London for less

London has some of the world’s most captivating sights — Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings, Westminster Abbey, the Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, the Globe Theatre and hundreds of museums that draw busloads of tourists every day of the year. While the importance of seeing these historic sites is unquestioned, visitors can find the tourist trail a financially challenging experience. Luckily, London’s true radiance can be uncovered at very little cost — if you know where to go.

London offers a safe journey through most of its streets. No matter where you find yourself, you’re only a short walk to one of the many subway stations. Here’s a sample of London that costs nothing more than a ticket on the tube.

  • Covent Garden is both a tube stop and a great area to target if you’re looking for some free culture in London. The well-known Theatre Land of London, Covent Garden is an Italian piazza in the middle of the city, originally designed by Inigo Jones in the 17th century. At its heart is entertainment and although the dozens of vibrant shops surrounding it are enticing (and window shopping costs nothing), it is the daily performances by buskers d musicians that will romance you.
  • From Covent Garden, it’s a short walk to Soho, the cultural centre of London and considered the city’s pulse. A brisk walk will take you through the century-old markets of Berwick Street and the fashionable lanes of Carnaby Street. While it’s full of shops, restaurants, theatres and bars and is considered the centre of London nightlife, Soho is also a great place to people-watch, especially if the edgier side of life fascinates you.

More than a quarter of the city is green space. Many of London’s parks have royal designations, more than any city of its size in the world.

  • Hyde Park is probably the best-known, with its Serpentine Lake, Marble Arch and the verbal jousting between orators and hecklers at Speaker’s Corner.
  • A favourite among locals for its diminutive size, St. James’s Park is home to geese and swans, and provides an ideal vantage of Buckingham Palace from the bridge over the lake.
  • Regent’s Park is best for strolling, either in St. Mary’s Gardens or along the two-mile Outer Circle.
  • Green Park is one of the more historical parks as well as one of the biggest and includes Buckingham Palace, the Palace Gardens, the Queen’s Gallery and a memorial to Queen Victoria.

London parks offer a wonderful way to enjoy the city’s people and culture in a delightfully relaxing atmosphere. And best of all, it costs nothing. The real heart of London is found in its parks, markets and culturally rich centre. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to spend a day but save your money.