There are plenty of cheap things to do in London in spite of the fact that the city is overwhelming for budget conscious travelers.
As a two time traveler of Britain’s capital city, I’d love to introduce you to a variety of budget friendly things to do in London.
31 Surprisingly Cheap Things to Do in London
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Discover London on a budget –
Head to ‘Harrow’ for Best Beer Prices in London
Go for beer instead of spirits, it’s cheap in London. Pubs in Haringey and Harrow areas offer cheaper prices for a pint of beer as compared to pubs in Westminster or Wandsworth.
Get your hands on a pint of beer at a cost of £3 only.
‘Takeaway’ is The Way To Go in London
Choose ‘Take away food’ instead of ‘Dine in food’ as they are charged with less taxes and are cheap.
Also, you will find deals like ‘buy one and get one free’ on pizza and drinks, etc.
Savour the Flavour of London at Borough Market’s Classic Cheap Eats
The street food scene around the historical Borough market offers a delicious range of cheap eats. Starting from the famous ‘Pork belly’ sandwiches to pasta it’s all laid to make your day within £10.
The market serves from 9 AM to 5 PM and is closed on Mondays.
Be Your Guide and Glide through London’s Free Entry Places
Most of the exhibits are tagged with descriptions so you will not miss out on anything.
Soak in the Beauty of London’s Famous Churches for Free
If you happen to be a parent, then one of the most wonderful free things to do in London with kids would be to attend church service at Westminster Abbey or visit St. Paul Cathedral.
You can admire the architecture and click some pictures. Though going beyond a certain point will not be permitted, you can at least tick these two off your list.
Craving Pizza? Head to ‘Pizza Union’ for Cheap Deals
Visit ‘Pizza Union’ for cheap but tasty and authentic wood fire oven Pizza. They have around 6 outlets across London.
You will not regret a 20-minute wait after enjoying under £10 Pizza or under £5 Salads and Gelato.
Save Money and Stay Full with Tesco’s Snack & Meal Deals
Shop in from Supermarket ‘Tesco’ for snacks such as Sandwiches, Rolls, Sushi, etc at affordable prices. They will keep you full and are a good alternative for lunch.
Tesco also has a premium meal deal combo with a choice of one main snack and one drink for just £5.5. Check out the nearest Tesco store locator.
Satisfy Your Craving For Less at ‘Sainsbury’
Walk in ‘Sainsbury ’ the famous English superstore for cheap meal deals.
Choose and enjoy quick grabs like egg and potato salad, a variety of sandwiches and iced drinks ranging from £1.25 to £3.
Satisfy Your Vegan Famish at ‘Franco Manca’ under £10
‘Franco Manca’ is a good option for vegan and gluten free Pizza under £10. A variety of other menu items like bites, salads, ice creams, sorbets and drinks are cheap and worth tasting.
Fill Your Belly in Budget at ‘Dishoom’
Visit the colorful Asian restaurant ‘Dishoom’ to tickle your taste buds.
Fill your belly by indulging in a flavourful and healthy range of cuisine like the famous Bun Maska for £2.7, Bombay omelette for £6.9 and many more interesting names on the menu under £10.
Enjoy Stunning Views with Affordable Cable Car
At a one-way cost of £6 and round trip for £12, Emirate cable cars are a cheap and fun mode of transport. One car can fit 6 to 7 people comfortably. A round trip Family ticket (2 adults and 3 children) will cost you only £30.
You can board one at Greenwich Peninsula or Royal Docks in Newham for a breathtaking view of the river Thames and the major attractions like Big Ben, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, etc.
Cruising on Uber Will Not Hurt Your Pocket
Uber boats are a high speed and cheap way to cruise through the River Thames and catch the best views and major London sights.
On weekdays the first boat sails from Eastbound banks (towards Greenwich) at 7:30 AM and from Westbound banks (towards Westminster) at 6:30 AM. Although the longest distance return ticket costs around £30, you just pay for the distance traveled.
See London’s Best Sights @ £1.65
Save money on sightseeing by taking bus number 9 and 11 which costs just £1.65 instead of a £40 Bus tour. These buses will take you around almost all the major attractions of London city.
Take a bus for long distance travels in London. They are cheaper than trains.
Wheel It On Budget
Rent a bike and save money on local commutes. You have to download the ‘Citymapper’ or ‘Santander app’ to locate the nearest docking station. Pay an access fee of £2. The first 30 minutes of the ride are free, thereafter, charges are £2 for every 30 minutes.
The trick is, if you return the bike in 29 minutes, the same access fee remains valid for 4 rides the same day.
Get Around for Less With e-Scooters
Use e- scooters to reduce the cost of transport. At a cost of £10 to £19.99 per day, hire an e- scooter online. In fact, this should be on your bucket list of things to know before visiting London.
With 18+ age and a valid driving license, you can register yourself on their website, pay and you are good to hit the road. But remember, driving on pavements is an offense.
Make Unforgettable Memories With Iconic Characters for Free
Click pictures at Leicester square gardens and enjoy your day for free by sharing a bench with Mr. Bean or Paddington Bear. Put your arms around Laurel-Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and Mickey Mouse.
Watch Batman and Harry Potter. Feel the thrill of Game of Thrones. Admire Mary Poppins or Gene Kelly holding their umbrellas. You will always come across some musicians playing for free.
Connect With Nature and Relax in London’s Free Parks
Visit beautiful Parks like Greenwich Park, Kensington Garden and Hyde Park with no entry fee.
These lush green gardens offer a serene retreat in the heart of the city and are ideal places to spend time and plan a picnic with family and kids.
Unlock 90 plus Attractions With One Digital Pass
Buy ‘London Pass’ which is a digital card and is available in flexible packages of £84 for 1 day up to £184 for 10 days. Choose as per your travel plan and save 50% money on entry tickets to about 90 attractions in London.
You get a bonus of free rides on the red bus.
You Don’t Need to Break a Bank for Mementos
Buy cheap souvenirs from the street vendors around Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Westminster Pier, London Tower, etc. You will find a variety of fridges.
magnets and purse mirror for £1. Mugs, Caps, T-shirts and tote bags under £3. Try to bargain for cheap deals if you are buying in bulk.
Step Back In Time at The Royal Exchange
Admire the huge equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington established in front of The Royal Exchange in Cornhill for free. The building with its unique trapezoidal floor plan is an architectural marvel built in the 16th century.
You can go around and visit the gift shops and restaurants.
Get Your Captain’s Hat Ready for Regent Canal Sail
Take an adventurous sail on the Regent Canal by hiring a self-driving boat for under £12 per person, without a license or captain.
Each Boat holds a maximum of 8 people. Starting from 10 AM until dusk you can book one for a 1 hour return trip.
Witness The Royal Vibes at ‘The Change of Guards’ for Free
Avail the free ‘Change of Guards Ceremony’ and skip the Buckingham Palace paid tour. The parade takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 10:45 am onwards for around 45 minutes.
Be punctual to secure a good place and capture the moments.
Take a Stroll Through London’s Iconic Landmarks
In case you get stuck with the question of, “what to do in London when broke,” try to walk as much as possible.
Walking is a great way to cover attractions like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, London Eye, London Tower, etc as they are close.
Enjoy Affordable Theater Shows at Leicester Square
Try the TKTS booth at Leicester Square for cheap theater tickets. Look for a last minute ticket deal and exclusive discounts. The cost of each play varies according to the popularity of the show. But the deals offered save 50% and more on each ticket.
Believe me, these shows are more magical than the original film.
Don’t Overpay For London Eye
Book an online standard ticket for the ‘London Eye’ for £30.50 instead of an on-site ticket which will cost you £40. Also, If you book a combination ticket for Madame Tussaud Wax Museum and London Eye you can save £22.
Explore London with Convenience of Oyster Card
Buy a Visitor Oyster Card for £20. This smart card is accepted on all public transport like buses, tubes, etc. You can save time and around 50% of your transportation cost.
Also, 4 children under 11 can travel free with you. If children are of age between 11 and 15, then you can ask for a discount. There is an option for group tickets as well.
Experience the Quiver & Energy Of London’s Nightlife For Free
Enjoy the vibrant nightlife of London by visiting pubs offering free entry and a great atmosphere for dancing and drinking.
‘The Shoreditch’, ‘Catch Bar’, ‘Queen of Hoxton’ located in Shoreditch, East London offer free entry before 9 PM. ‘Dalston Superstar’ in Dalston allows free entry on weekdays. You have to pay £ 5 after 11 PM on weekends.
Discover The Hidden Treasures of London
Cherish some amazing overlooked statues across the city for free. Like the smallest ‘Two mice fighting over cheese’ statue located on the corner building of Philpot Lane Eastcheap.
Or the ‘Two bears hugging’ statue on the drinking water fountain at Hyde Park or ‘Hodge the Cat’ bronze statue with seating around it at Gough Square.
Peep In the Luxurious World of Harrods for Free
You don’t have to pay to enter the world’s leading luxury and exclusive department store in London ‘Harrods’.
Click pictures & enjoy the fascinating interiors, window shop the captivating world class brands of cosmetics, clothes, accessories, etc. without being heavy on your pocket.
Learn & Be Entertained at Science Museum For Free
Explore and experience science first hand at ‘Science Museum’ for free.
With over 15000 objects on display, thought provoking interactive galleries, IMAX, and the most interesting Soyuz TMA-19M descent module – the spacecraft used by astronaut Tim Peake, this place will not fail to amaze you.
Gift Yourself a Relaxing Day at ‘Mudchute Farm and Park’
Enjoy a relaxing day for free at ‘Mudchute farm and park’, Pier Street, in the heart of London. It is open for visitors from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM every day.
You can enjoy horse riding, feed farm animals like goats, sheep, etc., and get first-hand rural London experience. The variety of plants on the property is worth admiring.
London, although expensive can ensure your survival. All you need is a preplanned list of cheap things to do in London. Do let me know your experience in the comments section below.