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  • 24 hours in London w/hotel, travel, food & stuff to do - for less than £80?! Let's go!
big ben, Double Decker Bus, London

24 hours in London w/hotel, travel, food & stuff to do - for less than £80?!

The challenge: spend 24 hours in expensive London with hotel, travel, food and entertainment - including a trip to the theatre with an A-list star - all included for less than £80 per person.

Reckon we can do it? Have a read and find out.

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London is a hugely popular destination for travellers thanks to its rich history, cultural diversity and abundance of tourist attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the British Museum.

There's a vibrant nightlife, world-class shopping and renowned cuisine.

But all that popularity comes with a big cost and London is generally considered one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit.

The challenge: spend 24 hours in London with your hotel, travel, meals and entertainment all for less than £80 per person.

Boring stuff you have to have

There are some fixed costs that you'll need to include: transportation and accommodation. Let's get them out of the way first.

Just to be clear, this is based on two people travelling together and sharing a hotel room. If you do this solo, it will cost a little bit more.


Thankfully, with the London Underground covering more or less the entire city, we can get everywhere we need to go with no expensive taxis. Wherever you start off in London - could be Euston station or Kings Cross - all you need is your debit card to tap in and out of the Tube (that is what Londoners call the underground).

As the furthest we'll be going is Zone 3, there is a daily cap of £9 so that's all our transport sorted for the day.

Cost: £9.


We'll need somewhere to stay but really, we won't be there other than to sleep so it doesn't need to be too fancy or central.

We've had a look and found overnight stays at the Travelodge London Wembley starting from £34* per night.

Cost: £17 per person.

Bag storage

This one may be controversial and you can certainly cut it out if you travel light, but we would suggest dumping your bag somewhere safe for the day. That way, you don't have to go to the hotel first thing and waste valuable time and can drop it and you can travel around a lot more easily. We reckon Stasher is pretty decent at £5.90 per day but there are loads of companies that do similar as well as at train stations.

Cost: £2.95 per person if you share.


We have used Sunday 5 March as our go date for the avoidance of doubt.

  • 12:00pm - arrive in London

  • 12:01pm - get lost and wonder why everyone is so unfriendly when you smile at them

  • 12:02pm - learn to stop smiling and become a true Londona, innit bruv!

12:02-14:30 - lunchtime

Hopefully by now, you've worked out how to use the Tube with your debit card (saves you the faff of getting an Oyster Card), and you've ditched your bag somewhere safe.

Get yourself over to Liverpool Street station, cut through Spitalfields Market and head to Brick Lane for a famous beigel (the proper old school East End way of saying bagel) at Beigel Bake. The most popular is salt beef but as we're on a bit of budget, we'll go for smoked salmon but you do you. They come big and hearty so it should keep you going for a while.

Cost: £4.09

Once you've scoffed down your beigel (again, that is how they spell it), go for a mooch around Brick Lane Market and the surrounding shops. The area is famous for second-hand clothes and Indian restaurants.

14:30-16:30 - afternoon activity

Hop on the snazzy new Elizabeth Line back to Tottenham Court Road and get yourself to the world-famous British Museum.

Entry is free (there is an optional donation of £5) and it's best to book tickets in advance if you can - have a look here.

You do need to pay for some of the exhibits but most of them are free and there is absolutely loads to see so we probably wouldn't bother.

Cost: FREE.

16:30-17:45 - re-fuel in Chinatown

It's a 10-minute walk from the British Museum to get to Chinatown and we're guessing you'll probably be hungry again. We are.

We suggest a pit stop at Bun House where you can grab three delicious and filling Chinese buns for £11 and then you can have a stroll around Leicester Square and M&M world if you like enjoying the hot steamy goodness.

Cost: £5.50 per person.

18:00-20:00 - Theatre? What? With this budget?!

Yes, really, you can even grab a show!

Go see 2:22 A Ghost Story with Cheryl Tweedy which is playing at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue just round the corner from Chinatown.

We found tickets starting from £12 😲 but if you want to pay a bit more for better seats, you can. Have a look here for some super cheap tickets we found.

Cost: £12 to see Cheryl at a London theatre? Get out of here.

20:30-23:00 - late-ish dinner but who cares 'cause it's London

By now we are assuming you are getting hungry and even a little thirsty too (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, glug, glug).

From the theatre, it's a 10-minute into Soho where we've found a great deal for dinner and drinks at the Brewdog pub there.

You get a burger, chips and four 1/3 pints of different beers to try all for £16.75 (including admin fee). You can buy this in advance here.

Cost: £16.75

23:00-00:00 - go get your bag and head to the hotel

Cost: free.

But we're not quite done (nearly there) as we did say 24 hours.

08:00-12:00 - the morning after

Look, we could suggest some bouji little nook in a shed somewhere full of hipsters, but you'll probably be tired and a bit hungover, so we reckon grab the breakfast at the hotel.

You can add it on for £9.75 when booking and it's going to fill a hole. Job done.

What's left? Oh yes, check out the hotel, get the Tube back into town (£2.90 off-peak as long as you travel after 09:30am) and done.

Cost: £12.65


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