Saturday in London
Morning: Sightseeing in London
Admire some of London's most famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Trafalgar Square for free with a walk around the city or on a budget tour of London during a morning of sightseeing.
Enjoy a fantastic walking tour across the city, of which many operate on a ‘pay what you think the tour is worth’ basis. You can also pick up a free City Visitor Trail map to explore London at your own pace, or find your way around the capital with the official Visit London app.
Discover more of London on two wheels with a Santander Cycle, and stop off along the way to take photographs at some of the capital’s best selfie spots or catch the famous Changing the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Alternatively, jump onboard a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour, which includes a walking tour and a cruise along the river Thames in the price of your ticket.
Lunch: Food markets in London
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to a vibrant London food market to grab a cheap bite to eat:
- Try a huge array of cuisines at one of London’s oldest food markets, Borough Market.
- Treat yourself to street food dishes and a cocktail or two at trendy Flat Iron Square.
- Discover more than 40 stalls overflowing with foodie treats at the Southbank Centre Market.
- Tuck into an affordable meal at Maltby Street Market, a must-visit hidden gem for foodies.
If you’re looking for a wallet-friendly meal in another area of the capital, check out these affordable lunch spots in London.
Afternoon: Free London museums and galleries
Visit the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square to admire more than 2,000 paintings, including works from renowned artists such as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt. Afterwards, head over to the nearby National Portrait Gallery or hop on a Tube to Tate Modern to marvel at contemporary artworks from around the world.
Experience the delights of the British Museum’s remarkable collection, where you’ll find an array of fascinating exhibits from Egyptian mummies to the Rosetta Stone. Or, stop off in South Kensington to explore three of London’s most popular museums: the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum.
Evening: Discount West End theatre tickets
Alternatively, line up at the theatre's box office to snag last-minute standby tickets. These are returned and unsold tickets for that evening's performance, so be prepared to race around for your second or third choice!
Before your West End show, treat yourself to a wallet-friendly pre-theatre set menu: enjoy an early meal at Joe Allen, dine at Indigo at One Aldwych for a fraction of the usual price, or visit French restaurant Le Garrick in Covent Garden for a budget-friendly feast.
You can also take your pick from a wide range of other cheap restaurants in London.
Sunday in London
Morning: Sunday markets in London
- Browse Columbia Road Flower Market for pretty plants, fresh flowers and gardening equipment.
- Look around more than 200 stalls brimming with unique jewellery, alternative fashion and unique crafts at Camden Market.
- Find hidden treasures at the charming Old Spitalfields Market.
- Shop for everything from vintage clothes to unusual antiques at Brick Lane Market.
Alternatively, tick off some of these 101 free things to do in London.
Lunch: Cheap lunch spots
Once you’re feeling peckish, drop by the cool area of Carnaby to sample some of the best cheap eats in London:
- Tuck into tasty street food dishes at Bombay-inspired cafe, Dishoom.
- Visit Masala Zone to enjoy a low-cost lunch in stylish surroundings.
- Order a delicious steak for just £10 at hip hangout, Flat Iron.
You can also stop off at Carnaby's cute Kingly Court: a three-storey dining spot home to bargain bites including Pizza Pilgrims and Stax Diner. Or, experience the delicious flavours of the Far East in one of nearby Chinatown’s well-priced restaurants.
Afternoon London parks and gardens
Spend the afternoon strolling around the beautiful Hyde Park. Covering 142 hectares (350 acres), the Royal Park is one of London’s largest green spaces, where you can visit its famous monuments, marvel at beautiful blooms in the Rose Garden or take a rowing boat out onto the Serpentine Lake.
Evening: Traditional London pubs
Round off your weekend in London with an inexpensive meal in a traditional London pub. Take your pick from classic British cuisine at affordable prices, with many pubs offering iconic dishes such as fish 'n' chips, sausages and mash and Sunday roast dinners.
Where to stay in London
There is plenty of affordable accommodation available across the capital. Budget hotel chains such as Holiday Inn Express, Ibis and Travelodge offer comfortable accommodation throughout the city, while a B&B can provide a cosier alternative which won’t break the bank. Self-catering and budget accommodation options also include hostels and Airbnb rooms or apartments.
For more inspiration ahead of your budget break in London, take a look at 101 of our favourite things to do in London for under £10 or check out the best free London attractions and events.