London is a truly incredible city- the list of awesome attractions is seemingly endless, the architecture is world class and the culture is bountiful. You can visit some of the most iconic buildings in the world and enjoy fine foods in fantastic restaurants; you can even catch some of the greatest performances ever given on the stage.
All this sounds fantastic, but it’s not exactly budget friendly. In fact, London can be an incredibly expensive place- especially at the moment.
But don’t be put off by extreme prices and crazy inflation rates; you can still enjoy this incredible city on a budget. There is plenty to see and do in London that will make the memories made on this trip last a lifetime.
Let’s take a look at the best ways you can enjoy London without stretching your purse strings too far!
London’s Free Museums
London is world renowned for its incredible museums thanks to their incredible collections and class leading preservation work.
The British Museum offers the most comprehensive collection on the face of the earth, with a focus on the history of humankind- you’ll find over 8 million artefacts there reaching back as far as 2 million years into our past.
The Natural History Museum is a collection that explores the history of our planet and the stunning life it hosts- meet the dinosaurs, extinct creatures and discover life over the course of 10s of millions of years.
The Imperial War museum is a crucial and heartbreaking reminder of the damage that war does, and explores some of the most pivotal moments in our histories.
This is all well and good, but the absolute best part is; they are free for all to enter.
Each location will have a donation station that encourages you to give whatever you can, but nothing is expected.
It’s important to support these amazing institutions, so if you enjoy your time exploring history and art then even leaving a small amount makes a big difference.
The Sky Garden
If you’re keen to visit the Shard for its incredible, unencumbered view, but you’re worried about the steep price, then consider the Sky Garden instead.
It’s located in a building known by locals as the ‘Walkie Talkie’ which sits just across the river from the Shard.
It offers very much the same view, as well as a tropical garden- and it’s totally free!
You will have to book way in advance in the summer as this spot has gained popularity in recent years, but it is free nonetheless.
There are bars and restaurants up there too, and you can stay as long as you like when you arrive!
London is famous for many things as we already know; but without a doubt one of the best things London has to offer is its markets.
Dotted throughout the city are some of the most historic and amazing markets you’ve ever seen.
Borough Market has become one of the best places in the city to grab a divine bite to eat- and do some incredibly fancy grocery shopping.
Camden Markets are jam packed with vintage clothing, collectors items and wonderful music.
Portobello Road offers one of the best antiques markets in the country, and the Columbia Road Flower Market is a gorgeous explosion of colour, scent and life.
Cheap West End Tickets
If you’re a fan of the stage, and are looking to catch one of the greatest shows on the planet then you’ve probably heard of the West End.
But did you know if you head to Leicester Square with an open mind and no plan, you can make some incredible savings on the prices of tickets.
TKTS is a red booth in Leicester Square that sells tickets at a greatly reduced price for imminent shows that have not filled their seats! You never know what you’ll get so get down there and check!
Master Public Transport
London’s public transport network is one of the most used and comprehensive networks in the world.
It really is the key to unlocking the city, so grab an Oyster Card and master the use of the Underground, the bus network and the train system.
It reaches far and wide and will allow you to cover a massive area in a small amount of time!
If public transport isn’t for you, or you’ve got a shorter list of things to see and it’s a beautiful day, then hop on a bike!
London’s cycleshare scheme means that there are bikes all over the city in key locations that can be used by anyone!
All you need is an app to choose and unlock a bike- and away you go.
London is super bike friendly and every iconic structure, landmark and attraction can be accessed by bike. It really is the best way to see the city.
If you’re not much into cycling then walking is also a great option.
Get some comfy shoes on and head out into the buzz of London’s busy streets. London is incredibly walkable, with all the main attractions being spread along the banks of the river.
It makes for lovely walking and you really can see everything. Join a walking tour or simply head out and explore to your heart’s content.
London covers an area 15 times the size of Paris, and yet, it is made up of nearly 20% greenspace- like parks and gardens.
The city’s parks are world famous and are an attraction in themselves. Visit Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens for a fairytale escape from the hubbub of the city.
Regent’s Park is home to a view and a zoo, and the wild and vast Richmond Park is home to an ancient herd of inner city deer.
Find Affordable Accomodation
Despite what people say, you absolutely can find fantastic London accommodation offers with relative ease.
Many people rent out spare rooms in the city centre and there are plenty of hostels with great locations and even better prices.
So there you have it; some top tips for exploring London on a budget.
It does not have to be a super expensive place to visit; if you make use of the transport on offer, visit the incredible free locations and take advantage of the best budget accommodation London has to offer; you can visit this amazing city in style.