LONDON, Oct. 30, 2008 -- Home to Russian oligarchs, Saudi princes and, of course, British royals, it's no surprise London ranks as the world's most expensive city, according to a report by UBS.
But in this city of deep pockets, it's still possible, with some savvy planning, to stay, eat and experience the best of London on even the smallest of budgets. "London is marketed as a city of tourist attractions, but really, it's the vibe that people come for: the markets, just walking round (if you know where to go), the free museums, the red buses," says Simon Crutchley, who started LondonTourist.org, a nonprofit site with advice for planning trips to London on the cheap. Many of the city's cultural highlights, from outdoor concerts in palace gardens to some of Europe's most important art galleries, can come free. Regardless of what kind of traveler you are, take this advice to save some dough. You're sure to find something along the way you'll want to spend it on. And with the British pound now hovering at a five-year low against the U.S. dollar, this may be the perfect time to go.
Classic London: the Blockbuster Sites
One of the best ways to pack in all of the sites is on a red double decker bus. Instead of the pricey preprogrammed tours, grab a map and get on one of the public lines. Buses No. 9 and No. 15 are the two famous heritage Routemaster buses that still operate with the open, hop-on platform system. The 11, 12, 19 and 88 buses pass by many of the best sites as well.
Art Lovers' London
"Come during the Proms to hear the top orchestras in the Albert Hall for 5 pounds a ticket. It's truly an experience," Crutchley says.
Add to your list: rotating exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, tours and workshops at the Royal Opera House and the new Saatchi Gallery.
Family Travel: Children in Tow
Getting There/Getting Around
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