Thanks to the tumbling value of the pound, a host of new cheap hotels and the free museums, London has made it into the top 10 world’s best-value destinations.
Its entry into the list is a significant victory for the capital, especially as Lonely Planet – the leading guide used by students and holidaymakers travelling on a budget – has often criticised London for its sky-high prices.
The chief reason for the change is the falling value of the pound, which has fallen from €1.47 two years ago to €1.10 this week.
However, prices have fallen not just for foreign visitors, but also for British visitors. Tom Hall, the publisher’s travel editor, said: “The tables have turned and London’s reputation as one of the world’s most expensive cities is over.
“It is far easier to do London on the cheap than it was five years ago. Budget accommodation has improved enormously in the capital, with many cut-price hotels opening up in the capital.”
Both Travelodge and Premier Inn have opened many outlets in central London in the past two years.
The recession has also encouraged many restaurants and shops to cut their prices and offer special deals.
Mr Hall highlighted the free museums, cheap but spectacular views, and restaurants serving food from around the world for less than £10 a head.
“Some of the attractions are still very expensive, but I think London has improved, especially for those prepared to do their homework and book ahead.”
London’s value for money status is featured in its book, Best in Travel 2010, published this week. Other best-value destinations in the guide’s top 10 included Iceland, South Africa, Las Vegas and Kenya.