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London is one of the most visited cities in the world – and it’s easy to understand why. The city is both historic and modern, it is home to royalty and celebrities – and London is packed with iconic sights, museums, palaces and parks. Spending 3 days in London is just enough time to get a taste of the city. We created a perfect 3-Day London Itinerary that includes all the best sightseeing…without over-extending the budget.
Planning an Itinerary for London…On A Budget
Before visitors plan travel to London, it is important to consider a budget. From flights to sights, hotels and food – London is not a cheap city to visit. The high price of sightseeing in London in 3 days can quickly add up. Entrance fees to some of the top attractions cost upwards of $30 USD per person. The price of accommodations in central London can be astronomical and dining out can put real dent in the travel budget. Budget travelers might fear a visit to the city will break the bank, but it is possible to see London on the cheap. And we are showing you how! In our 3-Day Itinerary in London, we focus on experiencing London on a budget. Our plan for what to see in London in 3 days includes touring the city in the style of self-guided walking tours and taking advantage of the many free attractions London has on offer.
Pro Tip: Consider using Travel Planning Printables (like we do) to get your vacation to London organized.
A Perfect London Itinerary…for Who?
We designed our London 3-Day Itinerary with budget travelers in mind. That said, anyone going to London for 3 days can use our guide to help plan their trip! Although we feature free attractions (and who doesn’t like free?), we include information about ticketed sights…and money-saving city cards, as well. Whether you are traveling solo, with a group of friends, as a couple or with an entire family, you can use our 3 Days in London Itinerary to start planning your trip!
How Many Days to Spend in London?
We think 3 days in London is just enough time to get acquainted with the city. However, we know other travelers may have more (or less) time in the city. At the end of the post, we offer budget-minded travel plans for a 1-Day London Itinerary to tips on how to spend a week in London.
About Our 3-Day London Itinerary
Our 3 days Itinerary in London features the best sights and attractions in a well-planned day-by-day format. For each day, we list the sights to see – including a brief explanation and links to more information. We include a link to Google Maps for each day’s London sightseeing route. At the end of the post, we also provide a link to a Sightseeing Map of London. We do include ticketed sights in our 3 Days London Itinerary, and if there is a charge to visit a sight, we indicate that. In an effort to keep our budget in check, we did not feel the need to enter every single sight. In fact, we were content seeing many of the historic buildings from the outside – or found ways to enter at a discount or for free.
Pro Tip: For discounted entry into top London sights, consider the National Rail Pass 2-for-1 vouchers or a city sightseeing pass. We provide more information on both cards at the end of the article.
3-Day Itinerary for London on a Budget
We have packed our 3-Day London Itinerary to the brim – including all of our budget tips. It is possible to see each day’s activities in one day; however, timing will vary based on your walking pace and how long each sight holds your interest. Be aware of opening and closing times and daily events (like Changing of the Guard) and adjust according to your schedule and preference.
DAY ONE: ICONIC WESTMINSTER
Spend the day walking through London’s best-known borough, Westminster. In the evening, wander into Chinatown before ending the day window shopping in the area of Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street.
Begin Day 1 of your 3-Day Itinerary London at Kensington Palace, a royal residence since the 17th century. Currently the official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Will and Kate), part of the palace – including the King and Queen State Rooms and rotating special exhibits, such as Princess Diana’s dress collection and Life Through A Royal Lens- are open to visitors.
Pro Tip: Tickets are required to enter Kensington Palace, but The Kensington Gardens are open to the public and free to visit!
Hyde Park, London
After seeing Kensington Palace, walk through Hyde Park – one of the eight Royal Parks of London. Marked with walking paths and ponds, Hyde Park features numerous statues and memorials. One of the most popular is the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, which sits in the center of the park.
Pro Tip: Wander through the park to the Wellington Arch on the southeast corner. From there, set off on a discovery of the London borough: City of Westminster.
Embark on a walk through the City of Westminster to some of the most iconic London sights. From the Wellington Arch, it’s just a short jaunt to Buckingham Palace (ticket required to enter) – where the royal family has resided since 1837. Stroll down The Mall to Trafalgar Square (here you can visit the National Gallery and St. Martin in the Fields Church for free). Next, walk down Whitehall, the political thoroughfare that is home to historic monuments; pass by the Horse Guards Parade and nearby 10 Downing Street, where the Prime Minister lives and works. Continue walking to the famous Westminster Abbey (ticket required to enter), then take in the sights of the enormous Parliament Building and iconic Big Ben. End your tour of Westminster strolling along the Thames Riverside on the Victoria Embankment to the Golden Jubilee Bridge. Walk out onto the bridge for a spectacular viewpoint of the city over the River Thames. The view encompasses the London Eye, Parliament and Big Ben.
Pro Tip: Use our Free, Self-Guided Walking Tour London for detailed sight information and walking directions. In our walking tour, we also provide essential sightseeing tips!
London’s Leicester Square is a hub of entertainment. Home to numerous theaters and cinemas (keep an eye out for celebrities on Red Carpet events), there are also casinos, shops and street entertainers. This is not where you will find cheap shopping in London, but two fun stores to visit (especially if you are traveling to London with kids) are M&M World and the Lego Store.
Pro Tip: Interested in going to a theater performance? While most London theater tickets are expensive, the TKTS ticket booth on Leicester Square sells last-minute tickets that are up to half price off.
On the north side of Leicester Square is London Chinatown marked by an ornamental gate. The bustling streets are draped with red paper lanterns and there is a choice of affordable Asian eateries (although, beware, there are tourist traps, too!). We sat down to a delicious meal of roasted duck at Lido, which has been serving classic fare since 1969.
Pro Tip: For more budget food in Chinatown options, try Bun House, Good Friend Chicken, Baozi Inn or Jen Cafe for dumplings.
Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street
End the first day of your London Itinerary for 3 days in the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus and window shopping along Regent Street. Similar to Times Square in NYC, Piccadilly Circus is known for its flashing neon signs and brightly lit billboards. The intersection was built in 1819 as a circle (thus the name, circus). The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain stands in the center of Piccadilly Circus, which is ringed by historic buildings, such as the London Pavilion and the Criterion Theater. Regent Street – London’s shopping street – curves away from Piccadilly Circus to the north. While some budget travelers may shy away from a street lined with flagship retail stores, Regent Street is a must-see in London. We recommend window shopping the name brand stores, but pop in the famous Hamlesy Toy Store, which features incredible displays, interactive stations, unique finds and classic toys.
Pro Tip: Other nearby attractions include The Photographer’s Gallery (free after 5:00pm), the BBC Broadcasting House and the Handel & Hendrix in London Museum (tickets required to both).
DAY 2: MUSEUMS, MARKETS AND VIEWS
Start Day 2 of your three days in London at the British Museum and then stroll the market in Covent Garden before exploring London’s South bank. In the afternoon, visit a few more free museums in London then get an elevated view of the city from one of (or all!) three observation decks. End the day at a classic London pub or with a budget picnic along the riverside.
Pro Tip: Use this helpful link to Google Maps for your Day 2 route.
The British Museum
The phenomenal British Museum contains a collection of artifacts that date to ancient times – and it is completely free to visit! Some of the highlights of the museum are The Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, a stone Moai statue from Easter Island and Elgin Marbles from the Acropolis in Greece.
Pro Tip: The British Museum offers free brochures that outline recommended tours.
Covent Garden and London Markets
Once orchards and the city’s produce market, the Covent Garden District still maintains its roots as a shopping destination. The main Market Building houses numerous markets – including the Apple Market (homemade crafts, not phones), the East Colonnade Market (unique goods) and the Jubilee Market (antiques).
Pro Tip: One of the highlights of Covent Garden is all the street performers! Slow down and take a listen as you walk through this buzzing area of London.
South Bank, London
Cross the Waterloo Bridge to the city’s South Bank. Stretching from Westminster Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge, South Bank is an entertainment destination – including high-priced attractions like the London Eye, the Sea Life Aquarium and the National Theater. However, what we like best about the district is the riverside Queen’s Walk. The pedestrian promenade offers grand views of the River Thames and London skyline.
Pro Tip: Make a stop at the Tate Modern Museum; entry to some of the exhibits is free…as is the open-air observation deck!
St. Paul’s Cathedral, London
Cross the Millennium Bridge and walk to the massive domed St. Paul’s Cathedral. Although a ticket is required to enter the church (unless you attend a service), it is well-worth seeing the exterior of the church from up close.
Pro Tip: The church ranked as the tallest building in London until 1967 – and is where Prince Charles and Princess Diana wed in 1981.
Museum of London
The free Museum of London is a fascinating place to learn about the history of the city. Detailing the city’s timeline from prehistoric to modern times in engaging displays, the museum also offers rotating exhibits (like “The Clash: London Calling”, which was featured during our visit).
Pro Tip: While the entire museum is interesting, we were absolutely enthralled by the more recent history. However, because we spent so much time in the ancient history displays, we were short on time by the time we got to the modern history section. Keep an eye on time if you have reserved tickets to the Sky Garden, which is our next stop!
Sky Garden London
The Sky Garden is a public rooftop garden – and it’s free to visit! The garden occupies the top three floors of a skyscraper on Fenchurch Street. With floor to ceiling windows, there are 360-degree views of London – and there is an outdoor viewing platform, as well. Advance, online reservations are recommended, but some walk-ins are permitted at certain times of the day. Get all of the details of how to book your free tickets in our blog post: Visiting the Sky Garden in London.
Pro Tip: The Shard – which ranks as the tallest building in Western Europe – stands on the opposite side of the river from The Sky Garden. The View from the Shard offers incredible views, but the experience is pricey. If The Shard is a must on your 3 Day London Itinerary, we recommend purchasing tickets in advance.
Tower of London
An iconic riverside castle, the Tower of London was first established in the year 1066 and used as a royal residence. Through the years, the castle has been used as a prison, an armory, the treasury and the Royal Mint. The top sight at the Tower of London is the Crown Jewels, which are used in the monarchy’s coronations. Informational displays detail the history of the castle and Beefeaters are on hand to answer any questions, too.
Tower Bridge, London
Of the more than 20 bridges that cross the Thames River in London, Tower Bridge is – by far – the most spectacular. Built in the late 1800s, the two-tower, two-level bridge is an icon of England.
Pro Tip: Visiting the exhibition requires a ticket, but walking across Tower Bridge is absolutely free.
Best London Pubs
We think visiting a classic London pub is an essential experience in the city. Some of the best pubs are located along the river. For our top picks, read our post: River Thames Pub Crawl London: The Best Pubs on the Thames.
Pro Tip: Eating and drinking at the pubs in London can be pricey! To get the experience and keep your budget in check, order a half pint, sip slowly and savor the experience. Traditional London pub food – like steak and ale pies or sausage and mash – are not too expensive and can be quite filling (and possibly shared by two people).
DAY 3: RIVER THAMES AND GREENWICH
On the last day of your London 3 Days Itinerary, leave the city center and take a river boat to Greenwich. Discover the sights of Greenwich then head north across the river to Canary Wharf.
River Thames Boat Ride
A 3 Day Itinerary in London wouldn’t be complete without riding a river boat on the River Thames! While there are numerous companies that offer Thames River boat rides, the most affordable method of travel on the river is via the Thames Clipper. Fares can be paid with an Oyster Card, purchased online or via their app.
Pro Tip: While there is no on-board commentary on the Thames Clipper boats, visitors can access their audio guide in their free app.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich is an East London neighborhood that is teeming with sights. Known around the world as the location of the Prime Meridian, the district has strong ties to sea navigation and astronomy. Top attractions include the Maritime Museum (free to enter), the Royal Observatory (some free sections) and the Cutty Sark (ticket required).
Pro Tip: Find out more about what to see and do in our blog post: The Best Things To Do in Greenwich.
Canary Wharf, London
North of Greenwich, across the River Thames, is Canary Wharf. To get there, visitors can access the Foot Tunnel, which takes pedestrians underneath the river to the north side. Considered to be London’s second Business District, the area is characterized by the towering skyscrapers – including One Canada Square, which is the 3nd tallest building in the UK (after the Shard and the new 22 Bishopsgate). Other attractions in Canary Wharf (which are free) include the Museum of London Docklands, the Crossrail Roof Gardens, the inner city Mudchute Park and Farm and the wholesale fish market, Billingsgate Market.
Pro Tip: The Cargo Market Hall offers an amazing array of affordable food options (at least less expensive than most London sit-down meals) in a lively atmosphere.
Sightseeing in London Map
Use this link to Google Maps to find the sights listed in our 3-Day London Itinerary on an interactive, online map of London. Day 1 sights are Blue; Day 2 attractions are Green; Day 3 things to see are Purple.
More London Itineraries
While we have outlined the best London Itinerary for a 3-day trip, we know many travelers are trying to plan longer or shorter trips. Therefore, we are providing several suggested itineraries for London – for more or less time.
1 Day in London Itinerary
Planning a London 1-Day Itinerary is not an easy task! With so much to see and do, it can be difficult to choose what to include and what to omit. In an attempt to squeeze as much sightseeing as possible into one day, we would recommend combining some of the sights from Days 1 and 2 of our London Three-Day Itinerary. Follow our outline for Day 1 from Kensington Palace until the end of the Westminster Walk, then pick up Day 2 at South Bank and end the day at a pub.
London Itinerary 2 Days
For an ideal 2-Day London Itinerary, we recommend simply following Days 1 and 2 of our outlined London in Three Days Itinerary. If time permits during your 2 days in London, consider adding a boat cruise on the Thames River.
Alternative London Itinerary 3 Days
In our guide of things to do in London in 3 days, we include several (free) museums. Visitors who are not into museums can instead opt for neighborhood exploration. In our following suggested plans for a 4-Day London Itinerary to London in a Week, we highlight different neighborhoods around the city. Rather than going to museums, substitute the different districts into your London travel plans.
London Itinerary 4 Days
Planning a 4-days in London Itinerary offers an opportunity to see some of the unique neighborhoods that surround the central city. On a London 4-Day Itinerary, we recommend spending a day exploring Shoreditch. Start the day at the Spitalfields Market, then in the afternoon join a free tip-based walking tour of East End Street Art (or go find the street art on your own for no cost!). Pop into the vintage stores and boutique shops. If it is a Sunday, don’t miss the Brick Lane Sunday Market (it’s one of the cheap places to shop in London where you can find some bargains!).
London Itinerary 5 Days
For a London 5-Day Itinerary, we recommend following our advice for 4 days in London, then discover the neighborhoods to the north on your last day. On the last day of 5 days in London, start your day in Regent’s Park – or one of the nearby attractions, like the British Library (free), the Sherlock Museum (ticket required) or strike a pose like The Beatles on the Abbey Road crossing walk. For lunch, head to the Camden Town Market, then take a stroll along the Regent’s Canal lined with houseboats (a bit like Amsterdam!). If there is still time in the day, hop on a bus heading north to Highgate Cemetery (small fee to enter) or the spacious Hampstead Heath which provides a super view of London city. For dinner, settle into The Flask, a historic haunted pub that is sometimes frequented by the celebrities that live in Highgate (the late George Michael owned the house across the street and Kate Moss and Jude Law both own homes in Highgate). If that is not your scene, go to The Duke’s Head for good craft beer and rotating street food eats.
London Itinerary 6 Days
Planning a 6 Days in London Itinerary allows visitors enough time to glimpse into a more local, alternative scene. Start by using our previously outlined London 5 Days Itinerary, then on the last day, see less ‘sights’ and more local life. Use the last day of your 6-Day London Itinerary to see some of the neighborhoods south of the city center. Start your day just steps from major tourist sights in the Leake Street Arches, which are covered in murals by local street artists. Work your way west – either by foot or hop on a double-decker red bus – to the Maltby Street Market. After perusing the goods and sampling the fare, embark on an afternoon of craft beer tasting on the Bermondsey Beer Mile. More than 15 brewers have set up shop in the brick arches of a 1.5 mile-stretch of elevated train tracks. Find out more about the brewers, hours of operation and how to plan your time in our blog post: London Craft Beer Crawl: The Bermondsey Beer Mile.
London Itinerary 7 Days
To create a 7-Day London Itinerary, we suggest following our above tips for six days in London, then on the last day go on a day trip outside of the city. There are easy train connections to places like Stonehenge, Bath and beachside Brighton. Budget travelers can plan their own trips using public transport – or splurge for an organized and guided day trip. Alternatively, stay in London and visit any places you may have missed on your trip…or spend the day in Clapham and Brixton, which great are neighborhoods southwest of the city center. We can also tell you from our own experience, London is a great European Christmas Destination and a Fantastic Place to Ring in the New Year!
Pro Tip: Find the best day trips on Viator (where you can read fellow traveler reviews before booking your tour to make sure you are getting bang for your buck!).
More Activities for your 3 Day Itinerary London
Throughout our free London Itinerary we have outlined the top city attractions that are not to be missed. However, we have a few more sights and experiences that ambitious travelers might want to squeeze into their 3 Day Itinerary for London.
South Kensington London Museums
South Kensington hosts are a few of the best museums in London. Visitors may want to add one – or more – of the iconic museums to their London trip plan.
Natural History Museum in London
The London Natural History Museum is a an fantastic institution featuring phenomenal exhibits and hands-on activities – and it’s free to visit!
The Science Museum
The Science Museum is another fabulous free London museum – and it is ideal to include on a London Itinerary with kids (but it impresses visitors of all ages!).
The Victoria and Albert Museum
A fascinating art museum, the V&A displays decorative arts and hosts exceptional exhibits. Plus, the spectacular museum is free.
Harry Potter London Sightseeing
It is said that J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, was on a train bound for London when she came up with the idea for the story – so it’s no surprise that many of the book and film locations take place in the city.
Harry Potter Tours in London
Harry Potter fans might want to carve out some time in their itinerary for London in 3 days to see some of the most famous Harry Potter sights. Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station is a top attraction – and visitors can see it for free (along with many other sights on a self guided Harry Potter tour, like this one). Visitors can also join a Guided Harry Potter Walking Tour or spend an entire day on set at the Warner Bros. Studio on an epic tour.
London Afternoon Tea
High Tea in London is tradition that many visitors will want to include in their 3 Day London Itinerary. Experiencing the mid-afternoon meal of finger sandwiches, scones and cakes – along with tea, and often Champagne – is quintessentially British. London High Tea can be a luxurious experience – and, therefore, can be a bit expensive. The most glamourous place for Afternoon Tea is The Ritz – but visitors can also opt for a guided High Tea Experience at Kensington Palace. Budget travelers, on the other hand, can find more affordable experiences at tea shops, restaurants and hostels.
Another fun British tradition is enjoying a classic Sunday Roast. If your 3 days in London coincides with a Sunday, we highly recommend finding a place to feast on the traditional meal. There are several restaurants and pubs that serve Sunday roast – but the Hawksmoor, The Rose and Blacklock get top reviews from budget-minded travelers.
3 Days in London Tips
Now that you know what to do and see when you visit London in 3 days, we have just a few more tips for your trip!
How Much Does 3 Days in London Cost?
How much money you spend on your 3 day London vacation will depend on which activities you choose to include in your itinerary. However, with the many free attractions and sights, it is possible to spend 72 hours in London and not pay for anything more than your hotel, food and transport. Visitors who do want to visit ticketed attractions can save money using a sightseeing pass.
Eating in London on a Budget
While there are many free and cheap London attractions, seeking out inexpensive places to eat is a little more difficult. The cost of eating at restaurants in London can add up in a hurry, which can crush a London trip budget. We often find that the cheapest places to eat in any city are kebab shops, bars and Chinatown – and it’s true in London, too. That said, the cheapest pub meals cost at minimum $15 USD and it’s only slightly less for a sit-down meal in Chinatown (and that’s without purchasing any alcoholic beverages). Kebab shops often dole out hearty (but not heart healthy) kebabs for less than $10 USD.
Eating on a Budget in London: Grocery Stores & Meal Deals
Our best budget tip for eating in London on a budget is to buy food at one of the local grocery stores, like Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Boots. All three of these chain stores offer convenient portable meals at a bundled meal deal price (around £3.50, which is about $4.50 USD). The Meal Deal includes a Main (sandwich, wrap or pasta), Snack (chips, fruit or sweets) and a Drink (soda, juice or water). Of course, it can be even less expensive to just go to the grocery store and purchase portable meal options. We often pick up meat, cheese and bread for sandwiches and apples or oranges – that we can consume in an ideal picnic spot (of which London has many!). Grocery stores are also a great choice for saving money on breakfast foods.
Best London City Sightseeing Pass
One of the things we love best about traveling in London on a budget is all of the free things to do! In our plan for London in Three Days, we feature the best free attractions. However, many of the pricey attractions are worth the cost of admission. The best way to squeeze ticketed sights into a London trip budget is by utilizing a money-saving city sightseeing pass. The most popular London sightseeing pass is The London Pass. Another option for discounted admission into London’s attractions are the 2-for-1 deals with the National Rail Pass but it’s only a benefit if traveling in pairs and if you are planning on using public transportation on a daily basis.
Choosing the Right London Sightseeing Card
Before purchasing a pass for your Three-Day London Itinerary, we recommend researching all of the options in order to make the most economical choice. Determine which London sights and attractions are at the top of your list and then compare the passes to find one that best suits you and your budget.
London Public Transportation
London public transportation is clean and efficient – but it can also be expensive. However, there are many ways to use public transportation on a budget London trip. For example, buses (only £1.50 per ride) are cheaper than the Tube, although they usually take longer, they can be a cheap sightseeing option as well (especially the double decker London buses).
Understanding London Public Transport Prices
The best way to save money on public transportation in London is by using a transportation card. Daily Caps or Unlimited Travelcards on a one day’s use of public transport will also save money. The key to saving is to do a little research before heading to London to determine which method of transportation will be the most cost effective for your trip. The main transport cards to consider are the Oyster Card, National Rail Pass and Unlimited Travelcards (but there are also Visitor Oyster Cards, point-to-point tickets and bus & tram passes). The official TFL website offers helpful advice on how to choose the correct card for your visit to London.
The Oyster Card can be used on most modes of public transportation in London. The pre-paid card offers discounted fares (as well as calculating the Daily Cap automatically) and can be easily topped up with more credit. However, the card costs £5 to purchase, so it is worthwhile to calculate whether or not the card will provide savings with 3 days in London.
Unlimited Daily Travelcards
Rather than worrying about topping up and daily caps, an Unlimited Daily Travelcard provides an easy and hassle-free way to travel in London. Buy your ticket in advance!
National Rail Pass
The National Rail Pass can offer huge savings in London – especially if traveling in pairs and utilizing their 2-for-1 sightseeing passes to top attractions. The pass is good for transport on the Tube and Bus Routes in the city. Find out more about the pass and attraction offers on the National Rail website.
Big Bus London
An alternative to taking public transportation is the tourist Big Bus London. Although it may cost more than using public transport, it makes stops at all the top tourist spots in the city and includes a river boat ride. Plus, it can be a real time-saver! Find out more!
Pro Tip: Want to use the public bus for sightseeing? London Bus Routes 9, 11 and 24 pass some of London’s best sights.
Getting To and From London
Our preferred method of getting anywhere is by flying (we are JetSetting Fools, after all!) and London has several airports. The major airports that service the city are Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW), London City (LCY), Luton (LTN) and Stansted (STN). When we purchase flights we start our search for the best deals on airline tickets on Skyscanner. Heathrow is often the most expensive airport to fly into – and the cost of getting from LHR into central London costs £25 for a one-way ticket on Heathrow Express (although advance online tickets cost significantly less…but need to be purchased 90 days in advance). On the other hand, many low-cost carriers fly to Stansted and Luton Airports and the inexpensive bus costs as little as £6, but it takes about 2 hours to get to the London city center.
Buses to London
For low-cost city-to-city travel within Europe, we rely on buses. Or preferred bus company is FlixBus – as it is economical, clean and comfortable with on-board wifi and (usually) a toilet. Tickets are cheapest when booked in advance.
Renting a Car in London
We aren’t keen on driving abroad, but renting a car can often save time and money (especially when traveling with more than two people) – and having a car rental allows for greater discovery. However, parking a car in London can add significant fees – and, once in the city, a car is really not necessary.
Where To Stay in London for 3 Days
During our trips to London, we have stayed in a variety of accommodations – including city center hotels, airport hotels and Airbnb apartments. We have even been international housesitters (on more than one occasion!), looking after people’s pets and homes while they are away – giving us a free place to stay on a trip to London.
Pro Tip: For a 3-day trip to London, we recommend staying close to the city center near public transportation. While it can cost significantly less to stay outside of the city, the time and money spent on public transport may thwart any savings on far-flung accommodations.
London Budget Trip Hotels
Finding affordable hotels near the city center is a real struggle…but not impossible. We have stayed in a few locations around the city – for less than $100 USD per night.
Good Hotel London
Located near the London City Airport in East London, the Good Hotel is an affordable and unique place to stay. The hotel is actually a floating barge on the water, just across from the O2 and Greenwich. While the rooms are on the small side, the hip hotel features modern decor, a co-working space and friendly staff – and, it’s just steps from public transport. Check rates and availability!
Ideally located in Westminster near Victoria Station, EasyHotel offers tiny, windowless rooms at a budget rate. The no-frills rooms are clean and efficient – and they have free tea available in the lobby. But, let us be clear: the rooms are teeny tiny, with a small bed, compact bathroom and little room for luggage. Check current rates!
Premier Inn Heathrow
A Heathrow Airport hotel at Terminal 4, the Premier Inn is surprisingly affordable with spacious rooms and an on-site restaurant and bar. Transport within the airport is free, so guests not arriving at Terminal 4 can easily get to the hotel without any additional costs. To make it a budget stay, be sure to purchase the advance Heathrow Express tickets 90 days before your trip (otherwise, the cost of traveling to and from the city will eat up all of your savings!). Check rates and availability!
Airbnb Apartments London
We have stayed in a few different Airbnb apartments in London. We have found that staying in apartments is often less expensive than hotel rooms – with the added benefit of a kitchen (where we can at least cook breakfast) and, often, more space. In London, the cheapest options are usually to rent a room within a house, rather than renting the entire space.
Pro Tip: Not already a member of Airbnb? Use this link to create an account and save money on your first stay!
London For Free: Housesitting and Couchsurfing
To save money on accommodations, we sometimes offer our services as house- and pet-sitters in exchange for a free place to stay. While planning a London itinerary around housesitting can be difficult (not to mention the incredible responsibility of taking care of someone’s pet), it can be a fun way to travel on a budget! We find available housesits in London with Trusted Housesitters. For a true bargain – and a unique experience – search for hosts on Couchsurfing, where travelers stay with locals for free.
Budget Travel London: What You Will Need
Best Travel Shoes
Our 3-Day London tour covers some ground! Be sure to pack a pair of comfortable travel shoes. I like wearing these lightweight Columbia shoes for city walking – and Kris prefers to wear his Merrell shoes.
Foul Weather Gear
London has a reputation for being a rainy-weather city, but there are actually only about 100 rainy days a year. However, if your time in the city coincides with rain (or snow…or sleet!), you will want to try to stay dry. We recommend carrying a travel umbrella or bringing a packable raincoat.
Refillable Water Bottle
When traveling to London on a budget, you will want to carry a refillable water bottle so that you don’t need to buy expensive bottles of water while out sightseeing. We think these collapsible water bottles are great for travelers!
Map of London
It’s easy to get turned around or lost in any new city! However, by studying the layout of a city prior to arrival, you can get oriented in the city more quickly. We recommend purchasing a city map before your trip – and carrying it with you while you explore!
Day Pack & Travel Camera
London Travel Insurance
We think travel insurance is essential – even for budget travelers! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip to London, travel protected with World Nomads.
We want to know: Have you visited London on a budget? What were you able to see and do in 3 days in London? Is there anything you would add to our 3-Day London Itinerary? Give us your best tips and advice in the comments!
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