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Great Cheap Days Out In London On A Budget

Updated on September 12, 2013

How To Experience An Enjoyable Visit To London Without Spending A Fortune.

London is a magnificent city! It can also be an expensive city, but don't let that put you off visiting. There's plenty to do in the city that is either free or inexpensive and will provide you with a great experience and fond memories of your time here. It is still possible to enjoy an unforgettable visit to London while staying to a budget.

Comedy | Source

Free comedy. Do you enjoy live comedy but are prohibited from enjoying it while on your trip to London . Well worry not. There are free comedy nights happening all over the capital, most nights of the week. It’s just a case of knowing where they are happening. Here are a few of the good ones:

Camden Head, 2 Camden Walk, N1. Mondays at 8pm.

Shinky Shanky at Ku Bar, Leicester Sq, WC2.

Wednesday evenings. Geek Night at The Comedy Pub, 7 Oxendon St , SW1. 1st Sunday of the month.

Movies on the cheap. Do you baulk at the price of the cinema in the west end. With tickets costing more than the price many can afford, catching a movie seems to be not an option. But there is a place you can go, dead in the middle of ‘cinemaland’, where you can see a movie for about half the price you will pay at other cinemas nearby. This place is The Prince Charles Cinema , 7 Leicester Place , WC2. This unique cinema is just off Leicester Sq, steps away from all the big cinemas. The films can be seen even cheaper if you become a member.

If you are fortunate, your visit to London will co inside with an Odeon Cinema offer. Odeon Cinemas sometimes have up to 50% off vouchers available. Find online on discount voucher websites.

Free museums and galleries. London is blessed with hundreds of world class and world renowned museums and galleries. Many of the biggest and best known of these have free. For example, the following all have free entry:

The Natural History Museum . Mon to Sun 10.00 – 17.50 Cromwell Rd. SW7.

The British Museum . Sat to Thur 10.00 – 17.30 Fri 10.00 – 20.30 Great Russell St. WC1

The National Gallery. Sat to Thur 10.00 – 18.00 Fri 10.00 – 21.00 Trafalgar Sq. WC2

Tate Modern. Sun to Thur 10.00 – 18.00 Fri and Sat 10.00 – 22.00 Bankside. SE1

West End Theatre. Want to experience the world famous theatre in London ’s West End ? Want to pay half price for the tickets? Well you can! In the middle of Leicester Square, WC2 is a building, standing on its own, with a clock tower. This is the tkts building. From this building you can buy official half price theatre tickets for same day performances and discounted tickets for future dates. Tickets have to be purchased in person. It’s open Mon to Sat 10.00 – 19.00 Sun 11.00 – 16.00.

A Samuel Smith Pub In london
A Samuel Smith Pub In london | Source

Having a pint in a pub. With the price of the average pint in pubs ever on the increase, it can be hard to enjoy a good old London ‘boozer’ without having to spend a lot of money. Fortunately there are pubs in the capital which are considerably cheaper than most. The Samuel Smiths Brewery pubs are hard to find due to the fact that the company doesn’t make it easy to find them. They don’t advertise their pubs on the buildings so without going in each pub and checking the beers on sell it’s difficult to know where they are. Luckily, there is a map on line which indicate the location of all the The Samuel Smiths pubs only sell their own brewed drinks. A pint in one of these pubs can cost below £3. compared with the usual £3-£5 you’d be expected to pay in other pubs, the savings can soon add up. Their food is reasonably priced as well.

Another pub chain that prides itself on providing a wide range of drinks from all around the world and less than usual prices is Wetherspoons. Again, along with the price of the drinks, eating here is very affordable as well. Wetherspoons locations in the West End :

Moon Under Water, 28 Leicester Sq, WC2

Montagu Pyke, 20 Greek St , WC2

Lord Moon Of The Mall, 16-18 Whitehall , SW1

Eating out on the cheap. One way to keep to a tight budget is take packed lunches with you, but this can become boring and sometimes it would be nice to enjoy a meal out while exploring the sights. Just around the corner from Leicester Square is a restaurant called West End Kitchens, 5 Panton S t, Piccadilly Circus , SWI. This restaurant has been serving meals since the 1970s. The food is good standard fare but if you want a good honest, hot meal with main course costing less than £7, this is the place. Alternatively, The Stockpot restaurants provide similar food and have been doing so since1958. These restaurants are located at 38 Panton St, and 18 Old Comptom St , WI. A Spaghetti Bolognese at these restaurants will only set you back £3.90!

Both the Stockpots and the West End Kitchen are only a few steps away from Leicester Sq and are open all day, serving breakfast, Lunch and dinners. They can get very busy at peak times, being popular with workers and tourists alike.

Millennium Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral
Millennium Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral

Guided walks. Walking can be a good way to explore the city. It can be daunting tough. Good way to experiences the highlights of a particular area is to join a guided walk. And yes, it’s possible to find guided walks that are free. The website has an extensive list of free guided walks in the capital.

Speaker’s Corner. For a bit of unusual entertainment, head to the north east corner of Hyde Park on Sundays. Here you will find Speaker’s Corner. It is here that you will find individuals presenting their own particular, and sometimes weird or view, to the crowd around them. Interaction is encouraged and can often lead to very entertaining, though sometimes heated discussions. Religious and political views are often presented though more random views on any subject are aired.

Changing of the guard. If you want to witness a Royal ceremony dating back to the time of Henry VII (1485-1509) and want to do it for free, this could be for you. It occurs daily between 10.00 and 12.00 at Buckingham palace and nearby locations and is a great to get a flavor of the ceremonies of the British Royal Family.

Romantic evening stroll on Southbank. In recent years a lot of changes have happened on the Southbank. Many more restaurants and bars have opened and there is now a livelier feel to the area. It is a wonderful place to enjoy a romantic evening. In summer the place is full of dinners enjoying alfresco dining, and in the winter months the area is beautifully lit, creating a romantic feel. The views across the river are wonderful, full of famous landmarks, such as St Pauls and Tower Bridge . Nearest stations are Waterloo and London Bridge.

Discounted food and drink at train stations. Food and drink at the main stations can often be expensive but there is a way to cut the costs. The Bitecard gives 20% discount card at numerous food and drink outlets in train stations in London and all over the country. Go to to apply.

Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath

London's green spaces. London is blessed with some of the most beautiful parks in any city. The capital is actually one of the greenest capitals in the world. The parks and green spaces vary from the manicured Royal Parks like James' and Hyde Park, to the more rugged and wild Hampstead Heath and Richmond Park. Enjoy them for free. Explore them on foot, bike, on skates and on horseback. In the warmer months take a picnic as many others do. Tourists and locals alike enjoy their lunch while experiencing the glorious nature outside while still in the capital.


We all like free things, and luckily, many of London ’s best assets are. It may not be able to do everything for free, but often it is still possible to find cheap alternatives on a visit to London that make it a fun place to be without having to break the bank.

Tower Bridge, London
Tower Bridge, London | Source


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    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 5 years ago from UK

      A good location to base yourself is on the South Bank around Waterloo and Southwark. There are a number of the budget hotels mentioned around here and it's ideally suited for reaching other parts of London. In addition, it's a good place if you fancy being near the river. An evening stroll along the banks of the Thames, enjoying the cafes, shops, and galleries is a perfect way to experience a calmer, more relaxing side of London. :)

    • profile image

      TennesseeSage 5 years ago

      Great information..Would you recommend a hotel on the north of the river or the south? I see the city of london area is fairly close to the tower of london, is it better to be in that area and more convenient to other london sites or no?

    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 5 years ago from UK

      My pleasure Crystal. I'm the same - I read about all these great places and want to go now! :)

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      Every time I read a travel hub, I get the traveling bug. London has been on my wish list for a while now. Thanks for providing great tips on how to save money while visiting.