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We had a great time exploring London on a semi budget thanks to all your reader recommendations. London is expensive, but there’s still a lot of budget and free things to do. We did splurge on some shows because we justified it by saving lots of money using points and miles. I won’t go into too many details, but will give the highlights.
We did the ordinary tourist things of course like Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, Tate Museum, Trafalgar square, Buckingham Palace, etc. Since we stayed at the Hilton Trafalgar, lots of tourist sites were nearby, which was the big reason to stay there. We were lucky to meet up with some friends the first night, so I was glad we refused our $800 bump vouchers per person. Here are some pictures:
Watching a play at the Globe Theatre was definitely awesome at an awesome 5£ price for standing. It was rough standing for about three and a half hours, but it was truly an authentic experience. One lady even fainted for standing so long!
We enjoyed walking through all the free gardens including Kensington Gardens, Green Park, Hyde Park, and Regent’s Park. We even rented Barclay bicycles for 3£ each for an hour. It costs 2£ for a 24 hour pass and first 30 min is free. We rode from one location to another location, but took an hour so paid 1£ more. Our favorite garden was Regent’s park, which had tons of beautiful roses.
The Changing of the Guard exceeded my expectations. It was a good 30-40 minute performance including musical entertainment. The band even played modern hits such as Adele’s Skyfall song. The best part was that it was free and easily walkable from the Trafalgar Hotel.
We spent one full day at Shakespeare’s hometown Stratford Upon Avon. My wife loved it as a Shakespeare fanatic and I enjoyed the traditional British town feeling. We watched a modern play A Mad World My Masters, which was quite interesting, but a little too burlesque for my taste.
We love to eat, but London is not really known for their food so we stuck with ethnic foods. We had some great Indian food, Thai food, and some decent food in Chinatown. We had pub food one night and it was not good. I really enjoyed the SoHo area, which has some reasonably priced food choices.
We loved London and would probably visit again. We had fun exploring London on a semi budget, but we spent wisely without sacrificing on the experience. However, we feel like we conquered most of Europe and I want to move onto Asia… 🙂