Do you dream of going to London someday? If so, you undoubtedly yearn to ride the iconic red double-decker buses, hear the chimes of Big Ben and watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
Even just thinking about savoring a traditional English breakfast or a refreshing pint at a cozy pub likely has you feeling giddy.
If that’s the case, let’s work toward making your dreams come true by looking at how much a trip to London might cost. But don’t worry — our travel experts have done the hard work for you.
In this guide, you’ll find all the info you need to budget your vacation, including tips on minimizing your spending for lodging, transportation and more. By the end, you’ll be one step closer to booking your perfect trip.
Average Trip to London Cost in 2023
An average one-week trip to London for two people may cost up to $6,600 in 2023.
- Average Accommodation Cost: $320 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $1,200 per person
- Food, Drink, & Activities: $120 per person, per day
- Transportation: $280
- Total Cost: $6,600
Your actual costs may vary, of course. It all depends on how you’d like to enjoy your time in London. If you want to stay in luxurious hotels and dine on the finest foods, your budget will far surpass the average.
In fact, there’s no limit to how much you can spend on your travels. The endlessly posh Sterling Suite at The Langham in West End runs about $32,000 for one unforgettable night.
Fine dining establishments, like Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, can also tick away at your savings, one $300 meal at a time. Keeping your expenses to a dull roar is possible, though, as long as you know where to scrimp and save.
Grab a modest room over the local pub and dine on all the fan favorites at mom-and-pop restaurants, for example, and you’re golden.
Overall, you’ll need to decide what experiences you’re looking forward to most and make them a top priority. Then, cut your expenses elsewhere to balance your budget. That way, you can have a wonderful time no matter how much you set aside to spend on your trip.
London Trip Cost: Average by Item
By looking at the average expenses for each item, you’ll get a good idea of what it costs to vacation in London. Just remember that your personal preferences will directly affect what you end up spending on your travels.
Many travelers spend about $320 per night on accommodations while visiting London. The total cost depends on the lodging type you choose. And many options exist, including hotels, pubs with rooms and campsites.
Most three-to-five-star hotels charge anywhere from $130 to $585 per night, or $360 on average. On the other hand, Brown’s Hotel, The Savoy and other luxury hotels start their room prices at $800 a night.
Holiday apartments are similarly priced, depending on whether they’re self-catering or fully serviced. For an even more charming stay, consider pubs with rooms, like St. Christopher’s Inn.
These establishments offer the best of both worlds, giving you a comfy room with easy access to all the delicious food and drinks in the pub downstairs. Prices depend on the room quality, ranging from $60 to $250 a night.
Even more budget-friendly lodging options are campsites and hostels. Campsites typically cost about $30 a night for two people. Hostels are $10 per person and up, although some surpass the $100 mark, like the Astor Museum Hostel.
The average price of plane tickets to London is $1,200 per person. Your departure location and the time of year you’re traveling impact prices the most. You’ll typically see the highest prices in the summer and during the winter holidays.
Traveling during the spring and fall shoulder seasons can save you at least a few hundred dollars per ticket. If you decide to fly direct, all those savings may go out the window, however.
Your departure location matters, too, but there’s no big rhyme or reason for the differences.
It’s common to see tickets from Florida for $850, and prices double that for those traveling out of Alabama. Flights out of Alaska almost always cost three times more than anywhere else.
Food, Drink, & Activity Costs
On average, expect to spend around $120 daily for food, drinks and activities. About $45 of that may pay for your food and drinks, while the rest should cover your entertainment for the day.
Starting your day with a traditional English breakfast is a must, and that’ll run you $10 on average at pretty much any pub you see. If you’d like to spend less, a coffee and croissant is about $5. Or you could see if your lodging offers complimentary breakfast.
About $10 can also get you a tasty and filling lunch at the Maltby Street Market, Camden Market or other marketplaces near you. Street food favorites galore fill out those spaces, including kebabs and fries, BBQ pinoy pork and falafel pitas.
For $20, you’ll get a big helping of fish and chips at Brockley’s Rock or traditional Greek fare at Andy’s Greek Taverna. Many other casual dining eateries have similar prices, allowing you to sample all the flavors of the world during your trip.
Whenever you want to go out for a pint, expect to pay around $5 a drink. Wine by the glass has a similar price point, although you’ll pay more for higher-quality varieties.
Make it a point to go on at least one pub crawl during your vacation, but the experience will undoubtedly have you coming back for more.
For even more fun things to do, consider getting one of the sightseeing passes for London tourists. Three options exist, but The London Pass offers the best value for infrequent travelers.
With that pass, you get discount admission to up to 90 attractions, including the London Zoo, Tower of London and Windsor Castle. You’ll also save on hop-on-hop-off bus tours and get fast-track entry to many venues.
Although it’s $150 for each three-day pass, it pays for itself after just a few attractions. Without the pass, attractions cost anywhere from $25 to over $60 per person. Getting into Kew Gardens is $25, while The London Aquarium is $60 each.
Shows at the London Theater start at $40 a ticket and go up from there. Globe Theater charges $25 or more for a ticket. Afternoon tea at The Ritz or St. Ermin’s Hotel is $60 per person, but it’s a definite must if you want the full UK travel experience.
Major museums are free, though. So, you don’t have to pay anything to visit Tate Modern, the Museum of London, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, the London Mithraeum or The British Museum.
Swinging by Big Ben or the London Bridge for photos doesn’t cost anything, either. But it’s better to go on a River Thames boat tour to see all the best sights in one fell swoop.
Other free things to do include visiting the many old bookshops around town, seeing the street performers at Leicester Square and listening to the choir service at Westminster Abbey.
Don’t miss the chance to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Bring a bag of peanuts to go to St. James Park afterward and feed the squirrels. If you put your leg out and hold very still, they’ll climb up to grab the treats from your fingers.
London’s fantastic public transportation system allows you to spend less than $20 a day per person getting around town. Across the entire one-week trip, you’re unlikely to spend more than $280 for transportation for you and your travel partner.
Public buses are the best way to get around, followed by the London Underground rail network, also known as the Tube. For the best rates, you’ll need to pay your fares with a contactless credit card or a Visitor Oyster Card.
Each bus ride only costs about $2 per person. And you get unlimited transfers for an hour after boarding thanks to the Hopper Fare. As long as you use the same payment card for all rides, your fares will max out at around $7 a day.
When taking the Tube, the fare may vary depending on the time, day of the week and direction of travel. Typically, it’s about $8 for a single-fare ticket.
By using your Oyster card or a contactless credit card, you’ll save 50%, making it just $4 per trip. Other transportation options include taking a taxi, getting an Uber or Bolt and renting a car.
Private taxis have a $5 minimum fare, but it’s usually about $10 a mile. Extra charges may apply on holidays, when traveling to and from the airport and if you book by phone.
Trip prices for Uber and Bolt vary considerably all day long. The rates fluctuate due to demand. There’s a charge for pickup and then a per-minute and per-mile rate applies after that.
Renting a car is always possible, but not really recommended for tourists. It’s much easier to take public transportation instead. If you do want to rent a car, it’ll be between $25 and $115 per day for the car rental. The per-day rental price does include insurance.
On top of that, it’ll cost you $7 per gallon for gas and about $10 per hour for parking. A $20 per day congestion charge and a $15 charge for driving in the ultra-low emission zone may also apply.
Things to Consider
Here are some more things to think about while planning your vacation to London:
- Remember that the Tube map is stylized and not to scale. The geography is skewed, making certain locations look closer or farther apart than they really are.
- Safety is of utmost importance when riding the Tube. Mind the gap. Don’t rush to the doors if you’re running late. Another train will come in less than five minutes. Keep the doors clear to let people board and get off at their stops.
- Bring a Type G travel adapter for your electronics. If you forget, it’s usually possible to find them at supermarkets and convenience stores. Barring that, go to the hotel desk and ask if they have one you can borrow.
- Keep an umbrella handy. Every day seems to get at least a little rain. So, be prepared by having a small umbrella in your bag while exploring the cityscape.
- Book your visits to attractions well in advance, especially if you want to see the Ceremony of Keys at the Tower of London. Many attractions end up booked months out, so you have to sign up early if you want a chance to get in.
- Take note of your table number when ordering at a pub. Your server will deliver the food to the indicated table when it’s ready.
- Stand on the right side when riding the escalator. People walking up the escalator want to pass on the left side.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I budget for London per day?
Plan to spend around $120 per person each day while visiting London. You may spend about $45 of that on food and drinks. The rest can go toward admission to attractions, boat tours and other fun things to do.
How long should my trip to London be?
A week gives you enough time to see all the best sights in London. If you go for three to five days, you may need to pick and choose between the major attractions. To see it all without a rush, stay for 14 days or more.
What currency is used in London?
London’s currency is the British pound, which is also known as the pound sterling. During your visit, you will typically see prices listed with the £ sign. You can exchange your currency at ATMs, banks and exchange offices.
Do people accept cash in London?
Many businesses in London accept cash. You must exchange your US dollars for British pounds first though. You may also use your credit card to avoid having to exchange your money.
Do you tip in London?
You do not have to tip in London, but it’s nice to do. Many restaurants add a service fee to the total instead. If you do want to tip anyway, add 10% to 15% to the total instead of 20% or more like in the US.
So, What Is the Average Cost for a London Trip?
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$320 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$1,200 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$120 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$280 total|
|💲 Total Cost||$6,600|
The London vacation of your dreams is just $6,600 away. If that price seems startling, rest assured that there are ways to decrease your travel costs.
Choosing lower cost accommodations, eateries and attractions can make a big impact on what you’ll pay for your trip. But if you only want to enjoy the best of the best, you can do that, too.
However you’d like to plan your vacation, your travels will surely leave you with memories to last a lifetime. So, why wait? Book your trip today and get ready to enjoy the ultimate London adventures.