This year London was declared the fourth most expensive city in the world.
But what does that mean for daytrippers? Is having a great day out in the UK capital for peanuts possible? And what sort of experiences are on offer if you have cash to splurge?
Two travel experts from The Points Guy and a guest travel influencer set about finding out – one with a budget of £10 ($12.64), one with £100 ($126) to spend, and the other with £1,000 ($1,264) to throw at a good time.
Each participant filmed themselves enjoying an activity, food – focussing on the popular British tradition of Indian dining – and drinks, and trying out various modes of transport.
The resulting video is fascinating – and the conclusion great news for anyone with little more than a tenner in their pocket.
Two travel experts from The Points Guy and a guest travel influencer (Nicky, Maz and Liam, above) compare three different ways of enjoying London using three contrasting budgets
£1,000 BUDGET – TRAVEL CONTENT CREATOR MAZ GREEN
The ‘luxe’ London experience is enjoyed by Points Guy guest and travel content creator Maz Green. Her mode of transport for getting around the capital is the ‘Uber Lux’ service, which deploys luxury cars by the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The ‘luxe’ London experience is enjoyed by Points Guy guest and travel content creator Maz Green. Her mode of transport for the day? Uber Lux rides (above)
Maz spends £60 throughout the day with Uber Lux and praises its ‘privacy, reliability and five-star service… and the premium cars’. She’s also delighted to discover sweets in the armrest of one of the rides she summons.
For her luxe activity she opts for a £300 one-on-one ‘music meditation therapy’ session in the Akasha spa of Hotel Cafe Royal on Regent Street.
She describes the spa as an ‘oasis in the heart of the city’ and after the music meditation session says she feels ‘like she’s on a little cloud’.
For her luxe activity Maz opts for a £300 one-on-one ‘music meditation therapy’ session in the Akasha spa of Hotel Cafe Royal on Regent Street
Maz’s dining experience takes place at the Michelin-starred Gymkhana on Albemarle Street in Mayfair
At Gymkhana Maz splashes £214 on a tasting-menu meal with paired wines
Maz’s drinks jaunt is to Scarfes Bar at Rosewood Hotel London
At Scarfes Bar Maz splashes £50 on just two cocktails
Maz’s dining experience takes place at the Michelin-starred Gymkhana on Albemarle Street in Mayfair, where she splashes £214 on a tasting-menu meal with paired wines.
The Michelin Guide says guests will find ‘a delicious contrast of textures and flavours’. Maz’s verdict? She says the food is indeed delicious and the restaurant decor ‘classy and chic’.
Maz’s drinks jaunt is to Scarfes Bar at Rosewood Hotel London, where she splashes £50 on just two cocktails – but describes the drinks as ‘worth the price’, especially given the ‘cool atmosphere’ of the hotel.
Maz’s total spend: £624 ($788).
£100 BUDGET – REVIEWER LIAM SPENCER
Liam Spencer spends £19.50 to get from A to B and on to C using black cabs
The Points Guy’s Liam Spencer hits the town with a budget of £100, spending £19.50 to get from A to B and on to C using black cabs, describing them as ‘easy to hail’ and spacious.
His activity? Seeing a hit musical. West End shows are notoriously expensive, but Liam snares a ticket to see Henry-the-eighth-themed Six the musical on Shaftesbury Avenue for just £25 (down from around £80), using the TodayTix app.
The verdict? ‘A truly brilliant show.’
Liam’s lunch experience costs £43 and takes place at Dishoom in Covent Garden, which he describes as a ‘gorgeous Indian restaurant’.
Liam snares a ticket to see Henry-the-eighth-themed Six the musical on Shaftesbury Avenue for just £25 (down from around £80)
For his casual drink, Liam heads to historical Shoreditch pub The Ten Bells
Liam warns viewers that the popularity of the restaurant means that there can be a 20 to 30-minute wait to be seated, but stresses that ‘your patience will be rewarded… the food is that good’.
For his casual drink, Liam heads to historical Shoreditch pub The Ten Bells on Commercial Street near Spitalfields Market.
There he spends £6.50 on a pint of lager and tells viewers about the boozer’s Jack the Ripper link. According to legend, he says, some of his victims drank at the pub.
Liam’s total spend: £92.90 ($116).
£10 – REVIEWER NICKY KELVIN
Points Guy Editor Nicky Kelvin heads to the ‘hidden gem’ Indian YMCA Hostel canteen for ‘authentic and delicious’ food
Points Guy Editor Nicky Kelvin reveals how to enjoy London with just £10 to spend, commenting that ‘London is one of the best cities in the world to have a budget day’.
To get around, he spends a total of just £3.75 on a ‘trusty’ Lime Bike and a double-decker bus journey.
For his activity, Nicky opts to see the changing of the guard at Wellington Barracks – which costs nothing at all.
‘It’s such a cool place to be,’ says Nicky, who watches the guards being inspected and the military band playing.
For his meal, Nicky heads to the ‘super clean hidden gem’ Indian YMCA Hostel canteen on ‘beautiful’ Fitzroy Square in Fitzrovia – and spends just £8 on food he describes as ‘authentic and delicious’.
For his activity, Nicky opts to see the changing of the guard at Wellington Barracks – which costs nothing at all
For his drink, Nicky buys a £1.09 can of beer from Lidl and takes it to his activity – gazing at the London skyline from Primrose Hill
This spend would take him over his £10 budget, but Nicky points out that he ‘ordered a few extras’ and that you can get a vegetable curry and a chapati at the hostel for £5.
For his drink, Nicky buys a £1.09 can of beer from Lidl and takes it to Primrose Hill, where he gazes at the London skyline.
‘Who needs a pub or a fancy bar when you’re in a gorgeous park with a view?’ he asks.
Nicky’s total spend: £12.84 ($16.23), but £9.84 ($12.44) without the hostel food extras.
For more from The Points Guy visit thepointsguy.com/uk-travel. To see the original TPG ‘perfect day in London’ video click here.