There’s no doubt that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit.
A trip to London can set you back a fair amount if you go in blind, but as with any destination, if you prepare and do your research you’ll find many hacks and insider tips to help keep the costs down. Having lived in London for 3 years, I’d like to think I have a few tips and places to share with you, so whether you’re visiting London in Winter, London in Summer or just here for 48-hours, in this blog post I’m going to help you save money in London.
Of course, there are many amazing things to do that do come at a cost here in London, but this city can still be fully enjoyed on a budget as some of the best places to visit in London and best things to do in London can be done really cheaply, if not for free! Like this iconic walk around London for example.
And if you don’t believe me, then I dare you to read this London travel guide and see if you can do a weekend in London without spending money on anything other than getting there, accommodation and food. See also my 48-hours in London guide here.
It is well-known that London is full of free museums, but did you know that there are over 75 museums in London with free admission?! That’s enough to keep you occupied for months, years even!
My favourite free museums in London include:
My favourite free galleries in London include:
One of the best free things to do in London is to wander around the markets, taking in the colours, smells and personalities. And they’re free to wander, as long as you don’t buy anything!
My favourite markets in London include:
Ok, so you’d have to grab some food (but you’d be eating lunch anyway!) but having a picnic in a London park is a great way to enjoy a summer’s afternoon in London.
Some of the best places for a picnic in London, are:
The street art in East London is some of the best in the world. The best way to see the street art in East London is on foot, wandering down the streets and alleyways in Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Hoxton or Hackney.
Leake Street graffiti tunnel in Lambeth is another great spot for looking at street art in London!
It happens every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11am outside Buckingham Palace.
Note: The changing of the guard in London and in Windsor has been postponed until further notice due to Covid-19. For more travel advice during Covid-19, check out this blog post.
London is one of the best places to be a tourist for the day, and it costs nothing to see the landmarks from the outside and take some iconic Insta snaps with them! Most of London’s landmarks can be seen on this walk around London.
Instagrammable photo spots you cannot miss include:
Yes, huge acts at the O2 are great, but they come with a price tag. There are plenty of places in London to watch live music for free, such as:
There are many churches in London that you can visit for free. The architecture is stunning and whether you’re religious or not, being in these buildings is great for a moment of reflection.
Beautiful churches in London include:
Note: During the services you cannot wander around the building, but you can sit and partake in/observe the church service.
Yes, you read that correctly. If you take the trek out to Zone 7, you can swim for free in the River Colne at Rickmansworth.
You can also go swimming for free at Ruislip Lido, one of London’s only ‘beaches’!
Laugh your socks off for free during free comedy shows in London. Venues that have regular free comedy shows include:
London is one of the best places in the world to go shopping, and you can soak up the atmosphere and hustle and bustle without spending a penny! As well as the markets, the best areas to go shopping in are
You don’t have to pay loads of money for a cocktail at a rooftop bar to see London’s skyline. You can see London’s skyline for free from:
London is a great place to work out, and you don’t have to pay lots of money to do it either! You can work out for free in London with
London really is a beautiful city, and it’s best seen on foot. As well as my London landmark walk, try these walks in London:
London is home to some huge events which can be attended for free, but only take place once a year. Soak up, embrace and learn about the diversity that makes London the amazing, diverse city it is.
The British Film Institute regularly show free films at the Mediatheque and House of Vans also have free film screenings. During summer you can also watch films in ‘open air cinemas’ on big screens all over London!
Free lectures are held all over London, including at Gresham College, UCL, KCL and LSE. Pick a topic of your choice, get a notepad, and fuel your brain with new knowledge!
Note: due to Covid-19, most lectures are being held online for 2020-21 and will be moved back to face-to-face as social distancing rules are relaxed.
Where are your favourite free things to do in London? I’d love to know!
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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