How to do London on the cheap

As with any major city in the world, London can get on the expensive side if you’re not savvy when you’re out and about in the Capital. However, here are a few pointers that can help you save a few quid here and there…

Museums and galleries

There are a ridiculous number of museums and galleries throughout London, and the vast majority are completely free of charge. Some may ask for a voluntary donation, but the word ‘voluntary’ let’s you decide exactly how much to give. You’ve got the famous museums and galleries such as the National History Museum, National Gallery and the British Museum, but then you have a world of smaller lesser known places waiting to be discovered.

Theatres and cinemas

Going to the cinema or the theatre may be seen as a somewhat pricey trip out, but it needn’t be. Most theatres will have ‘standby tickets’ on sale the day of the show, which are unsold or returned tickets, and are usually sold at heavily discounted prices. You may not be able to get your first choice of shows, however. The ticket booths in Leicester Square are also a good way of nabbing yourself some discounted tickets.

For cinema-goers, there are a number of cinemas, particularly independent ones, that do cheap tickets for students, and you may even be able to find free student screenings if you look hard enough. The Prince Charles Cinema is also pretty good for getting cheaper tickets.


London is a big place, but it doesn’t actually cost that much to get around if you know what you’re doing. If you’re going to be doing a lot of travelling on the Tube, then get an Oyster Card as journeys are a lot cheaper that way and they also allow you to travel on buses. If you want a greener way to travel, then grab yourself a Boris Bike and pedal around London from just £2 a day.

Eating out

You could live in London your whole life and eat out every day and still not see all the restaurants the city has to offer. You can, of course, spend a fortune, but there are also numerous cheap eats all over the place if you want to eat out, or you can take a trip to one of the many markets to get your food if you’re cooking yourself. TimeOut has a great list of some of the best markets.

Live music

Live music is yet another thing you can enjoy for free in London, and it’s not always some dodgy band in a pub either. You’ll be shocked at how much live music there is to find across London, with areas such as Shoreditch rife for free gigs. Have a search online and you’ll find many a list as to what to go and see without spending a dime.


There are so many different types of student accommodation in London. From the luxury of Urbanest to the more stereotypical grotty student houses, you can pretty much take your pick of houses and apartments that suit your budget. Bear in mind that even though accommodation in the middle of London may be more expensive, you won’t be spending nearly as much on getting around the city as much of it will be within walking distance.

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