselves to our new surroundings.
2. Free Attractions
London is great for sightseeing because so much is free. It makes sightseeing on a budget really easy. Some of the free attractions and landmarks include top art galleries and museums including Tate Modern, National Gallery and British Museum. Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard which is, yes you guessed it is FREE. Buckingham Palace was a short walk from our hotel so Andy and I got to the gates 45 minutes early. We had an amazing view and got to take so many incredible pictures as you can see. The changing of the guard takes place every other day at 11:30am. We also met a sweet couple from Chicago who gave us some great lunch recommendations.
- The London Pass
For attractions that were not free, Andy and I bought a London pass for two days of sightseeing. The London Pass covers over 32 destinations and offers free public transportation. The London Pass gets you in free (often with fast-track entry) to more than 60 top London attractions including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge Experience and the Thames River Cruise.
- Cheap Eats
London is a haven for affordable lunch spots. From bakeries to pie shops to deli sandwiches, there’s something for everyone. Our favorite fast food chain was definitely Leon. Leon had many healthy, fresh, Mediterranean inspired menu choices. We ate at least 3 meals at Leon. We also loved food shopping at Harrods. It was an amazing experience. One afternoon we picked up a few treats and had a picnic in the park. Andy’s favorite meal was definitely breakfast. He enjoyed the full English breakfast. One our third day after a few hours of walking we decided to go to Victoria station for a cup of coffee and pastries. We sat back, relaxed and did some people watching. It was so fun. We even saw comedian Eddie Izzard shopping.
- Get an Oyster Card
A visitor Oyster card is a smartcard which is used to pay for public transport like the Tube, London Overground, and most National Rail services in London as well as buses. However, you have to try the Black cabs at least once. They are one of London’s iconic symbols. Our cab driver was a great tour guide and a wealth of information.
My best advice for travelers to London is to explore the city and its amazing sights at your own pace. Don’t try to do everything in one week because not only will you be rushed but you will also miss out on the wonderful experience of re-discovering London again and again. I can’t wait to return.
What are your Spring Break plan lovelies?