London is calling and this world-class city is hard to resist! Though budget travelers might find themselves pumping the breaks on planning a trip once they see the prices. Despite Brexit, the British Pound remains strong making an already expensive world capital even pricier for outsiders. Where there's a will there's a way though, and with so much to see here no traveler should skip London because of the cost of lodging or otherwise.
If you're wondering where to stay in London on a budget, we've got the answer. With HomeExchange, visiting the British capital is more affordable than ever. Unless you have friends or family in town to take you in, HomeExchange is hands down the most cost effective way to stay in London. Find out how it works and read on to see the best places to stay and other budget friendly travel tips for this city everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.Discover How HomeExchange Works
Where to Stay in London for Cheap
How much does it cost to stay in London?
In 2022 the average price for a standard double room in London was around £170, or just under $200 per night. It is possible to find hotel deals for less, but don't expect to be writing postcards home about them. At these prices most places are void of the charm you would hope to experience in London. If you're looking for something more quintessentially British, and don't have the budget for a high-end hotel, a local vacation rental is another option. London flats can be fabulous and offer you insight into what it's like to be a local.
The most affordable route is a room within a private home versus renting out an entire place. This can be a great opportunity to connect with hosts, potentially over a pint together at the local pub. Not everyone is comfortable with such arrangements though, and most prefer to rent out an entire residence. By the end of 2022 though, the average price of a London Airbnb came in at nearly £190 a night – that's even more than a hotel room. While you may get more space for the money, you'll probably pay even more once services like cleaning fees are tacked on.
What's the most affordable way to stay in London?
So where does that leave people traveling to London on a budget? To HomeExchange we hope. Those already using home exchanges for travel accommodations know that finding a more affordable option is almost impossible. A one year subscription to HomeExchange, the largest and most reputable home exchange network in the world, costs $220. This unlocks the possibility of unlimited exchanges with over 100,000 verified hosts worldwide. For little more than the average cost of a one night apartment rental in London, you can plan unlimited exchanges and vacations for an entire year with HomeExchange.
Just like hotels and holiday rentals, you can access an exchanging host's reviews to make the best decision for you and your travel companions. We even offer a nifty tool where you can see your savings stack up, calculating how much you save using HomeExchange based on where you're going, with how many people, and for how long. HomeExchange hosts can be found in all the loveliest locations in London, and affordable neighborhoods as well. Which leads us to our next suggestion for the best places to stay in London on a budget – our favorite neighborhoods for budget travelers where you'll save some when spending on groceries, dining out, and other local needs during your stay.
Affordable Neighborhoods in London
Shoreditch, located in the vibrant East End of London, has earned a reputation as one of the city's most hip and happening neighborhoods. With its unique blend of creativity, culture, and affordability, Shoreditch has become a magnet for artists, entrepreneurs, and budget-conscious travelers alike.The neighborhood is adorned with colorful street art, vibrant murals, and ever-changing graffiti that reflect the area's artistic spirit. It also has eclectic dining and nightlife which casual gastropubs and take out that won't break the bank. While London is notorious for its high cost of living, Shoreditch offers some respite for budget travelers. Shoreditch's proximity to excellent public transportation also makes it easy to explore other parts of London without spending a fortune on transportation.
This neighborhood is the perfect blend of beauty and affordability. Nestled in the vibrant borough of Hackney, London Fields is a neighborhood that effortlessly combines natural beauty, a thriving community spirit, and affordability. This hidden gem has become a favorite among locals and visitors alike, offering a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets while remaining accessible to all. London Fields Park is the idyliic green heart and soul of this neighborhood. Spanning over 30 acres, this oasis provides a sanctuary for relaxation, recreation, and community gatherings, all for free. Another local favorite is Broadway Market, a bustling street that comes alive every Saturday offering food stalls, artisanal goods, vintage clothing, and live music. With its idyllic park, thriving market culture, diverse dining options, and accessible housing, this neighborhood offers a unique and authentic London experience without sky-high prices.
Nestled in the northwest corner of London, the neighborhood of Hampstead exudes an air of sophistication and tranquility. Hampstead offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural charm, and affordability. Enjoy exploring Hampstead Heath, a sprawling park covering 790 acres that is the crown jewel of the neighborhood. Its rolling hills, woodland areas, and serene ponds provide an idyllic escape for nature lovers, a perfect place to picnic, and a spectacular view of London. Another free local activity we love is strolling Hampstead's streets to admire elegant Georgian and Victorian houses. The neighborhood is well-served by the London Underground's Northern Line, providing a convenient connection to the city center on affordable public transport. While Hampstead is often associated with affluence, it still manages to maintain a level of affordability in comparison to other upscale neighborhoods in London.
Richmond is another tranquil retreat from the busy city life of London while remaining fairly accessible. Home to one of London's largest Royal Parks, Richmond Park spans over 2,500 acres. It's a haven for wildlife, featuring vibrant wildflower meadows, ancient oak trees, and a tranquil lake. Residents and visitors can enjoy leisurely walks, cycling, or picnicking while immersing themselves in the natural surroundings. The Thames River also flows through Richmond offering riverside walks and scenic views for another affordable and free activity. The neighborhood is served by the Underground's District Line and the National Rail network, providing easy access to London's city center and surrounding areas. This connectivity ensures that visitors staying here can easily explore other parts of the city without incurring excessive travel expenses.
Other Ways to Save in London
Now that you know where where to stay in London on a budget, you might be wondering if there are other ways to save when visiting this high demand destination. Your bank account will benefit from a few simple suggestions to help you save on your visit here. The local tourism office even has a page dedicated to giving you more information on how to save money for anyone doing London on a budget.
- Take the tube. You should not only take the tube, as it's called in London, because it's part of the quintissential experience, but also because it's the most affordable way to get around. The visitor Oyster card costs £5 and then you can pay per ride, or for a daily pass if you plan to ride a lot pay a flat free for unlimited rides. So "Mind the gap between the train and the platform"! Other public transport like the iconic red double decker bus are also affordable transport and a typical London experiences, so go ahead and hop on.
- Make the most of the Royal Parks. The parks of London are fit for a queen! Beautifully maintained and with plenty of little lakes, ponds, animal life, cycling paths, and more. Just be aware that in some central parks you have to pay a small free to sit in the lounge chairs. Regent's Park, Hyde Park, Green Park, and more...there are so many to see!
- Wander & window shop. London is home to some of the most amazing shopping in the world. Just because you can't afford to buy high ticket items doesn't mean you aren't welcome to browse. It's half the fun, so pop into to places like Harrod's and Liberty London and enjoy strolling these busy shopping meccas without the pressure to buy. All are welcome!
- Enjoy free attractions. London's array of free attractions and landmarks can be explored without spending a single pence. Among them are world-renowned art galleries and museums like the Tate Modern, National Gallery, The British Museum, and The Southbank Centre art complex. Additionally, make sure not to miss the captivating spectacle of Changing the Guard, a free event that is an unforgettable London experience.
- Get The London Pass. If you plan on hitting all the major sightseeing spots like Westminster Abbey, Saint Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge and more, this pass can save you up to 50% off the cost. You can choose The London Pass package that suits your trip and they even give helpful itineraries.
London is Calling with HomeExchange
Wether you want to sip high tea, see the Crown Jewels, or fly high above the city on the London Eye, there are so many reasons to travel to London. The price of accommodations here shouldn’t stop you from experiencing this extraordinary place at least once in your lifetime. HomeExchange makes finding a place to stay in the British capital more affordable than ever. It also offers a range of other advantages like a local’s experience, recommendations from your host, and the comforts of home even when you’re abroad in a foreign country. London is calling, so sign up for HomeExchange if you're not already part of the community and start planning, because London on a budget can be just as lovely!See homes in London, England