You don’t have to break the bank to have a good night out in London. Here are some things to do at night where you can save those all-important pennies.
1. Enjoy happy hour in London bars
Going out for a night in London can add up. If you don't fancy paying full price, the city has plenty of happy hours to seek out. London Cocktail Club's venues around London have happy hour all evening on Mondays, plus local offerings including discounted cocktails at the LCC Monument branch every evening except Sunday. Alternatively, head to Peckham for Bar Story's daily happy hour where you can get two of the same cocktail for only £7.
2. Sample a free comedy club night
Laugh the night away and don’t pay a single penny in the process at one of London's many free comedy nights. Try Angel Comedy at both the Camden Head and The Bill Murray or head to London comedy's worst kept secret, the Top Secret Comedy Club where most evenings are either free or as little as £1 for entry.
3. Free music bars in London
Enjoying music and cocktails in London doesn't have to cost a lot. Head to areas such as Camden and Brixton and you’ll find yourself stumbling upon free music gigs all over the place. In Brixton, Hootananny offers regular free gigs and ska nights or visit Pop Brixton on Free Music Fridays. Down in south-west London, hit the dance floor on Saturday nights at the Dog and Fox in Wimbledon, where live bands play to a free-entry crowd.
4. Catch a West End half price theatre show
Take in some musical theatre, or a great drama in London’s West End. If you want to enjoy a West End show but are looking to avoid paying full price, you can head to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square on the day of the performance and get cheap tickets for all major shows. For other good deals, book in advance online.
5. Go on a London night out for less
Going clubbing in London doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. There are some great clubs with regular drinks deals and cheap entry prices that even those on a budget can enjoy. The London Nightlife Ticket is a great money-saving option, offering ticket holders free entry and special offers at a range of top London restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
6. Visit the Sky Garden
Want a great view of London without the sky-high costs? London’s Sky Garden in Fenchurch Street is absolutely free to go to the top. Perfect for a romantic evening, enjoy spectacular views over the capital as the sun sets and pay absolutely nothing for the pleasure. Entry is limited so make sure you reserve online in advance.
7. Drink at a cheap London bar
Spend your night in a bar, socialising and enjoying a drink in one of the hundreds of options where you can sit in comfort and not worry about breaking the bank. Try Thirst, Soho, or grab a £3.50 beer or £5 cocktail at Ridley Road Market Bar in Dalston.
8. Dine out at an affordable London restaurant
Fill up on great food without spending a bundle. There are plenty of cheap options for places to get a tasty dinner and leave with something left over. Head to The O2 for a wide range of affordable restaurants, or grab a delicious, and low-cost, sourdough pizza at one of Pizza Pilgrims nine London branches. Explore the streets of Chinatown for plenty of cheap options, like the regional Sichuanese cuisine at Baiwei.
9. Visit London museum lates
Discover London's museums after dark with museum lates. They're a great way to sample a museum in a different way. Some of London’s most popular museums, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum, put on monthly lates with after-hours access, special exhibitions and talks from experts.
10. Spend the evening in a pub theatre
Head to one of London’s many pub theatres, including Upstairs at the Gatehouse in Highgate, or Finborough Theatre, Earls Court, and enjoy cheap theatre tickets to edgy plays and discount offers on drinks. Or try the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, situated above the Prince Albert pub, the country’s only theatre dedicated to purely international work.
11. Tuck into some London street food
Sitting down and eating is overrated! Head to one of London’s numerous street food havens and grab quick, delicious food for under five pounds before continuing your night. Areas ripe for street food include Brixton and Dalston. Read more about food trucks in London.
12. Stay the night in a cheap London hotel
Stay the night in comfort without breaking the bank at one of the hundreds of affordable London hotels. Try one of the city’s many Travelodges or Premier Inns and save on those all-important pennies. Or for those who love to meet people, how about the city's coolest hostels, including the Generator Hostel? Find more cheap accommodation in London.
13. See some of the world's best opera stars
Sample some serious culture at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and have the pleasure of watching some of the finest opera performers in the world at discount prices. Most performances offer tickets for just £10 so don’t miss out.
14. Take a late night stroll on a London walking tour
Experience the fright of your life with a late night Jack the Ripper tour (with amazing Ripper-Vision) for just £12.50, or Sandeman's New London Grim Reaper tour for £14, both showcasing the area where one of the greatest unsolved crimes in history took place. Sandeman's New London also do gratuity-only London tours in the daytime for something less frightful.
15. Take in some Shakespearean theatre
Head to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in Bankside and marvel at some of the world’s best stage actors performing in some of the world’s best plays for incredibly cheap prices. Standing tickets can be bought for just £5. To learn more about the playwright, go on the Shakespeare Globe Exhibition Tour.
16. Eat well and pay what you like
Define your own affordable costs at one of a handful of London restaurants operating on a Pay What You Like system. Diners pay how much they feel their meal is worth, rather than having a price imposed on them. Try to Save the Date Café in Dalston or The Brixton Pound Cafe for this affordable initiative.
17. Take an open top London bus tour
For just £18, take a London by night open top bus tour and marvel at some of London’s best sites in the twilight. Tour includes the Coca-Cola London Eye, St Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace and lasts two hours. It is available in multiple languages.
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