Thursday, November 12, 2015

On a tight budget but keen to travel? Here's
how to spend a weekend in London on just $25 a day.
Saturday: Art and Major Sites One of the best things
about the UK is that most museums are free.
Start your Saturday in Holborn at
the British Museum, admiring the collections along with the building's
impressive tessellated glass ceiling.
From there, stroll down to Covent Garden: one of London's most famed areas,
though a tourist trap, is worth a wander.
Walk through the Piazza, then around
the web of Seven Dials (seven quaint shopping streets that connect at a small
roundabout), and don't miss Neal's Yard—quite possibly the quaintest, most
colorful courtyard in London.
A short walk away in Aldwych, Lundenwic is the perfect lunch spot.
It's a
trendy, minimalist all-day cafe, which serves fresh salads, gourmet toasties,
and great coffee.
The roasted broccoli, cheddar, almond, and chili toastie
($8) is sure to hit the spot, washed down with a pick-me-up espresso ($0.75).
Feeling fueled, head at a leisurely pace down The Strand, taking note of the
iconic Savoy Hotel as you go, before eventually arriving at Trafalgar
Square.
Walk down Pall Mall to Buckingham Palace, or hang a left to see Big
Ben and Westminster Abbey up close.
Walk along the Southbank to the Tate Modern.
Spend a couple of hours
admiring the exhibitions (it's one of the best galleries in the country,
whether you're an art aficionado or not), before heading up to the cafe on
level 6, where we suggest skipping the coffee but admiring the stunning city
views from its terrace.
Cross Millennium Bridge, admiring the quintessential London skyline views as
you go, and on the other side, it's the mighty St.
Paul's Cathedral.
It's time for an early dinner.
Get up Google Maps for directions and hop on
a bus (from $2.30) to Exmouth Market, an atmospheric street that's home pretty
much entirely to restaurants.
There's all sorts, from seafood restaurants to
Thai, and Turkish.
Our favorite—and one of the cheapest—is Pizza Pilgrims,
the newest addition to the street, but one with a big cult following.
Sunday: East London You're spending Sunday in East London, in
neighborhoods that have changed and diversified a lot in the last 10 years,
with the arrival of craft coffee shops, hipster cafes, and designer fashion
boutiques.
There's a buzz in the air, the crowd is young, and when you pick
the right places, your money can go far.
After a long lazy lie-in, drag yourself out of bed and head to Beigel Bake
on Brick Lane—a real institution that, along with being a favorite among
locals, draws crowds from far and wide who flock to it 24 hours a day for its
impressively cheap bagels.
Though its salt beef bagels are a common favorite,
go for the equally delicious salmon and cream cheese combo, and you'll get
change from $5.
After eating, walk down bustling Bethnal Green Road—lined with fruit and
vegetable stalls and dazzling sari shops—to the V&A Museum of
Childhood.
Don't be fooled, this isn't a museum just for children.
It's a
nostalgic spot for adults, too, with all the favorite toys from your childhood
on display.
Back in Shoreditch, potter along Redchurch Street, the neighborhood's
chicest street, where you can window shop the likes of A.P.C, Sweaty Betty,
and Aesop.
Marvel at the wonderfully colorful fresh produce outside Albion
Cafe, before popping into Labour & Wait, a small but perfectly formed
homewares boutique, full of heritage brands, luxury stationery, and en-vogue
Falcon enamelware.
It must be lunch time, and on Sunday, Brick Lane is buzzing with
international food markets.
Expect crowds.
Take cash.
Then choose from
everything from dim sum, to curry, sushi, Lebanese, and Thai.
You'll get an
overflowing plate and change from $10.
Next, head to Columbia Road Flower Market, London's favorite, where you'll
join the hoards squeezing through the stalls, handing over cash to heckling
East End traders in return for giant, paper-wrapped blooms.
No East London
Sunday is complete without such a purchase—even if they are only spending a
couple of nights in your hotel room.
Later, perhaps after dropping your flowers at your hotel, and putting your
feet up for a quick half hour, jump on the DLR to Canada Water, which plays
host to Hawker House, the latest incarnation from Street Feast, an
organization that can be credited with revolutionizing the London street food
scene.
Hawker House is a late-night indoor market in a converted warehouse,
with 14 food traders and eight bars.
Oh, let the night be merry.
Alice Tate covers London and Europe for Travel +Leisure.
Follow her on
Twitter and Instagram.
How to see the best of London on a budget of $25/day

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