It’s easy to feel that your money is getting eaten away in London, but it is possible to have fun on a tenner. Here are my Top 10 Things to do in London on £10.
1. Ride the RV1 or number 11 bus
For as little as £2.40 (or £1.40 with an Oyster card) for a journey, you can take in the best of London from the comfort of these public buses. Instead of paying over the odds for an expensive tourist bus, these two central London bus routes take in the main attractions and you can jump on and off as you go.
The RV1 starts in Covent Garden and will take you past Somerset House, across Waterloo Bridge and down past the London Eye, Royal Festival Hall and the Oxo Tower. It carries on past London Bridge and City Hall before crossing Tower Bridge and stopping at the Tower of London and ending its route at Tower Gateway Station.
Alternatively, the number 11 bus travels between Fulham Town Hall and Liverpool Street Station, calling at Westminster Abbey, Horse Guards Parade, Trafalgar Square and St Paul’s Cathedral along the way. More information.
2. Visit to Borough Market
This haven for foodies is the ideal place to wile away an afternoon without frittering away too much cash. With food from all over the world, most of the stalls at Borough Market offer samples so you can happily try a whole lot of different tastes before deciding what to have for lunch. Head there at the end of the day around 4:30 pm and you might also benefit from larger freebies as the traders get rid of their leftovers before packing up and going home.
3. Happy Hour at Match Bar
Beer for £3, 2-for-1 cocktails, cheap food
It’s rare to find a central London cocktail bar with a decent Happy Hour even on the weekends, but this cool locale tucked away behind Oxford Street is the perfect place for a little bit of indulgence if you’ve been window shopping and successfully managed not to blow your budget!
From 8 pm-10:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 5 pm-8 pm on Saturdays Match Bar offers 20% off small food platters, bottles of beer for £3 each or two delicious cocktails for the price of one, meaning you can even treat a friend and get change from a tenner!
4. River cruise
A leisurely cruise down the River Thames is a great way to explore London if the weather is good. KPMG Thames Clippers stop at lots of lovely landmarks, from the London Eye all the way to Greenwich Pier. A single adult ticket costs £6, but you can get 10% off with a pay as you go Oyster card, or 1/3 off with a Travelcard. Alternatively, an unlimited hop on/hop off “Roamer” ticket will cost you £9.10 with a Travelcard.
5. Bar Kick
£2 beer and cheap cocktails
Much more than just a bar, head to Bar Kick with a few £1 coins and spend a fun-filled afternoon playing table football. If you’ve got a competitive streak, you may also want to sign up as a member and play more seriously in the tournaments. Head down between 4-7pm any day of the week and you’ll also benefit from £2 bottles of beer and cocktails for £4.85 each! Located at 127 Shoreditch High Street, nearest station is Shoreditch High Street Overground.
6. Emirates Air Line
The Emirates Air Line opened just in time for the London Olympics and is an alternative way to cross the river from north to south London. This brand new cable car offers a five-minute journey over the River Thames from Greenwich in the south of London to the Royal Docks in the north (or vice versa). Fares start from £4.30 for a single and £8.60 for a return, but with your Oyster card you’ll only have to pay £3.20 or £6.40 respectively, leaving you with more than enough for a pint of beer once you’ve reached the other side!
Read our related post on more cheap ways to get great views of London.
7. More London Scoop
Every summer you’ll find a huge program of exciting free events going on at the amphitheater at More London, right by London Bridge station. There is anything from films and theatre, to dance, art and music, all totally free. Overlooking the river, it’s a fab place to include on any summer itinerary – just stop by and see what’s happening, or alternatively, sign up to the More London mailing list and receive updates direct to your inbox.
One of the most fantastic things about London is the fact that the museums are free. You could spend weeks exploring everything from the British Museum and the National Gallery, to the Science Museum and the Tate Modern, without parting with a penny. So make the most of it, Cheapos!
Here’s our list of 20 free museums in London.
9. Royal Court Theatre
You have to be quick off the mark, but it is possible to bag a theatre ticket for just £10 in London. There are £10 tickets to every Monday performance at the Royal Court Theatre. Located in Sloane Square, this famous theatre prides itself on showcasing the work of up and coming young writers and its productions can vary greatly in style.
10. Parks and gardens
If the weather goes in your favor, you’ll find that the liveliest places to spend a sunny afternoon in London are in actual fact, absolutely free. Whether you’re exploring well-known spots such as Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Green Park or Hampstead Heath, or lazing about in smaller green spaces like Highbury Fields and Clapham Common, there is no shortage of open, green space in London. So pack a picnic and get exploring!
Also in our guide: Looking for more ideas about ways to save in London? Head over to EuroCheapo’s London Guide to read about great affordable hotels in London, plus articles on budget tips, transportation passes, and more.