London is undoubtedly an expensive city, especially for students with a limited budget. So, whether you’re an out-of-town fresher or a home-grown Londoner, this is a guide for enjoying London as a student.

First of all, you’ve got to get your travel sorted. Travelling around the capital will empty your bank account like nothing else, even when using an Oyster card. It’s recommended to get a 16-25 Railcard, on top of using an Oyster card, which will save you 1/3 off rail fares across Britain, not just in London. It costs £30 per year but you’ll soon make that money back because of how much you’ll be saving. Oh, but remember to steer clear of peak travel times (06:30 – 09:30 and 16:00 – 19:00) to avoid a hefty bump-up in fares.

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When eating out or grabbing a coffee in London, you’ve got to be a bit savvy. Coffee shop chains such as Starbucks and Pret-A-Manger offer a discount if you bring your own flask and newspapers often include vouchers for popular fast-food chains like McDonalds and Subway. However, if you’re in the market for more sophisticated eating, don’t fret. Popular restaurants such as Frankie & Benny’s, Byron Burger and Zizzi’s regularly offer student discounts so be sure to keep your student ID handy.

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Fancy a bike ride? London’s Santander Cycles scheme has got you covered. Bike docking stations are dotted across the capital which means you’ll always be within walking distance of one.  This inexpensive way of communing around the capital is not only fun but an efficient way of getting around, considering London’s numerous bike lanes. And now that you can get right into central London with the Night Tube, midnight bike rides through the capital are a must.

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Hyde Park, one of the city’s largest parks, is the perfect place to go whether you want to work up a sweat or simply kick-back and relax. Wide open spaces allow for sporting action, so grab a couple of mates along with a frisbee or football. Alternatively, you could enjoy your favourite book in one of the many beach chairs which are laid out. And in the summer months, ice-creams stands are never far away.

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Despite London’s costly nature, the capital hosts a multitude of free attractions. The National Gallery and Tate Modern are great places for art lovers while the Science, History and British museums are popular attractions bound to unleash your inner geek. There’s always something going on (like the Lumiere light festival which was held a few months back), so be sure to keep an eye out.

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