City Guides

London Price Guide | Calculating The Daily Costs To Visit London

How to estimate your budget for food, hostels, hotels, attractions, alcohol & more for visiting London on a budget.


London is a world-class city but It’s also one of the most expensive cities in the world. Luckily, hostels are reasonably affordable (at least for a major city) and there are plenty of great free museums. However, the cost of attractions and food prices will put a major dent in your budget.

In this London travel price guide, we’ll outline the estimated travel expenses for food, accommodation, attractions, alcohol, and other things that you’ll experience so you can better budget your trip to London.

This London Price Guide is part of our City Price Guide Series where we break down the travel costs of Europe’s most popular cities.

Average Daily Cost For Visiting London

Daily Cost For Visiting London

It costs around £60-£95/day ($75-$115) to visit London comfortably as a budget traveler. These prices are based on what you’ll need to visit the city comfortably as a budget traveler. 

If you want to upgrade your accommodations, add another £40-£100/night depending on your stay. These prices also don’t include things like big nights out at the bar/pub, club entry fees, souvenir/clothing shopping, tours, random purchases, nicer food, etc.

Daily Cost of Budget Travel in London: £92 (Approx. $115)

  • Attractions: £20 (one paid attraction + any free museums)
  • Food: £31
    • Breakfast: £4
    • Lunch: £8
    • Dinner: £15
    • Treat (dessert/beer/wine): 4
  • Transportation: £8
  • Accommodation (hostel): £33/night

Daily Cost of Frugal Travel in London: £57 (Approx. $70)

  • Attractions: £10 (visit one of the many free museums and do a free tour)
  • Food: £21
    • Breakfast: £2
    • Lunch: £6 (ethnic street food or takeaway shop fare)
    • Dinner: £10 (cook your own meal in the hostel or cheap takeout)
    • Treat: £3
  • Transportation: £2.30 (single tube ride)
  • Accommodation (cheap hostel bed): £23/night

London Attraction and Museum Prices

Good news… London has amazing museums and most of them are completely free. Bad news… all the other attractions are expensive. However, you might be able to save some money by using the London Pass if you plan on visiting multiple attractions. Read our London Pass Review for more information.

Tip: Many attractions now offer online booking and there is often a small discount for booking online vs buying tickets at the door (and you get to skip the ticket line).

London Food Prices

England isn’t traditionally known for great food but London does have a world-renowned food scene—but that high-end food is a budget killer. Budget travelers will have to stick to the basics, and even then, the food isn’t cheap. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to cook for yourself as much as possible.

Check out The Savvy Backpacker’s Guide To London On A Budget because it has a ton of great budget-friendly restaurants.

Budget Breakfast Prices in London: £3-£10

  • Many hostels will offer a free, simple breakfast that normally consists of cereal, bread/croissant, and maybe milk, coffee, tea, or juice (some hostels will offer more and some less).
  • A traditional English breakfast from a typical café will cost £6-£9.
  • You can also find plenty of budget-friendly options at the bakery or grocery store. Croissants and other baked goods start at around £1.50. Coffee from a typical café will cost around £2.50-£4.

Budget Lunch Prices in London: £5-£15

  • Super-budget travelers can make a super cheap lunch of bread, cheese, and fruit from any grocery store for a few pounds.
  • Takeaway meals (like kebabs with fries) or similar dishes from a takeaway shop will cost about £7-£9.
  • Check out street markets for pizza, falafel, tagines, burritos, curries, wraps, and sandwiches for £5-£9.
  • A simple, yet filling and tasty, lunch from a local (i.e. non-touristy) restaurant will cost about £10-£15.

Budget Dinner Prices in London: £7-£18

  • Budget travelers will want to seek out the many ethnic restaurants in London. It isn’t too tough to find a good meal for about £12-£18.
  • McDonald’s combo meal (burger, fries, and a drink) will cost about £7.
  • Fish and chips from a quality fish and chips shop will cost around £8-£12 for takeaway and a bit more to dine in.
  • A simple, yet filling and tasty, meal from a local (i.e. non-touristy) restaurant will cost about £12-£18.
  • Many of the options from the Budget Lunch section above also apply to dinner.

Drinks and Alcohol Prices in London

  • Pint of standard beer out: £3.20-£6+
  • Pint of beer from a grocery store: £1-£2
  • A glass of the house wine at a restaurant: £4-£5+

Local-Favorite Budget Restaurants in London:

Here are a few budget restaurants that I pulled from our Guide To London On A Budget.


This traditional hole-in-the-wall joint is tucked under a bridge and serves up generous portions for a reasonable price. They’re a local favorite so it can get busy during lunch and dinner.


Opened in 1982, this bustling award-winning shop serves up some of the best traditional fish and chips in London. Dine-in or takeaway.


Opened in 1958, Gigs obviously knows what they’re doing if they’ve survived this long in a city that seems to have a chippy everywhere you look. 


Cheap, no-frills, delicious, and always busy (get there early to avoid a long wait). This authentic spot has been around since 1946 and is a local favorite.


Old-school, family-run cafe. Quality food for a good price. A local favorite since 1982.


Expect long lines and excellent Bombay-style comfort food at this popular restaurant. The prices are fair, the atmosphere is buzzing, and the quality of food and drinks is excellent. Many people say this is their favorite Indian restaurant in London.


Solid Italian-style pizza at a solid price. 


This traditional pie mash restaurant has been around since 1890 and they serve up handmade pie & mash daily at a fair price. They have some nice traditional British desserts as well.


Excellent Vietnamese place to get authentic beef pho at a great price. Super popular so expect a line.

London Transportation Prices

London is a big city so you’ll need to use public transportation a few times during your visit. Unfortunately, it can be kind of expensive and it can be a bit confusing because London has multiple travel zones which determine the price.

You should use an Oyster Card (a refillable travel card) or contactless payment as these methods greatly reduce the ticket price vs buying a single one-way ticket.

  • Single One-Way Ticket: £6.30
  • Single One-Way Fare with Oyster Card: £2.80 (peak), £2.70 (off-peak)
  • Max Day Fare: £8.10 (you’ll never pay more than £9.10 in a single day when using the Oyster Card)
  • Heathrow Express (fast train between LHR and London— travel time 15min): £22.50-£25
  • London Underground (between airport and city — travel time 60min): £5.70
  • Heathrow Connect (30min journey): £10.30
  • Bus from LHR airport into the city (60-80min): £6-£10
  • Taxi LHR airport into the city: £50 – £70

London Hostel, Hotel, & Rental Apartment Prices

Best london hostels - Astor Hyde Park
Astor Hyde Park Hostel

London has plenty of hostels throughout the city and all the competition helps lower hostel prices—but you still shouldn’t expect cheap prices. Don’t expect much from budget hotels as most are small, rundown, and dingy. Apartment rentals can be a very attractive option if you’re traveling with two or more people.

Hostel Prices in London: £23-£47/night

The nightly price of a well-rated hostel in London starts around £30 per person—although many hostels raise their prices on the weekend. Remember, these prices are for a bed in a shared dorm room. Private rooms start are around £110-£160/night. Check out the latest London hostel prices at Hostelworld.

Here is a list of the top-rated hostels in London:

Check out The Savvy Backpacker’s guide to The Best Hostels in London to get a more in-depth look at London’s various hostel options.

Budget Hotel Prices in London: £90-£150/night

Budget hotels in central London start around £70-£95/night but the quality will be low. A well-rated budget hotel in London starts at around £130-£145/night. Prices do rise if you book last minute—especially during the summer and Christmas.

We suggest checking out to see hotel prices for your dates since they’re always changing.

Rental Apartment Prices in London: £90-£170+/night

London has a lot of rental apartments throughout the city. They can be a good option for large groups or travelers who want a little more space (and a kitchen). On the other hand, you may also have to deal with inconvenient check-in processes and things like extra cleaning fees and service charges. For short stays, we prefer hotels/hostels but rental apartments can be a nice option for longer stays. Airbnb is always popular but you can sometimes find cheaper/better options on our list of Airbnb Alternatives.


Check out our guide on How Much It Costs To Backpack Europe to learn more about budgeting your entire trip (including many more city price guides).

Be sure to also check out our London Travel Guide and our Guide to London on a Budget for more London travel tips.

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