coach trip to london with national express

Coach Trip to London with National Express – Great Ways to Save Money in London

This year is the best to explore your surroundings, local places and national destinations. That’s exactly what I did this Bank Holiday weekend.

I tend to go on a city break in Spain or other European destinations, but of course, this year is a bit different from others.

I decided to travel to London as it’s one of those places where you’ll always find something new – restaurants, cafes, exhibitions, street decorations, etc. or simply there’s a neighbourhood or a secret spot you missed out on last time you visited the city.

I went to London by coach with National Express, and I must admit it was a great way to travel.

In this blog, I am going to tell you about my National Express coach trip to London as well as other ways to save money in London as a tourist.

coach trip to london with national express

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Coach Trip to London with National Express and Great Ways to Save Money in London as a Tourist

What is the cheapest way to travel to London?

Disclaimer: My London coach trip with National Express was a PR invite. All opinions shared in this post are my own.

London isn’t the most affordable city, and yes, you can easily spend a good amount if you’re planning to visit the main attractions, use the underground and eat in nice cafes or restaurants. 

This is why travelling by coach will help you save money so you can spend it on other things you’d love to do in this great city.

I highly recommend booking your coach tickets with National Express. They travel to hundreds of UK destinations as well as airports and major European cities such as Paris.

By choosing National Express, not only will you save money but you will make an eco-friendly decision as travelling by coach generates up to five times less Co2 per passenger than the average car journey.

Some of my favourite things about travelling with them are that they have a generous travel allowance, their leather seats are super comfortable and you can charge your phone in the individual USB sockets (so you don’t need to worry about running out of battery!)

Inside the coach, you can benefit from air conditioning, booster seats, and toilets as well as tracking your coach in real-time with their live coach tracker.

national express coach interior

In addition to these great things about National Express, when you book with them there isn’t a booking fee, which makes it more budget-friendly, and you get a guaranteed seat.

If you travel with them you must wear a face-covering which makes you feel safer during the trip. They’ve also implemented other safety measures such as deeper cleaning of coaches, social distancing at coach stations, and new air filtration systems.

Travelling with National Express to London was a great option. I travelled from Leeds to London on a Sunday, the coach was on time, the staff was very professional and the journey was safe. 

I also liked that we stopped in a rest area to stretch our legs and buy snacks. Finally, we arrived at Victoria coach station which is a good location because it’s close to main attractions such as Buckingham Palace.

On the way back to Leeds, the journey was very smooth too! There were fewer people on board and it was a very relaxing journey after four days of walking across London.

national express coach to london

How can I spend less money in London?

There are many ways you can spend less money in London. All of these tips are easy to apply, and you don’t need to worry about eating less or staying in a hostel at all! Those aren’t the things I am going to tell you below.

How to save on accommodation in London

If you aren’t a big fan of staying in hostels, you’ll be happy to know that you can find good and affordable hotels in London. The key to getting a cheap hotel is not to stay very central or close to major tourist attractions. 

Travelodge and Premier Inn offer comfortable beds and all the essentials you need for your stay. They have hotels across London, so not only are they affordable but convenient too.

Another way to save money on accommodation is to join loyalty programmes with hotels, by staying at these hotels you will save money in the long run. You can check these programmes on the hotel websites.

Last but not least, my favourite website to check hotel deals is When you sign up for their Genius loyalty programme, you’ll be able to see deals that others can’t.

Coach Trip to London with National Express - Great Ways to Save Money in London Coach Trip to London with National Express - Great Ways to Save Money in London

How to save money on transport in London

The best way to explore a city is by walking, you have more opportunities to discover impressive buildings, beautiful streets, etc. This is how I have discovered many secret spots in London and other cities.

London is a big city, and although it’ll take you more time to get to places, you can visit the main attractions by walking. 

However, if you want to see as much as possible in less time, the cheapest form of transportation in London is to travel with an Oyster card

Other hacks to save money include avoiding peak times and certain zones, as well as getting a student Oyster card (if you are one!), or renting a bike which is another great to discover the city.

📌 Related blog: 18 Tips For Travelling To London For The First Time

How to save money on food in London

Restaurants, pubs, cafes and street food options are endless which can be overwhelming when trying to choose where to eat – literally, you can find any cuisine in London which I find fascinating.

If you’re on a budget, here are a couple of things you can do to help you decide where to eat and how to save money on food:

Research about restaurants and cafes

Research restaurants and cafes before visiting London. This is a great way to be organised, avoid wasting time looking for a place to eat during your trip, and save money.

Check food offers

Check if there are any offers or good deals – early bird menu, online offers, bottomless brunch, happy hour, etc. These will make a difference when paying the bill.

Eat street food in London’s markets

Borough Market, Southbank Centre Food Market and Camden Market are some of the most popular in the city.

Avoid London’s cafes and restaurants near main attractions

These restaurants and cafes tend to be more expensive as they’re next to tourist attractions and can be very convenient.

leadenhall market in london
Buy snacks

Buy snacks at a supermarket like Tesco or Sainsbury’s instead of stopping at cafes. These will keep you satisfied for a couple of hours.

Opt for a picnic

London parks such as the popular Hyde Park or St James’s Park are only a few of the many parks you find in London. They’re the perfect spot for a relaxing picnic while enjoying the greenery landscape.

Grab a meal deal

Grab a meal deal from the supermarket. The meal deals normally cost less than 4 pounds and include a sandwich, wrap or salad, a snack (such as fruit, crisps, sweets) and a drink.

Tip: If you’re a UK resident, you may want to check the Tastecard that gives you 50% off or 2 for 1 in many restaurants around the UK including big chains such as Pizza Express.

How to save on attractions in London

London has plenty of things to do and see, and despite not all of them are for free, there are many of them you don’t need to pay an entrance fee.

So my number one tip is to do some research before visiting London. Grab a coffee or tea and create a Google map with all the places you want to visit. Check if these places are free or not and keep a record of any entrance fees so you can estimate how much money you’ll spend on attractions.

If you want to explore all the main tourist attractions in London, you’ll save money by getting a London Pass that gives you access to over 80 attractions – including the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Zoo, etc. 

Personally, I haven’t spent much money on attractions in London because there is plenty of free stuff and I prefer finding hidden gems to visiting crowded touristy places.

In the next list, you’ll find many activities and places to visit for free.

Best Free Museums in London

One of the best things about London is the good variety of museums you can visit for free. Here is a short list of the best free museums in London.

  • British Museum
  • National Gallery
  • Museum of London
  • National History Museum
  • Tate Modern
  • Queen’s House
  • British Library
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
Coach Trip to London with National Express - Great Ways to Save Money in London Coach Trip to London with National Express - Great Ways to Save Money in London
Best parks in London

You’ll be surprised to hear that London is home to over 2,000 beautiful parks of different sizes and things to offer. Visiting so many parks sounds crazy, so here are some of the must-see parks you can visit during your time in London.

  • The Regent’s Park
  • St James’s Park
  • Hyde Park
  • Holland Park
  • Green Park
  • Greenwich Park
  • Richmond Park
a picture of hyde park in london, england
Coolest neighbourhoods in London

London has many cool neighbourhoods to explore – from beautiful colourful streets to impressive street art and vintage shops.

Best for street art and vintage vibes
  • Shoreditch
  • Soho
  • Camden
Best for architecture and colourful houses
  • Chelsea 
  • Notting Hill
Best for great views
  • Primrose Hill
Best for shopping and restaurants
  • King’s Cross

As you can see there are many things you can do to save money in London as a tourist – from opting for walking to places to visiting free museums.

If you have any questions or you want advice about travelling to London or the UK, reach me at cristina[at] or on Instagram.

Safe adventures!

Cristina xx

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  1. Those are very useful tips,thanks for sharing an informative article

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I’m glad you found them useful!

  2. I’ve always been lucky enough to find cheap train fares when I’ve visited London however never taken a National Express bus before. London definitely has some budget options if you know where to look, this is such a helpful guide for anyone who thinks London is just a really expensive city

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I completely agree with you! London can be budget-friendly too 🙂

  3. This was such a helpful post. I will definitely keep it handy for when I make it to London. I love that it saves you money that you can use on areas of the trip!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Elena! I hope the guide is handy in your future trip 🙂

  4. Rhonda Albom says:

    London is such a great city but driving around in it is miserable. Great idea to take a coach in and leave the driving to somebody else. I know when I was in London, I didn’t have a car and only picked up the hire vehicle when I was on my way out.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      You’re right, the traffic in London is a nightmare! I wouldn’t drive there for sure, this is why getting the coach is a good option too.

  5. Great tips! I never thought about taking the bus during my European travels.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Marquita!

  6. I used to use National Express quite a lot when we lived in London, it is such good value, especially when you compare it to the price of train tickets! Great tips!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      It’s great to hear you had a good experience with National Express too! 🙂

  7. Jacqueline Le says:

    I really appreciate these money saving tips. I’ve been to London many times, and never found a way to curb my spending, it just happens so fast in this city. I was shocked to learn that in other cities, like Liverpool where my boyfriend lived, is much more affordable. But yes, for London next time these tips will be very useful, thanks for sharing.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Jacqueline! I am glad you find them useful 🙂 I also agree with the fact that Northern England cities are much cheaper than London. I live in the north, and I can tell the difference every time I visit London.

  8. Rachel H Beland says:

    I love the idea of this post!! So many people associate a bad rep to busses. We took the National Express down to Weymouth and it was a super clean, cheap, and comfy ride!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      That’s great to hear!!

  9. Puloma Banerjee says:

    Wow that’s a wonderful way to save money as a tourist! The seats are comfortable and other facilities are cool! Thank you for sharing 💕

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Puloma 🙂

  10. As a tourist who has been to London a few times, these are all tips I used! (Except for the cheap hotel – I’m a-ok with hostels, haha). I love the ease of an Oyster card, too.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I’m so pleased to hear that 🙂

  11. Love this! Thank-you… I have been to London a couple of times and have always found it very expensive, so these are great tips.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      It is more expensive than other cities in the UK, but it’s possible to travel to London on a budget 🙂 I am glad you like these tips.

  12. Helpful article! I’ve used the Oyster card on all 3 of my London visits. Did a lot of the free things you listed and some paid things. Love the London museums!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Cosette! I love the free museums too.

  13. I love a good budget guide. This totally helpful for someone looking to understand the budget transportation options! Saving for next time I come this way!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I am glad you’ve enjoyed reading the guide 🙂

  14. I will have to make London more of a destination; it’s always been on the way to somewhere else.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I agree!! I love going back to London.

  15. Erin from Pina Travels says:

    Super helpful tips! I love walking when I explore a new city, so I’ll definitely do lots of that when I visit London, just like you suggest. Rest of the time I’ll use an Oyster card. Thanks for this great guide!

  16. We love to travel by train but I must admit it has been awhile since we used the bus for leisure travel. But it looks like a great way to visit London since you don’t need a car in the city. It looks like there was lots of room. And I loved that they stopped at a rest stop. Some great options for saving money on a visit to London.

  17. Always looking for more tips on saving money when traveling, great article! I also don’t mind traveling by bus, there’s always so much to see out the window

  18. I’ve travelled from Scotland to London once on an overnight bus which was an interesting experience. I love your tips on how to save money in London – super helpful!

  19. We totally agree that the best way to see a city is by walking! The big cities like London, Rome and Paris are always so special when you get to see all of the little parts!! (Totally helps to be able to save money that way too!)

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