Going shopping in London

Using euros in London

Even though Britain has yet to join the single currency, it is still possible to spend euros in London shops.

Only the big businesses will accept them, though – so don’t try them in a corner shop. The major chain stores – Body Shop, Debenhams, HMV, Marks & Spencers, Selfridges, Topshop, Virgin, WH Smith’s and Waterstones – should all be able to help.

Shop opening hours

The following opening hours are a rough guide only, and vary from business to business.

Banks: 9–5 (Mon–Fri); 10–1 (Sat)
Galleries: 10–5 (Mon–Sun)
Museums: 10–5 (Mon–Sun)
Pharmacies: 9–5.30 (Mon–Sat)
Post Offices: 9–5.30 (Mon–Fri), and 9–noon (Sat)
Pubs: 11–11.30 (Mon–Sun)
Restaurants: noon–11 (Mon–Sun)
Shops: 9–6 (Mon–Sun)
Supermarkets: 8–9 (Mon–Sat), and 10–4 (Sun)

If you visit London on Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Years’s Day, then you will find practically everything shut.

London price guide

Here are some popular shopping items, and the approximate amount that you would expect to pay in London.

Bottle of water: £1.00–£1.50
Camera film: £5.00–£8.00
Can of Coke: £0.50–£1.00
Cigarettes (pack of 20): £6.00
Cinema ticket: £6.00–£8.00
Dinner (cheap): £10.00–£20.00
Dinner (moderate): £20.00–£40.00
Dinner (expensive): £40.00–£60.00+
Newspaper: £0.30–£1.50
Pint of beer: £2.50–£3.50
Sandwich: £1.50–£3.00
Tea, coffee: £0.50–£2.00
Theatre ticket: £20.00–£80.00

Tipping

The following amounts should be taken as a rough guide only.

Hairdressers: 10% of the bill
Hotel chambermaids: £1.00–£2.00 per day
Hotel porters: £0.50–£1.00 per bag
Restaurants: 10% of the bill
Taxi drivers: 10% of the bill
Tour guides: £1.00–£2.00

 
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