London on a budget - get the most out of your British pounds is written by Ida Dreboldt Kofoed-Hansen.
A trip to London - even at SU
My sister and I have always wanted to experience London together. But it is an expensive city to visit. A few years ago, we decided to do it anyway, even though we were both at SU.
Even though we had saved money together for the trip, we made an effort to save money where we could. We managed to get a bold trip to London without being completely ruined. So this is a little travel story about a week's holiday in London on a SU budget.
The fixed costs: Accommodation
London is not cheap to live in, but we found a place that actually worked really well. We lived on the Stay Club. It is a cross between a hostel and a kind of studio apartment. If you are a student, you can book a room at a really nice price. Towels are not cleaned or changed while you live there, but if you can clean up after yourself, then do not do so much - when you live cheap.
The fixed costs: Diet
The room included a small kitchenette with kettle, microwave and refrigerator. It's super cool, because buying food out in the city every day is fast becoming a bigger expense than you might expect. We shopped in a nearby supermarket and ate delicious cheap breakfast in bed all week.
In addition to breakfast, we also bought sandwiches, which we took with us on our trips out into the blue. That way we did not have to eat lunch outside.
In London, they have a really large selection of relatively cheap ready-made food in most supermarkets, and it's actually really delicious. Since the room also has a microwave, we bought dinner at the supermarket a few times. However, we prioritized eating dinner out most days.
Transportation can be done cheaply
If you have not planned to walk the city thin - it is a big city - then the metro is an obvious choice. With an Oyster Card that works a bit like our Travel Card, you have the easiest and cheapest way to get around. The card costs around DKK 150 in deposit and initial deposit, but it is worth it.
From some of the airports you can use the card in the train from the airport to London, but check it before you hop on, because there is a difference from airport to airport. As a small bonus, the card gives discounts at several different museums, shops and restaurants, You can read more about that here.
The map also works for the red city buses, so it's really an easy and cheap way to get around London.
The advantage of taking one of the red buses is that you can see the city you are moving around in. When you take the subway and disappear into the depths of the earth, it may go fast, but you will not see any of the city either. .
Exploring Camden Market
Our hotel was directly opposite Camden Market, so it's a place you must not cheat yourself of. The market is located in an old industrial area in buildings that previously mainly produced gin. But in the 70s, when buildings were to be demolished, local artists were allowed to start up a market. And it has evolved into over 1000 small shops today.
If the money is small, it is an ideal place to walk around and ooze. It is filled with crazy little stalls, some of which sell cheap gadgets, while others sell quality goods.
We spent almost an entire day joking around between the stalls and buying some food in the many streetfood-cars that stop here. However, the food in there is not necessarily cheap, so we also had our regular packed lunch with us.
London is an art city
If you are into art, then Tate Modern and Tate Britain are a must when you are in London. Their permanent exhibitions are free and there is a lot of variety to experience.
Tate Modern is, as the name suggests, primarily modern art, while Tate Britain has more classical works. In addition, the buildings themselves are also beautiful to experience, and their museum shops are very irresistible. Some of their special exhibitions cost money, so it makes good sense to investigate from home if they have any special exhibitions that one would like to pay for.
If you have not been to London before, a canal trip on the Thames is a pleasant way to get an overview of the city. They are available in different price ranges and some of them are not particularly expensive. In addition, the boat is a great place to eat your packed lunch; then you have lunch with a view.
We spent some time just strolling around and experiencing the city. Walk around and look at the old beautiful buildings and the new, modern glass and steel structures that adorn the financial district of London.
Along the Thames there are a number of pubs with outdoor spaces. If the weather is good, it is obvious to find a place in the afternoon sun and enjoy a beer or one Pimm's Cup, while the locals cheerfully talk about loose and firm.
The story is close in London
Both my sister and I are a bit nerdy with historic buildings, so after a few days of deliberation, we decided to buy a ticket to the Tower of London. There were a lot of people in there, but in return there is a lot of space to move around. We saw both crown jewels, breastplates and old throne room, so we were not disappointed.
We spent over half a day in there so we felt the money was well spent. The ticket gives access to the castle and most of the things you can see. But they have different events in there, some of which require a separate ticket. There is a discount for students and additional discount, if you buy the ticket online, so there is some money to be saved there.
Theater performances in London
London is known for its many theaters and there are both expensive and cheap performances to be found. If you are not so pernicious with what specific show you want to see, but just want to experience the theater in London, there are websites with cancellation tickets. Since we are both big Daniel Radcliffe fans, we ended up taking a trip to the theater to see him live. And it was worth the relatively expensive ticket.
We still ended up spending a lot of money on the trip, but it was mainly because we came to shop too much… That is the disadvantage of a city break. But otherwise it may be possible to take a week to London during the summer holidays, even if you are at SU.
Have a good trip to London!
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