A guide from a local on how to enjoy this great city whilst ensuring that outgoings are kept to a minimum.

Parks

Compared to many capital cities London benefits from a large amount of green space and the best part about all the parks in London is that they are free to visit! My favourite parks are Regents Park, Holland Park (& Kyoto Garden) and Primrose Hill.

Primrose Hill, Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath and Greenwich Park offer great viewpoints over the city.

Go for a walk, take a picnic or hire a Boris Bike to see more of what the park and London has to offer.

Hiring a ‘Boris Bike’ in Hyde Park overlooking The Serpentine

Public Transport

It is a well known fact that public transport in London is expensive with a single tube fare costs up to £4.10!

Instead of getting the tube between short distances why not cycle or walk instead. Plan a walking or cycling route so you can stop off and see sights along the way.

A bus can be cheaper than the tube and if you use a contactless or Oyster card you will benefit from a Hopper fare. A Hopper fare will allow two bus journeys to be made within one hour of the start of the first bus journey for just the price of one bus trip.

If you need to use the tube – aim to travel off-peak. Peak hour fare occur between 6:30 – 9:30am and 4 – 7pm and cost 50% more than an off-peak journey.

Search for Deals

I have used Timeout a lot when looking for things to do in London, they often have a range of excllusive offers at resturants and attractions, highlights for me have included .

Look out for happy hour deals at bars or restaurant’s for set menus, often at lunch time.

Museums

We are incredibly lucky to have many public and government funded museums and galleries which we can pop into at no cost at all!

The British Museum, Tate Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Saatchi Gallery, Science Musuem, Design Museum and RAF Musuem are just a few of the free museums / galleries in London.

RAF Museum, Colindale
Design Museum, Kensington High Street

Events

There is always something going on – such as Notting Hill Carnival, Pride, Lord Mayors Parade, Chinese New Year and London Marathon. All you have to do is turn up and you will be sure to experience a great atmosphere. Plan beforehand to see if your visit coincides with any events happening in London – Time Out London and Secret London provide good sources of up-to-date event information.

Taking part in Pride 2019 was fantastic

And the list goes on…..

  • World famous attractions – Big Ben, St Pauls Cathedral, Chinatown, Piccadilly Circus are free to visit
  • Visit Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station
  • Bridges – Tower Bridge, London Bridge or my favourite bridge Albert Bridge
  • Markets – Leadenhall, Borough Market, Columbia Road Flower Market and Camden Market all offer something different and whilst many have been around for hundreds of years they are still popular with tourists to this very day
  • London Mithraeum – incredibly well restored Roman Temple, opened as part of the Bloomberg office redevelopment. You will need to book tickets beforehand (they are free to book).
  • WALK – Big Ben, Bridges, Buckingham Palace, Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly Circus, Abbey Road, River Thames – most of the popular sites are free to view from outside. Moreover, just like many cities around the world there are many free walking tours which operate in London. On my travels I have done numerous walking tours in cities from Vancouver to Paris and Helsinki – they have all been excellent and the guides are very knowledgeable about the city and often provide local recommendations such as dining options and attractions that are less touristy. All you have to pay is a tip to the tour guide at the end.

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