Whether you have money to burn or are working to an extremely tight budget you will find that London is an incredibly accessible city. From accommodation to attractions, there is something for everyone and you needn’t worry about your experience being hampered by lack of funds; some of the best places to visit in London are completely free to enter! Whilst major cities such as London can be expensive places to visit, there are always ways to get around on a budget, if you know where to look.
Museums and Art Galleries
The majority of London’s museums and art galleries offer free entry to the general public and ask for just a small voluntary donation in return for access to world-class exhibits and works of art. You might need to factor in the cost of your travel but a lot of the museums and art galleries are located in Central London and if you don’t mind a little bit of fresh air then you could easily walk from one to the other. In fact there is a ‘golden triangle’ of museums located in Kensington which are all worth visiting and include the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the V&A Museum. You could choose to spend the entire day at any one of these institutions or just dedicate a few hours to wandering around and absorbing the highlights of what they have on offer.
The River Thames
One of the major landmarks in the city is the River Thames and a stroll alongside this famous stretch of water will cost you absolutely nothing at all. From the banks of the river it is possible to see some of the city’s best landmarks including the London Eye, Big Ben, the Tower of London and many of the modern and awe-inspiring sky scrapers which also dominate parts of the cityscape. If you fancied taking a river cruise along the water but your budget won’t quite stretch then consider one of the MBNA Thames Clipper boats instead; these are commuter boats rather than dedicated cruise boats but they often follow the same paths and will allow you to see some of the city’s best landmarks from a unique perspective for a fraction of the cost. If you have opted for an Oyster card you can also get a discount on ticket prices too.
Picnic in the Park
Surprisingly London is home to a large number of parks and open spaces which are the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed picnic whilst taking in the sights. There are eight Royal Parks to choose from including the likes of Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and Kensington Gardens and these parks are also filled with free attractions which can really enhance your trip. Speaker’s Corner, formal Italian Gardens, the Serpentine Lake and freely roaming Red and Fallow deer are just some of the things you could expect to see. If you are staying in accommodation Near Brewery Road London City then you won’t be too far from Hampstead Heath which offers stunning views across the city. Packing up your own picnic is also a great way to save on eating out costs; there are many supermarket chains dotted around the city but you might also consider heading to one of the markets which take place throughout the week all over the city. Food sold at these markets is often of an exceptional quality but much cheaper than you might expect to pay in a restaurant. We suggest Borough Market and Old Spitalfields Market as a starting point.
Seeing A Show
One of the big draws to the city is the world famous West End theatre district but for many people travelling on a budget, the concept of attending one of these productions may seem like a pipe dream. Whilst we can’t promise you tickets for free, there are ways of securing heavily discounted tickets which may be more affordable. In Leicester Square you will find a TKTS Booth which offers discounts on ticket prices of up to 50% and is always worth a try or you could approach the theatre box office directly to see whether they have any returned tickets or last minute seats available. If you are staying at The Montcalm At The Brewery London City then the Pleasance Theatre isn’t too far a distance. Bear in mind that no theatre wants empty seats so you can usually secure a good deal this way. Alternatively, there are often free musical concerts which take place daily at the many churches and cathedrals across the city; these classical concerts can sometimes feature internationally renowned musicians and only ask for a small voluntary donation.
Make sure you factor in some time to see Buckingham Palace when you are in London, official residence of Her Majesty The Queen and, if you time your visit correctly, you could also be treated to watching the Changing of the Guard, a ceremony which takes place daily during the summer months outside of Buckingham Palace at around 11.30am. The ceremony takes around 45 minutes and sees the Buckingham Palace Old Guard lining up in the forecourt of the Palace before the arrival of the New Guard who take over from them. The Buckingham Palace Old Guard are often joined by the St James’s Palace Old Guard and our top tip is to head to St James’s Palace if the crowds outside Buckingham Palace are too much as the ceremony also takes place there before the Old Guard head down to Buckingham Palace.
Whilst there are a number of popular festivals which take place in London and can only be enjoyed if you have bought a ticket, there are also plenty of free festivals which can be enjoyed. The Notting Hill Carnival, Chinese New Year and Diwali Festival of Light all take place and offer free entry and plenty for visitors to see and enjoy.