london on a budget

One day in London on a budget

After graduating high school, we decided to take up some work in England for a couple of months. During this time we placed one day to visit the capital city. As we didn’t earn much, we had to face London on a budget. Visiting London in just one day isn’t an easy task. This city is rich in touristic attractions and we are happy to say that we still managed to see many of them. Enjoy our story :)


From the town we lived in, it took us 30 minutes to get to the center by train. The first thing that we noticed after arriving to London was that it’s impossible to get lost in there – routes are marked very, very clearly.

It also attracted our attention that there are many lawn chairs on the lawns in the first zone and that’s the place where a lot of people decide to spend their free time in summer. We noticed such places just after living our first metro station.

london on a budget
All chairs look like these two
london on a budget
Many people just sit on the grass and enjoy their time

We actually truly liked this idea. We wish there were such places in our home town :)


After leaving our first stop – Victoria Station – we went to see the Buckingham Palace and wanted to get there to visit it from inside but as it was the high season, it turned out that for the day of our visit all tickets were already sold out :( For this reason we advise you to book the tickets in advanced. It’s a shame we weren’t able to go there because we wanted to see the picture gallery with it’s paintings and state rooms (which we’ve heard are worth to visit). But still we had some more time to visit other places, which London is full of.

That’s why we saw the Palace from the outside only. We waited for the Changing the Guard (11.30 am) as did a lot of other tourists, so it was pretty crowded there. That’s why it was hard to watch it comfortably or take nice pictures. But it is understandable as it is one of the best-known symbols of England :)

london on a budget
Buckingham Palace – Changing The Guard
london on a budget
Crowds in front of Buckingham Palace


Many guards take part in the ceremony, so we can say it looks impressive. No wonder that many tourists are waiting to see it. To be honest we didn’t intend to wait for it like others. We have no idea why, but we haven’t even checked what time the ceremony takes place. We were just lucky to happen upon it when we were sightseeing the Buckingham Palace and now we are very satisfied about that :)


After that we took metro to Westminster station (which took us only couple of minutes) to visit Big Ben and Westminster Palace – Houses of Parliament. Unfortunately, the palace is often closed to the public, just like at the time we were there.

And as we weren’t planning to go inside the Westminster Palace, we thought we won’t spend much time around. But we were in the wrong actually – we took our time and appreciated the moment.

It’s a great idea to take photos of Westminster Palace from London Eye. Yet, if this attraction isn’t on your list, you will also make great pictures of it from Westminster Bridge. You can capture the whole building from there.

Westminster Bridge (just over the picturesque River Thames, where many tourist boats sail) is in general one of the best viewpoints in London. Maybe that’s why we spent a lot of time there. We were walking, making plenty of pictures and enjoying our time. We sightseed London in the middle of the summer and hopefully we had a lovely weather, so we could enjoy out trip even more :)

london on a budget
Big Ben
london on a budget
Big Ben & Westminster Palace
london on a budget
Big Ben & Westminster Palace


All of these Westminster attractions are really close to each other so we had a short walk through Westminster Bridge and then finally got to London Eye. After getting tickets we had to wait a while till we could go inside. But as we were waiting, the time passed very quickly – instead of one queue, there was a division into several small ones and that’s why waiting there wasn’t so annoying. We were just going from one queue to another. The first queue was for buing tickets, then the next one to show that we have tickets and the last one to get to the wheel :)

london on a budget
View of London Eye from Westminster Bridge

One revolution of the wheel takes about 30 minutes (which we think is enough time to admire the panorama) and we have to admit that when our capsule went up, we were very impressed of the views. All of the London’s attractions are pretty expensive (each at least £20), and due to spending there only one day we had to choose only those, that we regarded as the most worth-seeing and we are very satisfied with picking the Ferris wheel :)

london on a budget
Panorama of London from a capsule on London Eye
london on a budget
View of the center from the top point of London Eye
london on a budget
A very useful handle for those who have a fear of heights :)
london on a budget
View of London Eye from Golden Jubilee Bridges


Then we took the underground from Waterloo station to London Bridge station and first went to visit Shard. This 309.6 m skyscraper absorbs with unique architecture, as the structure resembles a broken piece of glass. Also in the area of The Shard there are some good pubs where you can feel typical English atmosphere with a beer in your hand.

london on a budget
the Shard


Taking direction to the one of the best London’s attraction – Tower Bridge we passed London Bridge and City Hall. Then we started admiring the beauty of the Tower Bridge. It was amazing! We got there before the sunset and that’s why we could wait and compare the view with the lights off and on. We’d say that this is this kind of attraction that becomes even more impressive at night. It was a great idea and perfect time for visiting this place. We also recommend to to see it at the end of the day :)

london on a budget
Photo of Tower Bridge taken at the moment when it started getting dark


At that moment we finished our trip and left London. To sum up, it was really worth to visit this bustling city. It has many interesting spots, lots of options to do, easy and fast public transport and short distances between tourist places. Also when we needed some help, the locals were willingly lending a helping hand.

And the less common thing that we really liked in London were the shows of the street performers by the London Eye. We realize that it may not be something really unique, but while walking there we happened upon incredible performance of 5 or 6 guys, who were mixing some break-dance and acrobatics. They were so stretched out, that could do almost everything with their bodies! That’s why we advise going there because sometimes some of this performances can also make the sightseeing even more entertaining.

We didn’t spend much money to visit the city. It was surely much easier for us to see London on a budget as we didn’t need to book any accomodation there. We came both ways with a train, so we actually spend most money for attractions and food. However, we didn’t have enough courage to try typical English breakfast and tee with milk :)

We have to admit that the biggest minus of this city, which we can point out (but for us the only one), is that the prices of attractions are very high. That’s why it can be hard to make a trip to London on a budget. However, we managed to do that and you can do it too! To find out how much we spent for it and get many important tips for visiting London check below our guide. Also please click on Facebook and Twitter buttons too ;)

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