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Inexpensive London – 10 Top Money-Saving Tips


English Matters - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 4/2019 vom 31.05.2019

It’s known as one of the most expensive cities in the world, but it doesn’t have to be so.English Matters offers ten tips on visiting London without breaking the bank – from what to eat, to where to stay, plus all the travelling in between!


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To get into the city from one of its airports, the options include tube (for Heathrow), coach/bus, train, or taxi. These options balance time and money – they’re listed from cheapest to most expensive, but also slowest to fastest (with the exception of train vs taxi). Train is our recommended compromise between time and money. Tip one - search for advance tickets ...

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... online and you could get a bargain. Also, hold onto your ticket for a *bonus tip later on.

Travelling in London

As with everywhere, the cheapest option is walking. This will present a wealth of sights, from traditional streets, to surprisingly large parks. However, to make the most of your time in London, a fair distance must be covered – for this, the London Underground is the best option. Get anOyster card or use contactless is our second tip. They are almost always the cheapest option, and definitely the simplest. They are used as and when needed, then they automatically calculate the cheapest fare for your journey. Top tip three is to avoid travelling during peak hours (before 9:30am and between 4-7pm), when tickets are up to twice as expensive.

Where to Stay

When it comes to hotels, generally you’ll get what you pay for. If you can compromise on luxury, then tip number four is to look for a no-frills hotel in the centre. These are very basic rooms, but you’ll probably only use them for sleeping anyway. For larger groups, tip five is to check accommodation websites rather than hotels. The price difference is staggering, while the quality isn’t lost. These individual properties also provide more authentic atmosphere or uniqueness to the trip.

Food Tips

There are so many choices of places to eat in the city of eight million people, so finding a good deal in one of them isn’t that hard. Tip six: download one of the dedicated eating out in London apps like ‘CityMunch’ or ‘Happiour’ and find a deal of the day. All these apps offer countless restaurants with discounts, two-for-one offers and occasionally even freebies! Don’t forget to leave a tip though! If you’d rather not spend your time in London scrolling through an app, tip seven is to buy food quite late. Many eateries cater for the lunch crowd, preparing fresh meals during the day. The food that is not bought then gets sold off at a much reduced price 30 minutes before the place closes. It’s a great way to get cheap sushi and salads.

High Views, Low Prices

A bird’s eye view of London is a valuable experience. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one though. Many places in the city have high vantage points that can be accessed while on a tour, combining two things for one price. Tower Bridge and the Monument are two good examples. Tip eight however, is to go to the Tate Modern: this art gallery is free and offers 360° views of central London from its Blavatnik Building.

Free Museums

The museums in London are some of the best in the world – and they’re free! Tip nine: choose which museum interests you most and get there early. Firstly this will give you as long as you want inside. Secondly, it will avoid the huge queues in the later hours (holidays only). *Some places with paid entry, such as St Paul’s and the Tower of London, offer discounts if you have a National Rail ticket from that day.

A Walking Tour

There are so many tours to choose from in London, most of which come at a cost. One of the lesser known tour options is to have a self-guided walking tour, courtesy of planned routes and heaps of information online from sites like ‘Free tours on foot.’ So, tip ten is to download a free walking tour before travelling to London – you could use it to have an excellent, free tour in situ, or you could just read it for interest and ideas before heading to the city itself.

Tip Top

London is huge, with the number of ways to spend money to match. Every opportunity to spend is coupled with an opportunity to save though! Plan ahead, look at your options online, book in advance, and take your own umbrella - that way you’ll have a tip top time without tipping the balance of your bank account.

1to include sth | etw. umfassen, beinhalten
tube | U-Bahn
coach kəʊtʃ| Reisebus
with the exception of sth | mit Ausnahme von etw.
to search for sth | nach etw. suchen
advance ədˈvɑːns| Vorauszahlung, Vorverkauf
bargain ˈbɑːɡən| Schnäppchen
2wealth | Reichtum
sight | Sehenswürdigkeit
covered | abgedeckt, erfasst
contactless | kontaktlos
definitely | definitiv
3fare | Gebühr
to avoid sth | etw. (ver)meiden
peak hours | Stoßzeiten
when it comes to sth | wenn es um etw. geht
4to look for sth | nach etw. suchen
no-frills | Billig-, ohne Extras
accommodation | Unterkunft
staggering | atemberaubend, überwältigend
property | Anwesen, Eigentum
uniqueness | Einzigartigkeit
deal | Schnäppchen
to download sth | etw. herunterladen
to eat out | essen gehen, auswärts essen
countless | zahllos
freebie | kostenlos, Grati to
scroll through sth | etw. durchscrollen
eatery | Restaurant, Lokal
to cater for sb | jdn. beköstigen
crowd | Masse
to get sold off | verschachert/verkauft werden
5bird’s eye view | Vogelperspektive
vantage point | Aussichtspunkt
queue kjuː| Warteschlange
paid entry | kostenpflichter Eintritt
discount | Rabatt
to come at a cost | etw. kosten
heaps of sth | haufenweise etw.
in situ | vor Ort
to head to somewhere | irgendwohin aufbrechen
to spend sth | etw. ausgeben
ahead | im Voraus
to book sth | etw. buchen, reservieren
in advance | im Voraus
to tip the balance | den (Konto)Stand überstrapazieren

The Heights of London

Here are London’s five tallest buildings and their heights. For comparison, the tallest building in Europe is the Lakhta Center in St Petersburg at 462 metres.
• The Shard 306m
• One Canada Square (Canary Wharf) 236m
• Heron Tower 230m
• The Leadenhall Building 225m
• 25 Canada Square 201m

height haɪt| Höhe(punkt), Gipfel


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