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Visiting London on a Budget - A Simple Way to Save on Your Vacation

Thinking about visiting London this summer? Then you’re in luck! Now is one of the BEST times in decades to travel to London for vacation. With the recent drop of the British pound as a result of England's Brexit vote, their currency is at a 30-year low in relation to the U.S. dollar. What does this mean for those of you planning a trip across the pond? It means that your London vacation budget just got more affordable, as you can get better value on currency exchanges - great news for those planning to visit London on a budget. Everything from airfare, to hotels, meals, shopping and other purchases are now likely cheaper.

Save Even More on Attraction Admission

We've got even more good news for you... Admission to your choice of 3, 4, or 5 popular London attractions is available with the London Explorer Pass®. Choose as you go from more than a dozen popular attractions and save up to 35% on combined admission prices vs paying at the gate. See all available passes, attractions, and prices – Learn more. Available attractions include:

  • The Coca-Cola London Eye
  • Hop-On Hop-Off London Sightseeing Tour
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Wembley Stadium Tour
  • And more!

Top Attraction to Visit

If you know you want to head to London but aren’t sure exactly what you want to see and do, we can help you with a few suggestions for top attractions to see while traveling London on a budget. These are some of our favorite London attractions, and we’re sure you’ll find something on this list to love, too.

The Coca-Cola London Eye

Image of Nature, Outdoors, Scenery, Landscape, Panoramic, City, Cityscape, Urban, Water, Waterfront, Amusement Park, Ferris Wheel, Fun, This is a must-do for any visitor to London. This massive observation wheel was one of the first constructed in the world, and today remains one of the most recognizable landmarks in the entire city. Hop aboard for unparalleled views of the river and the city below. Make sure your phone is charged for those perfect pictures! Looking for tips on other great photo opportunities? Check out our post on famous London landmarks. Please note: Coca-Cola London Eye tickets are available as an option on the London Explorer Pass.

London Eye River Cruise of the River Thames

Image of Boat, Vehicle, Water, Waterfront, Person, Ferry, A great way to see the city from a whole new perspective, a London Eye River Cruise is also a delightful respite from all the hustle and bustle of the London streets. You’ll also get the chance to see a number of famous landmarks and buildings that otherwise would require some extensive walking, like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and many more. Please note: London Eye River Cruise tickets are available as an option on the London Explorer Pass.

Madame Tussauds London

Image of Female, Girl, Person, Teen, Adult, Woman, Male, Man, Wristwatch, Formal Wear, Suit, Accessories, Tie, If you’re ever been interested in the striking art of Madame Tussauds, this is the time to check it out. At the original location of the world-famous franchise, you’ll learn all about the astonishing artistic process that turns wax into lifelike replicas of famous people. Of course, you’ll get the chance to “meet” some of those famous people, too! Where else will you get a chance to see the Queen herself? Please note: Madame Tussauds London tickets are available as an option on the London Explorer Pass.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Image of Person, Adult, Male, Man, Church, Landmark, Handbag, Bench, Furniture, St. Paul Cathedral, Clock Tower, St. Paul’s Cathedral is among the city’s greatest architectural treasures. Filled with gorgeous galleries, historical tombs, and beautiful artwork – not to mention its iconic dome – it’s a must-visit for history buffs or architecture fans. Visit the Cathedral floor to see the many tombs of ancient and historical famous Britons, like Lord Admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, and pop into any of the three galleries located in the famous dome, where you’ll be treated to amazing view of the city. Please note: St. Paul's Cathedral tickets are available as an option on the London Explorer Pass.

Hop-On Hop-Off London Sightseeing Tour

Image of Clock Tower, Tower, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, City, Microphone, Photography, Glasses, Male, Man, People, If you want to really get a sense of London, then a sightseeing bus is invaluable. A hop-on hop-off option is a smart choice, too, because it gives you the flexibility to disembark at places that interest you! If you choose to stay on for the entire Big Bus London route, some of the sites you’ll see include...

  • Hyde Park Corner
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Parliament Square
  • Buckingham Palace
  • many more...

If you are using your London Explorer Pass, present your Pass at any of the three bus stop locations below to pick up your tickets:

  • Piccadilly – between Green Park underground station and The Ritz Hotel
  • Victoria Station – on the forecourt in front of the railway station
  • Baker Street – at the Big Bus kiosk between the exit of Baker Street underground and Madame Tussauds

Please note: Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus London tickets are available as an option on the London Explorer Pass.

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Image of Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Animal, Sea Life, Fish, Shark, The SEA LIFE London Aquarium is a delightful place for animal lovers young and old. It’s a fascinating, in-depth look into the world’s watery creatures and plants, from sharks to penguins to polar bears. One of the most popular exhibits is “Frozen Planet: Face to Face,” in which visitors experience and immersive virtual reality encounter with a mama polar bear and her cub! Please note: SEA LIFE London Aquarium tickets are available as an option on the London Explorer Pass.

The London Dungeon

Image of Adult, Male, Man, Person, Handbag, Chair, Female, Woman, Keyboard, Musical Instrument, Piano, See centuries of unsavory British history brought to life before your very eyes. Enjoy 19 live shows, two exciting rides, and delightful décor and costumed actors. This 90-minute excursion will bring you face to face with Britain’s worst – from the Black Plague to Guy Fawkes to Jack the Ripper. While this attraction is a bit scary, it’s also pretty funny and campy, so don’t worry too much about being frightened. Bonus: there's even a pub! We bet you and your teenagers will love The London Dungeon. Want more? Check out our post on other things to do in London for teens. Please note: The London Dungeon tickets are available as an option on the London Explorer Pass.

London Bike Tours

Image of People, Person, Adult, Female, Woman, Marching, Glove, Group Performance, Music, Music Band, Musical Instrument, Musician, Performer, Handbag, Shoe, Male, Man, Mobile Phone, Traffic Light, A great way to explore London while getting a bit of fresh air and exercise is via bike. London is becoming more and more bike friendly every year, and there are plenty of public spaces and landmarks to tour on two wheels. Take a guided bike tour to eliminate the stress of planning your own route. Your informative and entertaining guide will take you on a leisurely ride that showcases London’s most iconic spots while providing city insider insights, historical information, fascinating London trivia, and more. Please note: Fat Tire Bike Tours are available as an option on the London Explorer Pass.

Wembley Stadium Tour

Image of Adult, Male, Man, Person, Hat, Football fans of all ages will delight in the opportunity to see one of the sport’s greatest stages – the iconic Wembley Stadium. Take a comprehensive 75-minute tour and go behind the scenes of this amazing venue. Home of the FA Cup and international play for the England National Team, this stadium is filled with famous spots and even more famous memorabilia, like a replica of the FA Cup itself, the press conference rooms, the players’ tunnel, and the Jules Rimet Trophy. Please note: Wembley Stadium Tours are available as an option on the London Explorer Pass.

Free London Activities for Your Budget Friendly Vacation

There are also of plenty fun and free activities to enjoy on your vacation, from exploring parks to enjoying museums. Here are just a few that we would suggest.

The Science Museum (free!)

With seven floors of entertaining and informative exhibits, the Science Museum of London is a must-do attraction for lovers of engineering and the sciences. Kids will love the interactivity of the many exhibits, and adults will appreciate the impressive artifact collection. Want even more ideas for stuff to see with your kids? Check out our post on things to do in London with kids. Some of the highlights of the Science Museum include the Apollo 10 command module, a Medical History Gallery, the gorgeous Clockmaker’s Collection, plus an IMAX cinema (tickets for the IMAX film do come with a small cost, although museum admission is free).

Hyde Park (free!)

This is a great choice for the whole family. At 350 acres, Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in all of London, and is one of the most popular among locals. It’s the perfect place to people watch, picnic, or play games with the kids. Depending upon the time of year you visit – we’re recommending this summer, but anytime is amazing – you’ll also encounter some festivals and concerts in Hyde Park. During the summer, the British Summer Time concert series may be on! (Note: Admission to the BST concert series is unfortunately not free) Insider Tip: Be sure to snap a photo of the Great Entrance!

The British Museum (free!)

One of the largest collections of art and artifacts in the entire world, the British Museum is an absolute must-see for those interested in art and human history. Millions of visitors flock here each year to see their inspiring collections, including a very strong group of Ancient Egyptian art and artifacts, an impressive collection of Middle East materials, and themed areas like “The Enlightenment,” “Collecting the World,” and “Living and Dying.”

The National Gallery, London (free!)

Located in the heart of Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery is among the most popular art museums in the entire world. With over 2,300 paintings dating from the 13th century to the 20th, it’s an inspiring collection of human art. Some of their most famous holdings include Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh, Da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks, an array of works by Titian and Raphael, and Rembrandt’s Self Portrait at the Age of 34.

Let's Recap

While this list is by no means an exhaustive collection of budget-friendly things to do in London, it is a great start. Remember, this summer is an excellent time to travel to London due to the British pound drop. Your money will go further, so can have more left over for souvenirs and dining opportunities! If you want to save even more, pick up a London Explorer Pass® and save up to 35% on combined admission to many of these fine attractions vs paying at the gate. Happy Travels!

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