London is so Expensive!

Its common knowledge that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, although apparently not as expensive as Moscow.

London also has some of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world, and as I found out when I started looking for a reasonably priced hotel, it’s now very difficult to find a hotel room under $200. Apparently, the average cost of a hotel room in London is now around $300 per night. (I just booked a room for April at the Eden Plaza Hotel, which seems like a bargain at $220 a night! Has anyone stayed there…? I hope it’s OK)

It isn’t just the hotels that are expensive. Originally I planned to take the Heathrow Express between the center of London and Heathrow Airport — until I looked at the prices. It’s about a 15 minute train journey each way and for three of us, the cost is about $142.00 round trip. This is the internet discount rate — it’s a little bit higher if purchased on the day of travel.

First class costs even more — around $230.00 for three people. Why you would even bother to pay more for first class on a 15 minute journey is a mystery to me.

Transport in London is generally expensive though — a ticket for a single journey on the London Underground (or “tube” as the locals call it) costs anything from $1.80 to $10.00 depending on the distance. This compares to about $2 for a journey on the New York Subway and 70 cents for a journey on Moscow’s metro system.

The least expensive major city in the world to visit is considered to be Asuncion, Paraguay, (where a hotel room can cost as low as $15) followed by Harare, Zimbabwe; Karachi, Pakistan and Bangalore, India.

The good news is that most of London’s museums are still free and there are many other attractions that don’t cost anything either. And walking — which is still free – is a great way to see London.

Guest entry by Mancunian

Related: Eurostar, Sherlock Holmes, Da Vinci Code, London and Amsterdam, England travel plan, Europe travel plan, Harry Potter.

Filed Under: Travel ideas

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Comments (7)

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  1. Tim says:

    You might look for the London Walks podcast for more free entertainment. You can find them on the net here: These are free and very well done real-time walks that point out the normal touristic sights as well as the unusual and different.

  2. JW says:

    Since the American Dollar is taking a dump, expect more of the same, unfortunately.

  3. Julie says:

    If you want to get from central London to Heathrow or vice versa, you can just take the Tube. The Piccadilly line has two stops–for Terminals 1-3 and Terminal 4. Just buy a one-trip ticket to Zone 6, which is appreciably cheaper than $142!

  4. Gretchen Miller says:

    I just went to London in November and while expensive I was able to keep myself on a budget, First of all get an Oyster card for the Tube. One week unlimited travel in central London is 20 pounds. It was great. I traveled all over and saved tons of money. Also, there are great Bed and Breakfasts in London at the fraction of the cost of a hotel. I went off season and got a 10 percent discount for a 7 nights stay. I ended up paying about $80.00 per night. If you look you can find. Here’s a tip: Many restaurants have cheaper prices for Take Away than for eat in. Good luck.

  5. Kara says:

    I think any vacation is as expensive as your tastes are. I went to London this past Christmas for 6 nights and five days. The flight, hotel and transportion cost aggregately no more than $1200 per person. My boyfriend any I got the hotel for half price on Travelzoo (Apex Hotel of London was beautiful and right in the heart of everything); we got the flights during an AA airline sale (although I don’t recommend them). I got Oyster cards (for the tube) online at the Visit London website. And we ate wherever we wanted to. It was great. I’m a believer than you can go anywhere you want to, you just have to have a good (cheap) plan.

  6. Russell says:

    I just returned from London last week. i can endorse the cost saving tips listed above. the Oyster Card is great and offers excellent savings. My advice is stay a little out of the center near a tube. We stayed at a Holiday Inn express opposite Gloucester Rd Tube for about $150 a night. There are cheaper options available but it depends what you are looking for. Also consider that the prices in the UK includes tax, whereas many prices in the US do not, and that narrows the gap a little.

    For eating, we ate in small cafe / restaurants which were good value ~150$20. There are great sandwiches available to take away from Boots and Marks and Spencers for $5-6.

  7. kim hwa shin says:

    i have never been in London, but i heard many times from my friends that all of thins in london are extremly expensive. Not even traveller, foriegn students have a difficulty in coordinating their money for making a living. Anyway, fee of transferation, hotel, restaurant bring so much burden to travellers.

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