London is one of the priciest cities in the world so it is crucial that the frugal tourist take advantages of bargains. And there are bargains.
The Oyster Card
In my opinion, one of the best deals for the frugal London tourist is the Oyster Card. This transit card (can be obtained at underground stops including the one at Heathrow) comes with a 3 £ deposit (this deposit is refunded when you return the card) and can be charged with the amount of money needed (any excess will also be refunded).
The beauty of this card is that it calculates the best transit deal for you. It caps out at the day pass rate. That means that you can spend the day on one of those very London red double decker bus, exploring neighborhoods, hopping on and off at stops like the Marble Arch, or Harrods (to window shop) or Portobello Market (for antiques).
Changing Of The Guards
Of course, while in London, a tourist should go see the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family. The closest the average tourist can get is peaking in at the gates of Buckingham Palace and when better to do that than during the changing of the guard.
Every day at 11:30 am, the guards are changed at Buckingham Palace in a rich and colorful ceremony. This free event is usually packed so get there early (activities start at 10:45) or you’ll only be seeing the changing of the Bearskins (those distinctive hats the guards wear).
British suits are known world wide for style and quality. However, brand new, they are a bit pricey for the frugal traveler. An option is the numerous charity (consignment) shops sprinkled throughout the city.
The quality of the charity shops depend on the quality of the neighborhood. Some shops are filled with designer, haute couture fashion, even outfits worn by Hollywood stars.
The National Gallery And Trafalgar Square
The National Gallery in the famous Trafalgar Square hosts over 2,300 paintings, one of the greatest collections of Western European painting in the world, and its free. Absolutely free (donations are welcomed). Perfect for one of the rainy days London is known for.
London, England has some bargains for the frugal traveler. The Oyster Card provides frugal transportation. The Changing Of The Guard and The National Gallery supplies free entertainment. Frugal shopping can be done at Charity Shops.