London the historic capital is one of the most visited destinations in Europe, but it is also one of the world’s most expensive cities. Fortunately, many of the great museums, monuments and gardens still have no admission charge – and you can walk the streets of one of the world’s greatest cities for free. It’s also possible to eat and sleep adequately in the capital without breaking the bank, if you don’t mind a basic room with no luxuries.

Unless you are lucky enough to know somebody in the city, your first priority will be somewhere to stay. The cheapest hotel room in capital will cost around $150 for a single or double room with a wash basin and a shared bathroom. If you want a room with its own bathroom, or something a little more luxurious, expect to pay from around $150 to $250. Hotel rooms in the city are often small and cramped and may not have such basics as air conditioning, telephone or cable TV.

Best Cheap Hotels in London

The best areas for inexpensive hotels are around the main-line rail stations of Victoria, Kings Cross and Paddington; all of these areas are central and have good connections by bus or tube to the rest of the capital. Russell Square and Marylebone are both fairly quiet areas with plenty of budget hotels; Earl’s Court is a little bit further away from central London and is a lively area popular with backpackers. If you do arrive here without any accommodation booked, the tourist information centers at the main railway stations and airports can assist you. Cheaper hotels can also be found in some of city’s suburbs; you will be saving money on accommodation, but will be spending more time on travel.

An alternative to overpriced hotels is one of London’s several youth hostels, which despite the name, welcome travelers of any age. Expect basic facilities and mostly shared accommodation, although hostels are also a great place to meet fellow travelers and to exchange information. The big attraction is the price – around $30 to $50 per night. The best located youth hostel is close to Oxford Street and the shops and nightlife of the West End. You can even camp on the outskirts of the capital at one of several campgrounds, although any money saved will then be spent traveling into London.

An alternative to hotels and youth hostels is a room at one of the capital’s universities or colleges. While students are on summer break, their rooms are rented out to travelers; you don’t have to be a student to use this service. The accommodation is basic, although most colleges do offer single rooms. The two big advantages of student accommodation are the low price and the central location. This is understandably a popular option, so be sure to book your accommodation as far ahead as you can.

Free Things To Do In London

Most of London’s major museums and galleries still offer free admission, despite a recent trend for many big museums to charge visitors. The National Gallery, the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum are still free. Although you could easily spend a week in each of these museums and still not see everything, you also should not overlook some of the city’s smaller and lesser-known museums and galleries, many of which are not only free, but are less crowded. Most of the larger museums also offer free regular guided tours or lectures by experts.

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