London is not renowned for being one of the cheapest cities, but it doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank in order to explore this vibrant capital. There are many ways to enjoy one of the world’s most famous metropolises on a budget. By getting off the usual touristy path, you can enjoy more of the English culture and have a unique experience as well. Here are some of the best places to visit in London, on a budget:
Alternatives to the Top Tourist Spots
Without a doubt, the most well-known sights include the Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, Big Ben and the Westminster Abbey. Some might consider a trip to these places necessary in order to say they have been to London. But really, who would want to spend so much time lining up and competing with other tourists when there can be other options? Not only do you not have to fight the crowds, you might also save a few bucks along the way.
Let’s start with an alternative to the Buckingham Palace. After you come here and take your selfie, you can then head off to Fulham Palace. This was the seat of the Bishopric of London for more than 1300 years, and though the building is not as old, it is still quite impressive.
In fact, it might be worth your while to discover the other palaces in London, as there are certainly more than just one. Tourists might, for example, be surprised to learn that the building known nowadays as the Houses of Parliament is actually a Palace, or the Palace of Westminster, to be accurate. Although no royals have lived there for the past 500 years, it is still considered a Royal residence and can be visited by tourists.
One of the next places to visit in London is the Westminster Cathedral. Although the Westminster Abbey is more popular, it also costs easily more than £20 to explore. Go for the less-known option and find a building that is easily just as interesting and beautiful.
What visitors should not fail to see, though, is the quintessential Changing of the Guards, which is one of the most visited free events in the city. Just try to come a bit earlier to find a good spot, especially during the busy summer months.
See a Bit of History
London has been around for centuries, and there are areas that document its rich history very well. First of all, signs of its Roman past can still be seen in some parts. Back then, the city was called Londonium. The walls that protected it can still be visited, you just need to find where.
Skipping a few centuries, you can view the influence of the Industrial Revolution on London. One of the best but unknown places to visit in London is the St. Pancras Railway Station, a living testament to these times that have greatly changed the country. It signaled the many developments that were happening, so its interesting architecture is understandably unique and modern for the times.
Just because the city is old and historical doesn’t mean it has stopped growing. One of the newest places to visit is actually in the “newer” or recently redesigned neighborhoods of London. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park may not be centuries old, but the site of the 2012 London Olympics does attract visitors who want to see the various attractions in the area. Visitors can expect shops, restaurants, parks and other family-friendly places here.
Where to Enjoy Nature for Free
For such a huge metropolis, London offers a lot of green spots or places where people can enjoy nature. Its numerous parks are always among the best places to visit in London. However, what visitors should not miss is the Hampton Court Palace. Though the building is one of the most beautiful to see in the city, the extensive gardens are also a great reason to come by. Besides being free, there are few other places better to have a nice picnic.
Taking a nice stroll along the south bank of River Thames is quite popular because of the many sights along the way. Moreover, it is lesser known as a great spot for watching the sunset. What else can be more romantic or peaceful than watching the end of a wonderful day in London than along the Thames?
An Itinerary for those Rainy Days
Visitors to the city can probably expect a bit of rain at any time during their visit unless they are absolutely lucky. Thankfully, there are also museums and other places that are perfect for such days.
There are more free art galleries in London than in any other city, and art-loving tourists can easily lose themselves in the Tate Modern and National gallery. However, a smaller but just as interesting collection can be found at the Saatchi Gallery. What makes this place interesting is that they include some works from artists who are up and coming.
Book lovers, on the other hand, can find the most important works at the British Library, which also offers some free exhibits from time to time.
Of course, the British Museum rounds up this list. In fact, if you happen to travel to London on the worst week of the year, you will not notice it exploring this huge museum for days.
And a Bit of Shopping too
No trip could ever be complete without a bit of souvenir buying, of course. London does not only have a ton of shops, they have world-famous markets at the same time. Camden Market is at the top of the list, which is still worth visiting but might be a bit too busy for some. Borough Market is also another that has become touristier over the years but still feature a great variety of products both from local producers and imported from abroad.
These are just some of the things tourists can do in London, which has much more to offer still. But for those who are looking for cheaper alternatives or who want to be in less crowded spots, this list is a good start. After all, this city has something for everyone, whatever their interest.