A guest post By Christina Appleworth
It’s hard to get away from the fact that London is an expensive city. A night out in the West End can set you back a considerable sum of money, while transport and eating out is similarly expensive. However, London does have multiple options for cheaper nights out. The city’s size means that it can be great for finding bargains and discounted tickets on popular attraction. By knowing where to look, and by being prepared to be a bit creative on a night out, it is possible to enjoy the city without breaking the bank. Some ideas for a cheap evening out in London consequently include:
1 – Attending a Free Talk
If going out for drinks and something to eat, it is possible to take in a free talk or lecture in one of the city’s many universities and museums. Particularly recommended is the London School of Economics’ regular series of lectures. It is recommended to book in advance though, as tickets can go quickly. The Royal Society also put on regular lectures, while smaller centers like Gresham College offer talks. Recommended for an early evening outing.
2 – Going to a Free Museum
It is also worth considering a night out at one of London’s free museums, with most offering late night openings. These include the Hunterian and the John Soane’s museums in Holborn, as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum’s regular series of events in South Kensington, and the smaller Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Many larger arts centres also offer free performances, and include nights at the Barbican Centre and the Royal Festival Hall.
3 – Cycle Paths and Walking
As the weather gets warmer, the prospect of cycling and walking London’s many parks and canals has become increasingly attractive. Kew Gardens and Richmond are highly recommended, as is a stroll around Regents Park and Hyde Park, both of which feature regular open air performances. Moreover, a walk around Hampstead Heath is an ideal way to get away from things for a few hours.
4 – Budget Restaurants and Drink
Although most places in London remain expensive if you want to eat and drink on a night out, there are some cheaper options. In terms of the West End, Gaby’s Deli in Charing Cross Road has become an institution for those seeking out cheaper and tasty food. The same mix of economy and taste can also be found at Mooli’s in Soho. Those on a night out should also think about visiting London’s many cheap, but excellent chains, which include Wagamama’s and Pizza Express. For drinking, the All Bar One chain in the West End, the cocktail bar Cubana in Waterloo, and the Red Lion in Hoxton are particularly recommended.
5 – Last Minute Tickets
With a bit of planning, it is possible to get discounted seats at theatres in the West End, as well as many of London’s galleries, cinemas, and music venues. Most websites will offer last minute deals and discounted packages, while other companies will provide mailing lists that circulate late tickets for shows.