Things to Do in London | Five Cheap Alternative Activities

When travelling around some of the biggest cities in the world, visiting many well-known activities can be quite expensive. Whilst London is recognized as one of those places to visit which can be quite costly, there are a load of options out there for people to experience some of its best offerings without breaking the bank. So, today we take you around the capital of Great Britain and present to you some of the more memorable attractions you could see and experience on even the tightest of budgets.

Natural History Museum, London
Natural History Museum, London – DiliffNatural History Museum London Jan 2006CC BY-SA 3.0

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History everywhere

One of the most notable attractions in London is The Natural History Museum. It’s a true icon of the capital that people around the world flock to. It’s also the perfect addition to a day trip to London with kids. Its exhibits are truly breathtaking, and none more so than the giant 25-meter blue whale skeleton which looms large over visitors as they enter the Hintze Hall. There is so much to take in within the museum that it’s almost unbelievable to think that such a collection of artefacts is available to view for free. But the Natural History Museum is just one of many attractions that offer free entry. Others include the Museum of London which has interactive displays that chart the history of the city from prehistoric times.

Art lovers paradise

Tate Modern - Bankside power station, London
Tate Modern – Bankside power station, London – Image © Acabashi; Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0; Source: Wikimedia Commons

Some of the finest art in the world can be viewed in London, the Tate Modern Gallery houses art from Constable and has also recently too. If you head over to the National Gallery, some of Van Gogh’s work can also be viewed. However, as there is no admission fee at these attractions, they are always very popular. So, we would definitely recommend a visit as early as possible in your day, to avoid what could be quite a large queue for entry.

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Visiting Epsom and Ascot

Horse racing is a historic sport and culturally significant in Britain, so much so the original Derby was raced at Epsom, the racecourse within arms reach of the capital. It’s one of the few venues in the country where the main events can still be watched for free, due to it being on the edge of the Epsom Downs, an area of land which is free for the public to access. The headline race of the year is run in June and last year, the winner was an outsider, the 16-1 shot, Adayar, who beat the favourite Bolshoi Ballet. Just a week later, in mid-June, Royal Ascot is the next highlight on the British sporting calendar and it’s so significant that it’s been since 1945. The five-day event is over 250 years old, visitors to the track this year could see history written as Frankie Dettori aims to be only the second rider to win four Gold Cup titles aboard Stradivarius. The horse is one of the favourites from Coral to take the win and is aiming to bounce back after a disappointing showing in 2021. However, away from the track, Royal Ascot is one of the highlights of the social calendar making it very popular with many celebrities and high flyers from the city. Visitors to the event are some of the finest dressed men and women in the country, all loving the opportunity to show off their love of fashion, sporting top hats, suits and stunning dresses whilst enjoying some fantastic racing. Maybe you could spot a celebrity or two if you decide to make the trip?

Historic waterways

Tower Bridge, London
Tower Bridge, London – © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

There are plenty of places to walk and just admire in Britain’s capital. Just like we recommend walking Charles Bridge in Prague, a wander over Tower Bridge is a fantastic thing to do in London. The historic 19th century-built bridge crosses the River Thames and lifts to allow for river traffic to pass underneath. Visitors can also take in a cruise on the Thames for just over £10 ($13.66) which takes in familiar buildings, such as the Houses of Parliament, from a unique perspective on the waterway.

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Favourite foods

There are some fantastic food outlets in London, after all, some of the world’s most renowned chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsey have restaurants in the capital. But you don’t have to break the bank to sample some fantastic, traditional British eats. We recommend a visit to The Fryer’s Delight. It is a Fish and Chip restaurant that has been serving customers since 1962, and its décor is definitely a throwback to that time. For around £8.50 ($11.60) visitors can sample this much-loved dish, in a fantastic setting. It’s a great authentically British way, to end a busy day of visiting some of the best attractions that London has to offer.

This list could go on and on, these are just a sample of what’s available on a tight budget, if you scratch beyond the surface. We hope you liked our look at some of the attractions that London has to offer. So, if you get the chance to visit Britain, be sure to put them on your to-do list.

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