A lot of people think that a weekend in London is very expensive, but this really depends on what you want to do during your trip. If you want to go shopping at Harrods, see a musical on London’s West End and stay in the centre of London, you should bring your wallet. But there is so much more to see and experience without even spending a penny.
Walking around London there are a lot of famous highlights to see for free. Like the Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, the famous Big Ben, Buckingham Palace (the home of Queen Elizabeth), Westminster Abbey and Piccadilly Circus (especially by night). But wait for it…there is more.
Free access to world-renowned museums
Did you know the access to almost every museum is free? Thank you London! The Brits love to share, so we can fill our days visiting the best museums in the world for free. That’s definitely a good way to keep your holiday expenses low!
- National History Museum
This impressive building is home to one of the largest natural history collections in the world. Ross from Friends will eat is heart out. Especially when seeing the replica of an enormous dinosaur skeleton in the hall. The National History Museum is focused on sharing the rich history of plants, animals, flowers, minerals and other wonders of mother nature. It was not really my cup of tea, but hey it doesn’t hurt to try when entrance is free.
- British Museum
One of the most famous museums in London is the British Museum, that offers a broad collection of historic artefacts discovered by English explorers. This national museum is home to the important finds like the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures and Egyptian mummies.
The museum is split up in different areas with important artefacts from all over the world like Egypt, Africa, Europe, coins and many more. The museum itself is already worth the trip: the big hall is breath taking.
- Science Museum
This museum is very suitable for children. The Science Museum offers a lot of interactive elements, where kids can learn while the play. But there is also enough to see for the ‘old kids’ I especially liked the aviation wing with real size airplanes, the space floor and the wonder lab. Did you know that the museum organises special events for adults only after hours? The so called Science Museum Lates are theme nights that take place in the museum on the last Wednesday of every month, after regular museum hours.
- Imperial War Museum
My favourite museum is the Imperial War Museum. It’s a little out of the city centre, but it’s definitely worth the trip. It’s a very interesting modern museum that explores war and its impact on people’s live from the First World War until conflict in recent days. The First World War Galleries is a must visit, it shows how interactive and exciting a museum can be. No stuffy glass boxes with old relics, but an interactive experience where sound, surroundings and digital screens offer an impressive war environment. There is also al lot of attention for Churchill, the Second World War and modern conflict. It is an impressive museum that makes you stop and think.
Flavours of the world
Unfortunately 😉 you need to pay for your dinner. No free bees here. But London won’t disappoint you. The food is delicious and there is so much choice! And you don’t need to spend a lot of money.
The capital of Great Britain offers its visitor’s way more than English breakfast, pub dinners and tea with biscuits. The London cuisine is multicultural just as their international inhabitants. You can enjoy the best meals in the world in one city. Think about Persian, Indian or Chinese food. And not the English version, but real authentic cooking.
When you step into China Town its almost like stepping into another world. Chinese restaurants everywhere you look, red lanterns, baked ducks hanging in the window. It’s a little piece of China in the heart of London. I have been to China and I can honestly say that the food in London has the real authentic Asian taste. It brought back a lot of great memories to my China trip. My favourite Chinese dishes: Lemon Chicken and Peking Duck.
During my trip I also ate at a nice Persian restaurant. Had some delicious grilled lamb and a nice cold beer. Afterwards we got some Iranian tea on the house and some baklava. The tea was a little bit to sweat for my taste, but it completed the exotic night out.
The English way
If you are on a budget and you want to eat some local dishes, try a pub meal. The pubs are not only for drinking a good old pint, they also offer a lot of affordable pub meals. Excellent after a long day walking around town.
The English are also masters in making a good carrot cake. If you’re stopping for some famous English tea with sweets, ordering a carrot cake is no brainer for me. I love, love, love carrot cake. But also the Lemon short cake and scones are finger licking good. So much choice 😉
Where to stay?
Kenington is a good place to stay. It’s a little off centre, so the hotels are more kindly priced. This part of town is really multi-cultural and offers a lot of good restaurants with cuisine form all over the world. It’s close to colourful Notting Hill and there are enough Underground stations to easily explore the rest of London.
The best way and cheapest way to get around in London is by Underground. You can buy a London Travel Card which allows you to travel with the Underground. You can even buy this travel card with some credit on it before your trip to London via Visit Britain. This way you can hop on the Tube right away.