Ahh London – don’t tell New York, but we actually think that London is much more deserving of the title of “capital of the world”.  

There is so much to love about London, but it can be an expensive destination – which is why we’ve put together the Chic Living guide to London on a budget to help you get the most for your money!

London Accommodation

Check out what’s on offer on Airbnb, rather than booking into an expensive hotel in the city centre. A self contained studio in the suburbs will likely cost a lot less (so you can stay longer – yippee!).

Not only will you be able to save on food by preparing your own, but many come equipped with washer and dryer, so you don’t need to worry about a laundromat. It might be tiny but you’ll be out and about exploring mostly anyway. Besides, we think there’s no better way to get the feel of a city than by living like a local!

Getting Around

The public transport in London is absolutely fantastic! Download the free Citymapper app to help you get from “here” to “there” – it will give you choices of transport options, routes, and even a wet weather option in case you forgot your brolly – seriously!

Your first purchase upon arriving in London (yes, even before you leave Heathrow) should be an Oyster card, your ticket to ride the Tube or the iconic red double decker buses.

You don’t need to fret about changing trains or buses to get to a particular destination, or missing a connection – services are so regular you will be amazed at how quickly you can get about. Missed the tube to Westminster? No worries there’ll be another one in two minutes!


Eating out is definitely something you’ll want to try, but if you’ve been travelling for any length of time you start to hunger for the simple things, like a home cooked meal.

By staying in self contained accommodation, you will be able to pop into the local Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s, pick up a few groceries, and save big on dining out. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a toasted sandwich, good ol’ pot noodles, or a simple stir fry, even just toast and cereal for breakfast. Chances are your accommodation will have the basics – eg salt and pepper, tomato sauce, cooking oil, already in the kitchen cupboard.

Budget Friendly Sight Seeing

You really don’t have to spend big to see the sights – it’s free to go and take a gander at Big Ben, the Thames, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park. But if you do have the coin, a visit to the Tower of London or Madame Tussaud’s are both unforgettable.

It just goes to show, you don’t have to stay in a hostel to enjoy a budget stay in good ol’ London town …