7 Proven Tips on How to save Money in London (2023)

jak ušetřit v londýně

How to save money in London? Read our guide with proven tips to help you save up to hundreds of pounds – the London Pass, London Explorer Pass, Oyster card, how to get to and from the airport cheaply and much more.

Whether you’re coming to London on holiday or just for a long weekend, a trip to London can make a big dent in your wallet.

Fortunately, there are several options to save in London. I won’t promise you that you’ll get the price of a holiday in Budapest, but you will save significantly.

7 tips to save in London

How to visit London cheaply? Take a look at the list of useful tips.

1. How to save on sightseeing in London: London Pass

London Pass is a tourist card that has been designed in partnership with London’s sights, museums and attractions, so you can save money on admission or make it easier to discover and travel to your favourite London sites.

What are the benefits of the London Pass?

  • The London Pass gives you free entry to more than 90 places, including some of the most famous, such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, London Zoo and St.Paul’s Cathedral. Paul Cathedral.
  • You can activate your card at any time within 2 years of purchase.
  • Free cancellation within 90 days. If you change your mind within 3 months, you will be refunded without giving a reason.
  • The card includes a one-day ride in a sightseeing bus. It will take you around the most famous sights. Wherever you need to, you get off the bus and then get back on the next bus.
  • The card also includes a one-day cruise on the Thames with 23 stops where you can embark and disembark at will. You’ll not only see central London, but also Greenwich and the glittering O2 Arena.
  • The card is valid for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 days, so you can buy as many days as you need depending on the length of your stay.
  • Optional: Discounted travel in London with the Oyster Card (more about the Oyster Card and transport in London).
  • When you buy your card, you’ll get a guide on your phone with all the information you need for a relaxing holiday in London.
how to save in London / London Pass

How does the London Pass work?

You buy London Pass for a set number of days, so you can schedule which attractions you want to visit and when.

The card is available for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 days . Valid for calendar days, i.e. you need to think in advance whether it’s worth activating your card late in the afternoon or in the morning. Regardless of whether you activate your card at 9:00 am or 4:00 pm, it counts as 1 day.

Once you have purchased your card, you will receive an email with information, a guide and a link to download the London Pass app. Activate your card by scanning the QR code in the app when you enter the first attraction.

London Pass attraction

London Pass includes entry to more than 90 attractions in London, including:

  • Tower of London (£33.60)
  • Sightseeing bus ride (£37)
  • Boat trip (£23)
  • Westminster Abbey (£27)
  • Tower Bridge (£12.30)
  • St Paul’s Cathedral (£23)
  • Windsor Castle (£30)
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Kew Gardens (£21.50)
  • Kensington Palace (£25.40)
  • London Zoo (£41.80)
  • Arsenal Stadium Tour (£28)
  • …and many more ( A complete list of attractions can be found here )

Please note: Some attractions require a reservations.

London Pass price

Children under 5 years of age are admitted free of charge. Children up to 11 years old travel free on London’s public transport when accompanied by an adult.

2. How to save in London: tickets to the London Eye and the Wax Museum

The London Wheel and the Wax Museum are among the most expensive sights in London. Fortunately, they offer a combination ticket which will save you over £20.

London Eye

3. How to save in London: London Explorer Pass

The London Explorer Pass is another tourist card that can save you money in London. The main differences between the cards are:

  • Card London Pass is based on you buying a period of time to use the discounted card – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 10 days. You have access to more than 90 attractions in the city.
  • For that, at London Explorer Pass you choose how many attractions you want to visit – 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 attractions out of a total of 50 attractions. You have 60 days from activation to visit the selected sites, so you are not limited by time.

How does the London Explorer Pass work?

  • Purchase a London Explorer Pass for a selected number of attractions.
  • You can download the app to your mobile phone or print the card via the link that will be emailed to you after purchase.
  • When you enter the attraction, you scan a QR code from the app or printed card.

London Explorer Pass Attractions

The London Pass includes entry to over 50 venues in London including:

  • Tower of London (£36.60)
  • Westminster Abbey (£27)
  • Tower Bridge (£12.30)
  • St Paul’s Cathedral (£23)
  • Thames Cruise (£23)
  • Kew Gardens (£21.50)
  • Arsenal Stadium (£28)
  • Sightseeing bus for 1 full day (£37)
  • Kensington Palace (£25.40)
  • …and many others ( The complete list of attractions can be found here )

Please note: Some locations require reservations required whether you have a card or not.

Price for London Explorer Pass

Prices for the London Explorer Pass are set according to the number of attractions you choose:

4. Best Things to do in London for free

In London you don’t have to pay a penny and still enjoy the city like few others. You’ll pay a really hefty entrance fee to many of the sights (not so hefty with the London Pass or London Explorer Pass).

On the other hand, there are plenty of places to go for free in London.

Tate Modern Gallery

Opened in 2000, the Tate Modern is now the most popular gallery to experience modern art. Globally, it ranks 4th. of all the museums.

You’ll find it in the former Bankside Power Station building.

Permanent exhibitions take place in 3rd a 5th Floor and are divided as follows:

  • history – memory – society
  • nudity – action – body
  • landscape – matter – environment
  • still life – objects – real life

National Gallery

The National Gallery is the perfect place for lovers of artworks and paintings by famous masters. There are up to 2,300 of them. You can find the gallery in Trafalgar Square, which I recommend going to even if you don’t plan to visit the National Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery features paintings, photographs, cartoons, sculptures and drawings of important figures from the history of the UK.

The British Museum

More than 7 million objects are held in the British Museum’s collections. The objects document the history of mankind from the very beginning. The British Museum is the third most visited museum in the world.

The Victoria and Albert Museum

At the Victoria and Albert Museum, you’ll be treated to 4 million objects from the applied and decorative arts – statues, glass, armour, costumes, a replica of Trajan’s Column, sculptures by Italian Renaissance sculptors (such as a replica of Michelangelo’s statue of David), Bernini’s fountain with Neptune and Triton, and much more.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum contains a collection of up to 80 million objects, which are divided thematically: zoology, paleontology, botany, entomology and mineralogy. Right in the entrance hall you will be greeted by a giant skeleton of a diplodocus, which has earned the nickname Dippy. In addition to it, there is a collection of other dinosaur skeletons.

Museum of Science

The Science Museum contains over 300,000 objects – Stephenson’s steam locomotive, the first jet engine, the first model of DNA and many more. The museum also includes a scientific library.

Museum of London

The Museum of London will tell the story of London from the Palaeolithic to the present day with its collection .

Imperial War Museum

If you are interested in war history, you should not miss The Museum of War. Here you will find extensive collections ranging from aircraft, armoured fighting vehicles and vessels to uniforms, medals, photographs and much more relating to the war conflicts of the 20th century.

View from the Sky Garden

Get a free glimpse of London from the Walkie Talkie skyscraper. The last 3 floors, or Sky Garden, are dedicated to the restaurant and views of London. You need to book your place in advance: Online ticket for Sky Garden

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

The changing of the guard is one of the best ceremonies in the city. Dates vary according to the season: updates on the changing of the guard outside Buckingham Palace.

Borough Market

The 1000+ year old Borough Market, where you can enjoy food from all over the world. You’ll find it a short walk from London Bridge.

Street Art in Shoreditch

London is one of the world’s leading cities for street art. Renowned and anonymous artists in London’s East End create some of the most impressive works of art.

Greenwich Park

From the top of the hill in Greenwich Park, you’ll have a spectacular view of London.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the 8 Royal Parks. It’s adjacent to Kensington Gardens. You can see the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain or take a ride on the Serpentine Lake. Or rent a bike like us and ride through Hyde Park.

Walk in the Footsteps of the Beatles in Abbey Road

St. John’s Wood is the crossing that the Beatles used for their cover of the Fab Four album. To this day, tourists still come here and try to take pictures based on the Beatles’ album cover.

Free attractions in London /Abbey Road and the Beatles

Visit the Palace of Wstminster with free admission

The Palace of Westminster is open free to the public when the House of Lords or the House of Commons is in session. Sit in the public galleries and watch the political debates.

Platform 9 3/4

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Then you need to visit PLATFORM 9 3/4, which can be found at the back of King’s Cross station.

Visit St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey with free admission

Admission to the Cathedral of St. Paul and Westminster Abbey is high. Did you know that you can visit the sites for free?

Attend services that are held in the evening on weekdays and all day on Sundays. Services are free to the public. However, you must respect the rules, not wander around the buildings and sit in the main hall of the buildings. Just blend in with the other participants.

Services are held at St Paul’s Cathedral at 5pm on weekdays and 3:15pm on Sundays. Experience Choral Evensong, one of the most impressive church performances in the world.

Use Double Decker buses in London for sightseeing

If you want to experience a sightseeing journey, one of the cheapest options is to take the London Double Decker. The price per ticket is £1.75.

Routes RV1, 9 and 15 pass through some of the most popular places in London: Kensington Palace, Trafalgar Square, Somerset House and the Tower of London. Plus, the double-decker bus gives you a great view.

Transport in London / how to save on transport in London

Visit Little Venice

At the confluence of the Regents and Paddington canals you will find a place called Little Venice. A relatively overlooked part of London. From Little Venice, you can walk across the Regent’s Canal and Regents Park to Camden Town Market.

Little Venice in London

5. How to save money when travelling around London: the Oyster card

London has some of the best public transport in the world. But as it happens – you have to pay extra for quality. Transport in London can cost a lot.

One tip to save money on transport in London is to get an Oyster Card. It will make your fares a lot cheaper than if you ride on paper tickets.

Oyster card - how to save in London

The Oyster Card is a chip card that pays for all public transport in London. You preload your card with a certain amount, which is then deducted from your individual rides.

With the Oyster card, fares will be cheaper than if you buy a separate ticket. The card covers bus, tram, tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, River Buses and national rail services in London (and some outside London).

How does the Oyster Card work?

It’s simple. You put money on your Oyster card, which you then use to pay for individual rides. When boarding and alighting, you attach your Oyster card to the yellow machine. This will deduct the exact fare you have driven.

This means that if you forget to attach your card when you get off, you will be charged the full fare. This does not apply to buses and trams, where you only have to swipe your card when you board.

London public transport price

There is no single fare. Fares vary depending on the day of the week, direction of travel and time of day.

If you want to calculate the price in advance, you can find a calculator on the London Public Transport website. For short journeys, you’ll pay around £2.70-£2.80 (depending on whether or not you’re travelling at peak times). A paper ticket without an Oyster card will set you back £6.70.

For buses and trams it is different. Here you always pay the same £1.75 per ride. That’s why you only scan your Oyster card when you board and not when you exit, as is the case with the metro.

In addition, if you take the bus or tram more than three times on a given day, you have unlimited travel for the rest of the day. Even if you use the bus or tram 10 times in one day, you will pay a maximum of £5.25 (equivalent to 3 journeys).

London Underground or bus?

So what to choose? A bus when it’s cheaper? If you don’t mind spending more time on the road and want to experience a scenic ride through the city, choose a bus (or tram). The Metro is more expensive (you’ll usually pay £2.80 for a short journey in the centre), but you’re on your way to your destination in no time.

How much does an Oyster Card cost?

There is a one-off charge of £5 for an Oyster card for visitors. It’s irreversible, but if you use London’s public transport, you’ll soon get it back.

Also, only one person can use the Oyster card at a time. The card is not in your name, so if you are travelling independently, you can borrow it.

Any money left on your card? Up to £10 can be withdrawn from machines on the tube. Above £10 then you have to go to the visitor centre.

Or keep the amount on your card and use it on a future visit to London, or you can lend it to someone. No name.

How much money to deposit on the Oyster Card?

This depends on how often you plan to use the local transport. It is generally recommended to charge the card at £15/2 days and £30/4 days. I recommend to deposit less and, if necessary, charge the machine in the metro with another amount.

Where to buy an Oyster Card?

You can buy an Oyster card on any corner in London. In newsagents, subway machines, airports.

Oyster Card vending machine
Oyster Card vending machine

6. How to save money when travelling in London: contactless card

A good alternative to the Oyster card is your credit card. Make sure it’s contactless.

The contactless card works in the same way as the Oyster card. The card will be attached to the yellow machine on boarding and alighting. This will deduct exactly what you have driven.

In the case of buses and trams, you only need to present your card when you board. The machines accept all known types of cards – MasterCard, Visa, Maestro, Amex.

Or you can pay using the app you download on your mobile phone:

With a contactless card, it is also the case that one card covers one passenger at a time, i.e. that you can’t pay for yourself and your partner with one card. The partner must pay with their card.

This also applies when driving with children. You must have an additional contactless card for your child (more about transport in London with children).

Please also observe the method of payment within one ride. If you scan the code from the Apple Pay app when you check in, use the same method when you check out (the mobile app, not your Apple Watch, for example).

What is the cost of London Underground and buses with a contactless card?

Prices are the same as the Oyster card a few lines above. You will pay £1.75 for the bus and tram. For the metro and other modes of travel, the price varies depending on the time of day, day of the week, etc. In the centre it’s usually £2.70-2.80 for a shorter ride.

7. How can I save money on transport to the city centre from Stansted, Gatwick and Luton airports?

Whether it’s Stansted, Gatwick or Luton, there are multiple carriers operating from all of them and you have several options to get to central London.

Which option to choose?

Choose a low-cost easyBus airport shuttle. If you look far enough in advance, a one-way ticket will set you back just £8.

The second option is National Express where you pay a few pounds extra. It’s also worth looking in advance when prices are lower.

The third option Terravision is a cross between easyBus and National Express. Prices are fixed, but usually lower than with National Express. Terravision only operates on the Stansted to London and Luton to London routes.

More information about London

LONDON ITINERARY: Check out our article with tips on places to visit in London (entrance fees, opening times, map). To help you plan, we’ve created an itinerary for 3 days in London.

LONDON GUIDE: In a separate article you can find out all about transport in London (airport, public transport, underground, bicycle). Read about accommodation, prices, food and safety in our London guide. Our recommendations for the best hotels in London will help you make your accommodation choices easier.

LONDON WITH CHILDREN: Read our 25 tips for visiting London with kids.

THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS: Amsterdam and Barcelona are other great places for families with children. Take a look at our guides for Amsterdam with kids. We’ve also got tips on how to enjoy Barcelona with kids.

ENGLAND: The list of the most beautiful places in England includes tips on things to do in England.

How to save in London: frequently asked questions

How to save money on sights and attractions in London?

Save tens to hundreds of pounds on admission with a London Pass or London Explorer Pass. Read more about how the discount works and the price of the London Pass and London Explorer Pass.

What sights to visit in London for free?

There are a number of places in London that you can see for free – the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Modern, the Palace of Westminster and many more. Find out more in our detailed guide to where to go for free in London.

How to save money on transport in London?

Get an Oyster Card or pay with a contactless card. For the cheapest connections from the airport, use easyBus and National Express. Read more how to save on transport in London.

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