We all know how expensive London can be. But with a little insider knowledge, it’s just about possible to have a good day out without spending too much money. Here’s Azimo’s morning-till-night guide of brilliant things to do in the British capital for less than a tenner – and some of them won’t even cost you a penny!
Tuck into breakfast
You’ll want to start the day with a good breakfast. Many cafés in London will serve you a hearty full English – sausage, bacon, egg, beans, mushrooms, the works – for under a tenner. But for something a bit more stylish you could head for the Delaunay, where a crispy bacon roll or a basket of pastries will cost you around £8.
Take in a museum
Now that you’re fortified, it’s time to take in some culture. The good news is that London’s big museums and galleries are free. There are plenty to choose from, but the Egyptian mummies at the British Museum are always a winner. The V&A has decorative arts, and the Natural History Museum has dinosaurs and much more. Both Tate Galleries are also free. Tate Modern has cutting-edge contemporary work; Tate Britain has British art from 1500 to the present day.
Sail down the river
A great way to see both Tate galleries is to take the boat that travels between them (£7.50). You’ll spot St Paul’s Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament along the way. If you don’t want to travel between the galleries, a boat trip is still a great idea. The cheapest way is the River Bus and you can use a contactless bank card or your Oyster card to pay for your fare.
Time for lunch
Basement art deco Brasserie Zédel in Picadilly has one of London’s best lunch deals, with French brasserie-style food for £9.75 for two courses. For something completely different, Chinatown has some cheap restaurants. An old favourite is Café TPT (21 Wardour Street, W1D 6PN), where the prawn dumpling noodle soup is a meal in itself.
Head up for a view
After lunch, it’s time to see London from a different angle. Monument was built to remember the Great Fire of 1666. It’s £4 to climb the 311 steps and you’ll be rewarded with some great views of the City. Alternatively, reserve a visit to the Sky Garden. The 160m skyscraper’s top three storeys, topped by a glass dome, are indoor public gardens, and they’re free to visit.
Enjoy a show
When it comes to evening entertainment, there are still ways to do things on the cheap. Most cinemas, even non-chain locals, are over a tenner. But tickets at the Prince Charles, in Leicester Place just off Leicester Square, are less (usually £7.50). It shows current films and classics. Over at Bankside on the South Bank, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre has a cheap standing area in front of the stage – tickets for this section cost just £5. Fancy a pint? London has a profusion of pubs, all of which serve drinks for well under £10!
Stay out late
If you’re looking for a proper club night out, you need to head to the nightlife hub of Dalston in north-east London. Top spots on the buzzing strip here include the Nest and Dalston Superstore, both of which charge less than £10 for club nights. The Superstore is also a bar. And while you’re here, you might want to enjoy a cocktail at basement bar Ruby’s.