The Top 15 Things To Do In London On The Cheap
No two ways about it, when you’re looking for fabulous weather, the friendliest people in the world and some of the world’s most iconic attractions...nothing beats Barcelona. 😉
But when you want to walk on streets that are 2000 years old, while being regaled by the charming - ahem - birdsong of city construction workers, and occasionally drenched by a sporadic downpour, all while somehow knowing that you really shouldn’t have paid £5 for a coffee, then London is your game. We’re going to show you how to get the very best out of our nation’s capital without having to take a second mortgage: this truly is London on the cheap.
For those long summer days when the rain gods have offered something of a respite, taking lazy walks along the canals and popping into a pub for a quick pint of something ice-cold, is just what the doctor ordered. Around £20 per person, depending on how thirsty you are.
You don’t need to be an art snob to enjoy the art on display here and when you see some of what’s hanging here, it’s probably just as well. But if you’ve ever wondered why London has the edge it does, you’ll find it here. Around £0 per person: we like that!
The Palace of Westminister houses Parliament, Big Ben, and statues of some of the greatest leaders this nation has ever produced. Catch it on a sunny day and you’re in for some spectacular photo ops. Free, but increases to around £15 a person if you throw in a coffee and a pastry. Big Ben’s chimes are still free though!
Just behind Upper Street in Islington, Camden passage houses a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of hidden treasures, antiques, furniture, curios and bric-a-brac. Free to browse.
Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 13:00 you can take in a wide range of musicians from classical to pop. It still functions as a church too, so you can take a few quid with you for a donation. Technically free per person, but make it a fiver each for the church coffers.
So if you’re going to come to London you kind of have to do this thing. It sounds and seems clichè but you’ll get a new appreciation for the capital city from up there. If you’re allowing yourself one little splurge and you don’t fancy the theatres then let it be this one. Around £24.50 per adult, with special deals for families.
Over 20,000 architectural drawings, antiquities and other works are housed in the architect of the Bank of England’s former residence. You will get serious snob rights after spending the day here, and it’s free!
Doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it once or a thousand times, perhaps the only thing more British is Julian Clarey draped in a Union Jack trenchcoat eating a cucumber sandwich. If you have children, it’s a definite winner. Free to watch, but you’ll want to take the kids for ice cream afterwards so call it around a tenner a person.
One of the best ways to experience the city, that’s reasonably priced. There are several providers so do an online search to see what works best for you and your family. Around £20.50 per person but increases based on boat, duration and catering. You can even do this on a speedboat for around £39.00 if you want to try life in the fast lane.
As the name suggests you can take in some of the most exciting and iconic sites of London by taking in some walking tours. You’ll meet interesting people and browse fabulous shopping lanes, buildings, parks and more. Don’t be rude and not pay at all even if it is PWYL - call it a fiver a person at least.
Okay, this isn’t free and isn’t particularly cheap, but you can buy combination tickets that include entrance to the wax museum and the London Eye and that will save you a stack. Book online to save another 10% and you can reschedule your tickets for free (aaannnd we’re back). Around £45 per person if you combine with the London Eye, or £30.50 per adult when you book online.
For when it’s time to leave the kids at home and head out into the city for a night out, you can’t do much better than Soho (but you could probably do a lot worse). Not (just) a hideout for the city’s sex industry anymore, but also home to some faaaabulous LGBTQIA+ bars and clubs and some thumping clubs besides. Around £50 per person but if cocktails are the only way you roll, maybe add another fifty.
Open again from the 17th of May 2021, you can once again take part in one of London’s must-do activities - and not all tickets have to cost you stupid amounts of money. If you book online using an accredited ticketing agent and book far enough in advance, you can save lots. Depending on the show, venue, date and time expect to pay around £25-35 for cheap seats, but stay on it and you could find yourself front and centre for around the same.
For when you’ve blown the budget on drinks, wax museums and partying at night, taking a long walk around Piccadilly Circus, especially at night will give you ample opportunity to absorb everything that is so absolutely fabulous about London town. A stonking £0 per person.
For one of the world’s largest collections of just about everything, nowhere beats the National Gallery. Don’t think boring, farty curators, rather think thrilling, exciting and unbelievably interesting ways to inspire your flock. All totally free. Sweet.
Look, if you have the money then London will offer you plenty of opportunities to spend it and it’s fun if you can, but you don’t have to and frankly, doing London on the cheap forces you to discover the city. The nation’s capital houses over 100 languages spoken on its streets, ancient buildings, parks and palaces. Endless summer hours to peruse galleries, shops, antique stores and coffee shops and if you take just a second to let it all in you’ll fall in love with our grand old lady all over again. Speaking of, remember to work in a visit to Buckingham Palace too, and unless you’re invited inside (hey, it could happen) this will also set you back around...£0 per person. Where are your favourite spots for a cheap or free bit of fun in London? Let us know on Insta or tweet us @justhooit!