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Weekend in London for under £100

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Staying for a weekend in London for under £100 seems like an impossible task, but with careful budgeting, there are plenty of things to do in London that are either free, or extremely cheap.

Where to stay in London

Choosing a cheap hotel or hostel in London is where most of your money might go.

However, there are some great deals out there that will not stretch your purse far at all.

Bayswater is a popular area for tourists and students and the Hyde Park Hostel has rooms from just £6.99 a night. It is also walking distance from the bars and restaurants of Queensway and Hyde Park.

You could also try self catering accommodation for a similar price, which means that you can cut out the cost of eating out.

The Warwick Rooms London in Paddington has a shared kitchen and rooms start at £9.

For something a little more comfortable, the three-star Croydon Court Hotel has rooms from £12.50 and is right on the brand new Overground line, providing easy access to central London.

Budget cost: £13.98 - £25

London transport

The best way to save money on London transport is to travel by bus with an Oyster card.

Top-up your card and you can travel anywhere on the London transport bus network for £3.90 all day, on as many trips as you like.

If navigating the bus route is a bit too complicated, then take the tube. Buy a one-day travelcard for £5.60 and this will take you within zone 1 and 2, where you can take as many trips as you need.

Budget cost: £7.80 - £11.20

London cheap eats

Some of the best London restaurants are at the bottom end of the price scale and even on a small budget, there is so much choice.

US chain Maoz (43 Old Compton Street; Leicester Square) has now landed in the UK, offering tasty vegetarian food, including their famous falafels, for less than £5.

That's lunch sorted, so for dinner, try out the fish and chips at The Golden Hind (73 Marylebone Lane; Bond Street), which sells cod and chips for around £8.

After a heavy night out, Sunday brunch has to be at a traditional cafe. Step back to the 1950s at the Regency Cafe (17-19 Regency Street; St James's Park), where you can eat on plastic chairs at Formica tables and where everything is under £5.

While it's not the classiest place on earth, if you just want a quick bite to eat, there are a number of JD Wetherspoons pubs scattered throughout London, where you can find lunch or dinner for around £6.

Budget cost: £24

Cheap things to do in London


There are thousands of things to do in London on the cheap or even for free.

If you want to listen to some music, head to Covent Garden market, where there are often professional musicians busking to packed crowds.

Here, you can also see a range of acts, from jugglers to comedians.

Meanwhile, free concerts are held at the National Theatre (South Bank; Waterloo), Monday to Saturday evenings and Saturday lunchtimes, featuring jazz to world music.

Bands also play out to audiences for free at Notting Hill Arts Club (21 Notting Hill Gate; Notting Hill Gate) on Saturday afternoons from 4pm, featuring up and coming artists.

Comedy and theatre

For a night of comedy, sign up to a website such as, where you can grab a TV audience seat to shows including BBC Live at the Apollo and QI.

If you are after a night at the theatre, people under 26 can get free tickets through the A Night Less Ordinary scheme.

Participating theatres include the Donmar Warehouse, which recently saw Jude Law tread the boards as Hamlet.

People over 26 can still find cheap London theatre tickets from a booth in Leicester Square from around £20 for shows such as Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre; Charing Cross).


Many London museums are absolutely free, including the intriguing Sir John Soane Museum (Holborn; 10am-5pm).

However, trips to St Paul's Cathedral (St Paul's) or Westminster Abbey (Westminster) are £12.50 and £15 respectively, but they are definitely worth the visit.

Nights out

If you get to a London bar or pub before 9pm or 10pm, entrance is usually free. So head over to Piccadilly Circus, Soho or if your hotel is further out, save on the taxi fare and party out in the high street.

Cheap hotels in south London will never be far from the late night revels of Clapham High Street, while visitors staying in East London are just a 24-hour bus ride away from Brick Lane and Shoreditch.

That way, your only expense is the drink, which in a classy London bar could blow your budget, but in the end how much you spend is up to you.

Budget cost: £40

Total cost: £100

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