London Is Expensive - But Worth It!

Apr 16th, 2006, 03:38 PM
  #1  
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London Is Expensive - But Worth It!

Last week, my husband and I took our two grandchildren and their parents for six days in London on a Virgin Vacation. We had a great time and were aware that London was expensive, but didn't realize just how much. We stayed at a basic but comfortable hotel at Earl's Court, less than a block from the Underground and in an area with lots of restaurants and other services. I had purchased week fare cards for the Underground before leaving the US.

What we were amazed at was how much the admission was to many of the sights. Fortunately, I had learned from Fodorites about the 2 for 1 vouchers available on the internet and must have saved over a hundred dollars when going to the Tower, Kensington Palace, and the Cabinet War Rooms. We took five London Walks, which were economical, interesting and lots of fun.

Restaurants and pubs were our other big expense. I expected prices for meals in inexpensive restaurants to be in the same range as here in the US, but they turned out to be almost double. Just to compare, I stopped at a Starbucks, and the drink that costs me $3.85 in the Washington, DC area was almost $6.00.

But it was a great trip, and my grandchildren loved London and want to go back. We saw all of the usual sights and didn't mind the somewhat cool and rainy weather.
lilla is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 04:00 PM
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lilla, sounds like you had a wonderful trip with your family!

Sometimes pricing makes no sense regardless of where you are. Just yesterday I bought a water at a NYC ballpark for $4.25!! Last week, I purchased an even larger bottle of water at Epcot and it was only $2.00. Go figure!

Isn't it great that you were able to save on the advice of those on this site? I think that's great!
seetheworld is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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I sure have to ditto the title of your post! I always know I'll have a great time & have learned to cut some costs by renting a flat instead of a hotel & usually have only 1 meal a day out & really prefer that. I'm tired at night so take-away is fine with me.
Heck, it's fun just walking around & that doesn't cost anything.
Carrybean is offline  
Apr 16th, 2006, 07:01 PM
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That British pound and the exchange rate can really make it easy to lose track of what your spending in American bucks. You go into the simplest souvlaki joint for lunch, see an entree for 8 GBP and a drink for 2.50 GBP, then a coffee after for another 2.50 GBP and you've just spent 23 bucks for lunch -- shy the VAT and tip.

London is such an exciting place right now I can't wait to go back. But I go armed with a list of cheap eateries and cost saving tips, and am constantly on the prowl for good hotel deals.
nessundorma is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 08:28 AM
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Hi Lilla. Glad you enjoyed yourself. London is wonderful. Perhaps, on a next trip you might explore the amazing array of free things to enjoy in London - like the Museum of London (which children adore), the Victoria & Albert, the Imperial War Museum, the British Museum, etc. - some of the world's finest museums - and all for free. Gives you an excuse to go back!
rickmav is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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lilla, can I ask which of the London walks you chose? Did your grandchildren accompany you, and enjoy the walks as well?
poutine is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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Our grandchildren are 13 and 14, so we tried to choose London Walks they would enjoy. We did the Harry Potter Walk and Jack the Ripper, which are obvious choices. The folks at London Walks suggested the Pub Walk Along the Thames, and they were right. We also did the Greenwich Walk, which involved taking the boat to Greenwich and the Docklands Light Rail back. The kids especially enjoyed visiting the observatory and standing with one foot in the Eastern Hemisphere and the other in the Western. The children were free on the Walks.
lilla is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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Hi there Lilla - would really appreciate it if you could let me know what links/where on the internet the 2 for 1 vouchers are - I will be there in June/July.
Thanks kindly,
Jeff
dekoder is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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The 2for1 vouchers up now are only good until May 31st. http://www.2for1entry.co.uk/
I don't believe they continue the offers through the summer unfortunately.
poutine is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 06:13 PM
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What hotel did you stay at and what coupons are you talking about?

I am going to London soon and could use to cost cutting tips!!
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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http://www.2for1entry.co.uk

In the summer, Time Out London usually has coupons that you can download from http://www.timeout.com/london/
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 06:44 PM
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thank you, robespierre!
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 06:46 PM
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I just checked...22 bucks to see the London Acquarium!!!

Wait...fish is fish is fish, right? I have seen fish in Canada and fish in California...just how different are the fish in London??????

Sigh....22 bucks...or 11 pounds, if you want to speak in pound terms.
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 06:57 PM
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Funny you should mention. Admission to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California is $21.95.
Tickets to the Baltimore Aquarium is $21.95.

Sounds like price fixing to me!

 
Apr 17th, 2006, 07:06 PM
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really? no, wait, I paid a lot less...like around 15 or 16 bucks...maybe I went during off peak or something.

but I would have remembered paying 22 bucks...especially back then....about 4 years ago.
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2006, 07:07 PM
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Meanwhile, what site did you see those prices for the London Aquarium? The site I just looked at said adult tickets are 9,75 pounds -- that's $17 dollars (or bucks) or were you talking about other than US books?
 
Apr 17th, 2006, 07:08 PM
  #17  
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US books? I meant bucks.
 
Apr 17th, 2006, 07:28 PM
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Neo----sorry to make you such a sleuth when I post, but I looked at the site posted for coupons

btw, what sign are you? You like to....debate a lot......
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 03:17 AM
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If you think it's expensive to visit you want to try living here!
nona1 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 03:26 AM
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ok, slightly off track, but why come to London and go to the aquarium?? It's not as if London is known for it's fish! I've been to the aquarium with my kids and didn't think much of it. Far too many other things to do in London!
highledge is offline  

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