16 Things To Do In London For £5 Or Less

Hi & Welcome to my blog! Today I’m going to be giving you some ideas of cheap and affordable things to do in London for £5 or less. This is going to be quite a hefty post so if you’re looking for something specific, be sure to check out the contents box to find what you’re into!

Getting to London (The Eco-Friendly Way)

Bus: So I took the bus from Leeds to London which cost £5. It takes 5ish hours which is a lot longer than the train but I think that it’s an option if you’re on a budget. Obviously not ideal for a daytrip but if you’re spending a few more days in London then it might be worth it if you can spare those hours.

Train: The train from where I live to London costs around £29 each way if booked in advance and takes 2 hours. This is a more time-effective mode of transport so if your budget allows it might work out better. I actually took the bus down to london and the train back home on a recet trip whih worked best for me and saved me a little bit of cash.

Photo by Dominika Gregu

Arts & Culture

Art Galleries:

I’m a big fan of art so spending a few hours in a gallery is a must for any London trip. I love the Tate(s) in particular and am happy to pop in when i have a few minutes spare in my itinerary or to visit for an exhibition. About 2 years ago, I went to the ‘Impressionists In London’ exhibition at the Tate Britain. It cost a whopping £22 for adult entry! However if you’re between 16 and 25 then I have some great news for your wallet…

Top Tip: Tate Collective

For those aged 16-25, join the Tate Collective for free as it gives you £5 exhibition tickets! You also get 10% discount in the gift shop and invitations to special events. I found out about it a year ago and went to the Pierre Bonnard exhibition in Feb ’19 for only £5 (full price: £18). You can sign up here.

Tate Britain: The Home of British Art from 1500 to the Present Day

Opening Times: Monday to Sunday 10.00–18.00

Admission: Free & Paid Exhibitions

Location: Take the Victoria line to Pimlico then it’s a 10 minute walk

Tate Modern: International Modern and Contemporary Art

Opening Times: Sunday to Thursday 10.00–18.00 & Friday to Saturday 10.00–22.00

Admission: Free & Paid Exhibitions

Location: Take the Jubilee line to Southwark then it’s a 8 minute walk

V&A: The World’s Leading Museum of Art and Design

Opening Times: Monday to Thursday 10.00 – 17.45 & Friday 10.00 – 22.00

Admission: Free & Paid Exhibitions

Location: Take the District, Circle or Piccadilly line to South Kensington then it’s a 4 minute walk

National Portrait Gallery: One of the Largest Collections of Portraits in the World

Opening Times: Monday to Sunday 10:00-18:00, Friday 10:00-21:00

Admission: Free & Paid Exhibitions

Location: Take the Northern or Bakerloo line to Charing Cross then it’s a 3 minute walk

Whitechapel: A Modern Gallery for Everyone

Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-18:00

Admission: Free

Location: Take the District or Hammersmith & City line to Aldgate East then it’s a 1 minute walk.

Serpentine: One of the Cities Most Popular Modern & Contemporary Art Galleries

Opening Times: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00

Admission: Free

Location: Take the Piccadilly line to Knightsbridge then it’s a 15 minute walk through Kensington Park

Royal Academy of Arts: A New Home for Art & Ideas

Opening Times: Monday to Sunday 10:00 – 18:00

Admission: Free & Paid Exhibitions

Location: Take the Bakerloo or Piccadilly line to Piccadilly Circus then it’s a 7 minute walk.

Theatre: Globe Standing, Arcola Pay What You Can & Young Barbican.

Shakespeare’s Globe – £5 Standing Tickets

The Globe has £5 standing tickets which are way better than they sound. Trust me, you’ll become so enthralled in the performance you won’t notice you’re not sat down! I would recommend them if you’re able to stand for that long (I did lean against the stage a bit) & are on a budget.

Arcola Theatre – Pay What You Can Tuesdays

Arcola has ‘Pay What You Can Tuesdays’ where you can queue up from 6pm and pay what you can (average is £5). There are a limited number so be sure to get there a bit early!

Young Barbican – Discounted Tickets

This is a free to join programme for 14-25 year olds where discounted tickets ranging from £5-15 are available. The tickets on offer are varied: art, film, music, theatre and dance are all included.
History:

Museums

Museum of London

Opening Times: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00 Admission: Free Location: Take the Hammersmith & City, Circle or Metropolitan line to Barbican then walk 5 minutes

Science Museum

Opening Times: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 – 18:00 Admission: Free & Paid Exhibitions Location: Take the District, Circle or Piccadilly lines to South Kensington, then its a 5-minute walk

Sir John Soane’s Museum

Opening Times: Wednesday to Friday, 10:00 – 17:00 Admission: Free Location: Take the Central or Piccadilly lines to Holborn then walk 5 minutes

Bank of England Museum

Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 10:00 – 17:00 Admission: Free Location: Take the Central, Northern, and Waterloo & City lines to Bank then walk for 1 minute

Nature & Green Spaces

Sky Garden – London’s Highest Public Garden

Sky Garden is the coolest space! Giving you a 360 degree view of the city and seeing the botanical wonders of the garden.

Book a free ticket for a specific time here and they also have places to eat and accept walk-ins. You can take the Circle or District line to Monument then walk 5 minutes to 20 Fenchurch street.

Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola

A hidden treasure set among some lovely gardens. It’s a little overrun, which makes it even more interesting.

You can reach the garden by taking the Northern line to Golders Green then it’s a 15 minute walk through the gardens. It’s open from 08:30 until dusk.

Final Thoughts

I hope you found this round up of things to do in London for £5 or less useful! Please let me know any other great affordable things to do, see or eat in London in the comments below, I’m always looking for new places to explore.

Bye for now x

Related: My 2019 Travels

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20 Comments

  1. I always think of a day out in London as being really expensive. I always forget the amount of stuff you can do for free (or on the cheap) and sometimes nothing beats just walking around and discovering new places. Great post!

  2. I had no idea there are so many cheap/free things to do in London. I always imagine it would be extremely expensive to do anything. My kids would love lots of the things on your list, including The Globe! Thanks for sharing xxx

  3. A really useful post, especially for anyone visiting London for the first time. I’m only 20 mins away from London but the train is still quite pricey! I love the museums tho and think it’s amazing that so many of them are free x

    1. Thanks Jenny! Yes,​ the trains can be pretty pricey, especially if you leave it too late. From Leeds it can be like £250 to book the week of. Museums & Galleries are truly the best – it really is fab that so many are free!x

  4. This is such a useful post! I knew some of these already (like the science museum and standing tickets at the globe) but a lot are new to me. I’ll definitely be referring to this next time I’m in London! 😊 Thanks for the tips.

  5. I remember getting £5 theatre tickets to West End shows in my student day, sadly a long time ago. I hadn’t realised that you could still do so many things in London for a £5 budget or less though – I would LOVE to visit the Sky Garden, that sounds amazing. Great tips, thank you for sharing xx

  6. Yes! Love this post! There are so many things you can do for London on the cheap and one of them I had never thought about until now was Shakespeare Globe! I’m definitely adding this to the list of things I would like to do when I’m next in London!

    1. Thank you! Honestly,​ if you’re able to, the standing tickets are such a bargain and I really thought it gave an authentic and fun experience – especially with the comedy and audience participation thing. Hope you enjoy!

  7. Having a master in fine art I always make it my mission to visit as many galleries as possible when I’m about in London! I really like the serpentine and the Saatchi gallery which is made better by the fact that they gave free entry. Thanks for sharing x

    1. I’m starting studying the History of Art next year so I love a good gallery too. The Saatchi is somewhere I still need to visit – thanks for the tip!x

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