What is the most cost effective way to stay in London for a week? Should I stay at a B&B, rent an apartment for a week, or stay at a hotel? Should I stay in London or the outskirts of the city?

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    Welcome to travel.SE. What's your budget? – Karlson Jan 16 '14 at 20:12
  • I have approximately $550.00 to spend on lodging. I would like to have your opinions, for I would like to save enough money to sightsee as much as possible. Is it possible to cut down costs or do I need to try and save more money for lodging? I will be traveling by myself. Thanks for your time. – lyndaleamac Jan 17 '14 at 15:25
  • Got any relatives in London? Willing to go Hobo? Would you camp? – Karlson Jan 17 '14 at 15:33
  • Unfortunately, I don't have any relatives in London. I will be traveling to London by myself. I love to go camping in the summer with my family; however, I don't want to carry a sleeping bag and the essentials you need to complete a good camping experience. Thanks for the information. – lyndaleamac Jan 17 '14 at 16:39

Regarding cost effectiveness, it will be difficult to beat Couchsurfing. Where to stay depends on what you want to do in London ... Try to stay near the area you want to visit, otherwise you will incur travel costs.

  • Cost effectiveness is not the best reason to go couchsurfing. – Bernhard Jan 17 '14 at 6:37
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    @Bernhard And yet, it does seem cheap… – Relaxed Jan 17 '14 at 8:15
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    Thank you for the "couch surfing" information. I never knew that was an option. It sounds quite interesting, and I will definitely look into it. What a great way to meet locals. :) – lyndaleamac Jan 17 '14 at 16:47
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    @Annoyed Of course, but you need to invest socially. Hosts will not like it if you consider them a cheap place to stay – Bernhard Jan 17 '14 at 16:55

The most cost effective will be a youth hostel. You can find them just by doing a research on Google or on travel website such as Expedia, Hotels.com, etc. The outskirts of the city will be less expensive than the center of London but check on TFL for the travel card price before taking a "far away from the center" place to stay !

  • Nice suggestion for a 50 year old. In addition this is more of a comment then an answer. – Karlson Jan 16 '14 at 20:17
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    50 year olds stay in hostels all the time. Whole families, even. "Hostels...they're not just for youth anymore." – Jonathan Van Matre Jan 16 '14 at 21:56
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    I've met MANY people olde than 50 in hostels, several of them retired. It's great to see, and they're always welcomed into the group. – Mark Mayo Jan 16 '14 at 22:23
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    @Karlson What was the point, then? – Relaxed Jan 17 '14 at 8:15
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    @Karlson OK, that makes more sense than your earlier comment. Still, I don't really see why we need to know more. This question, unlike many others, has a clear focus, namely price. Listing the cheapest solutions would seem to address it completely. Readers can then make their own trade-offs and decisions. – Relaxed Jan 17 '14 at 11:10

This really depends if you want to spend the least money possible (sacrificing some things on the way) or if you have a minimum level of comfort / ease of travel / etc you .

The current answers are very good low-cost options, I agree that Couchsurfing is probably your cheapest option, but not everyone wants to do that.

If you want a hostel / hotel then go to a hotel comparison site, Raiana linked some but I tend to use Kayak. I stayed in London a few weeks ago and booked a hotel near Paddington that was only a tiny bit more expensive than the nearby hostels -- plus I got a private room with en-suite and free breakfast. So definitely look at your options, there's no hard and fast answer.

As for where to stay, consider how you're getting in and getting out of London. Do you need to be near an airport link due to an early flight. If you stay in the outskirts travel will cost more (and you'll need to leave town earlier), plus you're looking at possibly an hour plus on the train in each direction.

Without knowing your budget, how many of you there are and what you want to do it's difficult to say more. I'll edit this answer if you provide more information.

A few other money saving tips -- if you want the cheapest travel consider getting an Oyster Card, but it depends what you want to do. If you plan on a lot of sightseeing consider a London Pass (possibly with the travel card option) but again that only makes sense if you plan to see enough to make it worth it.

  • Thank you for your feedback. I never heard of a hostel. I want some level of comfort. I am not sure if I would feel comfortable sharing a bathroom with a strangers. Your hotel near Paddington sounds interesting. I have a budgeted $550 for lodging, but I would like to save as much money as possible to see all I can while staying in London. My flight leaves in close to noon, and I am traveling by myself. Yes, I will definitely check into this "London Pass". – lyndaleamac Jan 17 '14 at 15:49
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    Use Kayak or some other hotel comparison site, for that money I think you'd get somewhere even more central maybe near Euston or Kings Cross (the area is much nicer and safer than it used to be years ago). That will give you excellent transport links. Paddington is good for the Heathrow Express but you can just take the normal tube to Kings Cross -- slower but much much cheaper. – SpaceDog Jan 18 '14 at 10:13

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