4 Days in London on a Student Budget



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London's reputation of being rather pricey may be true; however, there are heaps of things to do and too see for free. Use this low budget guideline for a first time trip to London or for just a few tips to extend the life of your cash.

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Author: Erin


Masala Zone (Soho)

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expert pick

Location:

9 Marshall St., W1
W1F 7ER London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7287-9966
fax: +44 20 7287 8555
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Day 1 - London


Use the Wellington Hotel as your base in Victoria, ideal for walking to many of London's well known landmarks and situated on the District & Central lines of the London Underground. Your savings begins immediately as breakfast is included with accommodation.

Before using London's transport system buy an Oyster card from any Underground station for huge travel savings. For example, a one way cash fare on a London bus is £2.00 and £1.20 with an Oyster card. The card requires a refundable deposit and money can be added to the card at anytime.

Grab a map of the city and of the Underground, an umbrella, wear some seriously comfortable shoes and you are ready to tackle the town. Begin with an overview of London with a city bus tour. Now this is by far from free or even cheap but it is the best way to get acclimated with London, nab lovely pictures and catch glimpses of the major attractions. The ticket is good for 24 hours, includes a free river cruise and a free walking tour and allows hopping on & off at any of the stops for further exploration. Now, if parting with over £20 is just too much then use that Oyster card for a heritage bus route journey through London. See tfl.gov.uk for the bus 9 and 15 maps.

For an inexpensive lunch option try London's grocery store chain Marks & Spencer for ready made lunches, salads, sandwiches or even afternoon tea selection. Park yourself an any green spot, park or river bench and absorb the culture. If the weather isn't cooperating for outdoor dining then trust several affordable chain lunch spots offering delicious food dotted around the capital: Pret (soups. sandwiches, salad), Wagamama (noodles), Giraffe (burgers and more), Pizza Express and Masala Zone (Indian). Fish-n-Chips at a traditional English "chippy" or noodles in Chinatown also offer value for money and most museums in town have wonderful cafes.

Head to Camden Market for fun and funky eclectic shopping. Use your negotiating skills for fabulous souvenirs from London, handmade crafts, jewelry and alternative fashion. Explore the locks and river walk near the market and be sure to include the quintessential weekend pub meal, a Sunday roast. The Hawley Arms or The Lock Tavern are perfect choices situated close to the markets. Camden's nightlife and superior music scene is popular with the younger set and runs 7 nights a week. Stay in the area for your evening entertainment just keep in mind the Tube stops running close to midnight.


1

Wellington Hotel

Location:

71/ 72 Vincent Square
SW1P 2PA London, GB

Contact:

tel: 207-8344740
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2

Original London Sightseeing Tour

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Location:

Jews Row
SW18 1TB London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 8877 1722
fax: +44 20 8877 1968
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3

Camden Market

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Location:

Camden High Street
NW1 8AH London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 7974 5974(Tourist Information)
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5

Belgo Noord

Location:

72 Chalk Farm Road
NW1 8AN London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: 44 20 7267 0718
fax: 44 20 7284 4842
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6

The Hawley Arms

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Location:

2 Castlehaven Road
NW1 8QU London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: 44 20 7428 5979
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7

Dublin Castle

Location:

94 Parkway
NW1 7AN London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 7485 1773


Day 2 - London


Imagining a later start if you stayed in Camden until the wee hours the evening prior, begin your day with the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace at 11:30 although arrive earlier for a prime viewing spot. For smaller crowds there is an 11:00 Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Horse Guards Parade at the east end of St. James's Park. Be sure to snap the de riguer photos from the bridge.

After the ceremony walk through Admiralty Arch to Trafalgar Square taking in Nelson's Column, his protectors the lions and fountain. Notice the Fourth Plinth, a rotating art display in the northwest corner of the square. Both the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are free museums and have fabulous cafes as does the church across the street, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, although theirs lies in the crypt underground.

For a truly budget and British lunch keep on walking to Covent Garden just a few minutes from Trafalgar Square. Look for The Pie Shop above an arch in the market where you'll find savory meat pies encased in pastry with a side of mash for under £5.

More affordable lunch spots in Covent Garden:
Wagamana, 1 Tavistock, Masala Zone, Floral Street, Sagar for vegetarian Indian, 31 Catherine St. or The Rock and Sole Plaice, 45 Endell, for London's oldest chippie. Afternoon tea and scones at the tiny Bea's of Bloomsbury is simply delicious . For under £10 you will sample tea, scones, cupcakes, brownies and more.

With a belly full of mash, chips or scones muster up the energy for an hour or so of highlights at the free British Museum. See their website for recommendations.

To top off the day if your feet can handle it, join one of the three Monday evening walking tours with London Walks: Jack the Ripper Haunts, The Secret West End or Westminster by Gaslight. £6 for students.


1

Buckingham Palace

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Location:

Buckingham Palace
At end of The Mall (on the road running from Trafalgar Sq.)
SW1A 1AA London, England

Contact:

tel: 020 7766 7300
visit website


2

Changing of the Guard

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Location:

Wellington Barracks
(Buckingham Palace)
SW1A 1AA London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 783 9137
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3

St. James's Park

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Location:

Horse Guards Road
SW1A 2BJ London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 7930 1793
fax: +44 20 7839 7639
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4

Horse Guards Parade

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Location:

Whitehall
(Behind Horse Guards)
SW1A 2BY London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 87 0156 6366 (Tourist Information)
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5

Admiralty Arch

Location:

The Mall
WC2 London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 7234 5800(Tourist Information)
fax: +44 20 7378 6525(Tourist Information)
visit website


6

Trafalgar Square and Nelson's Column

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Location:

Trafalgar Square
WC2N 5DX London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 7983 4750
fax: +44 20 7983 4137
visit website


7

National Gallery

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Location:

Trafalgar Square
N. side of Trafalgar Sq., WC2
WC2N 5DN London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7747-2885
fax: +44 20 7747 2423
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8

National Portrait Gallery

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Location:

Saint Martin's Place
(Trafalgar Square)
WC2H 0HE London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 7306 0055
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9

St. Martin-in-the-Fields

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Location:

Trafalgar Square 5
Trafalgar Sq., WC2
WC2N 4JJ London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7766-1100
fax: +44 20 7389 0773
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10

Covent Garden Piazza

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Location:

Covent Garden
WC2E 8RF London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 7234 5800(Tourist Information)
fax: +44 20 7378 6525(Tourist Information)
visit website


11

British Museum

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Location:

Great Russell Street
Great Russell St., WC1
WC1B 3DG London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7323-8299
fax: +44 20 7323 8616
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12

Bea's of Bloomsbury

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Location:

44 Theobalds Road
WC1X 8NW London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: 020 7242 8330
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13

Original London Walks

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Location:

1 Various locations
NW6 4LW London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 7624 3978
fax: +44 20 7625 1932
visit website


Day 3 - London


More free impressive museum options run along Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, there should be a little something for everyone. Split up, take an hour or so then head for Harrods for a window browsing and to explore the food halls. Think of it more like a museum! Cross the street and grab take away lunch from one of many cafes to eat in Hyde Park.

Free afternoon and evening in case the 1st and 2nd day activities were too ambitious!


1

Natural History Museum

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Location:

Cromwell Road
Cromwell Rd., SW7
SW7 5BD London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7942-5000
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2

Science Museum

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Location:

Exhibition Road
Exhibition Rd., SW7
SW72DD London, England

Contact:

tel: 0870/870-4868
fax: +44 20 7942 4730
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3

Victoria and Albert Museum

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Location:

Cromwell Road
Cromwell Rd., SW7
SW7 2RL London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7942-2000
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5

Harrods

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Location:

87-135 Brompton Rd., SW1
SW3 1JJ London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/8479-5100
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6

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

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expert pick

Location:

West Carriage Drive
W2 2UH London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 (0)20 7298 2100
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Day 4 - London


Explore the South Bank - this can be done from early mornings to late evenings

From Victoria, walk past Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and over Westminster Bridge and down the steps near the London Aquarium and London Eye. Stop and watch the street entertainers from obnoxious to spectacular performing for spare change before moving along under Waterloo Bridge where an outdoor second hand book shop pops up in daytime hours. Under the South Bank Centre is a make shift skate park where kids practice bike and skateboard tricks while others hone their graffiti skills. Take the OXO Tower to the 8th floor for a stunning view of London and a peak at the gallery@OXO on the pathway for temporary art exhibits. At Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian path over the Thames to St. Paul's Cathedral is the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe. Dry docked is a replica of Sir Francis Drake's Tudor warship The Golden Hinde open for self guided tours. Borough Market, London's premier food market lies just behind Southwark Cathedral underneath the railway and must be visited for lunch (Thursday - Saturdays only). Complete the South Bank stroll at Tower Bridge.


1

Westminster Abbey

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Location:

20 Dean's Yard
Broad Sanctuary, SW1
SW1P 3PA London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7222-5152
fax: +44 20 7233 2072
visit website


2

Houses of Parliament & Big Ben

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Location:

The Palace of Westminster
Westminster Palace, Old Palace Yard, SW1. Join line at St. Stephen's entrance
SW1A 0AA London, England

Contact:

tel: House of Commons 020/7219-4272
visit website


3

London Eye

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expert pick

Location:

Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road
(Riverside Building County Hall)
SE1 9TA London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 870 500 0600
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4

Gabriel's Wharf

Location:

56 Upper Ground, SE1
SE1 9PP London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7021-1686
fax: +44 20 7378 6525(Tourist Information)
visit website


5

Millennium Bridge

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Location:

Riverside near St Paul's on North Bank and Tate Modern on South Bank
W1 London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: +44 20 7234 5800(Tourist Information)
fax: +44 20 7378 6525(Tourist Information)


6

St. Paul's Cathedral

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Location:

St. Paul's Churchyard
St. Paul's Churchyard, EC4
EC4M 8AD London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7246-8350
fax: +44 20 7248 3104
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7

Tate Modern

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Location:

Bankside
Bankside, SE1
SE1 9TG London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7887-8888
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8

Borough Market

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Location:

8 Southwark Street
SE1 1 London, United Kingdom

Contact:

tel: 020 7407 1002
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9

Tower Bridge

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Location:

Tower Bridge
At Tower Bridge, SE1
SE1 2UP London, England

Contact:

tel: 020/7403-3761
fax: +44 20 7357 7935
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10

Tower of London

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expert pick

Location:

Off Tower Bridge Approach
Tower Hill, EC3
EC3N4AB London, England

Contact:

tel: 0870/756-7070
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