London is a great city to visit, whether it’s for a weekend or longer, and it’s on many people’s bucket lists. The problem is, like cities like New York and Los Angeles, it’s a pricey destination, so while you may have scrimped and saved for a trip, you’ll no doubt want some ideas for inexpensive things to do.
Here are some ideas for nights out in London that are wallet friendly:
The Sky Garden
The highest public park in London, The Sky Garden is part of the so-called ‘walkie talkie’ building in London, named for its unique shape. While you have to book in advance, tickets are free to visit the top of the sky gardens and enjoy the view for up to an hour. If you want to stay longer, there are bars and two restaurants, and if you visit during the day you can sit and enjoy a coffee while looking across London.
Visit a Ball Pit Bar
Do you ever see a ball pit and just want to jump in like you’re a kid again? Ballie Ballerson might be the place for you. Based in Shoreditch, it’s a bar that’s completely covered in ball pit balls, with lots of different sections where you can eat and drink cocktails, too. With bright, colorful lights, it’s an atmospheric and fun night out that’s great for taking unique photos.
Enjoy a Feast Without Cutlery or Dishes
A boodle fight is the bizarrely named Filipino custom of eating feast, without plates or cutlery. Served straight on the table, this unique way of eating makes for an interesting night out, and it’s a good way to see some of the different cultures in London. RAPSA in Shoreditch offer a set menu boodle fight that’s a meal and entertainment in one and is bound to produce lots of Instagrammable moments. Boodle fights can include lots of different dishes, so may include:
- Lumpia – the classic Filipino spring rolls
- Ceviche – raw fish cured in tangy citrus juices
- Fresh fish
- Tiger prawns
Visit a Pub Theater
West End shows out of your budget? You can still enjoy a good show by visiting one of London’s unique and quirky pub theaters. Some of these tiny theaters date back to Victorian times, so they’re full of history, and you’ll find a variety of shows on offer, from stand up comedy to serious plays.
Many big West End shows start off in pub theaters and then get picked up for development, so you may see the next big hit.
Visit a Museum at Night
Many London museums now offer late night openings, where they allow you special access to unique exhibitions, talks and more. Some involve cocktails and unusual entertainment, while others simply allow you to see these tourist traps at a quieter time.
From the Tate Modern to the Science Museum and London Transport Museum, there are plenty of places to visit, and their websites have information about these fun events.