Brilliant Backpacking, But at What Cost? – London, England

Top Backpacking Destinations Ranking: 8/10

There can be no argument that England’s capital is overflowing with attractions for travellers. London has tourist fodder coming out of its ears and it truly is a 24 hour city. Backpackers can spend all day, every day wandering the streets and taking in the plethora of cultural monuments and museums, or they can become night owls, only popping their heads up once the sun goes down and the bars fill to bursting point.

Whichever option you choose, you won’t be disappointed. You can live in London for years and still not take in everything it has to offer which is why so many backpackers choose it as a longer term base and find work to fund their activities. This is crucial as trying to do anything in London on a backpacking budget is difficult. If you can earn as you go along then it makes things a lot easier.

That’s not to say everything you do has to be pricey though. There is a huge amount of museums which offer free entry and it’s hard to get bored just wandering the streets and stumbling across famous place after famous place. I had a particular favourite route walking along the Thames’ South Bank from London Bridge (having indulged at Borough Market!) to the Tate Modern, then crossing Millenium bridge over to St Pauls Cathedral. From here you could walk back along the river, stopping off for a trip up the Monument to take in some beautiful cityscape views, and then continuing to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. You then go back across the river and return towards London Bridge, passing the iconic City Hall building on your way. These sorts of walks exist right across London and it’ll take you a good while to get through them all!

But despite all these incredible attractions, London can prove difficult for the thrifty backpacker. Even with the wide range of free attractions you still have to pay the heavy price of living costs and getting around. If you want to indulge in a similar way to backpacking in Eastern Europethen you’ll be peering into an empty wallet in no time. It’s these same drawbacks that scupper many of the capital cities and it’s why backpacking in ParisVienna or Barcelona can sometimes be a stretch too far when you know your money will go so much further elsewhere.

The amazing sights of the place can’t be overlooked though and I’d urge anyone to come and experience London, even if it is just for a quick glimpse on a tight budget; it’s worth every penny.

If you think London might be a step too far for your purse strings then discover the places where it’s slightly easier to go backpacking for cheap in Europe here.

If you’re looking for a great value youth hostel London does have options – check out Hostelbookers for more details