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Cheap nights out in London

Updated on April 9, 2012
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London has a reputation as one of the most expensive cities in the world but crafty visitors can enjoy the capital on a budget, if they know where to go and what to do. I'm lucky enough to live in the capital and have had time to investigate the best places to visit on a budget and even find some nights out that are totally free.

You needn't miss out on the theatre or even the opera if you fancy it, and there are plenty of other things to do in the evenings that cost very little and make for an excellent, and sometimes unusual, cheap night out in London.

If you're a local looking for a bargain, or just coming for a visit then check out some of these great cheap nights out.

Cheap theatre tickets

There are lots of websites offering cheap deals on theatre tickets. If you must book through one of these sites then shop around and try to be flexible about what night you can go as that will make the biggest difference.

I find the best deals to be had direct from a few of the top venues. During the summer The Globe Theatre does very cheap tickets, starting at £5 to stand and £15 for a seat. If you fancy a trip to the Royal Opera House you can get tickets to the ballet or the opera for as little as £8.

Obviously you're not going to get the best seats in the house at these prices but I've never had an experience where I didn't get far more than my monies worth. These inexpensive theatre tickets are not just my go to for a cheap night out in London, they are my go to for any night out in London!

Other live entertainment

The West End holds many other delights than the theatre. There's burlesque performances and comedy to be enjoyed very cheaply too. The website lastminute.com has tickets to comedy gigs for as little as £2 and burlesque starts at £7.50. For those looking for something a little tamer, you can pick up tickets to magic shows for £10.

The Southbank Centre is another great place to find cheap tickets to live events in London. For £10 you can hear your favourite authors discuss their latest novels, or attend modern poetry recitations. If music is your thing, tickets to performances by the London Philharmonic Orchestra start at only £9.

Unusual nights out

Fancy going to a museum or a gallery? Many of them are open until as late as 10pm at least once a month and are free entry. The Lates website has details of all the museums and galleries that take part.

If you want something a bit less stuffy then try arcade games at the London Trocadero. Set yourself a limit before hand as it's easy to spend a lot there if you're a bit drunk and having a lot of fun on the video games, but if you're good, then at a pound a go and a £20 budget, it can be a cheap night out.

Eating out

There's plenty of cheap food to be had in London, if you avoid the top restaurants. Pub grub is a definite bargain, or if you eat off the set menu in a restaurant you'll save a pretty penny. Alternatively, grab something from a takeaway. Hummus Bros is cheap and cheerful in Soho; if you're in Leicester Square grab some noodles, felafel, or pizza by the slice from the small vendors.

Sightseeing

For a very cheap night out, why not go sightseeing? The West End is busy and well lit during the evenings; sightseeing at night is no more dangerous than during the day. Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace are all lit at night and will make nice photos if you've got a good camera. Grab a bag of chips and take a stroll around the capital for the cheapest night out there is.

Going out in London needn't cost the earth, if you do your homework before hand and look around for the good deals.

Have you got any tips for cheap nights out in London? Let me know in the comments.

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    • Hayley Richardson profile imageAUTHOR

      Hayley Richardson 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks Billy!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well if I ever get to visit London I will now know where to go thanks to you. I'll bookmark this and hope that some day I will be able to visit this fine city. Great hub and thanks.

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