'Ello traveller! Are you planning a trip to lovely jubbly London? Home to the Queen and her corgis, Antiques Roadshow, delectable Sunday roasts and an epic music and nightlife scene, London is the Jack of all trades when it comes to holiday destinations.
Whether you're a first-time traveller using London as a starting point to your Euro trip or a seasoned traveler enjoying the finer things in life that London has to offer, a well thought out travel budget is a necessity for everyone heading to the motherland. This is especially the case when you consider the AUD to GBP exchange rate, and the soul-crushing moment when you realise your Aussie dollars are practically cut in half when converted to pounds.
Luckily for you, the team at Travel Money Oz have created a travel budget calculator that combines Numbeo data with the latest exchange rates to give you the most up to date idea of how much your London trip will set you back. While we can't help the AUD to GBP exchange rate, we can ensure you're taking off with the knowledge you need to make the most of your travel money.
Before we dive into the budget planner, let's cover what you should include in a travel budget for London.
What goes into a budget for London?
London is a bit more than a hop-skip and a jump from Australia, so your fights will be one of the more significant expenses in your travel budget. Thankfully, the Australia to London route is very popular, so flight prices aren't too shabby. Expect to pay between $900 (ripper deal) to $2000 (ouch) for your flights. London is home to six major airports, so double check where you are flying into to avoid confusion when you land.
Once you arrive in the city, your major transport options are as follows:
Public transport: London has an extensive network of public transport including the famous Tube (subway), trains, buses and ferries on the River Thames. While you can buy paper tickets, you will save a lot of time and money by grabbing an Oyster Card or your Travel Money Oz Currency Pass (you betcha she can double as a transport card overseas) and tapping onto services. The price of your journey depends on the number of zones you travel through, with most trips starting at 2.40GBP. Aside from walking, public transport is generally the cheapest way of getting around London.
Cabs: Black Taxis can be hailed from the street, at ranks or booked online. They are metred with a minimum charge of 3GBP and are legally obliged to take rides of up to about 20km or 32km if you are coming from the airport. Tipping isn't necessary, with most people just rounding up to the nearest pound instead.
Rideshare: Apps like Uber are available in London. You can also book a service called Mytaxi, which is a blend of rideshare and the traditional taxi model. Apps are generally slightly cheaper than general cabs.
Car hire: Car hire is an option in London; however, if you are just staying in the city we wouldn't recommend it. Parking can be a hassle, and it can also add unnecessary extra costs to your budget if you aren't planning on driving a significant distance. If you are planning on visiting some sights outside of London, car hire may be a great way to save cash and travel at your own pace. Many tour operators charge extra as they need to pick you up from the city, so compare the cost of a hire car and see what suits your budget and travel style best.
Bikeshare: If you're treated to beautiful weather in London, consider hiring a bike to explore the city. At only 2 quid (slang for GBP) per day for rides of up to 30minutes, it’s a very affordable way of seeing the city.
Staying in London isn't cheap, especially if you would like to be in a central location. We recommend having an idea of what you wish to do in London and seeking accommodation that is nearby. That way you won't spend as much time and money going through transit across the city. It's also worthwhile booking accommodation close to a Tube station (especially in winter!).
You can choose from the usual accommodation suspects in London - hotels, apartments, Airbnb, hostels and BnBs. Prices will of course change with seasonality; however you can expect to pay around the following:
Hostels: 30 - 90 AUD per night
Budget hotel: 100 - 250 AUD per night
Airbnb: 50 - 500+ AUD per night
Hotels: 200 - 1000 AUD per night
London is similar to Australia in that it is very multicultural. With this in mind, your culinary options are endless. London itself is famous for the following though:
Classic British food. Think scotch eggs, Sunday roast, Yorkshire pudding, pies, fish and chips with mushy peas and a full English breakfast
Indian food particularly curries like tikka masala from Brick Lane.
Fine dining. Home to food critics and lovers alike, London is bursting with high class and Michelin star restaurants.
Pub food. Bangers and mash, burgers and steaks can all be found at the local pub.
Eclectic eateries. Think cereal cafes and doughnut pop-ups; you're guaranteed to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Market food. London's markets are home to stalls dishing out every cuisine under the sun.
Pricing is also similar to Australia, in that cost in pounds is similar to what you would pay in dollars back home.
- See the sights: London Bridge and Tower of London, Big Ben and Parliament House, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square, all within walking distance for the fit and budget conscious traveller.
- Visit Buckingham Palace and watch the changing of the guard
- Wander through any of the many museums, most of which are free to enter! We recommend the Natural History Museum (great for kids) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (for art lovers).
- Explore and sample goods at any of the markets The Spitalfields, Borough, Brick Lane, Camden and Covent Garden markets are trendy, with plenty of shops and food vendors to keep you busy.
- Watch a show on the UK version of Broadway - West End. Many shows will have ticket lotteries and last minute deals, otherwise, book in advance to guarantee a seat.
- Take a journey through London's history at the London Dungeon, a fun and interactive performance that gives you all the morbid details of London's gruesome history.
- Soak up the sun and see some squirrels in Hyde Park.
- See Shakespeare's Globe theatre, where you can even catch an Elizabethan performance!
- Have a roast at a pub on a Sunday. Seriously, they are THAT good.
- Speaking of pubs, indulge in a pint or two and soak up the atmosphere that makes London pubs so popular.
- Take part in a free walking tour. A great way to get your bearings and learn a bit about the city. While the tours are free, it’s worth having some cash on hand to tip your tour guide.
- Meander through the streets of East London on a Jack the Ripper tour. Not only will you learn about Jack and his notorious killings, but you will see where they took place. A fun and animated way to learn about London's history.
- Go op-shopping near Brick Lane. You'll find some seriously eclectic bargains here.
- Pay a visit to Oxford Street and Harrods, the OG and OTT department store.
- Book a tour to visit Harry Potter World, a must-see for any Harry Potter fan!
Aussie's don't need a visa to visit London. We do, however, recommend visiting your doctor to make sure you're up to date with any relevant travel immunisations. Further to this, it's in the best interest of all travellers to invest in a comprehensive travel insurance policy, regardless of where they are visiting.