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Is London getting too expensive?

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Is London getting too expensive?

Since retiring my husband has been enjoying trips into London by bus on his own. He came back yesturday thoughly disillusioned. 50p to use the toilet near the Tower and £16 per person to get into Westminster Abbey! Do other people think London is pricing itself out of the tourist market or are prices in London in line with what you would expect to pay?

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1. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

I wonder how much he thinks Westminster Abbey "should" cost, bearing in mind all the numerous costs they must bear for upkeep, salaries, power etc, none of which are falling?

As to "is it pricing itself out of the tourist market,", ask him what the queues were like at what is probably a lowish period of the tourist season, and how it compares on price to say Tower of London, or St Pauls? I would guess its comparable on both. It is of course much more than the many free attractions in London, and much less than say, a typical West End Show ( or an Olympics event. I presume he would have had a heart attack had he tried to go to one of those?)

He was of course going as a sightseeing tourist and not a worshipper, which I understand is free, so I'm really not sure what the point of posts like these is, he had a free choice to go there or somewhere else, why pick this out? Whenever we see a post like this (usually its air fare) the people concerned have no idea whatsoever about what it's costs to run these businesses, how much money they need to take it to break even, etc. I'm not saying I do either, but I take the view it's up to the people running them and if they get it wrong one way or another, things will level themselves out.

This applies to all things, including toilets :-)

And finally, since there are numerous free things in London, and you can travel around all day for about £8, then no it isn't pricing itself out :-)

London, United...
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2. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

I suppose it depends on what you are comparing it with. You could spend many days in London visiting the free museums and galleries. I've never found anywhere else with that amount of free world class attractions.

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for London
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3. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

No London is not 'pricing itself out of the tourist market'. Not only are there free world class museums and galleries, not to mention 'free' activities like windowshopping,streetmarkets and parks, there are discounts such as 241 and smartsave on many paying attractions and theatre, also available via discounts. Compared with comparable cities (Paris, New York, Rome), London, IME is very good value for money.

As for loos there are lots of free ones. I would not begrudge 50p for a clean one anyway.

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4. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

I might suppose you were comparing London with elsewhere in the UK. But if you were to compare it with other major cities in the world, I would think it is about the average.

The major attractions are very usually expensive, such as

Tower of London, admission fee £19.50

Eiffel Tower in Paris, lift entrance ticket to top 14€

Colosseum in Rome, admission fee 15.50€

Empire State Building in NYC, admission fee $25

If I compare London to Helsinki (that I know better), accommodation prices are comparable, as well as dining. A pint of beer is cheaper in London. Taxis cost 50% more in London, but public transportation is reasonably priced.

You can make any city as cheap or expensive as you like.

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5. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

<<Is London getting too expensive>>

my first reaction to your title is "London's ALWAYS been expensive"

toilets are always a problem, decent clean toilets do cost to keep up and in an area like near the Tower toilet facilities are at a premium, but if you ask me whether I'd use them the answer would probably be "no", I'd head for the nearest pub, but if you asked me whether 50p is a rip off I'd probably say "no" as long as 50p buys me clean, hygienic and in good order in an area where there's always loads of visitors

the question re Westminster Abbey is more controversial, many UK people (including myself) object to having to pay to get into a building they feel is their heritage but joe's point about the cost of upkeep is very valid ... personally I prefer the invitation to donate but I'm aware that the amount people are likely (or not as the case may be) to donate is well short of the amount they need

overall I don't think London is pricing itself out of the market ... yes it's expensive but it has so much to offer tourists and other visitors that I feel they get value for money

Leeds, United...
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6. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

Re: admission price to the Abbey.

I can see the POVs that say it is our heritage and we shouldn't have to pay to go in & also that they need to raise money to pay for its upkeep but can I add another argument?

Look how busy it is now and the millions of people willing to pay the price to go in. If it was free it would be impossible for the place to function because it would be rammed with people. The price acts as way to limit the numbers and, if the free market works with attractions like these, the price will always be what people are willing to pay.

My only gripe with London prices is finding the right balance between a clean hotel/B&B and a cheap one. Often the ones that tick those boxes for me are full. I wonder why!

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7. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

Has your husband got a (free) bus pass....if so he saved much more than the 50p lavatory charge. I've got one and I'm very conscious that past and current UK taxpayers are paying for my bus fare.

Kent, UK
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8. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

If Westminster Abbey don't charge where's the money going to come from for its upkeep?

It was 50p a toilet in a prime location right next to a major tourist attraction. 50p is hardly a lot these days.

>>or an Olympics event.<<

There were plenty of cheap Olympics/Paralympics tickets. This myth that all the tickets were expensive is just that, a myth.

>> If it was free it would be impossible for the place to function because it would be rammed with people. <<

I'm nots sure about that. London has plenty of attractions that are free and they manage fine re numbers.

>>the question re Westminster Abbey is more controversial, many UK people (including myself) object to having to pay to get into a building they feel is their heritage <<

That's a really odd argument. Many buildings are "part of our heritage" should they all be free? The Tower of London, HCP, the hundreds of castles throughout the country etc., should they all be free?

Ossett, United...
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9. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

Either in line or at a level where if I don't want to/can't afford to pay a given price, I choose to do something else.

Loos - I go in whatever cafe/pub I've had lunch; or save up my silver for emergencies.

I don't know about W. Abbey but at St. Paul's if you Gift Aid your entry fee, it then becomes a free entry pass for the whole of the rest of the year.

In my life and lifestyle, there will always be some things I can afford and some things I can't, and I've always had to work round that, so London prices don't unsettle me; but I do LONG to be retired myself, and to live within bussing distance of London!!

Bingley, United...
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10. Re: Is London getting too expensive?

Loos - try one of the many free galleries or museums, they invariably have toilets