London is an extremely expensive place to visit and live, with visiting the cinema not being an exception - from the price of tickets to the price of food and drink. However, there's an Odeon Limitless Pass which allows those living in London and across the UK to see as many films as they like each month for less than a price of a two-course meal in a restaurant. More importantly, an Odeon Limitless Pass (Monthly) costs less than the price of two cinema tickets. Therefore, for those who love going to the cinema to see the newest films released, it can easily become expensive as cinema tickets can cost up to £15 per person.
There's two different versions of the Odeon Limitless Pass: Without Central London and With Central London. The main difference between the two would be that the Odeon Limitless Pass With Central London allows the user to see films in ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, ODEON Luxe Haymarket, Covent Garden, Tottenham Court Road, Camden as well as the rest of the cinemas across The UK. However, The Odeon Limitless Pass Without Central London excludes the cinemas mentioned above but allows users to visit any other cinema in The UK as much as they want. Regardless of the Odeon Limitless Pass the user has, they can receive 10% off selected food and drink purchased at these cinemas as well as exclusive preview screenings especially for Limitless members. Other benefits include 30% off at selected restaurants, including Frankie & Benny’s, Garfunkel’s, Chiquito, Coast to Coast, Joe’s Kitchen and Filling Station.
From July 2017 until July 2018 I had a Limitless Pass which was priced at £17.99 per month with a 12 month minimum contract period. Throughout this time I saw 50 films with regular trips to my local Odeon every week or at times seeing films twice a week since I used my Odeon Limitless Pass to my advantage. This should’ve come to £650 as the current ticket prices are on average £13 but I only paid £215.88 (£17.99 a month). A saving of £434.12 on tickets alone! When films such as Deadpool 2, IT, The Incredibles 2 and other popular titles came out, tickets were priced as much as £15. However, with an Odeon Limitless Pass I was able to make a return on my investment as soon as I saw one film per month at the cinema and then saving even more if I wanted to see another film during the same month.
The current price of an Odeon Limitless Pass as of September 2020 are:
Those that want an Annual Odeon Limitless Pass can save 5% off the total cost of their pass. Additionally, for those that want to make sure they can get their money's worth, they can simply deduct the cost of what a ticket would've cost them from the total of their Odeon Limitless Pass if they pay upfront.
More information regarding the Odeon Limitless Pass can be found by clicking here.
A Merlin Pass, which is an annual pass which allows entry to over 30 attractions throughout the UK, is priced at £119 per person for a Merlin Standard Annual Pass. For those who want more than the standard benefits offered, the Merlin Pass also extends to a Merlin Premium Annual Pass which is priced at £159 per person. For this specific blog post, I’m going to focus on the Merlin Standard Annual Pass as it’s the most popular option for those wanting to experience the attractions across the UK throughout the year.
What Is Included?
Entry Into Over 30 Attractions Across The UK
Free admission to popular theme parks such as Alton Towers Resort, Chessington World of Adventures and Legoland. Additionally, visitors can also visit the London Eye, The London Dungeons and even see everything that SEA LIFE London has to offer. If you live outside of London then there are attractions such as Warwick Castle, The Edinburgh Dungeon and Madame Tussauds Blackpool.
Up To 20% Discount on Food, Beverage & Retail
Once inside these attractions the Merlin Pass will allow visitors to get benefits such as a discount on food, beverage and retail. As someone who previously held a Merlin Pass, there will always be instances where you will find yourself thirsty, hungry or both and as we all know food can be very expensive - 20% goes a long way. If you have children who have learnt that pester power will occasionally work then 20% off in the gift shops will make a souvenir not cost an arm and a leg.
Discounted Entry For Family & Friends
If you plan to visit any of the attractions that the Merlin Pass offers but are visiting with someone who hasn’t purchased the pass, then you’ll be able to get them into these attractions at a discounted rate. These discounts can be as big as 50% as well as each pass holder being able to use it up to five times for family and friends.
Although the Merlin Pass offers incredible value for those wanting to visit attractions across the UK, there are certain dates that members will be unable to use their pass during. For example, during the month of August visitors holding a Standard Pass will be unable to visit The London Dungeon, SEA LIFE London Aquarium, DreamWorks Tours Shrek’s Adventure! London, Madame Tussauds London, and The Coca-Cola London Eye. The same principle applies for Bank Holidays throughout the UK as well as specific dates leading up to Halloween - which prevents pass holders visiting Thorpe Park as there’s Fright Night Restrictions.
Price of Each Attraction
Prices are representative of buying tickets on the day as well as being correct as of July 2020. Attractions in London are highlighted in bold.
If you lived in London and visited all of the attractions at least once throughout the year then without a Merlin Pass then it would cost you £217.50 compared to if you were to buy tickets on the day. These six attractions have a ticket price that is more expensive than the Merlin Pass itself. However, it should be kept in consideration that if you were to book in advance then tickets can have discounts as big as 50%, such as Chessington World of Adventures offering tickets throughout the year for £25. Even though the Merlin Pass gives incredible benefits as it allows free entry into over 30 attractions across the UK it would be worth researching what you’d actually do and see. For example, if you want to visit Legoland and a few other attractions then it may be worth investing solely into the Legoland Annual Pass which is currently priced at £59 whereas one ticket on the day costs £60 - it’s a no brainer.
Overall, the Merlin Pass seems good in theory if you plan ahead - you can save yourself hundreds upon hundreds of pounds if you visit these attractions at least monthly. Unfortunately, the only downside I find to the Merlin Pass is that there is a restriction to when you can visit certain attractions throughout the year - especially during August, which ruins plans of those wanting to take their children to these attractions during the summer holidays. But then again, these attractions need to make money somehow and have found a way in which during the busiest period of the year, they can do so.
Whether you’re moving to the UK from abroad or you’re travelling from different parts of the UK to move to London, you’ll have heard that London is very expensive. These costs can differ depending on what part of London you’re living in as well as if you’re living in university accommodation, a house or a flat. There are a lot of different opinions as to how much living costs will be, which then again depend on the lifestyle of the person and how much money they have to spare.
These prices are representative of a person renting their accommodation - I have researched numerous prices and have listed the median price. Although, each areas have their expensive areas and their inexpensive areas, to which rent prices can differ massively.
If you want to purchase a flat, house or any other form of accommodation outright whether it’s in North London or even South London then the median price will be over £600,000 - some houses can be bought for as cheap as £300,000 whereas newer buildings in areas such as Central London and East London can go into the millions.
Source: Transport for London, Eurostar & Trainline
Medication & Prescriptions
Groceries & Household Essentials
There are hundreds of different supermarkets and shops that sell food - from markets to chain supermarkets, each offers their own products and branded products at a range of prices. Supermarkets such as Tesco and Lidl are known for being relatively inexpensive whereas supermarkets such as M&S and Sainsbury’s are a little more expensive for the higher quality provided.
London has hundreds upon hundreds of different activities to do - whether it’s rain or shine, there’s a wide range of activities with price tags that vary on where you visit and what you do. Each person has their own taste and preferences but regardless London is very expensive in this aspect.
London is renowned for its shops, from Oxford Street to Westfield Shopping Centre, there isn’t a shortage of shops to spend all of your money on clothing. Primark is known to be guilty of fast fashion with t-shirts selling for as little as £2 and jackets for little as £20. However, if you went into a shop such as H&M or Zara you can expect to pay as much as £20 for a t-shirt and £30 for a jumper, especially if they’re branded with a celebrity or TV show.
The Tutankhamun Exhibit, which is in residence at The Saatchi Gallery until 3 May 2020, has been highly advertised all over London for having 150 authentic pieces from Tutankhamun's Tomb as well as more than 60 of which are travelling outside of Egypt for the first time. As The Tutankhamun Exhibit has seen widespread popularity across various countries it found its primary popularity in Paris as it became France's most attended exhibition of all time with over 1.4 million visitors. Even though the Saatchi Gallery has closed due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) temporarily, it’s worth seeing whether The Tutankhamun Exhibit is worth the price, as it’s priced at £28 per ticket with reduced admission for children and students (with a valid form of student ID), under 16's and senior citizens over 65 are entitled to purchase concession tickets.
Throughout London there has been advertising all around the capital, from coffee cups to billboards, to then online adverts to an array of advertising from numerous influencers and bloggers. I’m sure that everyone in London has heard of The Tutankhamun Exhibit at The Saatchi Gallery, even if they’re unsure as to what this exhibit presents and holds. Either way, as it was advertised as one of the most unmissable events with authentic artefacts from Egypt coming to London, I made sure that I attended to see what all the hype was about and whether it lived up to the popularity I’d been seeing online. After booking up tickets with a friend, we first questioned whether £28 was too pricey for a simple exhibit that would last less than 2 hours as well as excluding transport costs and any gifts we’d like to buy afterwards. However, since we have a fascination with Ancient Egypt and wanted to see these 150 authentic pieces from Tutankhamun's Tomb before they were flown back to Egypt, we reluctantly bought tickets and selected our time slot from the various times listed. As we’ve both visited Paris together, we found this exhibit to be rather expensive in consideration that we were able to see The Mona Lisa and the rest of the artworks at The Louvre Museum for €17 which in turn proved to be much better value.
Upon arriving at The Saatchi Gallery it was simply unmissable as there were posters upon posters of the coffinette, which can easily be mistaken for the notable Death Mask, as they were surrounding the entrance. Even though this has been the prominent image around London to advertise the exhibit, it seems very deceiving since many people will think they’re seeing something very rare and special - which may then lead them into buying these extortionately priced tickets. However, we then presented our tickets and were told to queue to the left - a line in which stretched from the entrance of The Saatchi Gallery to the gates surrounding it. Even though we had already paid for tickets we were then made to queue up for another 20-30 minutes. Another queue then formed when visitors were asked to open their bags for them to be checked by security and then once inside there was another never ending queue for those who wanted to get a picture in front of a green backdrop. Even though we decided not to get a picture we were then made to stand another 10 minutes in a queue to actually enter the entrance to The Treasures Of The Golden Pharaoh. While waiting in line we were then asked if we’d like an audio guide, something I’d regularly get, except there was a small price tag of £6 that came along with it. As I’ve just paid £28 for a ticket, I thought that these audio guides should be included especially with the sheer popularity of the exhibit.
Once we finally made our way into the actual exhibit, visitors were put into a room, with staff allowing as many people as they could that fit, to watch an introductory video about Treasures Of The Golden Pharaoh which lasted only a few minutes which in retrospect I barely saw any of it since visitors tried to get the best view in the room by pushing to the front. Once this video finished visitors were ushered to the next room, with the next group of visitors being led into the room we had just been in. It seemed as if this exhibit followed the same structure as a revolving door, with the main goal to get people through as quickly as they could, which in retrospect seems that they have sold a large quantity of tickets to which they need to deliver their promises on. Even though there were certain themes for Treasures Of The Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi Gallery including Weapons, Gods, Inside the Burial Chamber and Discovering The Tomb, each room was as full as the next. Therefore, by the time we had moved through to one room, there was another group coming through who in turn tried to push and shove to get to the front of the artefacts, which of course were protected by glass exhibit cases.
On reflection, there was a range of different artefacts on display but once again I felt deceived when there were small items of jewellery that individually counted as one artefact. Furthermore, even though there were a range of artefacts on display, there were more images of artefacts rather than physical ones, once again taking away from the experience of the exhibit. Therefore, the 150 artefacts promised turned out to be a lot smaller and underwhelming than advertised. Moreover, even though the nature of the exhibit is quite professional in nature, it should be noted that a screaming child didn’t lighten the mood nor give me the focus that I was looking for on top of everything else. Additionally, I appreciated the fact that The Treasures Of The Golden Pharaoh is open to schools and colleges, but in retrospect they should’ve been given their own time slot since this added to the fact that there were enormous crowds with school children trying not to get separated from their group. Overall, when considering that there are 5,000 artefacts that were recovered with only 150 on display, this is a very small quantity with only 3% on display at The Saatchi Gallery.
After seeing all that the Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh Exhibit had to offer, we made our way through to the exit but first stopped at the gift shop. Even though I wasn’t overly keen on the exhibit itself, there were a range of beautifully decorated items that were handmade and from Egypt which were very moderately priced. On the other hand, there were items such as pencils and pens which were charged at £2 and £5 - with a simple design that outlines the name of the exhibit and an image too. The Official Catalogue was priced at £40, which in my opinion is expensive, but in consideration of the sheer size of the catalogue and the work that had been put into it - it may be worth a lot to those who are interested. After leaving, it was apparent that the most expensive exhibit in Britain was nowhere near worth the money paid, it’s a way to exploit people into seeing artefacts that they wouldn’t normally see. It’d be much better to simply watch a range of documentaries on the matter to gain further insight regarding the story and artefacts that Tutankhamun presents.
More information regarding Tutankhamun: Treasures Of The Golden Pharaoh can be found here:
The National Art Pass allows visitors to “See More. For Less” with entry to over 240 museums and galleries as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions included. The National Art Pass is priced at only £70 for the entire year as well as a discounted rate of £30 for those who are under 30. Passes are also available depending on whether you’d like a lifetime membership or a double lifetime membership but the price ranges into the thousands. Additionally, there’s an extra discount for those wishing to pay by Direct Debit as 25% of the original price will be taken off - leaving The National Art Pass at only £52.50 for an Individual Membership for a year. It gets even better with an Annual National Art Pass for people under 30, who choose to pay by direct debit, as it will come to the grand total of £33.75.
Not only does The National Art Pass allow visitors either free or discounted entry into museums and galleries but has additional benefits such as a guidebook to using your pass at over 700 venues. Benefits also include a subscription to Art Fund’s magazine which is said to have “insightful and exclusive features” which provides readers with interesting content and comments regarding art, artists, galleries as well as highlighting what The National Art Pass can offer readers of that month - any special exhibitions currently being held mostly. Another benefit would be the stream of emails that highlights any special offers as well as news regarding art across the UK.
To see whether The National Art Pass is worth it, I’m going to list every free entry venue as well as those that offer 50% off with the pass in London as different parts of the UK. All prices are correct as of February 2020.
Free Entry Venues
Apsley House - (Standard entry price £9)
The Brunel Museum - (Standard entry price £6)
Carlyle's House - (Standard entry price £7)
Chiswick House & Gardens - (Standard entry price £8)
The Courtauld Gallery - (Standard entry price £0)
Charles Dickens Museum - (Standard entry price £10)
Dulwich Picture Gallery - (Standard entry price £7)
Eltham Palace and Gardens - (Standard entry price £14)
The Fan Museum - (Standard entry price £4)
2 Willow Road - (Standard entry price £7)
Ham House and Garden - (Standard entry price £11)
Handel & Hendrix in London -(Standard entry price £10)
Horniman Museum and Gardens - (Standard entry price £0)
Household Cavalry Museum - (Standard entry price £8)
Jewish Museum London - (Standard entry price £9)
Keats House - (Standard entry price £7)
Kensington Palace - (Standard entry price £16)
Leighton House Museum - (Standard entry price £12)
Marble Hill House - (Standard entry price £7)
Osterley Park & House - (Standard entry price £11)
Ranger's House - The Wernher Collection - (Standard entry price £8)
The Foundling Museum - (Standard entry price £12)
Cartoon Museum - (Standard entry price £7)
Red House Bexleyheath - (Standard entry price £7)
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) - (Standard entry price £1)
Heath Robinson Museum - (Standard entry price £6)
Altogether, there are 27 museums and galleries in London that offer free entry to those who hold The National Art Pass - even though there are two museums and galleries that are completely free to the general public - which then makes it 25. Altogether, if a pass holder visited every single free venue throughout the year, it would cost them £204. However, with the price of some venues as little as £1 or £4 it really does depend on what venues the person chooses to go to. For example, if they want to visit venues that cost £10 and above, it would be a no-brainer to get The National Art Pass as they could easily get their money back in less than 7 visits.
50% off Exhibitions
Dulwich Picture Gallery
Imperial War Museum
Museum of London
National Maritime Museum
National Portrait Gallery
Natural History Museum
Victoria & Albert (V&A)
Even though most of these museums are free, some exhibitions throughout the year are not currently free. For example, The British Library holds three exhibitions a year which require an entrance fee - for which those holding The National Art Pass they would be able to get a discounted price. For the price of The National Art Pass, it seems more worth would be gone into just visiting the museum and galleries themselves rather than paying for The National Art Pass to get 50% off of certain exhibitions that you may or may not be interested in.
Overall, The National Art Pass can be an opportunity for hundreds in savings if you plan to visit these museums and galleries as well as if you’re interested in the extra benefits such as a subscription to Art Quarterly and an email subscription. However, the downfall of this pass if the 50% off exhibitions as it still means that visitors would have to pay extra on top of the price they have paid for the pass. It would be worth doing your research into what exhibitions are currently being displayed as well as to how long they will be on display for. In most cases exhibitions can run as long as 6-7 months, allowing visitors to visit them in their own time rather than being rushed. For £33.75, which allows an annual pass for those under 30, the savings could be as much as £170 with just the free entry to venues regardless of whether or not they take advantage of the 50% off exhibitions.
More Information Regarding The National Art Pass Can Be Found By Clicking Here.
BBC News recently reported that fare dodgers throughout London have cost Transport for London, or more commonly known as TFL, over £100 million per year. Each year fare dodgers find different ways to avoid paying fares when travelling across buses, trains and throughout other forms of transport in London. However, in recent months there has been a crackdown on those thinking they can avoid these fares, where a journey that costs less than £2 can then turn into a journey that costs £40 or £80.
There are a lot of reasons why people decide that they’re exempt from paying the full fare for their journey. Throughout living in London I really have heard every excuse under the sun, ranging from they forgot to top up their Oyster Card or their phone ran out of battery so they cannot prove they had tapped in. In other circumstances, the bus driver may let the passenger onto the bus in full knowledge and awareness that they have not paid their fare but may be fooled by the excuse “I’m only travelling for a few stops” or “I’m waiting for my pass to arrive in the post”. Even though these are valid reasons, they aren’t valid enough to excuse one person being exempt from paying when every other passenger has paid their fare. In a sense it’s like a slap in the face, if one person is let off then why shouldn’t everyone else be?
Many people will question how fare dodgers get through the barriers at stations as well as get onto buses without touching their Oyster Card or credit/debit card onto the yellow reader. The answer is unfortunately a lot easier than it sounds, on buses, passengers can simply state that they’ve lost their pass or simply jump on the back of the bus and move undetected. The most easiest maneuver would be following a passenger when they’re tapping in or out at a station, since some passengers will go through barriers that will stay open for longer. Even with the rise of technology that Transport for London are using to catch these fare dodgers, there will simply be too many people to catch and the cycle will begin again. Regardless, this is not an excuse for fare dodgers to keep on carrying out their act of avoidance since eventually they will be caught. Bus inspectors and plain clothes detectives could be anywhere and could be anyone - they simply hide in plain sight and wait for the right moment to confront those avoiding paying the full fare.
Fare evasion happens in many shapes and forms, there are hundreds of different reasons as to how fare evasion is committed. The most common being that people may not touch in and out when travelling throughout London - whether it be at their original destination or at their final destination. Another form of fare evasion would be using an Oyster Card that’s registered to someone whose entitled to free or discounted travel, these people being those with a Freedom Pass or an 11-15 Oyster Card. If caught by a ticket inspector then you would be charged a penalty fare for knowingly using a pass that doesn’t belong to you and the pass will then be taken off the person for abuse of the card. If you’re carrying an Oyster Card which requires additional information to be carried at all times when using the card and you’re found without this information, another penalty fare will be given out. Fare evasion has even gone as far as people buying an Oyster Card with Zones 1-2 on them and tapping in or out at these destinations and then avoiding tapping in or out when travelling beyond these zones. Therefore, they will avoid paying the correct fare that’s a lot more than what their current fare already is. Or more simply people will jump the barrier or walk straight through if the barriers are open, this is blatant fare evasion for fare dodgers that really have no care for paying their way.
Unsurprisingly, fare evasion happens a lot more commonly to those who do not commit fare evasion on purpose. For example, if I was travelling throughout rush hour and I tapped my Oyster Card on the reader while the barrier was open then I may mistake my card tapping for the person in front of me. Then if I got to my final destination and I was caught out by a ticket inspector then even though I didn’t evade the fare on purpose, there is no reason as to why I shouldn’t be given a penalty fare. It also happens to those travelling on London buses who may not be able to reach a reader if they get onto a packed bus or simply because they’re told that the machine isn’t working. Regardless, passengers have a responsibility to make sure that they have made an effort to pay their full fare. There is simply no excuse that will stand with a ticket inspector when you’re face to face with one throughout an unpaid journey. Moving forward, passengers should make sure that they’ve tapped in and out when travelling on the London Underground or tapping your card onto the reader when boarding a London bus.
Even though a journey here and there doesn’t seem much, in a sense it may be only a couple of pounds and pence, the overall reality comes out to over £100 million in unpaid fares for Transport for London. With this extra money Transport for London could easily make major improvements to the network as well as employing more people to make the transport network more efficient. In a sense, imagine having a smoother journey as well as improved station facilities across London. Even though those will argue that these penalty fares in turn cover the losses that Transport for London state, people forget that members of staff will be using their time and efforts elsewhere - these people also needing wages and essentially resources from Transport for London. As someone who travels throughout London it’s infuriating to see members of the public try and avoid a fare that can be as little as £1.50 - something that everyone needs to pay regardless of your objections as to why you shouldn’t.
The London Living Wage, which currently stands at £10.55 per hour, which was designed to reflect the expensive costs that come with living and working in London. This wage was introduced to make sure that people living and working in London are compensated enough to cover all costs they may incur, as there’s a higher cost of living in London compared to other parts of the UK. As someone who lives and works in London, the London Living Wage has introduced a step forward for those living and working in London who face the rising costs of living in the capital. With transport prices increasing as well as housing becoming harder and more expensive to gain, there’s more chance that the London Living Wage will help people make ends meet rather than living in poverty.
The London Living Wage is currently the highest form of paid wage in the UK as the minimum wage for workers aged 25 and over stands at a mere £8.21. For workers unfortunate to be younger than the desired age mark then workers under 25 will earn £7.70 if they’re aged between 21 and 24. It gets even worse for workers who are aged 18 to 20 as they will get £6.15 and those under 18 will earn £4.35. These figures stated come from the National Minimum Wage section from the GOV.UK website. More information can be found by clicking here.
However, the problem with the London Living Wage is that companies aren’t legally forced to pay the London Living Wage to workers whereas they’re legally compelled to pay the National Minimum Wage. The Living Wage Foundation state that there’s currently 5,672 employers throughout the UK paying the Living Wage to workers, these companies including Ikea, Nestle and the People’s Health Trust. The Living Wage is available to workers across the UK, but is £9.00 as costs of living are deemed less expensive than London. Most companies are reluctant to pay the London Living Wage as this would mean that they’d be paying more for labour that they could simply get away with my paying the National Minimum Wage. The reason some companies offer The London Living wage is to firstly attract future employees by their high hourly rate and the second reason being is that a long term investment would result in happier staff which then in turn leads to positive experiences for customers. In layman’s term, it’s a win-win situation for both companies and employees.
With The London Living Wage so high, a beneficial wage that’s meant to help those working and living in London, it does have its downsides unfortunately. If someone working in London works 40 hours per week in line with the London Living Wage, they’re expected to earn £1,688 monthly which is pre-tax income. However, with tax and National Insurance contributions this leaves the employee with around £1,400 without the option of paying into a pension. If an employee received only The National Minimum Wage but worked the same amount of hours with the addition that they’re aged over 25 they would earn £1,313.60 which is pre-tax income. With tax and National Insurance contributions this leaves the employee with around £1200 without the option of paying into a pension. A mere £2.34 seems to make a lot of difference in this situation as it can result in the employee taking home an additional £200 per month after deductions. Once again in layman’s terms, the more you earn the more you will be subject to tax and financial deductions.
Luckily, for those who are aged 25 and under, The London Living Wage can lead to a substantial rise in payment and from there living conditions. If someone, who was aged 18 to 20 earned £10.55 compared to a mere £6.15 (in line with the National Minimum Wage) this would mean an improvable wage with an extra £4.40 per hour. If we used the same example with an employee working 40 hours a week, this would lead to an extra £704 per month if paid The London Living Wage. Overall, I think we can all agree that The London Living Wage is a step in the right direction for those who are living and working in London who find the prices and costs of living here unfavourable.
Even though London is a hub of entertainment and a city that many people travel all across the world to visit, it comes along with the reputation of being one of the most expensive cities in the world. As I live in London, I know first hand how expensive certain aspects can be but there is ways to avoid this and this blog post is dedicated to outlining how much money it would cost per day to visit London. The factors included will be: accommodation, transport (including transport to and from the airport), food and drink as well as tours and attractions.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of different forms of accommodations in the city of London. There are a range of different hostels, apartments, hotels, B&B's and homes that can be rented out for your stay. In London a rule of thumb would be that the closer you are to Central London the higher the cost of your stay will be, if you stay around areas near London Bridge, Waterloo and even Westminster you will begin to see the star rating of these hotels go up as well as the prices. One of the most famous hotels in London is the Shangri-La At The Shard, with prices starting at just over £400. However, there are a lot of cheaper options in London with brands such as Premier Inn and Travelodge offering a basic hotel room with basic amenities with a low price tag. If you just want a room with a bed to sleep in, a shower and bathroom area to use then this would be your best bet. After a whole day of walking around, shopping and then seeing the attractions London has to offer this would be your best bet as you'll be too tired at the end of the day to make a fuss about the amenities of the hotel. If you're staying in London for an extended period of time then an Airbnb would be perfect - a room or an entire flat/house to yourself would be the way to make yourself at home and save money on going out for meals. The same applies to B&B's in London, you're given a room and breakfast - all you need to get you ready for the day ahead of you!
If you're unsure on what form of accommodation you would like to stay in during your visit to London, I made a blog post regarding the advantages and disadvantageous of each accommodation type. More information can be found by clicking here!
Total: £50 (Average)
Transport is one area that I've gone into extensive detail about: whether it's buying an Oyster card or travelling to and from the airport into Central London as well as the different forms of transport around London. The cost of transport depends on whether you're determined to save money by walking throughout London during the day or whether you're the person that would prefer to get private taxis everywhere. Mostly tourists use a combination of buses and Tubes on the London Underground to get around London as they're the modes of transport that cover nearly every place in London, especially the tourist attractions and landmarks. I would roughly estimate that a tourist visiting London would spend around £15 if you stick to using public transport but can go up to £50-100 if you're using private modes of transport such as taxis. Another use for public transport would be getting to and from the airport, which can cost as little as £3.10 for a single journey, which I made a whole blog post dedicated to as it was highly requested.
Links to other blogs regarding transport around London and the use of an Oyster card can be found here:
Total: £15 (+£5 if you need to purchase an Oyster card)
Food & Drink
London has over 80,000 restaurants within London, all with their different cuisines and price ranges. If you want an expensive and rather fancy meal then this may set you back around £80+ per person for a three course meal and a drink. In my opinion as much as these restaurants pride themselves on their star rating as well as their high quality service, there are much cheaper places to eat in London that would be able to fit everyone's budgets. I would suggest at least trying a full English breakfast while you're there as well as the fish and chips - they're the best! There are a range of different options to buying food and drink while in London, some people prefer to buy food from supermarkets whereas others prefer going out for all three meals during the day. I've listed both of these options to give you guidance in terms of price:
Total: £40-£50 (Average)
Tours & Attractions:
There are a range of major landmarks and attractions around London that everyone wants to visit such as The London Eye and The Shard. These attractions can become very expensive depending on the time of year you're visiting as well as if you have prebooked your tickets or not. I cannot put an accurate price on how much a tourist would spend per day on tours and attractions since some walking tours are pay as you feel as well as some attractions having no admission fee. For example, the Tate is completely free to visit as well as tours such as Strawberry Tours means you can see the sights of London with added information for a price that you can decide that fits your budget. Regardless, not all sights are free and most require a fee to enter such as The London Eye, The Tower of London and London Zoo. These can create quite a massive dent in your budget but on a previous blog post I went in detail regarding The London Pass and whether it was worth it. You pay a specific price for the amount of time you want the pass for and it allows you free admission into certain attractions. More information can be found here!
If you chose to buy souvenirs for friends and family I would not recommend doing this on Bond Street or Oxford Circus since these shops have very high prices as they know tourists will pay them. If you want to get a souvenir then I would recommend either buying some from the attraction you've seen or buying them from smaller souvenir shops around Westminster and surrounding areas. If you also want to do some shopping while you're in London then Oxford Circus and Westfield would be the best chance of finding something you'd like. Within these places there are a range of different places to eat as well as shops, the most popular being Primark at Bond Street and the three floor Lush Store located just next to Oxford Circus. If you want to travel further down onto New Bond Street and Mayfair then be warned that the price tags will make you read it twice - it's very expensive.
Total: £50-200 (Average)
This price is also dependant on whether you've prebooked attractions and tours as well as if you decide you want to go shopping while on your trip to London.
You could certainly spend a lot less than this when planning to visit London, if you decide to go for a cheaper hotel and to walk to certain attractions rather than using public transport. On the other hand you could spend a lot more if you have the budget and want to have a luxurious stay while in London with a luxury hotel and visit high class restaurants.
What is the London Pass?
The London Pass is a pass aimed at tourists visiting London which grants access to over 80 attractions all over London - some of these attractions are very popular such as the Tower of London as well as A View From The Shard. Some of the attractions which are included aren't found on mainstream websites or guides of what to do in London but still offer a fun and interesting experience such as The London Bridge Experience or a London Bicycle Tour. It also includes a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus to go around London which allows tourists to enjoy the sights of London from just one place for a day. The London Pass also allows Fast Track Entry for 6 attractions at the moment, such as St Paul's Cathedral and London Zoo, which are some of the most popular sights in London. This unfortunately means that these queues are very long and sometimes people queue up for hours to go inside. The London Pass doesn't only offer entrance to attractions but also has a handy guidebook with specific information regarding each attraction: transport details, the exact address as well as the opening times. This is perfect for organising what you would want to do each day and in turn would allow you to get the most out of your pass. The London Pass also has a handy app which is useful for storing your tickets as well as having information regarding the pass all in one place.
These prices represent the prices of the London Pass in January 2019 - these prices may change over the course of the year and time. These prices are also representative of a London Pass bought without the additional option of preloaded credit topped onto an Oyster.
Prices can be found here: https://www.londonpass.com/london-pass-prices.php
An Example Itinerary Including Prices & Savings - 3 Day Pass Excluding Travel
The London Pass is priced at £114 for 3 Days excluding travel but this three day itinerary comes to a total of £233 which is a saving of £119. I made this itinerary as realistically as I could because even with a fast track entry there is no way that a tourist could go to 10 attractions in one day. This being because you need to take into consideration the time it takes to travel to the attraction as well as including time for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as whether they have all day to go sightseeing. With this in mind I made an itinerary where the landmarks and attractions were close to each other, in turn saving time and money. For example, Tower Bridge and The London Bridge Experience are within walking distance of each other and have good transport links between the two.
Is the London Pass Worth It?
Taking everything into consideration the London Pass is worth it only if you have a clear plan of what you want to do in London as well as having knowledge of roughly how long to travel and visit each sight you want to go to. If you plan a whole itinerary with fast tracks then you will certainly get your money's worth as you won't be waiting in queues, unfortunately only 6 sights currently offer this feature. If you travel to London in the summer and want to go into museums and places of interest that don't have a Fast Track Entry feature then you may even spend hours queuing, which would be hard especially if you have younger children and if it's the summer. If you have a specific budget for travelling to London then buying this pass, especially if you invest into buying a travel pass, will allow you to lower your expenses. The only thing left to pay for would be the 'I <3 London' t-shirts, other souvenirs and money to cover food. If you're travelling without kids then I would suggest getting the London Pass as it may mean you can go out earlier and stay out longer if possible - this meaning you'd be able to get more done. If you are travelling to London with children then this pass may not be entirely worth the cost since children may not enjoy attractions such as The London Bridge Experience and may find museums boring. In addition the London Pass assumes that you will go out everyday, this in reality is exhausting and you may find yourself crossing some sights from your list as you are tired from walking, especially in the summer.
Tips and tricks for what to do in London as well as travelling around it.