Due to its relative proximity, the UK is a popular destination for many expats living in Sweden. Plus, if you’ve already obtained Swedish nationality, you don’t need a visa to visit the UK. However, you might have to apply for a UK ETA for Swedish Citizens unless you have another passport.
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Nevertheless, one downside of visiting the UK is that it can be quite expensive, even for those used to the cost of living in Sweden. But don’t worry, it’s possible to explore the UK without breaking the bank.
In this guide, we provide you with some practical tips for visiting the UK from Sweden on a budget. We cover topics such as group tours, planning your budget, travel deals, and more. So, let’s get started!
Consider a Group Tour
Group tours are an excellent way for budget travellers to explore the UK. These tours often offer a discounted rate for accommodation, transportation, and some meals.
Moreover, group tours typically have guides who can provide valuable insights and knowledge about the places you visit. However, keep in mind that group tours may have a fixed itinerary and less flexibility.
Plan Your Budget Accordingly
It’s essential to plan your budget carefully before your trip. Compile a list of all your potential expenses, including transportation, accommodation, food, attractions, and souvenirs.
Look for ways to cut costs, such as staying in hostels or budget hotels and using public transportation. Additionally, think about exchanging your currency to GBP (Great British Pounds) in Sweden as it might be more cost-effective than exchanging it in the UK.
Winter and Spring Are The Best Time for Travel Deals
We’d advise spending your summer vacation in Sweden and saving your British exploration for the spring or winter. Travelling during the off season, from November to April, can help you save significantly on accommodation and attractions.
Although the weather isn’t the best, these are the times when the tourist crowd is thinner, and many hotels and attractions offer discounts. Nevertheless, we’d also suggest avoiding the Christmas holidays in the UK, as the spike in tourists can also lead to increased costs.
London Isn’t The Be All and End All
While London is certainly a must-visit city, the UK has much more to offer. Consider visiting other cities like Edinburgh, Manchester, or Liverpool.
Not only are these destinations rich in history and culture, but they are also often cheaper than London. Additionally, you could plan to spend more time exploring the countryside and smaller towns, where the cost of living is lower.
Bus and Train Travel Is Often Cheaper than Domestic Flights
While domestic flights might seem like a quick and convenient way to travel across the UK, they are typically more expensive than bus or train travel. Moreover, travelling by bus or train can be a more scenic and enjoyable experience.
Look into getting a discount pass for the National Rail service. Alternatively, consider the Megabus and National Express bus services for even more affordable transportation.
Avoid Eating Out Around Tourist Hotspots
Eating out in touristy areas can be quite expensive. If you have a tight food budget, look into cooking your own meals in your hostel or Airbnb or eating in less touristy areas.
Supermarkets and local markets are great places to buy fresh and affordable ingredients. Trying street food or eating in pubs are also often cheaper than restaurants.
Look into Discount Passes for Historic Attractions
The UK is home to many historic attractions, which can be quite expensive to visit. However, there are several discount passes available that can help you save on entrance fees.
For example, the English Heritage Pass offers unlimited access to over 100 historical attractions in England, including Stonehenge. Similarly, the National Trust Touring Pass offers access to more than 300 sites across the UK, from ancient castles, to parks and woodland.
Take Advantage of Free Activities
The UK offers a plethora of free activities that can help you keep your expenses low while still having a great time. Most cities have free attractions, such as museums, galleries, and parks.
For example, many of London’s top museums, like the British Museum and the Tate Modern, offer free entry. Similarly, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Museum of Liverpool are also free to visit. Many cities in the UK also offer free walking tours.
Additionally, many cities in the UK host free events throughout the year, such as concerts, markets, and festivals. One of the most notable is the month-long free offshoot of the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh during August. Check the local event calendar for the city you are visiting to see what’s on during your stay.