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London on a student budget

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Published: 17 September 2021

BIg Ben and underground sign

London is, without a doubt, one of the best places in the world to study. With easy access to some of the country’s most amazing museums, restaurants, theatres and other attractions, there is so much on your doorstep.  

But it can sometimes feel like those experiences are out of reach when you’re trying to live on a student budget.   

That doesn’t have to be the case though, as we’d like to show you. You can get the absolute best out of your London experience without having to break the bank.  

Bus tours 

No London trip would be complete with a sightseeing visit around the city. For many people, that means hopping on an expensive bus tour.   

It’s a great way to get around and see everything worth seeing. But at £30 a ticket, it’s a luxury many can’t afford.  

Luckily, the Transport for London bus service is there for you for a fraction of the cost.   

Hop on the Route 11, for example, to go past the Bank of England, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and many more.  

You can find other tourist bus routes on the Trip Savy website 

See London from the sky  

Another popular thing to do is visit places like the London Eye and the Shard to get an aerial view of the capital.   

But both of them are on the upper end of expensive so it makes sense to have a look around for a cheaper alternative.  

Why not try The Walkie Talkie Sky Garden. It’s totally free to go up, you just need to book in advance.  

Once inside you’ll get an impressive 360-degree view of the city and feel good for having saved yourself quite a bit of cash.  

Get a free cultural experience  

Many of London’s biggest, and most famous, museums are totally free.   

World-renowned institutions like the British MuseumNational GalleryScience Museum and Natural History Museum charge nothing for entry.  

That means you can see everything from Egyptian mummies to dinosaur fossils for the cost of getting the tube.   

Visit London has a great list of must-see museums around the capital.  

Eat something   

London’s food scene is as diverse as its population. You can find something to eat here from every corner of the world, and every price range too.   

Yes, there are over 60 Michelin Star eateries in the city, but their price tags might put them out of the reach of the average student.  

Instead, opt for a training restaurant. It’s where the top chefs of the future learn their skills, so not only are you getting a brilliant meal for less, but you’re also helping your fellow students too.  

Try out the Vincent Rooms in Westminster or Bonnington Café in Vauxhall for starters...and mains... and deserts.  

One of the best things about living in London is the huge amount of diversity you get to experience.   

Whether that’s in the people you meet, the food you’re eating or the experiences you are having.  

But you don’t need to spend your savings for a proper London experience. Try out some of our tips and have fun!  

We’d love to see the things you get up to whilst you’re exploring the city. Share your photos with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using #WeAreSunLon