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London on a Budget: 10+ things to do

London, the city of kings, queens, and iconic red telephone booths, doesn’t have to break the bank to steal your heart. Yes, fancy afternoon teas and double-decker bus tours have their charm, but the true magic of this metropolis lies in its hidden corners, free museums, and iconic landmarks you can explore on foot. So ditch the Oyster card (for the most part) and grab your walking shoes, because we’re about to conquer London on a budget!

10+ budget-friendly things to do in London

Marvel at Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Witness the coronation church of English monarchs, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II, for absolutely nothing. Explore the Gothic architecture, soak in the stained glass, and marvel at the tombs of historical figures like Charles Dickens and Isaac Newton. Just remember, donations are always appreciated!

Snap a selfie with Big Ben

Big Ben 2

Snap a selfie with the iconic clock tower and admire the neo-gothic grandeur of Parliament. From there you can also snap a pic of the River Thames and the London Eye.

…and in Buckingham Palace

Selfie in Buckingham Palace

While you might not snag an invite to afternoon tea with the King, you can still admire the grandeur of his official residence. Witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony at 11 am or simply stroll through the picturesque St. James’s Park, a haven for sunbathers and squirrels alike.

Explore Covent Garden Market

Covent Garden Market

This bustling piazza is a haven for street performers, quirky shops, and delicious street food. Grab a pasty and wander through the arcades, soaking up the lively atmosphere.

Soak in the vibes in Piccadilly Circus

Picadelly Circus

Neon lights, towering screens, and the famous Eros statue – Piccadilly Circus is a sensory overload in the best way possible. Feel free to wander and soak in the iconic London vibe.

Cross Tower Bridge

Tower bridge

Take a walk along the Thames, admire the Tower of London, and cross the iconic Tower Bridge. History buffs will love the free exhibitions at the Tower Hill Memorial Garden.

Visit Museums for FREE

London boasts a world-class collection of museums, many of which offer free entry. Delve into the British Museum’s treasures of ancient civilizations, explore the Natural History Museum’s dinosaur skeletons and interactive exhibits, or marvel at the V&A’s stunning collection of fashion and design.

Keep an eye out for Street Art

London’s streets are an open-air gallery, with vibrant murals and graffiti adorning every corner. Wander through Shoreditch and Brick Lane, the epicenters of the city’s street art scene, and discover hidden gems around every bend.

Catch a performance in Shakespeare’s Globe

Catch a performance at the iconic Globe Theatre, a reconstructed Elizabethan playhouse offering open-air Shakespearean productions at affordable prices. Experience the Bard’s plays the way they were meant to be seen, under the London sky.

Frolic at a parks

Park in London

Pack a delicious spread and head to one of London’s many green spaces like Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, or St. James’s Park. Enjoy a leisurely lunch in the sunshine, people-watch, and soak up the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Bonus Tips:

Visit Markets and Pubs

The Round Table pub in London

London’s markets are a treasure trove of local produce, vintage finds, and street food. Borough Market is a foodie paradise, while Camden Market offers everything from punk clothing to quirky souvenirs. After a day of exploring, unwind in a traditional pub with a pint of ale and some hearty pub grub.

You MUST try Fish and Chips

St. James Tavern in London

No London trip is complete without this classic dish. Head to a traditional pub for a hearty serving of crispy fish and golden chips.

…but also street food stalls


From kebabs to Thai curries, London’s street food scene offers a delicious and affordable way to sample global flavors.

So, ditch the expensive tourist traps and embrace London’s budget-friendly side. With its free museums, iconic landmarks, and hidden gems, this city offers endless possibilities for the adventurous traveler on a budget. Remember, the best things in life are often free, and London is brimming with them! Now get out there, explore, and let London surprise you!

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Laurie in front of London Eye

January 25, 2024

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