London On A Budget
London, the iconic capital city of England and the financial capital of the World, according to many businesses and financial institutions, is a wonderful city to visit. It has everything; marvelous architecture, the Royal Family, a shopping experience to die for, star attractions, movie premieres and even some peace and tranquillity in the huge parks that are scattered around the city. The problem is that it can all come at a cost – a huge cost.
So how do you manage to spend less on one of the most expensive cities in not just the UK, but the World? Easy, follow these simple hints and tips to see more – for less.
10 FREE OR INCREDIBLY CHEAP THINGS TO DO IN LONDON
1. Visit some great museums.
It comes as a surprise to many that there are so many museums in London that offer free entry. Top of the list is a trip to the Natural History Museum where you can experience an earthquake, come face to face with a fierce T-Rex and gaze in wonder at the newest attraction of the 25.2 meter Blue Whale skeleton in the heart of the Hintze Hall. But if you want to feel rich just for a moment, head over to the Bank of England Museum where you can hold a real gold bar in your hands…just don’t try to run away with it.
2. Get a little park-life.
Get up early and go deer spotting in Richmond Park or try and spot one of the elusive Wombles of Wimbledon Common. Take a trip along the Prime Meridian Line that bisects the Earth at Park Vista and then heads over in the afternoon to St James’s Park at 2.30pm to see the pelicans being fed. So much to do and so little time means you will need to plan your transport carefully, which brings us to…
3. Cycle your way around London.
The Santander cycle hire scheme is a great way to see the city. It costs just £2.00 for 24 hours use of one of the bikes and the first 30 minutes of any journey is free. If you can keep this time limit in mind when seeing the sights it means that you can have unlimited transport around London for just £2.00. Use your bike for 30 minutes, stop and see an attraction, get back on the bike and cycle to your next destination…simple.
4. Cycling, not your thing…get a visitor’s Oyster Card
These are only available before you travel so get online and order one in advance of your stay. The Oyster Card will save you more than 50% off the cash price of a ticket or travelcard and also gives you some great discounts and special offers from selected food and drink outlets.
5. Visiting with children?
Does everyone want to go to Hogwarts right? Pop along to Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Railway Station and enter the magical world of Harry Potter. This is a must-visit shop for all fans and has been made out to look just like Ollivander’s Wand Shoppe. Or why not head to the Science Museum and see inside a real moon command capsule from Apollo 10, amongst so many other great exhibits.
6. Free nightlife anyone?
For great live comedy head to the Angel Comedy Club or the Top Secret Comedy Club where you can see great live comedy and improv very night of the week for free. Perhaps music is more your style, if so then try Ain’t Nothing But… a blues bar with free entry and live bands from Sunday to Thursday nights or if you don’t mind going out before 7 pm then get free entry to the iconic Ronnie Scott’s on a Friday night.
7. Grab a West End show.
Going to see a show doesn’t have to be expensive. Either book well in advance to enjoy great discounts or try your luck at the TKTS Booth at Leicester Square where you may be able to find a last minute ticket at a fantastic price.
8. Enjoy a fast track VIP experience.
OK, this does actually cost you money up-front but could save you a few hundred pounds over the course of a few days. The London Pass is a great way to get free entry to almost 70 of the best London attractions including the Thames River Cruise, the Tower of London, the Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing bus, HMS Belfast and a whole lot more. A 3 day London pass at £106 saves on average £50 a day per person!
9. Visit the Queen.
Well, not quite, but make your way to Buckingham Palace and watch the impressive Changing of the Guard. A spectacle not to be missed.
10. Take a selfie in front of some iconic structures.
Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, the Shard or the Lions of Trafalgar Square are some of the most recognizable areas of this marvelous city. There are just so many to choose from, so fill up your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts with as many as you can and wow your friends.
An experienced freelance writer who has produced articles that have appeared in both traditional print publications as well as found across many websites in a huge variety of genres and specialist niches. He is also the author of a gritty and thrilling series of crime novels featuring DCI Peter Carter of the Homicide & Serious Crime Unit of the London Metropolitan Police.