London on a Budget – find out what you can do for free

Although the Olympics are starting to become somewhat of a distant memory, the resulting respect for our capital city is still strong. If you felt like you missed out on a trip to London last year, don’t let the lack of sporting events in 2013 put you off – even with a small budget you can still enjoy the best the city has to offer. Here are our top tips for sampling the delights of London on a budget!

Free Museums and Galleries in London

Despite being classed as an expensive city, many people fail to remember the amount of activities you can actually do for nothing. Not even taking into account the endless number of parks or great architecture – there are loads of museums and galleries you can enjoy without having to pay a single penny. Although small donations are often encouraged, the National Gallery, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and the British Museum are all completely free to enter.

Natural History Museum, London Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

The Natural History Museum, London

 Eat at local food markets

Although an affordable meal in London is easy to find, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be an enjoyable one. If you’ve had your fill of pizza chains and high street clones but can’t afford a step up in price (and quality), try checking out the growing trend in street food. With places like Borough Market and Whitecross Street Markets selling affordable but downright delicious grub, it could also be your chance to sample some new and worldly cuisine.

Bread stall at Borough Market Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Bread stall at Borough Market in London

Search for sightseeing passes

If you are interested in visiting some of London’s famous tourist spots, think about investing in a pass to help save you money on entrance fees. With some passes allowing you access to over sixty different tourist attractions, if you’re planning on being a real culture vulture, it can end up being a real cost effective option. Alternatively, if you’re only interested in visiting a few select places, search for specific discount vouchers online. For example, despite its location outside of the centre of London, Kew Gardens is one of the best destinations around; with Virgin Experience days discounts you could now take advantage of a three course meal and entrance-fee combination for less than a hundred pounds.

Kew Gardens Photo: Heatheronhertravels.com

Kew Gardens in London

Alternatives to the West End shows

Although many people are drawn to the bright lights of the West End, it’s likely to be a lot more expensive than elsewhere in the city. Unless you’re paying a visit to the best eateries in Soho (and there are some real gems) we’d suggest getting your theatre fix somewhere a little off the beaten track. Instead of paying out for tickets to a musical, try searching for tickets to a play at somewhere like the Leicester Square Theatre or even for a show in the comedy circuit. That way, you’ll avoid the big price tag and still be able to enjoy a slice of great entertainment.

Theatreland, London Photo: Llamnudds on Flickr

Theatreland, London

Whatever you fancy doing whilst in London, there are many ways to avoid constantly paying out. By simply being a bit astute about where you spend your money, you could end up enjoying a trip to remember!

These tips on visiting London on a budget were brought to you by MyVoucherCodes, providing discount vouchers for restaurants, hotels and things to see around the UK

More information about the free places in London mentioned in this article

The National Gallery Website
The Natural History Museum Website
The Science Museum Website
The British Museum Website
Borough Market Website
Kew Gardens Website

More things to do in London

High in the Treetops at Kew Gardens
Your guide to the vintage markets of London
Three great ways to spend a day in London

Photos Credit: London Theaterland by Llamnudds on Flickr other photos by Heatheronhertravels.com

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read more travel articles at Travel Blog Home

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  • Reply
    Mark H
    April 9, 2013 at 1:52 am

    I think London is probably the leasing city for FREE museums of such remarkable quality as the British Museum, Science Museum, National Gallery etc.
    Mark H´s last blog post ..Driving the Icefield Parkway: Columbia Icefield (Jasper, Canada)

  • Reply
    Barbara Weibel
    April 9, 2013 at 2:07 am

    Fantastic! I’ll be there in three weeks so I’ll use this as a guide!
    Barbara Weibel´s last blog post ..Flamenco, the Soul of Seville, Spain

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

    I looooove London. Have been doing two-day trips there for several years now and I’m going back in exactly one month. Yay!
    Love the free museums and love the food markets, but I also love the West End.
    If you ever go see a musical, do it in London.
    Best. Time. Ever!
    Sofie´s last blog post ..A sunny day in Breda

  • Reply
    April 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    A part of any of my travels involves going to museums or something like the vintage markets. On my next business trip there your list will be very handy.

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Suitcase Stories
    April 14, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    We were in London next year and LOVED it! We are going back again in September so we will refer to these tips while we are there! Thanks Heather.
    Nicole @ Suitcase Stories´s last blog post ..An Interview with a Traveler – Erin from TravelWithBender.com

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      April 14, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      @Nicole Yes, I suspect that London is probably also a great place to house-sit too

  • Reply
    April 18, 2013 at 5:57 am

    London is a beautiful place, as you said it is quite famous place for it’s National Gallery, Science & History Museums. I went to London when I was a teenager and really enjoyed boating in Thames river. I would like to go there again. Thanks for sharing tips.

  • Reply
    April 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Nice tips! Very well noted. Just knew it already that this city has free museums and galleries. Good post!


  • Reply
    April 19, 2013 at 10:08 am

    I really like this city, there is so much to see and do!

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