You can afford London: how to save money in the British capital

Everyone knows that London is expensive. But how to see this city as it is, and not go broke, few know. One of them is a resident and a great lover of London, Konstantin, who has been on hiking trails in the capital of Great Britain for several years already.

With Konstantin you can set off on the trail of Jack the Ripper, take a walk under the windows of the former London mayor Boris Johnson and read the latest story of street art right from the city walls. Here are 10 free or inexpensive ways to enjoy a trip to London.

Walking around London on foot

walking around london

Cost: free of charge

To begin with, London is a pedestrian city of the 80th level. I did not really understand before, when the Londoners frowned, for example, from Dubai and said that it is not walkable – that is, it is impossible to walk there. Now I understand: London is a city where everything is created for a pedestrian. Beautiful long streets, a scattering of unusual cafes, lots of greenery, flowers, parks and even more pubs, shops and people. And everything varied to infinity.

Due to the fact that in London there is a lot of power on the ground, the city should be perceived as a collection of villages. These villages are completely different: there are very different people living here, different industries are milled and different houses are being built. For all these people work their shops, open their cafes and pass their events. That’s why in London everyone will find a favorite area for themselves, where there will be a complete sense of home and cosiness. It should only be looked for.

Therefore, the best thing to do in London is walking, walking and walking. Scour the area around the area, wind up tens of kilometers a day. Quite quickly you will have an intuitive sense of the city. You will cease to be lost and begin to boldly turn off the hiking trails, find atmospheric places and notice what the first few days did not have enough attention.

Look at London from the skyscraper

london view

Cost: free or 2-3 pounds

According to an old tradition, to climb higher and look at the city from a skyscraper costs money. And already in the capital of world capitalism – even more so. In London, it’s generally easy to get caught in tourist traps. These are places where Londoners are almost gone, and tourists are ripped off like a stick.

In London, you do not have to go to the Shard skyscraper. He’s terrible. This is the tallest building in western Europe with a lookout at the top – this is the end of its dignity. Rising to the upper floors costs from 26 to 36 pounds. Above you are waiting for a wooden floor, glare glass and tiny monitors, which give mean information about the city. “Shard” – this is one of those places where in five minutes everything seems to have done, but I do not want to leave, because the pleasure received for 30 pounds obviously does not pull.

Directly opposite the “Shard” is another skyscraper – Walkie Talkie. He was allowed to build in the City, provided that there is a viewing platform at the top, accessible to everyone. Insanely beautiful observation deck with gardens and the truth was opened. And you can get there for free, views are better, and inside this place is many times more interesting. In peak hours – weekends, lunch or dinner – you need to book a place in advance, but it will not cost you anything. By the way, if the site shows that there are no more places for your date, you can always find a free window through the Sky Pod cafe. All that is required of you is to drink good coffee for 2-3 pounds.

To lie in the park and look around the city

london park

Cost: free of charge

Another great way to look at London from a height is to go to one of the emerald hills. Parliament Hill, Primrose Hill and Royal Hill in Greenwich are available for everyone at any time. In summer, you can lie on the grass with a view of the best city on earth, drink coffee or have a picnic. If you’re lucky, you do not even have to run down the hill in the rain. English parks are generally a separate topic. They are picturesque, well-groomed, atmospheric and very cinematic.

When you come to London for the first time, you will hardly miss Hyde Park, Green Park or St. James Park. And I would say that it’s much more interesting and original – Regent’s Park, Hampstead Heath or the same Greenwich Park on the hill. And if you are not too lazy to go to the other end of the city, you can even look at deer in Richmond Park. There are more than 600 of them there. In the spring, when the deer is a little hungry, they can be fed from the hands.

To see London from the second floor of the bus

london bus

Cost: 1.5 pounds per trip

To all who know how to independently travel the world, I always advise you to use public transport. The city opens with a completely different side – you see it through the eyes of the locals. And in London to get from point A to point B on the bus is also because they are two-story.

Separate pleasure – to sit on the “upper deck” of the bus on the first row and in all the windshield to admire the city, which does not know what is being watched. From the second floor, London looks quite different. Unexpected foreshortenings of open places, live scenes with bright characters, past which annoying to pass: I want to see through every town play. Multiply all this in the absence of a driver – and absolutely childlike joy will come back to you from life in a single bus.

In central London, there are many good routes. Buses No. 9, 11, 15, 24 pass through the whole center. Even if you have never been interested in London, 3-5 places on the bus will find out for sure.

Bonus for transport geeks: on routes Nos. 9 and 15 there are still old buses of the 1960s. These are such dinosaurs from the past – heavy, like the irons of the XIX century, and beautiful, like cars of the 40-60’s.

Ride the Thames with the breeze


Cost: 3.90-7.20 pounds depending on the zone

Tourist boats on the Thames go in packs. But a ride on the Thames can be cheaper – on Thames Clippers. These are high-speed boats, part of the city’s transport system. By law, you should be given a seat, which means that you can move quickly to Thames Clipper in London, not only quickly, but also conveniently. Inside the large catamarans there are even coffee shops – imagine just how good it is to rake the Thames well on a fine day, sipping freshly brewed coffee and knowing that you spent half as much as a regular tourist.

See Shakespeare as 400 years ago


Cost: 5 pounds

Theaters in London are beautiful, but it’s not always possible to get a ticket for an interesting modern production. But you can always see Shakespeare a stone’s throw from the Thames. Even if you do not understand a word of English, in the “Globe” it is impossible not to dive into the atmosphere of the XVII century. The theater is built according to the old canons, so the moneybags can sit right on the stage. And I advise you to buy tickets for 5 pounds and enjoy the action standing, surrounded by commoners. The fact that you in the 21st century will be reminded only by planes in the sky above your head – there is no roof in The Globe.

Find an item with a history on the flea market


Cost: from 1 pound

Flea markets are always a bit of a lottery. Sometimes you spend all day there and you will not find anything. But in this lottery you can definitely increase your chances just like in starburst slot free spins that can be found here. First, give up Covent Garden and Notting Hill. Places are good, but antiques there are designed for a mass buyer: either expensive or bad.

If you want to find a real treasure, you’ll have to get up early on Friday morning and go to the ruins of Bermondsey. This flea market near the London Bridge. In contrast to the brethren, this one is designed more for antique shops and the junkies themselves. If you drive to him at 7 am and wind up a couple of laps there, you can find very cool things. My personal achievement is a volume of Strand Magazine in 1893, in which Sherlock was published. That is the original year of publication with illustrations of Sidney Paget for – attention! – 7 pounds.

To peek at Sir John Soun by candlelight


Cost: free of charge

In London, a lot of free museums. On hearing the British, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Tate Modern Gallery. There are lesser known, but no less beautiful – for example, the Museum of Sir John Soon. This is the house of a British architect and collector of the XIX century, which, according to the will of Sir Soun himself, after his death remained untouched.

The first Tuesday of every month, from 18:00 to 21:00, a candlelit evening is held in the museum. No electricity, only the XIX century, only hardcore. Those who want to admire antique books and old canvases in such an atmosphere are many. Therefore, I advise you to come around 4-5 pm and take turns. Only the first 200 lucky ones will enter.