Having a fun day out in London doesn’t have to be expensive and can be done on a student budget.
When you live only about an hour away from the iconic Big Ben, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace… You’ be daft if you didn’t take a day trip to the classiest city on the planet: London. Do it in student-savvy style with a budget of £25 which includes transport, food and attraction.
It just proves that you don’t need to crash into your overdraft to have a fun day in one of the most expensive cities for travellers.
To London & back to Canterbury: Coach (£10)
Trains are expensive. Coaches are the way forward if you don’t mind spending a few extra minutes travelling, but save a lot of money. You can get a return coach ticket from Canterbury to London for £10. You’ll have to book it in advance to make sure you get the best price. Check out the dates and prices on the National Express website. Planning and organising is key to saving money.
In London: Walk (free)
The best way to explore a city is to get lost in it. You’ll be able to appreciate the historic streets of London more if you travel by foot. You’ll start to get a good sense of where everything is, and you’ll be a London expert in no time. You’re getting exercise and being a smart tourist for a day?! It’s a no brainer.
Alternative: Travel-day card (£9)
This is an option for those who aren’t a fan of walking. You can either keep topping up an Oyster card to use on buses and tube trains, or buy a travel-day card which gives you unlimited public transport trips around London.
Food (Under £5)
When I visit a new city, I promise myself to always eat meals that I don’t have access to at home. If you’re in a different place, then eat different food. And this doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on fine dining, it’s all about supporting local businesses.
I’ve listed unique meals to have in London that’s less than £5…
Mac and cheese grilled sandwich? Our prayers have been answered by the Melt Room, Soho. You can indulge in cheesy sandwich goodness for under £5 – you deserve to treat yourself after all the exploring done by foot. Oh, and they also do a nutella toastie… *gasp*
Culturise yourself for a change with an Indian style burrito from Kati Roll, Soho. It’s loaded with anything from Masala chicken to spicy potatoes – guaranteed to sort you out for the day with carbs and well seasoned protein. It’s Instagrammable food for under £5 – what more could we ask? They also have a plant-based burrito for our vegetarians and vegan explorers.
Brisket bun + London + Under £5 = a gift for hungry students touring London. A little gem in Shoreditch that has the most aesthetically pleasing Instagram known to man, Smokestak is a grand choice for a cheap meal in London. Feel super hip and edgy at their hipster vibe restaurant interiors.
Attractions (100% free!)
National Art Gallery, Trafalgar Square.
In most countries, tourists have to pay an admission fee for art museums, so appreciate that most of art museums in London are still free of charge for the public. The National Art Gallery tells you the tales of English history through art. If you’re looking to immerse in the cultured arts and walk around grand corridors – this is the one for you.
Tate Modern, Bankside.
If you prefer contemporary modern art then Tate Modern is your destination. Spend hours discovering exciting gallery after gallery of today’s art. Educate yourself with the upcoming modern artists that’s taking the world by storm. From sculptures to abstraction, there’s no doubt you’ll leave Tate Modern without feeling creatively inspired.
Camden Market, Camden Town.
Quirky, fun and full of spirit – Camden is where you go for endless rows of market stalls brimmed with unique gifts. It’s a rainbow town with everything to offer. A must visit if you’re ever in London.
Switch it up and strut the marble floors of Harrods. Window shop until you drop. Explore the multimiple floors of this grand, opulent department store. It’s like entering a magical world of preposterously expensive goods. We recommend that you visit the food court first – it won’t disappoint.
China Town, Leicester Square.
You can smell the fried egg rolls from a mile away… China Town will satisfy your craving for comfort food. It’s filled with bakeries of the fluffiest cakes and endless choices of all you can eat buffets. Experience a bit of Chinese Culture in this miniature version in London. Also, take pictures with the statues for good luck!
Strolls in Hyde Park.
Catch a breathe of fresh air with some greenery at Hyde Park. Enjoy a leisurely stroll away from the hustle and bustle of the London streets. Have a romantic picnic or people watch, it’s a great way to get a free therapeutic escape in the city. Maybe even hire a bike for an adventure ride?
Snack by Big Ben, Westminster.
After a long day of walking, window shopping and absorbing the beauty of London – take a seat next to Big Ben and appreciate the picturesque aesthetics of this grand city. You can even treat yourself to some street food as your last farewell meal. Until next time.