March 08, 2024

London on a budget: 5 places you can’t miss (that are not museums)

There are many adjectives you can use describing London: majestic, historical, classy and… expensive. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. Yet, the city offers a vast range of entertainment opportunities for those who enjoy more budget friendly travelling. First and foremost, London’s museums are known not only from their richness, but also from the fact that they are (mostly) free.

But what can you do when you are not so much into museums? Here are a few options.

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Sky Garden - London's Highest Public Garden

Probably this is the place that is listed in every respectful tally, but it is a total must do. This place will enchant not only fans of plants, but pretty much everyone who is not afraid of the heights. Sky Garden gives you a unique, entry fee free opportunity to enter a 360-degree platform that will allow you to admire the city's skyline. Additionally, you can appreciate nature on the 43rd floor of a skyscraper called a "walkie-talkie" because of its unusual shape . How awesome is that?

 

Be aware that if you want to enter Sky Garden on a particular day and hour, you need to book it in advance as this is a very popular attraction.

Battersea Power Station- Not only for Pink Floyd fans

At its peak, Battersea Power Station was supplying a fifth of London's electricity. Now it has entirely different purposes. Firstly, it is an underground and overground station. Secondly, after the renovation of the whole area of the famous power station building it has become an entertainment area. It includes shops, bars, restaurants and a riverside park in the city center. Apart from fixed attractions it is also used as a venue for occasional events like a light show in the winter time.

It is a great example of successful restoration of long- unused premises in such a great location that would totally let you feel the vibe of the city.

Portobello Road- Let the colours of the street surprise you

Have you ever watched “Notting Hill”? Would you like to see THOSE blue doors? If the answer is yes, you have to visit… Portobello Road. If the whole name situation is a bit confusing for you - no worries! Portobello Road is a part of Notting Hill district. Apart from the famous bookshop and mentioned Blue Doors (exact address is 280 Wesbourne Park Road) you can see a beautiful landscape of typical British houses in totally un-British pastel colours. Walking down the street you can stumble across the open air Portobello Road Market where you can buy unique clothes, accessories and even snacks.

I would recommend this place not only for the fans of the Notting Hill movie or classical architecture in the modern version. It is the perfect place to see another version of London - the one without skyscrapers.

Greenwich Park view point- A bit of peace in the chaos of London

This place is quite far from the city centre compared to the previous options but totally worth the travel. Probably you recognize the name from the famous Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude). There is The Royal Greenwich Astronomical Observatory dedicated to this crucial geographically line.
But if you don’t feel like spending 18 quid on the entrance ticket, you can enjoy the Greenwich Park surrounding it. It's a place where you can easily spend the whole day, starting with a picnic on a green grass, later having fun on the water bikes and ending the day on a Royal Observatory Hill, watching a sunset.

It is one of the best viewpoints in the city that will allow you to see a whole city line, including: Canary Wharf and the City of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, The London Eye, The O2 Arena, The Shard, The Cheese Grater and The Gherkin. Perfect spot for the calm evening in this vivid city.

Parks of London- Feel like locals

I know this is not a specific place, but I guess parks in London should have their own separate post. According to TimeOut London has over 3000 parks and open spaces (!). From the Famous Hyde Park, through the elegant Kensington Gardens, massive Richmond Park and diversified Regent's Park & Primrose Hill you can easily find your favourite park in London. Probably no one can actually visit all of them as you can stumble upon a park every couple of steps, but everyone should try to see as many of them as possible. This is a place where people gather to meet up with friends, grab a bite, practice a sport or read a book alone.

If you want to feel the vibe of the city but from the perspective of locals, there is no better way to do it than to spend some time in London parks. Weather in the city might not spoil but once a minor ray of sunshine shows up Londoners are ready to grasp it in local parks. So just do the same!

Small note:

Last but not least, a piece of obvious, yet great advice. Walk! Walk as much as you can and wherever you can. Something that looks like a 1-2 underground station in reality can be a 15-20 minutes’ walk. That is especially true within the city centre, where the density of stops is quite impressive. And who knows what you will discover doing the stroll…?

If you don't feel comfortable with wandering alone you can join our Walking Tours around London, where you can see the city with our experienced guide! See you there!

Written for you by Dominika Bazyluk

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