Follow the coronavirus guidance for London.COVID-19 information

101 cheap things to do in London

On a budget? Make your money go further with these 101 ideas for cheap things to do in London.

Cheap eats

  1. Satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge in handmade luxury chocolates and truffles at Prestat.
  2. Grab a tasty lunch, such as a burrito or mac’n’cheese, from a street food truck.
  3. Bite into a sweet or savoury pancake at My Old Dutch.
  4. Breakfast in Mayfair doesn’t have to be expensive. Eat a hot sandwich or full English at Cardinals of Mayfair, just off Park Lane.
  5. Buy a freshly cooked lunch from a stall at foodie paradise Borough Market.
  6. Tuck into piping hot chips and crispy battered fish at one of London's famous fish and chip shops.
  7. Eat affordable and authentic Chinese food in Chinatown.
  8. Munch a mouthwatering frozen yoghurt at one of the many Snog outlets in the capital.
  9. Treat yourself to a delicious pastry, cake or cupcake at one of London's best cake shops.
  10. Enjoy a tasty lunch that doesn't break the bank at one of London's affordable eating spots.
  11. Grab a burger at one of London's top 10 burger bars.

After dark

  1. Expand your mind by heading to a late-night opening of one of London’s top museums.
  2. Watch an innovative play at a pub theatre.
  3. Laugh the night away at a stand-up comedy show
  4. Score a goal at table football at Cafe Kick at Exmouth Market.
  5. Enjoy two-for-one cocktails during happy hour at one of London's top bars
  6. Strike it lucky at retro-style bowling alley Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes.
  7. Get your hands on tickets to a cheap gig in London
  8. Soak up gorgeous night-time views of London at Sky Garden.
  9. Gaze at the river Thames through a pair of binoculars while enjoying a pint at the Morpeth Arms’ Spying Room, in Westminster.

Off the beaten track

  1. Tour Brixton Windmill, the only surviving windmill in inner London.
  2. Stroll along the riverside walkways at the Thames Barrier Information Centre

Fun for families

  1. Be wowed by aquatic life from around the globe in London’s oldest aquarium at the Horniman Museum.
  2. Meet goats, ponies, alpacas and other farmyard animals at Belmont Children's Farm.   

Home from home

  1. Soak up the historical atmosphere at Sutton House, the Tudor home of Thomas Cromwell's protege Ralph Sadleir.
  2. Explore the home of Dr Benjamin Franklin, scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor and Founding Father of the United States, at Benjamin Franklin House.
  3. Visit the Hampstead-based home of Sigmund Freud and his family at the Freud Museum.
  4. Discover the former home of two talented musicians with Handel & Hendrix in London.

Drink up

  1. Sup a pint in front of a crackling fire at one of London’s cosy pubs.
  2. Quaff a glass of wine at one of the candlelit tables at the cave-like Gordon’s Wine Bar.
  3. Celebrate London life with a glass of bubbly at one of the city's champagne bars.  
  4. Opt for a mocktail during an alcohol-free night out in London.  
  5. Sip a creative concoction at JJ Goodman's cocktail bar, the London Cocktail Club.
  6. Choose from the vast list of more than 400 gins at The Gin Bar at Holborn Dining Room.
  7. Take a load off, unwind and sit down for a purr-fect cup of tea among the resident cats atLady Dinah's Cat Emporium in Shoreditch.
  8. Read a book over a pot of tea in Bloomsbury's London Review Cake Shop.  
  9. Enjoy a half-price martini during happy hour at Dirty Martini.
  10. Get your caffeine fix at one of London’s top 10 independent coffee shops.
  11. Settle in for classic board games, shuffleboard and a vast selection of craft ales at Elephant & Castle hangout Spit and Sawdust.
  12. Stop for a brew and a chat in Terry's Café – a thoroughly British affair with a charming local vibe in Borough.

Retail therapy

  1. Buy a pretty bunch of flowers at Columbia Road Flower Market.
  2. Give £1 to a street performer in Covent Garden.
  3. Get your mitts on a Harrods shopper bag.  
  4. Discover some culinary delights at Maltby Street Market.
  5. Find bargains galore at one of London’s top 12 markets
  6. Feast on chocolate at one of London’s delectable chocolate shops.
  7. Buy some sweet-inspired memorabilia at M&M's World.
  8. Dress for less at London’s bargain fashion stores.
  9. Buy a book at one of London’s top bookshops, including the famous Foyles and the Edwardian bookshop Daunt Books.
  10. Look out for cheap deals, especially during the January sales.
  11. Channel the retro vibe at one of London’s vintage clothing stores.
  12. Find a bargain while donating to a worthy cause in London's charity shops and thrift stores.

Culture for less

  1. Be dazzled by the moon, constellations and planets at a live planetarium show at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
  2. Take a tour of Highgate Cemetery, where revolutionary Karl Marx is buried.
  3. Step inside James I’s drinking den at Banqueting House.
  4. Take a tour of Wilton's Music Hall, the world's oldest and largest surviving grand music hall.
  5. See an arthouse, cult or classic film at the Prince Charles Cinema, just off Leicester Square.

Magical museums

  1. Visit the London Canal Museum to hear the colourful story of the capital’s canals, boats, ice trade and ice cream.
  2. Delve into history and walk through a still-life drama at Dennis Severs' House
  3. See the oldest section of the London Underground at the Brunel Museum.
  4. Love The Beano and The Dandy? Take a jaunt to Bloomsbury’s Cartoon Museum.
  5. Film buffs should hotfoot it to The Cinema Museum for its awe-inspiring collection of posters and memorabilia.
  6. See the world’s finest collection of fans at The Fan Museum.
  7. Watch demonstrations of surgical techniques from the past at The Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret.   
  8. Anyone who loves machines and engineering should visit the Kirkaldy Testing Museum.
  9. Handle torture devices at the Clink Prison Museum.
  10. Take a nostalgic journey through childhood toys, fashion and magazines at the Museum of Brands.

Get active

  1. Enjoy a refreshing swim in one of London’s gorgeous lidos.
  2. Climb 311 steps to reach the top of The Monument for sweeping views of London.
  3. Take a classical ballet or hip hop dance class at Pineapple Dance Studios.
  4. Hire a pedalo or rowing boat on Hyde Park’s famous Serpentine Lake (from April to October).
  5. Hire a Santander Cycles bike to explore London.

Walk the walk

  1. Hear the bloodthirsty tale of Jack the Ripper on a Jack the Ripper walking tour.
  2. Uncover the gruesome history of London by gaslight with the Sweeney Todd and Other Demons walking tour.

Park life

  1. Rent a deckchair in the summer at some of London's best parks, including Green Park, Hyde Park and St James’s Park.
  2. Swim in the historic men's, ladies' and mixed ponds on Hampstead Heath.

Get arty

  1. Discover the history of textiles and the latest trends at the Fashion and Textile Museum.
  2. Visit Red House, the arts and crafts home of socialist and craftsman William Morris.  
  3. Find out about the Duke of Wellington’s glittering London life at Apsley House.  
  4. See works by Rembrandt and Gainsborough at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
  5. Explore a treasure trove of paintings, sculptures, furniture and porcelain at The Wallace Collection.

Time to travel

  1. Take a Uber by Thames Clippers boat from the London Eye to Greenwich.
  2. Enjoy a cheap sightseeing tour of London by taking the 74 bus between Putney and Baker Street, via South Kensington, Harrods, Hyde Park and Selfridges.
  3. Take a canal boat ride from Little Venice to Camden.
  4. Complete your London experience with a ride in one of the city's black cabs.
  5. Glide above the Thames in the Emirates Air Line cable car.

Summer fun

  1. Feast on a liquid nitrogen ice cream at Camden’s Chin Chin Labs.
  2. Enjoy a drink while sunbathing on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden.
  3. Listen to tunes under sunny skies at a free music festival in London.
  4. Soak up the views while supping a pint at one of London's riverside pubs.

Winter wonders

  1. Sip a mulled wine in one of London’s Christmas markets.
  2. Get your skates on and take to the ice at one of these festive ice rinks.
  3. Tuck into a Bratwurst hotdog at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland.
  4. Experience the festive magic and get merry at the many carols and concerts in London this Christmas.