Wednesday, August 8, 2012

London Bargains Abound

Right about now everyone is either at the Olympic games or staying far away, because the talk of huge crowds and crap traffic has kept them out of the city when possible. Amazingly, it worked so well that now tourists have changed all their plans and avoided London altogether, too. Of course, the airfare taxes have not helped. If you were hoping to make a trip into London, now is the time to do it. The city is like a ghost town outside the Olympic Stadium and merchants and hotels are suffering. Snap up deals where you can and also have a lot of the capital to yourself. Perfect for sightseeing and shopping!

View of Tower of London from Tower Bridge.
·         If you’ll actually be traveling for the games, make sure to use your included travel card to save money on transportation. It’s good for zones 1-9 on the day of your event.
·         If you won’t be traveling for the games, then buy an Oyster card or Travelcard or a pack of passes for travel on public transportation. It will save you quite a bit over paying each time you need to use the underground or bus.
·         Hit up free attractions, like Tate Modern, the Victoria & Albert, Imperial War Museum, the British Library, National Portrait Gallery, the Changing of the Guard and more.
·         Want stellar views of the city without spending big bucks? Skip the London Eye and head for Tower Bridge. You can get the same views for much less from the historic walkways.
·         Staying for a while? Think about purchasing a London Pass and save substantially on a long list of attractions, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, London Bridge, Tower of London and Shakespeare’s Globe.
·         Bring your own snacks into the Olympic Stadium if you’ll be going. You can also bring an empty bottle and fill up once inside. Pack a few of those handy ice tea packets and you can mix it in and have a tastier beverage.

For those that don’t live in Britain and need a primer on British slang, here’s a handy guide.

Do you have any other last-minute tips for visiting London during the Olympics?

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