Budget travel,  Travel

Cheap London: Top 5 ways to enjoy a cheap and cheerful London

cheap london | this city life

The first thing you think about London is how flippin’ expensive it can get, and it’s not about to get any cheaper. Combat the traditional tourist traps with these great ways of enjoying a cheap London and still seeing the real city.

1) Make your own walking tours

Tube fares can be costly, even day tickets end up being hassle when you’re visiting for longer than a day, so cut out those long and sweaty underground journeys and get some fresh air whilst taking in the sights of the city. Jot down the routes tourist buses take and go past landmarks via some free museums. Everything is within walking distance in zones 1 and 2 (honest!) so plan your routes with google maps and pack some comfortable shoes!

2) Pack your own lunch and make the most of scenic parks

Don’t waste time sat in a Starbucks underground, you can do that anywhere! Enjoy the atmosphere by packing your own lunch and sitting in one of the many green spaces. St James’ Park has great views of the top of the London Eye and Soho Square is beautiful when the sun eventually starts shining.

3) Find dinner vouchers

If you sign up to restaurant newsletters, every now and then they’ll offer downloadable lunch or dinner vouchers. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years you’ll know coupons have been taking over the internet by storm. Strada offer 2 for 1 vouchers on pizza and pasta dishes, Pizza Express are still doing their 2 for 1 mains and every now and then Giraffe will send half-price eVouchers. They’ll only really send newsletters out when there are offers, so it’s well worth your time signing up.

4) Free comedy

We all love having a laugh, especially when it’s for free. There are plenty of open-mic comedy nights going on in and around the capital, with the most popular being the Comedy Cafe in Shoreditch. It’s cheaper than forking out for the big names at the Hammersmith Apollo and just as funny. You might even run into one of the biggies as they sometimes like to appear to a smaller audience.
Comedy Café, 66 Rivington St, London EC2A 3AY. Nearest tube – Old Street.

5) Get the best panoramics

There are some fantastic views over the city where you can get the best panoramic photos. Where the Royal Observatory is in Greenwich, there’s the perfect spot overlooking the National Maritime Museum where you can see the Gherkin and Canary Wharf in the distance. Parliament Hill is quite a slog up from Hampstead Heath station but the views are definitely worth it – especially if you’re spending the day with a BBQ.

London doesn’t have to cost you the ends of the Earth. All it needs is a bit of research and you can get so far on only pennies, even without the torture of window shopping.

Greenwich Foot Tunnel - (c) Simon Wicks

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge

Charley is a professional copywriter and tea-lover currently living in Leeds. She writes about city living and city travel (with a few cats thrown in).