Five Thrifty Cheats For Tourists In London

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Five Thrifty Cheats For Tourists In London

This is a sponsored article on behalf of Travltalk.

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Planning a trip to London? Whether it's a fleeting visit or the adventure of a lifetime, there are a few things you can do to make sure you make the very most of your time the capital — without breaking the bank. We've teamed up with Travltalk — the free, location-based app that's fast becoming the discerning traveller's secret weapon — to bring you some top thrifty cheats for making the most of your time in our wonderful city.

1. Score cheap theatre tickets

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Think a West End show is out of your price range? Au contraire: Tkts, a long-established booth in Leicester Square, lets you buy last minute theatre tickets in person at seriously discounted rates. You can also get some solid deals on shows like Everybody's Talking About Jamie and Matilda direct from the theatre box office, providing you get there bright and early on the day you want to attend.

Moving south of the river, the National Theatre offers £15 tickets for many of its shows, while you can get a standing ticket at Shakespeare's Globe for only a fiver (hope you've been working those quads, though, performances are long.)

2. Hit up a happy hour

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You know you're in London when you have to break a £20 to get a round in for you and your drinking buddy. But it doesn't have to be that way, providing you know where to go. Chains like Be At One and Las Iguanas offer 2-for-1 cocktails during happy hour, or take your evening tipple to new heights at the likes of Waterloo's Bar Elba or the top of the Bussey Building in Peckham — rooftop bars that are perfect for soaking up the summer sun while sinking bargain-friendly thirst quenchers.

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There's one thing we recommend above all else when travelling in London. Meeting people. That's where Travltalk comes in. The app connects tourists who share similar itineraries, allowing them to split costs, buy and sell handy items they no longer need (helloooo half price power adaptor), and even become travel buddies.

All you have to do is set your location, then swipe through the cards created by travellers nearby until something catches your eye — whether that's someone offering to split an AirBnB, or simply looking for another London newbie to watch the changing of the guard with.

Can't find what you're looking for? Create your own card and wait for the responses to roll in. Once you've found the right fit, you can check out your fellow traveller's profile for peace of mind before smashing that 'chat' button and arranging to meet. Basically, it's Tinder for travellers — but with wanderlust, instead of the boring old carnal kind.

Intrigued? Download the iOS app here, and the Android version here.

3. Take advantage of 2-for-1

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Travelling into the capital with National Rail? Chances are, your ticket gets you 2-for-1 admission to some of London's most iconic landmarks, including the Tower of London and Churchill War Rooms. Find out how to redeem here, then hit up Travltalk to find your sightseeing companion and split the cost so you each get 50% off.

4. Eat like a local

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With the weather getting warmer, dining out doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Just build yourself a picnic from one of London's many food markets and head to your nearest green space. Broadway Market, with its old school east London charm, is within spitting distance of London Fields, and from Camden Market it's a pleasant stroll to Primrose Hill.

Don't fancy eating al fresco? If you like a drink alongside your meal but want to avoid a nasty surprise when it's time to settle the bill, BYOB restaurants are the way to go. Brick Lane's famous curry houses are a good shout or, if you're feeling fancy, steak house Hawksmoor lets you bring your own bottle on Mondays.

5. Get a fresh (and thrifty) new look

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New city, new you. Make sure you're looking extra fly in your Travltalk profile picture with a visit to one of London's many fancy hair salons. While that may not sound bargain-friendly, trainees at award-winning establishments like Windle & Moodie and Stuart Phillips will tame your mane for free. The London School of Barbering also offers free cuts, and both the Toni and Guy Academy and Vidal Sassoon Academy will chop your locks for around a fiver.  

Now that you're well-equipped to make your upcoming trip one to remember, all that's left to do is to do is share your newfound inspiration with other travellers — it's Travltalk time.

Last Updated 12 June 2019