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Violating Sanctions

An American Woman’s Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil

The London Logs: Cheaper Than You Think!

The Author By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 26th, 2012 | Comments No Comments

glorious-london.jpgThe rap on London is that it’s terribly expensive. It’s not! Museums are free, theatre is an exceptional bargain and interesting, affordable meals can be found around. Wine and beer are not cheap, however, and a glass of wine can run the equivalent of a meal.

Of course, I’m housesitting, which avoids pricey accommodations, and affords me the opportunity to make a meal or two at “home” – or at least store restaurant leftovers for future meals.

Here are my daily expenses:

• Transportation: I bought an Oyster card for a refundable £5, which gives me half-price trips on buses and the Tube. From my London Zone 3 flat, it costs me £5.20 (about $8 US) for a round-trip Tube ride into London’s tourist spots – a lot less than car rental, parking and gas!(

• Meals: I’m spending an average of £10/day on eating out. Some days, I have just a sandwich for £2 - £3 (about $3 - $5 US), other days a full meal for £7 - £10 (about $10 - $15 US). A glass of house wine runs a pricey £6 (about $9 US).

I no longer order a latte because “coffee with milk” comes with steamed milk and costs half the price. A cup of coffee runs £1 (about $1.50 US).

• Wine: A bottle of wine at the neighborhood market runs £5 - £6 (about $8 or $9 US).

• Entertainment: Here’s the real value! Museums are free (although some special exhibitions have admission fees). Shakespeare at The Globe runs as low as £5 (about $7.50 US) for “groundling” standing room seats in front of the stage. First rate plays at the National Theatre run as low as £12 (about $18 US).

During this special summer of the Olympics, there are free events galore. St. Paul’s Church ( is offering free evenings to the church and crypt – complete with hors’ d’oeuvres – twice/week all month. An outdoor stage at the National Theatre ( offers a variety of free international performances – music, juggling, etc. The BBC ( is holding a summer of free events in conjunction with performances at St. Albert’s Hall.

Pound for pound, London weighs in as a surprisingly great value this summer!
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Category: London, Olympics
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