How to Spend 5 Days in London: Detailed Itinerary and Tips for Budget Travellers

The perfect London itinerary for first timers


Looking to visit London? It’s a great city to visit with plenty of things to do. You’ll never get bored. We spent 5 days in London in October 2022 and we had a great time there. In this ultimate guide, we’ll share our detailed 5-day London itinerary, how much we spend in 5 days in London, tips for budget travelers, and much more. Even if you have only two or three days, you can absolutely get a feeling of the city and see the most iconic London landmarks.

London was never on my bucket list, but my boyfriend convinced me that we should give it a try and he was absolutely right. I really enjoyed our time in London, much more than I anticipated. There are plenty of free things to do and it’s awesome to visit all those places and monuments we see in the movies.

Visiting London: Practical Information

  • Best time to visit: March to May and September to October for pleasant weather and fewer crowds. We visited in October and we experienced mild temperatures and mostly clear skies.
  • Currency: GBP
  • Language: English, of course
  • How to get there: London City airport, Heathrow airport, Stansted airport, Luton airport, Gatwick airport, or Southend Airport
  • Visa: check visa requirements
  • How to get around: public transportation preferably
  • How to pay for stuff: mostly card, even though cash is also accepted
  • Plugs: plug type is G
  • Safety: considered a safe city for tourists. But as in any other crowded city, exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. I always felt safe and didn’t experience any uncomfortable situations.

London 5-Day Itinerary and Tips

How to Get to London?

We arrived at the London City airport on a flight from Amsterdam operated by British Airways. It cost approximately 80€ per person with cabin bags included. There are many cheap flights to several airports in London from most European cities. The London City airport is the closest to the city center—it’s actually in the city center.

There are multiple airports that serve London:

  • London City Airport – in London
  • Heathrow Airport – 25 km from London
  • Luton Airport – 55 km from London
  • Gatwick Airport – 45 km from London
  • Stansted Airport – 62 km from London
  • Southend Airport – 69 km from London

How to Get from the Airport to London city center?

London is served by multiple airports. Here are the most convenient ways to get to the city center accordingly to the airport of arrival:

  • London City Airport: get the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) train from the London City Airport. It has direct connections with the Tube network in the city center. Takes approximately 22 minutes.
  • Heathrow Airport: take the Heathrow Express train, which only takes 15 minutes to Paddington Station. From there you have connections with the Tube network. You can also take the London Underground, which takes 45 minutes to Paddington station.
  • Gatwick Airport: take the Gatwick Express train—it’s only a 30-minute ride from the city center.
  • Stansted Airport: take the Stansted Express train, which takes 45 minutes to central London.
  • Southend Airport: take the train at the Southend Airport to London Liverpool Street.

How to Get Around in London – Public Transportation

The best way to get around in London is by using public transportation. We used the underground during our trip to all the places we visited. The underground system is very efficient, runs frequently and you can use it to go anywhere in the city.

To learn everything about using public transportation in London, I recommend checking the following websites:

Here’s a summary of the most important things you need to know about using London’s public transportation:

  • You can simply use a contactless debit/credit card with pound currency to use public transportation. Tap your card in and out and the system will calculate the right amount to deduct;
  • London public transportation has a daily price cap;
  • There are peak and off-peak times.

London Public Transportation Contactless Card Payment

To use public transportation in London, you can simply use a contactless credit/debit card with pound currency. I used my Revolut card and my boyfriend used Wise and both cards worked seamlessly. Simply tap your card on the way in and out. The system will automatically calculate the amount to deduct from your card. You need a contactless card per person. It’s simple and hassle-free and that’s what I recommend when using public transportation in London.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a contactless credit/debit card with pound currency, you can buy an Oyster card or London Travel card. This website explains in great detail all the different options for London travel passes, how they work, and their advantages/disadvantages.

You can also check the official Transport for London website to learn more about how contactless payments work.

London Public Transportation Price Cap

Public transportation in London has a daily price cap, which is great to save money. A price cap is the maximum you can be charged per day. This ensures that if you use public transportation frequently over the course of a day, you do not end up paying more than a certain amount. You can check the price caps for London public transportation here.

How does it work? You simply tap your card in and out each time you use public transportation. The system automatically calculates how much you’ll be charged for that trip. Once you reach the daily cap amount, you won’t be charged for any additional rides that day.

London Public Transportation Peak and Off-peak Times

You also need to know that there are peak and off-peak periods. You’ll be charged more for the same trip at the busiest times of the day. The peak fares in London are Monday to Friday (not on public holidays) between 06:30 and 09:30, and between 16:00 and 19:00. You can learn more about London peak and off-peak times here.

How to get Internet Data in London

Our internet provider in Portugal, Vodafone, gives us several GBs of roaming that we can use in several European countries. So, we didn’t have to worry about buying a SIM card.

However, when we reach our roaming data limit, we opt to get an e-SIM card using the airalo app. Getting an e-SIM is simple and it always worked well for us in different countries.

If you use my referral code, you’ll get a 3$ credit. Use the referral code below on your first purchase:


Free Activities in London

There are many interesting museums in London that are completely free. During our trip to London, we did only free activities (except for the Harry Potter Studios tour). Believe me, there are tons of free things to do. During our five days in London, we didn’t have the time to check them all.

Important note: even though they are free, you need to book your activities in advance. In most of them, you need to reserve a day and time frame. If you don’t book in advance you may not be able to secure a spot or you may need to wait in the queues for a long time.

Here’s a list of some of the most popular free museums/viewpoints in London that you must book in advance:

  • National Gallery
  • Sky Garden
  • Natural History Museum
  • British Museum

Besides those places, there are many other free things to do in London that don’t require booking:

  • Watch the Change of the Guard at the Buckingham Palace;
  • Explore and observe the animals at the London Parks (St. James Park, Green Park, Hyde Park): you’ll find plenty of squirrels, ducks, geese, swans, and even pelicans;
  • Explore London’s most famous street markets: Portobello Market, Borough Market, Camden Town Market, and others;
  • Watch the street performers at Picadilly Circus and Leicester Square;
  • Go for a stroll on the South Bank Walk and watch London’s most famous landmarks;
  • And much more…

Here’s a summary of most popular free things to do in London:

Free Museums

Street Markets

Side note: if you want to visit the Harry Potter studios (not free) on a trip from London, we recommend getting tickets more than one month in advance. We booked ours only two weeks prior to our visit and the regular tours weren’t available. We had to book a more expensive tour that also included a trip to Oxford.

Tips to Visit London on a Budget

Do you want to visit London but don’t want to spend a lot of money? In our opinion, it’s totally possible to visit London on a budget. After our visit, here are some of our best tips to visit London on a budget.

Be Flexible with your Dates

How to save money on flights to London? Be flexible! There are many low-cost airlines flying to London from other European cities. Be flexible with your dates and you’ll be able to find flights as low as 29.99€ or less with companies like Ryanair, WizzAir, and Easyjet, for example.

Additionally, if you fly with only a personal item, which is totally possible for up to 5 days, you won’t need to spend money on cabin-bag fees. I often travel with only one small bag only.

Save Money on Accommodation

You can save money on your accommodation by staying in hostels or staying on the outskirts. Of course, you need to keep in mind how far it is from the main attractions and if it will be a hassle to spend so much time commuting every day. Additionally, in our opinion, a fancy hotel is totally unnecessary since you’ll spend very little time there.

Zedwell Hotel at Piccadilly Circus

The hotel we stayed at was right in Piccadilly Circus, one of the most central areas. The hotel wasn’t that cheap, but we found a good deal on a room without a window. Thanks to the location of the hotel, we could walk to many of the most iconic and interesting places nearby.

Use Public Transportation and Walk

Public transportation in London is super affordable, efficient, and hassle-free. It’s the best way to get around in London. Prioritize walking if the distance is up to 30 minutes. We like walking, so that’s not a problem for us. Besides being a good way to explore the city, it’s also good for your health.

Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner on a Budget in London

Food is a big percentage of the total expenses when traveling. Here’s how you can save some money on breakfast, lunch, and dinner in London:

  • Breakfast: if your hotel doesn’t have breakfast included, there are several breakfast options on the Pret A Manger chains to take away (eating at the place is more expensive). You can get warm drinks, sandwiches, porridge, yogurts, and other options. You can also buy something at supermarkets like Tesco.
  • Lunch: take advantage of the meal deal at Tesco supermarkets. You can get selected drinks, snacks and a meal (usually a sandwich or salad) for less than 4£. Another good idea is to eat street food at the street markets.
  • Dinner: for dinner, you can go to low-cost fast-food chains. Kebab and shawarma are also usually other cheap options. Pizza is always a good idea, and many times it can be shared.

Another tip, in London restaurants, is very common to ask for tap water and it is free.

Free Things to do in London

Your time in London can be completely occupied with free activities. Many museums are free, the Sky Garden terrace is free, and visiting the parks and markets is also free. So, there are plenty of free activities to keep you busy in London

Here’s a list of free activities in London.

Day 1 – London Itinerary

We arrived in the afternoon, so on our first day, we decided to explore the area nearby the place we were staying. Our hotel was very well located, right in Piccadilly Circus.

Day 1 in London: Visited Places and Activities

We stayed at the Zedwell Picaddily Circus in a room without a window (because it was cheaper), but they have different room types. The room was very clean and comfortable. It didn’t matter it didn’t have a window, because we spend very little time there. We absolutely recommend that place.

When we arrived, we were so hungry that we went right away to Five Guys, that’s literally located next door to our hotel.

All the places we visited on this day were very close to each other and nearby to our hotel. So, on this day, we simply walked to each place. Walking from one place to another is a great way to explore the city.

Go to Trafalgar Square. It is a bustling place located in the heart of London, with many famous sites within walking distance. It is home to the famous National Gallery and Nelson’s Column. Trafalgar is also a popular place for protests and demonstrations. When we were there, there were also some street performers.

The National Gallery is an art museum that houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The visit to the National Gallery is free. You can get your tickets in advance or you can get a ticket when you arrive.

We didn’t visit the National Gallery, but if you are an art enthusiast, I’m sure it will be worth it.

From Trafalgar square, you take a stroll to other famous places nearby like Covent Garden.

Leicester Square, The LEGO store and M&M’s World

From Trafalgar square, you can easily walk to Leicester square. It is a lively place with several street performers and several theatres/cinemas. You’ll also find amazing film characters’ bronze statues like Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, and Gene Kelly.

From there, you can visit the famous M&M’s World Store and the Lego Store. The stores are one in front of the other.

If you like M&M’s, you’ll surely enjoy M&M’s world, where you can buy many different flavors of M&M’s. Some I haven’t tried before. During our visit to London, we went to this store several times to stock up on M&M’s. They are charged by weight, so don’t get too excited filling up a bag. You’ll easily pay 10€ for a bag of M&M’s.

If you’re a LEGO fan, you definitely have to go to the LEGO store. The store is located next to many other interesting places, and you can visit the store for free.


Right next to Trafalgar square, you’ll find the entrance to Chinatown. It’s a beautiful place with great decoration and a wide variety of Asian and Chinese restaurants and shops. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Dinner at Leicester Square or Chinatown

If it’s time for dinner, there are several restaurants in this area. If you like Chinese and Asian food, you’ll find plenty of options there.

We had dinner at a place right next to Leicester square. The food was good, but the portions were very small for the price we paid. There is also a Macdonald’s and other cheap fast food chains nearby if you don’t want to spend a lot of money

Piccadilly Circus

It takes less than a minute to walk from Leicester Square to Piccadilly Circus. It is best known for its illuminated advertising billboards. It’s a very lively place, especially at night with several street artists and performers. We visited this place every day at night (it was just right in front of our hotel), and there was always some performance going on.

Big Ben and Westminster Bridge (if you still have time)

If you still have time in your day, you can take a walk to Westminster Bridge and see iconic landmarks like Big Ben and the London Eye. We ended up visiting this area more than once.

Day 2 – London Itinerary

On our second day in London, we visited the famous Hyde Park and went to Buckingham Palace to see the Change of the Guard. We went to the Sky Garden, a famous terrace where you can see the most prominent London monuments from above. We also went for a stroll to see some of the most iconic London landmarks like the Tower of London and Big Ben.

Day 2 in London: Visited Places and Activities

Buckingham Palace – Watch the Change of the Guard

Seeing Buckingham Palace and watching the Change of the Guard should definitely be on your list of things to do in London. The Change of the Guard usually takes place on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:00 AM. During the summer months, it takes place every day. I recommend checking this website to make sure of the calendar.

The Changing of the Guard Ceremony spans three different locations: Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace, and Wellington Barracks. I found it a bit confusing to understand what was going on. So, I regret not having signed up for a guided tour. You can find plenty of guided tours on Get Your Guide.

St James Park

After seeing the Change of the Guard you can go for a stroll in the nearby parks: Hyde Park, St James Park, and Green Park. These parks are home to a large population of squirrels. If you’re not used to seeing squirrels like me, take some time to seat on the benches and watch the squirrels scurrying around and climbing trees. These squirrels are very used to people and you can get very close to them. I saw many people feeding the squirrels, but I don’t think that’s a good practice.

Photo by Pixabay: source

St. James park has a beautiful lake and several fountains and is home to several animals. Besides squirrels, you can see different bird species like ducks, swans, geese, and even beautiful pelicans.

Sky Garden

Next, we went to Sky Garden. It is an observation deck that offers stunning panoramic views of the city of London. It is also home to a terrace garden, a cafe, and a restaurant.

The entrance is free, but you need to reserve your spot in advance. Even though we have booked in advance, we had to wait for approximately 20 minutes before heading to the elevator. Before going in, you need to go through security screening like in airports.

At the top, you can have a unique perspective of the city and London’s skyline. However, in my opinion, even though the garden itself is beautiful, I don’t think it was mind-blowing. Nonetheless, the place is beautiful, the views are amazing and it’s absolutely worth visiting.

Tower of London and Tower Bridge

After your visit to the Sky Garden, you can walk to the Tower of London, which is right next to Tower Bridge.

The Tower of London is a historic castle and fortress and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It features several historic buildings and exhibits. At the time of our visit, the Tower of London was temporarily closed, so we weren’t able to visit. It’s definitely on our list of things to do for our next visit to London.

Next to the Tower of London is the iconic Tower Bridge. The Bridge over the River Thames is simply beautiful and you can take awesome pictures there. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful bridges in London. You can visit inside the Tower Bridge, see stunning panoramic views, walk on a glass floor, and even visit the engine rooms.

Borough Market

Cross the bridge and head to Borough Market on the Southwark. It’s a lively market with several street food vendors selling fresh and artisanal foods. Grab something to eat before going for a stroll on the South Bank Walk. You can find food trucks selling the famous fish and chips menu.

South Bank Walk

The South Bank is a walkway along the southern bank of the River Thames. It stretches from Tower Bridge in the east to the famous London Eye. It goes through many iconic landmarks and offers stunning views of the city skyline, and you can do it all on foot.

Here’s a list of the iconic landmarks you can visit along the South Bank walk:

  • Houses of Parliament
  • London Eye
  • National Theatre
  • OXO Tower
  • Tate Modern
  • Millenium Bridge
  • Globe Theatre
  • Borough Market
  • London Bridge
  • Tower Bridge

Usually, people start at the Houses of Parliament and go all the way to the Tower Bridge. However, because we had already booked our time at Sky Garden, it was more convenient to start at Tower bridge.

You can also opt to go on a Southbank London walking tour or go on a cruise on the River Thames.

Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral

From Tower Bridge, head to the Millennium bridge and admire the view of St. Paul’s Cathedral on the other side. This is one of the most famous places to take awesome pictures in London. If you want to take some great pictures on the Millenium bridge, make sure you go there early. There are always tons of people passing by during the day.

You can go for a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral (it is not free). It is one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. It is where the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer took place as well as the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill. If you have some time on your visit to London, I think it’s a great place worth visiting.

London Eye

Continue walking until you reach the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel. Tickets to the Ferris wheel are not cheap, but you can get a combo ticket that also includes access to the famous Madam Tussaud wax museum. If you’re interested in visiting these two places, you’ll save some money with the combo ticket.

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Finally, at the end of your walk, you’ll see the famous Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Big Ben was recently refurbished and it looks stunning. At the time of our visit, Big Ben was still temporarily closed, but in my opinion, a visit to this world-renowned landmark would be very interesting.

Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge, Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben

Dinner at Franco Manca

For dinner, we had a pizza at Franco Manca. They are specialized in sourdough pizza. It was so good that we went there twice during our trip. I’m a big fan of sourdough, I even make my own sourdough bread at home. We also ate a lot of M&M’s from the M&M’s World for dessert.

Day 3 – London Itinerary

On our third day in London, we went to the famous Notting Hill Neighborhood and visited the Natural History Museum.

Day 3 in London: Visited Places and Activities

Notting Hill and Portobello Market

Notting Hill is a beautiful neighborhood in London with stunning colorful houses. This area has become famous after the movie called “Notting Hill” starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. I recommend watching the movie before going there if you like romantic comedies.

We started our day by having brunch right in front of the famous The Notting Hill Bookshop featured in the Notting Hill movie. The place we had brunch was called Mike’s Cafe and I absolutely recommend it. The breakfast was delicious and the English breakfast option was a very big portion for a reasonable price.

I love reading, so I couldn’t miss the chance to visit the bookshop. The place is pretty small and there are tons of people going in and out, and there’s not much space to move inside. I decided to buy a “blind date with a book” for a very reasonable price.

The colorful houses in Notting Hill are beautiful and make good backgrounds for pictures. If you want to take pictures with the houses, be respectful—don’t climb on the stairs or over the walls. I saw many people doing that, and in my opinion, that’s very disrespectful to the owners and residents of the houses.

When visiting Notting Hill make sure you also visit the Portobello Market, one of the world’s most famous street markets. You’ll find all sorts of things, especially a lot of antiques, fashion and also some food stalls. We bought some samosas from the street sellers to eat later on.

I really enjoyed visiting Notting Hill, much more than I expected. I absolutely recommend visiting.

Natural History Museum

After our visit to Notting Hill, we visited the Natural History museum. If you love science like me, you’ll absolutely love this museum. It is huge, much bigger than I expected. We spend about 4 hours there and we weren’t able to see everything we wanted. I felt like I could spend days exploring the museum, yet still not manage to explore all rooms in the detail I wanted.

The Natural History Museum addresses a wide range of subjects related to geology, botany, zoology, biodiversity, human evolution, dinosaurs, planetology, and much more. It is home to the famous specimen of the early bird Archaeopteryx lithographic.

The architecture of the building is beautiful and some places resemble some of the Harry Potter filming locations.

Go Shopping or Window Shopping at Harrods

Harrods at Night London

After a visit to the Natural History Museum, we went on a 15-minute walk to Harrods. It’s a luxury mall offering a wide range of products including fashion, beauty, food, and much more. If you like luxury shopping, this is a great place to visit. We went there just for window shopping.

Dinner at Nando’s

Nando’s is a restaurant chain famous for its flamed-grilled chicken and sauce. You’ll find several restaurants in London. Their recipe has both Portuguese and African touches. As a Portugues, I was very curious to try their food. Even though the food was good, our original flamed-grilled chicken is much better.

Day 4 – London Itinerary

During our fourth day in London, we visited the Camden Town neighborhood, the Regent’s Park and explored the Westminster area once again.

Day 4 in London: Visited Places and Activities

Kings Cross Station

If you are a big Harry Potter fan, you can start your day by going to the Kings Cross Station to visit the Harry Potter store and take that famous picture on the platform 9 and 3/4. If you’re going to the Harry Potter Studios, they have a similar set to take pictures there.

Camden Town

Camden Town is a very interesting and different mainstream neighborhood in London. Amy Winehouse lived in the area for much of her career and you can even find a statue of her.

Take some time to explore this neighborhood and its stores. Also, you should not miss a visit to the Camden street market, which is actually a combination of different markets located in the same area. You’ll find a wide variety of goods like paintings, antiques, jewelry, mainstream and alternative clothes, food, and much more.

We visited the food street market on a Sunday and it was very crowded. We had lunch there for a very reasonable price.

The Regent’s Park

From Camden Town, we walked along the Regent’s Canal to Regent’s Park. This park is huge and it is home to the world-famous London Zoo. It also features beautiful gardens, like the Queen Mary’s Gardens, several monuments, statues, and art.

Madam Tussaud Wax Museum

If visiting Madam Tussaud’s Wax museum is on your list, you can walk there from Regent’s Park. It’s just a five-minute walk.

London Eye

If you’ve got Madam Tussaud and London Eye combo ticket, catch the underground to Waterloo station and go to the London Eye.

Explore Westminster

If you don’t intend to visit Madam Tussaud’s and London Eye (we didn’t include those places on our visit), you can explore the Westminster area and take some good pictures with iconic landmarks like the London Eye, Big Ben, and Houses of Parliament. That’s what we did after our visit to Regent’s Park.

If you still have time on your day, you can opt to visit some of the free attractions you have hadn’t had the chance to visit on the other days like the British Museum or the National Gallery.

Dinner at German Doner Kebab

On this day, we had dinner at German Doner Kebab. The food is delicious and for a very reasonable price. We liked it so much that we returned the next day.

Buns from Home

We also found this little bakery called “Buns from Home”. They offer a wide selection of croissant buns and cakes. We tried the vanilla custard and it was so good. We went there after dinner, so this made a good dessert. This can also be a good place to grab something for breakfast.

Day 5 – London Itinerary

Our last day in London included a day tour to the Harry Potter Studios. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you should definitely visit the Harry Potter studios during your London trip.

Day 5 in London: Visited Places and Activities

  • Harry Potter Studios and Oxford Tour

Harry Potter Studios and Oxford Tour

Tickets to the Harry Potter Studios usually sold out way in advance. If you’re interested in visiting the Harry Potter Studios, make sure you reserve your spot at least three months in advance on the official website. If you can’t get tickets on the official website, you can try to book your tickets using Get Your Guide. You’ll find plenty of options with transfers included and, usually, they don’t sell out as fast.

We booked our tickets only two weeks in advance and most tours were already sold out. We were only able to get a spot on a tour that also included an Oxford Tour. In this tour, we visited Oxford in the morning, and the Harry Potter Studios in the afternoon. This tour took all day.

Oxford Tour

Supposedly, J. K. Rowling got a lot of inspiration for the Harry Potter books from Oxford. Some of the places really resemble some film locations.

The visit to Oxford was interesting, but I don’t think it was worth the money taking into account that we spent very little time there. We just had a walking tour and we didn’t have access to any of the most interesting buildings. I think a visit to Oxford is worth it but organized in a different way.

Harry Potter Studios Tour

In the afternoon, we visited the Harry Potter studios. You can see the movie behind the scenes. You can see authentic film sets like the Gringots bank, Platform 9 and 3/4, the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, the Forbidden Forest, and much more.

You can also see the characters’ costumes throughout the years and how they managed the costumes, make-up and other props.

They also display how they built the monsters and creatures. You can see the Buckbeak in the Forbidden Forest, and it looks so real. Besides that, you can also see how they made the special effects, animatronics, and much more.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll absolutely love this visit.

Some information about Harry Potter Studios tours:

  • On our tour, we were allowed four hours in the studio. If you’re a real Harry Potter fan, it might not be enough. If that’s the case, maybe it is better to buy your tickets on the official website and manage transportation yourself.
  • During our visit, I was always worried that I wouldn’t have the time to see everything, so I rushed too much during the visit and I feel I didn’t enjoy it properly. We ended up visiting everything in three hours. When you’re in there you have no idea how far you are from the end. If I had known better I had taken more time in each place.
  • Get the butter beer during your visit right before visiting Privet Drive. We didn’t get butter beer because we thought we could get it at the end of the visit. However, the restaurant/cafe at the end of the visit doesn’t sell butter beer.

5 Days in London – Total Cost Breakdown

How much did we spend in 5 days in London? In total, we spent approximately 1460€ for the two of us, which means 730€ per person. Of course, the price will greatly vary depending on where you’re flying from, the type of accommodation you’re staying in, and the places you’re eating.

Cost of Flights to and from London

We went to London after a trip to Amsterdam. Flying to and from Schiphol airport (Amsterdam) is more expensive than most other European airports. For example, you can easily find 30€ flights (only small bag included) to London from most European cities using low-cost companies like Easyjet, Ryanair, and WizzAir.

  • Flight to London City from Schipol airport (British Airways) (cabin bag included): 88€ per person
  • Flight out of London (Stansted Airport) to Funchal (Ryanair) (cabin bag included): 55€ per person

The flight prices also include seat selection (we can’t fly apart from each other).

Cost of Accommodation in London

The place we stayed at was not the cheapest but was a great deal taking into account its location—640€ for five nights in Picadilly Circus. I don’t think you can get a better quality/price/location ratio than that. Of course, you can save more on accommodation if you stay in hostels or in London outskirts.

Free Activities in London and Harry Potter Studio Tour

All the activities we did in London were free, with the exception of the day tour to the Harry Potter studios and the Oxford tour. This tour was way more expensive than we anticipated. This was mainly because we didn’t get our tickets in advance and we had to book a trip to the Harry Potter studios that also included a trip to Oxford (it was the only one with places available). Even though we liked to visit Oxford, I don’t think it is worth visiting on a tour like this, when you only have less than two hours to explore the place.

So, don’t forget! Book your tickets in advance.

Cost of Food in London (Budget)

In our trip to London, we ate mostly at low-cost and fast-food restaurants at dinner. For breakfast, we got the deals from Pret-a-manger (one menu for the two of us). For lunch, we bought food at the Tesco supermarket and took advantage of the meal deal. In total, we spend approximately 140€ in food for 5 days in London for the two of us.

Cost of Public Transportation in London

Using public transportation in London is super affordable and the most practical way to visit the city. Besides public transportation, we also walked a lot. We spend approximately 13€ per person on public transportation. Besides that, we also spent 21€ per person on our way to Stansted airport.

Cost of 5 days in London

Flights one way to London from Schipol Airport (British Airways) (cabin bag included)

88€ per person

Flights out of London Stansted to Funchal (Ryanair) (cabin bag included)

55€ per person

Accommodation (5 nights in Piccadilly Circus)

640€ (2pp)


140€ (2pp)

Transportation in London

26€ (2pp)

Transportation (Airport express to Stansted)

21€ per person

Activities (Harry Potter studios and Oxford tour)

120€ per person

Other expenses



Approximately 730€ per person

Wrapping Up

In this travel guide, we shared with you our 5-day London itinerary. Of course, you can easily adjust if you’re staying fewer days. We think this is a good itinerary for first-timers in London and we don’t think you need to spend a lot of money to spend a good time there—there are plenty of free things to do.

We shared our honest opinion about the places we visited in London, our top tips for budget travelers, and the total cost of our trip.

If you’re planning a trip to London, you can use the links below to find accommodation, book activities and find cheap flights. By using our links, you won’t pay more for it and you’re supporting our work.

Have you been to London? Share with us your best tips. Do you have any doubts about our itinerary? You can write a comment down below.

We hope you found this travel guide useful.

Thanks for reading.

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