Photo: Chris JL
LONDON, YOU WILL constantly hear, is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Which is a shame for travelers, because it’s also one of the most beautiful, most fun, and most interesting cities in the world. So say you’re planning a trip to London, and are trying to keep your budget for particular things under $100 — how can you possibly do that in this most expensive of cities?
As of this writing, one British pound is worth roughly $1.52, which means that if you want to spend $100 in London, you’re spending under £66. Here’s how to do it.
Museums and culture
If you want to see London’s museums, $100 will get you the following:
- Entrance to the British Museum, the Victoria & Albert, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Imperial War Museum, and $100 worth of beer. (All those museums are free).
- 4 sightseeing tickets in St. Paul’s. Unless, of course, you go to a service, which is totally free.
- Just under 3 tickets to the Tower of London ($34 each).
- 3 tickets to Westminster Abbey ($28 each).
- 2 tickets on the London Eye ($46).
- 2 tickets to Madame Tussauds ($45).
For $100, you can get the following from London restaurants:
- At least 6 full meals (with drinks included) at Brick Lane, provided you’re a good bargainer.
- A dinner for two at a not-too-posh restaurant (excluding drinks)
- 10 full English breakfasts (not including pints and Bloody Marys)
- 5 servings of fish and chips
If you want to drink in London (and if you don’t, why are you even visiting?), for $100, you can get:
- Around 18 pints of beer at a London pub (the average price of a London pint is $5.50). The good news is you don’t have to tip, so it all goes towards the beer. The bad news is it’s still crazy expensive.
For $100, you can do the following to get around London:
- Do a single trip in a cab from Heathrow to Central London ($84), with room for a few pints.
- Take a cab for about 20 kilometers (around $15 per 3 km)
- Get unlimited Tube and bus passes in Zone One for 7 days ($14 per day)
- Buy 12 Oyster cards (public transportation passes at $8 each), all of which would be refunded upon leaving.
For tours around London, $100 will get you:
- 2 hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tours ($45).
- 2 tickets on the Literary Pub Crawl ($37 each), with money left for pints.
- 3 open-top bus tours.
- 7 Beatles walking tours.
If you want to crash in London, you can get the following for $100:
- 3 nights in a Central London hostel dorm room (about $30 a night per person).
- 5 nights in an outer London hostel dorm room (about $20 a night per person).
- A single night in an outer London hotel (around $80 a night).
- Three-quarters of a night in a Central London hotel (around $130 a night).