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18 November, 2012

Visiting London on a student budget

London Eye
London Eye, London
This is a post from Thalysia and Nick, two Belgian students providing you some tips to see London on a budget without loosing out on comfort. They'll take you on a walking tour through London passing all major sites.  Ready?

Disney Store London
Disney Store Bond Street

On the first day start your walking tour in the Disney store at Bond Street Station which you can reach with the Central or Jubilee Line. After having your picture taken with Minny, walk on Oxford Street and take a right into Soho Street towards Soho Square which is a great photo stop. Continue your journey by taking a right on Carlisle Street, again right Dean Street, after the Bath House take a left into Fareham Street and then immediately right into Great Chapel Street, again left into Hollen Street and finally left again into Wardour Street.

Are you still there? WoW that was a lot of rights and lefts but definitely worth it because here on Wardour Street you will find a lot of little pastry shops, we had a delicious cupcake at the Hummingbird Bakery. 

China Town London

After your well deserved cup cake, continue walking down Wardour street. After a 5 to 10 minute walk, you will cross Shaftesbury Avenue and walk into Chinatown. On your left you'll find Leicester Square were you can find a lot of ticket box offices. Here you can buy very cheap tickets for a musical, we bought tickets to Wicked. The prices start from GBP 19 per person. 

Walk back towards the M&M store and walk down into Coventry Street, this will take you to Piccadilly Circus. After taking some pictures continue walking for another 5 minutes on Piccadilly Street to the St. James Church. Keep walking down till you pass the Ritz. It's nice to just hang out here for a couple minutes to see the guests going in and out, wow diamonds are definitely a girls best friend ;-)

Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square 

Right behind Green Park Subway Station you can walk into Green Park. Walk through the Park and you will end up at Buckingham Palace and Victoria Memorial. Again for sure a photo moment. Continue your walk down Mall Street under the Admiralty Arch till you reach Trafalgar Square. The fountains on Trafalgar Square guarantee a nice picture.

Big Ben
Big Ben

After having enjoyed Trafalgar Square, continue your walk on Whitehall Street which will bring you to the Horse Guards, Downing Street and the Big Ben. Taken enough pictures? Ok walk down Bridge Street and you will immediately see the London Eye. On the Westminster Bridge, you can take the best pictures of the London eye. On the end of the bridge take a left, you will first pass a Mc Donald's (cheap food stop), the London Sea Life Aquarium and of course the London Eye. 

On the London Eye Millennium Pier you can take a ferry to the Tower Millennium Pier where you can take the best photos of the Tower Bridge. In the evening go see a musical with the tickets you bought earlier in the day on Leicester Square. We went to see Wicked in the Apollo Victoria Theater which I can definitely recommend. Not to spend to much money on food, you can always eat in Mc Donald's, Burger King or KFC. Not the healthiest choice but one of the cheapest. 

Tower Bridge
London Bridge

On the second day start your walking tour at London Bridge which can be reached with the Jubilee or Northern Line. You can have breakfast here at a little place called Harpers Sandwich Bar on the corner of Southwark and Borough High Street. For GBP 5 you will have a full English Breakfast including chips. We ate so much that we were not hungry for the rest of the day till late evening, so definitely worth eating here. After breakfast take the Queen's walk next to the river from London Bridge to Tower Bridge. On your way you will pass City Hall. Walk over the Tower Bridge and take a left to the Tower of London

Harrods London
Harrods London

After having taken some pictures here, take the subway at Tower Hill Station (Circle or District Line to Victoria Station, then the Victoria line to Green Park and finally the Piccadilly line to Knightsbridge) to KnightsBridge Station and visit Harrods which a very large and luxury shopping mall. Even though you cannot really afford to buy anything here, it's just fun walking around. You can take the Egyptian Escalator to all floors. If you take it down, you will see a memorial for Princess Diana. There is also a Christmas World floor. 

After Harrods walk down to Hyde Park which is a very relaxing park where you can have a picnic if you want to. We had to stop our visit here as we had to take the Eurostar back home, in case you have more time you can continue your walk through London or visit the aquarium or Madame Tussaud or the London Dungeon or ...

Thaly & Nick London Eye
Thalysia and Nick in London

We hoped you enjoyed our tips. We went to London for two days in November 2012 and stayed in the Hilton London Docklands Riverside Hotel which is located near Canary Wharf. We payed GBP 60 for a room per night as they were having a weekend promotion. I'm sure you can find for that price places to stay downtown London but we preferred comfort and peace.

When you travel in London, it's best to buy a 1-2 day travel card. This allows you to go anywhere in zone 1 and 2 which is entire downtown London. We took an off peak 1-2 day travel card which means you can use the subway starting as from 9:30 AM. 

Total price card for our trip:
GBP 90 per person for a return ticket with the Eurostar
GBP 60 for a room for one night at the Hilton London Docklands Riverside
GBP 7 per person per day for an off peak 1-2 day travel card
GBP 4 per person for the ferry on day one (reduced price with your 1-2 day travel card)
GBP 2 per person for a delicious cupcake
GBP 5 per person for a big breakfast
GBP 1 for a bottle of water
GBP 8 per person for a meal at Mc Donald's
GBP 14 for a family bucket at KFC
GBP 19 per person for a ticket to Wicked balcony seat (GBP 80 for a golden seat)


Text and all photos by Thalysia Larosse and Nick Santiago Cores


  1. Loved this article Freya. I plan on trying out some new cafes here in Edmonton Alberta Canada and writing about them as it's been awhile since I posted on my Blog as i've been too busy riding horses LOL . . . Martin Blair your Face Book friend :)

    1. Hi Martin, great to hear from you !! Let me know when your post is finalized. Have a great day Freya

  2. Great stuff! I'm planning to hopefully make it to London for a weekend soon and this is a really useful post. Thanks Freya, Thalysia and Nick!

    1. Enjoy London and maybe you can try out Thalysia and Nick's walking tour :-)

  3. And that's why I love living here!! It's the greatest city on earth. Well, in my opinion. :-)

    1. haha well I do not disagree with you :-)

  4. Well that was a lovely walk through London! Sounds like you guys made the most of your trip! :o)

    Wicked sure is a fantastic musical! I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw it!

    I'm lucky enough to have been to London half a dozen times on a "student budget"! But I kind of cheated... 4 of those times my dad was there on a business trip, so I just had him reserve a larger room which I would share with him for Fri-Sat night! So all I had to do was hop on the Eurostar and meet up with him there Fri when he got out of his meetings! ;o)

    Like I said I've been to London about half a dozen times, usually 2-3 day weekends. I've seen most of what there is to see, but not all! I keep going back whenever I get the chance because it truly is a fabulous city! :o)

    1. I love London as well, it is indeed very easy to visit with the Eurostar. I went a couple of time to see a musical and absolutely loved it.

    2. lol! One of my visits to London on the Eurostar was right after the change to the Euro... when you could still choose what currency to pay with and which to receive change in... the poor woman working in the café car was very tired of it all! People paying in pounds asking for change in Euros, others Francs to Euros or Pounds... Nightmare! I'm sure glad that's over!

      I miss the Eurostar... such a comfortable train!

  5. Thank you for this share,
    This post is very nicely define how can you travel in london on a small buget, i appricate your post and i am definately follow your tips once i plan to visit in london....I love this blog very much...Awesome Blog!!


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Freya - Holiday Nomad