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02 March, 2015

Top 5 Affordable Things to Do in London

In May, 2014 the BBC reported that the UK saw a total of 16.8 million visitors that year ... a 1.2 million increase on the previous year. The majority of this figure was to England’s capital city, London. But what makes London such a desirable place to visit? 

Apart from it being historically rich, London is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. It has a superfluity of entertainment offerings in the form of prestigious theatres, live music venues, galleries and museums. However, all of the aforementioned has been known to come with a hefty price if you’re not careful. 

Although, not everything will threaten to stretch your purse strings beyond its means. Some of London’s finest offerings can also be undertaken on a budget. Therefore, we thought it would be interesting to look at some affordable things to do in London. 


1. Museums


There are an abundance of museums throughout the capital that offer free admittance to visitors, this is ideal for first time visitors to London to experience the delights of the variety of museums. Prestigious museums such as The British Museum, The National History Museum and the Science Museum are free to enter and are open 7 days a week. 


2. Parks


In the summer months in London, there’s nothing better to do than to take advantage of the endless array of parks that the city has to offer. Renowned parks such as Hyde Park, which also hosts many music festivals, is the ideal place to relax with friends and regularly has free live music at its band stands. Also, many street performers frequent the park as well as Speaker’s Corner which attracts many political-minded people, poets and other outgoing people to its platform. 


3. London’s affordable transport


Luckily for people who are new to London, navigating this large city is relatively easy due to the incredibly effective bus and tube services that are on offer to the public. Transport for London’s services are both affordable and efficient with services running throughout the day and night 7 days a week.

For visitors who arrive at London’s main two airports there are direct routes to the center of the city via major roads and trains. Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest in the world, and has a direct underground train line that connects to the center of London. Gatwick Airport - which Parking4Less describes as “the tenth busiest airport in Europe” - runs direct trains to London throughout the day and night as well. 

It is advisable to book in advanced to make sure that you get relatively cheap ticket prices if you are traveling from Gatwick Airport to the center of London.


4. London Zoo


Most people will have heard of London Zoo, as it is one of the most famous zoos around the world. Family tickets at the minute are priced at around £59, which is extremely reasonable for a family of four, considering you could spend the whole day there. 

The zoo first opened its doors to the public in 1828 and to this day welcomes millions of visitors every year. The zoo currently houses over 800 different species of animals.


5. Public houses


London has some of the most famous public houses (pubs) in the entire world. The Lamb & Flag situated in Covent Garden is said to date back to Tudor times, and attracts thousands every year because of its illustrious history and its prime location. 

In addition to the Lamb & Flag there’s also the Dog & Duck in the trendy Soho region that dates back to 1897 where it is reported that George Orwell used to drink. There’s also the traditional Cross Keys in Covent Garden and the Black Friar on Victoria Street among others. There are even some relatively cheap pub tours that are on offer, if you do a little research. Nothing beats popping into one of the aforementioned pubs for a crafty pint.



Do you have any other tips for affordable things to do in London?



Freya - Holiday Nomad, a Travel and Photo Blog



29 comments:

  1. Hi Freya
    The Imperial War Museum is free too, I went there in November last year and they a WW1 exhibition on at present. Another good tip is Tower Bridge and The Monument, £10.50 for both, although there are 311 steps up and then down at The Monument, good views at Tower Bridge.

    Another tip here for Kew Gardens, £16.50 and best in the summer. http://thetravellingphase.com/kew-gardens-london/

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  2. I've never been to London, but it's on my travel list. Thanks for sharing some affordable things to do when I finally get there.

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  3. We have never been to London, but it is definitely on my list of places I want to visit. Looks like so many great things to do there!

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  4. I have never been to London but would love to go. I would love to see the museums and sit at one pf the pubs and watch the world go by!

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  5. I've never been to London so I can't add in any tips, but after reading this article I think I may have to change that very soon! In another life, I bartended at a British holiday home complex down in Orlando, Fl, and loved hearing all the stories patrons would tell me about London and it's surrounding cities. I think it is definitely time to consider booking a trip!

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  6. My mom lived in London for a few years while she was in the Navy. In fact my sister was born in London (sadly, I've never visited!) They both always raved about the parks! I'm planning on a European vacation next year and London is definitely one of my stops <3

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  7. It's nice that there are places to visit in London even on a budget. It's also more accessible because of their very efficient transportation system.

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  8. I love London even thouhh I haven't been back in over 20 years. I'm definitely due for another visit, what a great city.

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  9. I live in oxford and always find myself in london, it can be expensive but its so affordable as well, I definitely recommend the museums and the parks

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  10. I'd love to go on a trip to London but the costs could be an obstacle. This is really helpful and the Museums would be awesome to see.

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  11. I really like #5, the famous pubs (just kidding). I would love to go to the British Museum. I'm fascinated with the royals and I'm sure they have a lot of interesting British art and artefacts. Thanks for the tips!

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  12. We spent 3 weeks in London about 6 years ago. I loved it there and we so so many great places. I am not really sure which was our favorite. I agree with you, there are many affordable things to do there. I would go back in a minute!

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  13. I haven't been to London yet but will keep these things in mind. I love that there are budget-friends things to do while visiting.

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  14. I can not wait to visit London! Will definitely be doing these things :D

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  15. This is a great list - I really want to get to London one day (and coming from Australia) having free things/cheap things to do will help out a lot - thanks for the post.

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  16. I completely agree with your list. We have been to London a few times and your list is just perfect to have a great time without spending a fortune.

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  17. I go to public parks when I travel! That’s how I measure my love for a country—through great parks…

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  18. I haven't been to London in years, but we're going this summer. I am loving the tips I find here!

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  19. Fantastic to have a post from you, Freya! The museums and Hyde Park sound fantastic as are the other suggestions. It's amazing when folks like you find all the affordable places and activities that can be enjoyed. Seattle and San Francisco are perfect, really easy walking cities. Is London like that also? Have a great week my friend! :)

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  20. I would love to go out of the country someday. I think the first visit with the family would be to the London Zoo.

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  21. I've never been to London but I want to go! And I'm all for the affordable things to do in a city! :)

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  22. Oh London is one of the places on my bucket list ever since I was a child. I wish I could visit it someday.

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  23. Interesting, thank you :)

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  24. Just walking around! Costs nothing and you see so much! London is full of wonderful sights. I´d also add amazing markets, such as Borough market and many others. Plus, they recently opened a new attraction - Sky Garden which provides gorgeous views of London and it´s free of charge! Not tested yet, but it´s on the list for my next visit :)

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  25. Thanks Freya I have many memories of London and thank you for reviving them Freya.

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  26. Never been to London, but a friend of mine works there as a nurse and she absolutely loves the city. Hope I can visit her (and see London!) someday.

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  27. Be sure to research London bus & tube passes prior to travelling.

    Also, the Upper Crust snack chain offers good quality for the a fairly reasonable price. Veggie friendly. Faced with a bad exchange rate, I follow the crumbs to the nearest one!

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  28. Angel Comedy in Camden is FREE 7 nights. Stand-up from carefully selected open-mic comics and experienced acts testing new stuff or performing solid-gold sets – a voluntary donation is requested at the end though.

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  29. The Angel comedy at Camden is FREE seven nights a week. Stand-up from carefully selected open-mic comics and experienced acts testing new stuff or performing solid-gold sets – with a voluntary donation requested at the end. Get there early - it gets jammers http://www.angelcomedy.co.uk

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Freya - Holiday Nomad