Guide to an affordable weekend in London

Guide to an affordable weekend in London

So you're planning a weekend in London and you've realised that the prices here are typically terrifyingly high. We feel your pain but it doesn't mean you have to miss out on a visit. The city has plenty of low-cost attractions and places to eat and drink that mean you can stay here and have a great time without falling into your overdraft. Plan an affordable city break in the capital with our guide to a budget-friendly weekend in London.

In this guide
  1. Affordable hotel accommodation
    1. The Corner – Stylish and sustainable
    2. Lancaster Gate Hotel – Stay near Hyde Park
    3. The California – Affordable hotel with great transport links
  2. Drinks before dinner
    1. FAM – Cosy cocktail spot
    2. Freud Bar – Creative and classic drinks
    3. The Cocktail Club – Cocktails and fun
  3. It's dinnertime
    1. Pastaio – Sleek pasta place
    2. Flat Iron – Steak that's accessible
    3. Pizza Pilgrims – A true taste of Naples
  4. Keep the night going
    1. Big Chill – Vibrant party venues
    2. The Jago – Nights out in East London
    3. The Camden Head – Pub parties in Camden
  5. Free London activities
    1. Strawberry Tours – City walking tours
    2. Palace of Westminster – Tour an iconic building
    3. Natural History Museum – The wonders of the natural world
  6. Have some lunch
    1. Padella – Sought-after pasta
    2. Bleecker Burger – Affordable award-winning burgers
    3. M. Manze – Classic cooking
  7. Budget-friendly shopping
    1. South Bank Book Market – Browse books by the river
    2. Portobello Road Market – Massive antiques market
    3. Beyond Retro – Find your vintage style
  8. Places for dinner
    1. Golden Union – Modern Soho chip shop
    2. Brasserie Zédel – Grand space for French food
    3. Tayyabs – A classic for Indian cuisine
  9. Stop for brunch
    1. Wild Thyme – Vibrant global recipes
    2. Cocotte – Farm-to-table food
    3. Popina – Low-cost Mayfair dining
  10. Laid-back activities
    1. Hackney City Farm – A real working farm
    2. London Cable Car – Soar above the Thames
    3. Primrose Hill – Enjoy the view

Affordable hotel accommodation

The Corner

Stylish and sustainable

With The Corner, you get a stylish base in East London at a hotel dedicated to sustainability. Rooms are designed as pods, and each one has its own unique character. Rooms are equipped with water-saving showers, organic toiletries, and recycled furniture. There's a bar and kitchen on-site and spaces for co-working and meetings.

  • Price: About £160 for a snug double room

Lancaster Gate Hotel

Stay near Hyde Park

Located next to Hyde Park, Lancaster Gate Hotel offers affordable stays in central London. Guest rooms here have a classic look with bursts of colour, and a variety of room sizes are available. Whilst you're here, you can take advantage of room service or visit the on-site bar or restaurant, serving up budget-friendly international dishes.

  • Price: About £156 for a double room

The California

Affordable hotel with great transport links

Located near a major railway station, The California is a chic, minimalist hotel. Every room features a distinct style, furnished with contemporary pieces and practical amenities such as bottled water, tea and coffee facilities, and personal care items. The hotel focuses on sustainability and affordability, opting to exclude extravagant services like concierge or room service in favour of cosy, fashionable accommodation at a wallet-friendly price.

  • Price: About £160 for a double room

Drinks before dinner

FAM Bar & Kitchen – Affordable weekend
FAM Bar & Kitchen
FAM Bar & Kitchen – Affordable weekend
FAM Bar & Kitchen
FAM Bar & Kitchen – Affordable weekend
FAM Bar & Kitchen
FAM Bar & Kitchen – Affordable weekend
FAM Bar & Kitchen
FAM Bar & Kitchen – Affordable weekend
FAM Bar & Kitchen
FAM Bar & Kitchen – Affordable weekend
FAM Bar & Kitchen
FAM Bar & Kitchen – Affordable weekend
FAM Bar & Kitchen
FAM Bar & Kitchen – Affordable weekend
FAM Bar & Kitchen

FAM

Cosy cocktail spot

Escape the pace of central London with a cosy drink at FAM Bar & Kitchen. This vibrant drinking spot has bright red walls and a friendly and informal atmosphere. Classic and distinctive signature cocktails are served and you can also enjoy South American-inspired snacks. The bar has an impressive vinyl collection too.

  • Price: About £12.50 for a margarita

Freud Bar

Creative and classic drinks

Freud Bar has been open since 1986 and has a reputation as a legendary cocktail destination. The drinks are affordable and there's something for everyone on the list, from classic mixes to more imaginative drinks. The lively atmosphere here is enhanced by music and rotating art exhibitions on the stripped-back walls.

  • Price: About £7.60 for a gimlet
The Cocktail Club Shoreditch The Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue The Cocktail Club Oxford Circus The Cocktail Club Monument The Cocktail Club Mansion House The Cocktail Club Goodge Street The Cocktail Club Liverpool Street The Cocktail Club Clapham The Cocktail Club Old Street
The Cocktail Club Shoreditch
londoncocktailclub.co.uk/shoreditch
The Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue
londoncocktailclub.co.uk/shaftesbury-avenue
The Cocktail Club Oxford Circus
londoncocktailclub.co.uk/oxford-circus
The Cocktail Club Monument
thecocktailclub.com/bars/monument
The Cocktail Club Mansion House
londoncocktailclub.co.uk/mansion-house
The Cocktail Club Goodge Street
londoncocktailclub.co.uk/goodge-street
The Cocktail Club Liverpool Street
londoncocktailclub.co.uk/liverpool-street
The Cocktail Club Clapham
thecocktailclub.com/bars/clapham
The Cocktail Club Old Street
londoncocktailclub.co.uk/old-street
The Cocktail Club Shoreditch The Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue The Cocktail Club Oxford Circus The Cocktail Club Monument The Cocktail Club Mansion House The Cocktail Club Goodge Street The Cocktail Club Liverpool Street The Cocktail Club Clapham The Cocktail Club Old Street

Cocktails and fun

There are plenty of branches of The Cocktail Club dotted around the city. Here you get reasonably-priced cocktails combined with a sense of all-out fun. Each venue has a unique style but all have a buzzing atmosphere and a broad choice of drinks. It's the ideal environment to get your night going.

  • Price: About £12 for a cocktail
  • 12, 29 Sclater St, Shoreditch/Tower Hamlets 224a Shaftesbury Ave 4 Great Portland St, Fitzrovia 2B Eastcheap, The City/City of London 78 Queen Victoria St, The City/City of London 61 Goodge St, Fitzrovia 210 Bishopsgate, The City/City of London 182-184 Clapham High St, Clapham 63 Worship St, Shoreditch
    The Cocktail Club Shoreditch
    12, 29 Sclater St, Shoreditch/Tower Hamlets
    The Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue
    224a Shaftesbury Ave
    The Cocktail Club Oxford Circus
    4 Great Portland St, Fitzrovia
    The Cocktail Club Monument
    2B Eastcheap, The City/City of London
    The Cocktail Club Mansion House
    78 Queen Victoria St, The City/City of London
    The Cocktail Club Goodge Street
    61 Goodge St, Fitzrovia
    The Cocktail Club Liverpool Street
    210 Bishopsgate, The City/City of London
    The Cocktail Club Clapham
    182-184 Clapham High St, Clapham
    The Cocktail Club Old Street
    63 Worship St, Shoreditch
  • The Cocktail Club Shoreditch
    londoncocktailclub.co.uk/shoreditch
    The Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue
    londoncocktailclub.co.uk/shaftesbury-avenue
    The Cocktail Club Oxford Circus
    londoncocktailclub.co.uk/oxford-circus
    The Cocktail Club Monument
    thecocktailclub.com/bars/monument
    The Cocktail Club Mansion House
    londoncocktailclub.co.uk/mansion-house
    The Cocktail Club Goodge Street
    londoncocktailclub.co.uk/goodge-street
    The Cocktail Club Liverpool Street
    londoncocktailclub.co.uk/liverpool-street
    The Cocktail Club Clapham
    thecocktailclub.com/bars/clapham
    The Cocktail Club Old Street
    londoncocktailclub.co.uk/old-street
    The Cocktail Club Shoreditch
    020-395 179 71
    The Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue
    020-774 939 48
    The Cocktail Club Oxford Circus
    020-374 567 92
    The Cocktail Club Monument
    020-374 567 91
    The Cocktail Club Mansion House
    020-774 939 49
    The Cocktail Club Goodge Street
    020-774 939 51
    The Cocktail Club Liverpool Street
    020-724 700 15
    The Cocktail Club Clapham
    020-374 567 91
    The Cocktail Club Old Street
    020-758 019 60
  • The Cocktail Club Shoreditch The Cocktail Club Shaftesbury Avenue The Cocktail Club Oxford Circus The Cocktail Club Monument The Cocktail Club Mansion House The Cocktail Club Goodge Street The Cocktail Club Liverpool Street The Cocktail Club Clapham The Cocktail Club Old Street

It's dinnertime

Pastaio – Affordable weekend
Pastaio
Pastaio – Affordable weekend
Pastaio
Pastaio – Affordable weekend
Pastaio
Pastaio – Affordable weekend
Pastaio
Pastaio – Affordable weekend
Pastaio
Pastaio – Affordable weekend
Pastaio
Pastaio – Affordable weekend
Pastaio
Pastaio – Affordable weekend
Pastaio

Pastaio

Sleek pasta place

Sample high quality seasonal pasta dishes in a lively contemporary dining room at Soho's Pastaio. This friendly spot has indoor and outdoor seats. Start a meal at this slick establishment with antipasti before trying fresh pasta with a variety of gourmet sauces and fillings. Desserts and prosecco slushie cocktails are offered too.

  • Price: About £15 for carbonara
Flat Iron Kensington Flat Iron Westfield London Flat Iron London Bridge Flat Iron Borough Flat Iron Shoreditch Flat Iron Soho Flat Iron Spitalfields Flat Iron Tottenham Court Road Flat Iron Covent Garden Flat Iron Waterloo Flat Iron Marylebone Flat Iron Kings Cross Flat Iron Hammersmith Flat Iron Victoria
Flat Iron Kensington
flatironsteak.co.uk
Flat Iron Westfield London
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/westfield-london
Flat Iron London Bridge
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/london-bridge
Flat Iron Borough
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/london-bridge-clinkstreet
Flat Iron Shoreditch
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/shoreditch
Flat Iron Soho
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/soho
Flat Iron Spitalfields
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/spitalfields
Flat Iron Tottenham Court Road
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/tottenham-court-road
Flat Iron Covent Garden
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/covent-garden
Flat Iron Waterloo
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/kensington
Flat Iron Marylebone
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/james-street
Flat Iron Kings Cross
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/kings-cross
Flat Iron Hammersmith
flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/hammersmith
Flat Iron Victoria
flatironsteak.co.uk
Flat Iron Kensington Flat Iron Westfield London Flat Iron London Bridge Flat Iron Borough Flat Iron Shoreditch Flat Iron Soho Flat Iron Spitalfields Flat Iron Tottenham Court Road Flat Iron Covent Garden Flat Iron Waterloo Flat Iron Marylebone Flat Iron Kings Cross Flat Iron Hammersmith Flat Iron Victoria

Steak that's accessible

Flat Iron has branches throughout the city that make top quality steak accessible and affordable. Walk-ins are welcome at these smart restaurants, where the simple menu is made up of steak with a variety of sides to create your ideal meal. Despite the prices, all the ingredients used here are carefully sourced.

  • Price: About £17 for steak and chips
  • 9 Young St, Kensington Ariel Way, Hammersmith and Fulham 112-116 Tooley St, Southwark 11 Clink St, Southwark 77 Curtain Rd, Shoreditch 17 Beak St, Soho 88-90 Commercial St, Shoreditch/Tower Hamlets 9 Denmark St 17-18 Henrietta St, Covent Garden 41 The Cut, South Bank/Southwark 44 James St, Marylebone 47-51 Caledonian Rd, Islington 18 Hammersmith Broadway, Hammersmith and Fulham 4-7 Victoria Buildings, Terminus Place, Westminster
    Flat Iron Kensington
    9 Young St, Kensington
    Flat Iron Westfield London
    Ariel Way, Hammersmith and Fulham
    Flat Iron London Bridge
    112-116 Tooley St, Southwark
    Flat Iron Borough
    11 Clink St, Southwark
    Flat Iron Shoreditch
    77 Curtain Rd, Shoreditch
    Flat Iron Soho
    17 Beak St, Soho
    Flat Iron Spitalfields
    88-90 Commercial St, Shoreditch/Tower Hamlets
    Flat Iron Tottenham Court Road
    9 Denmark St
    Flat Iron Covent Garden
    17-18 Henrietta St, Covent Garden
    Flat Iron Waterloo
    41 The Cut, South Bank/Southwark
    Flat Iron Marylebone
    44 James St, Marylebone
    Flat Iron Kings Cross
    47-51 Caledonian Rd, Islington
    Flat Iron Hammersmith
    18 Hammersmith Broadway, Hammersmith and Fulham
    Flat Iron Victoria
    4-7 Victoria Buildings, Terminus Place, Westminster
  • Flat Iron Kensington
    flatironsteak.co.uk
    Flat Iron Westfield London
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/westfield-london
    Flat Iron London Bridge
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/london-bridge
    Flat Iron Borough
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/london-bridge-clinkstreet
    Flat Iron Shoreditch
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/shoreditch
    Flat Iron Soho
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/soho
    Flat Iron Spitalfields
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/spitalfields
    Flat Iron Tottenham Court Road
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/tottenham-court-road
    Flat Iron Covent Garden
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/covent-garden
    Flat Iron Waterloo
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/kensington
    Flat Iron Marylebone
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/james-street
    Flat Iron Kings Cross
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/kings-cross
    Flat Iron Hammersmith
    flatironsteak.co.uk/restaurant/hammersmith
    Flat Iron Victoria
    flatironsteak.co.uk
  • Flat Iron Kensington Flat Iron Westfield London Flat Iron London Bridge Flat Iron Borough Flat Iron Shoreditch Flat Iron Soho Flat Iron Spitalfields Flat Iron Tottenham Court Road Flat Iron Covent Garden Flat Iron Waterloo Flat Iron Marylebone Flat Iron Kings Cross Flat Iron Hammersmith Flat Iron Victoria
Pizza Pilgrims Queen's Park Pizza Pilgrims West India Quay Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch Pizza Pilgrims Swingers Crazy Golf City Pizza Pilgrims Covent Garden Pizza Pilgrims Exmouth Market Pizza Pilgrims Carnaby Pizza Pilgrims Soho Pizza Pilgrims London Bridge Pizza Pilgrims Liverpool Street Pizza Pilgrims Westfield Pizza Pilgrims Victoria Pizza Pilgrims Camden Pizza Pilgrims Waterloo Pizza Pilgrims Hyde Park Pizza Pilgrims Selfridges Pizza Pilgrims Finsbury Park
Pizza Pilgrims Queen's Park
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims West India Quay
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Swingers Crazy Golf City
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Covent Garden
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Exmouth Market
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Carnaby
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Soho
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims London Bridge
pizzapilgrims.co.uk/venues/pizza-pilgrims-london-bridge
Pizza Pilgrims Liverpool Street
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Westfield
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Victoria
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Camden
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Waterloo
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Hyde Park
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Selfridges
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Finsbury Park
pizzapilgrims.co.uk
Pizza Pilgrims Queen's Park Pizza Pilgrims West India Quay Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch Pizza Pilgrims Swingers Crazy Golf City Pizza Pilgrims Covent Garden Pizza Pilgrims Exmouth Market Pizza Pilgrims Carnaby Pizza Pilgrims Soho Pizza Pilgrims London Bridge Pizza Pilgrims Liverpool Street Pizza Pilgrims Westfield Pizza Pilgrims Victoria Pizza Pilgrims Camden Pizza Pilgrims Waterloo Pizza Pilgrims Hyde Park Pizza Pilgrims Selfridges Pizza Pilgrims Finsbury Park

A true taste of Naples

Enjoy real Neapolitan pizza at a reasonable price thanks to Pizza Pilgrims. These bold and modern eateries are located all over the capital, with each one having a unique personality. Top quality ingredients are sourced straight from Italy to craft the pies here, with a variety of tempting toppings to satisfy every palate.

  • Price: About £10 for margherita pizza
  • 43, 47 Lonsdale Rd, Brent 12 Hertsmere Rd, Canary Wharf/Tower Hamlets 136 Shoreditch High St, Shoreditch 23 Garrick St, Covent Garden 15 Exmouth Market 11 Kingly St, Soho 8 Brown's Buildings, The City/City of London 11 Dean St, Soho Bermondsey Street, Southwark Tower 42, 22 Old Broad St, The City/City of London Westfield London, Ariel Way, Hammersmith and Fulham 32 Buckingham Palace Rd 40-42 Parkway, Camden Town 82 Lower Marsh, South Bank/Lambeth/Southwark 38 Queensway 100 Oxford St, Marylebone 266 Seven Sisters Rd
    Pizza Pilgrims Queen's Park
    43, 47 Lonsdale Rd, Brent
    Pizza Pilgrims West India Quay
    12 Hertsmere Rd, Canary Wharf/Tower Hamlets
    Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch
    136 Shoreditch High St, Shoreditch
    Pizza Pilgrims Covent Garden
    23 Garrick St, Covent Garden
    Pizza Pilgrims Exmouth Market
    15 Exmouth Market
    Pizza Pilgrims Carnaby
    11 Kingly St, Soho
    Pizza Pilgrims Swingers Crazy Golf City
    8 Brown's Buildings, The City/City of London
    Pizza Pilgrims Soho
    11 Dean St, Soho
    Pizza Pilgrims London Bridge
    Bermondsey Street, Southwark
    Pizza Pilgrims Liverpool Street
    Tower 42, 22 Old Broad St, The City/City of London
    Pizza Pilgrims Westfield
    Westfield London, Ariel Way, Hammersmith and Fulham
    Pizza Pilgrims Victoria
    32 Buckingham Palace Rd
    Pizza Pilgrims Camden
    40-42 Parkway, Camden Town
    Pizza Pilgrims Waterloo
    82 Lower Marsh, South Bank/Lambeth/Southwark
    Pizza Pilgrims Hyde Park
    38 Queensway
    Pizza Pilgrims Selfridges
    100 Oxford St, Marylebone
    Pizza Pilgrims Finsbury Park
    266 Seven Sisters Rd
  • Pizza Pilgrims Queen's Park
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims West India Quay
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Swingers Crazy Golf City
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Covent Garden
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Exmouth Market
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Carnaby
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Soho
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims London Bridge
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk/venues/pizza-pilgrims-london-bridge
    Pizza Pilgrims Liverpool Street
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Westfield
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Victoria
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Camden
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Waterloo
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Hyde Park
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Selfridges
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims Finsbury Park
    pizzapilgrims.co.uk
    Pizza Pilgrims West India Quay
    020-301 980 20
    Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch
    020-301 976 20
    Pizza Pilgrims Swingers Crazy Golf City
    020-384 632 22
    Pizza Pilgrims Covent Garden
    020-724 041 45
    Pizza Pilgrims Exmouth Market
    020-806 969 69
    Pizza Pilgrims Carnaby
    020-728 722 00
    Pizza Pilgrims Soho
    020-300 529 30
    Pizza Pilgrims London Bridge
    020-397 498 25
    Pizza Pilgrims Liverpool Street
    020-397 498 20
    Pizza Pilgrims Westfield
    020-301 918 88
    Pizza Pilgrims Victoria
    020-396 358 00
    Pizza Pilgrims Camden
    020-816 783 66
    Pizza Pilgrims Waterloo
    020-397 498 29
    Pizza Pilgrims Hyde Park
    020-815 472 05
    Pizza Pilgrims Selfridges
    020-731 838 62
    Pizza Pilgrims Finsbury Park
    020-396 357 97
  • Pizza Pilgrims Queen's Park Pizza Pilgrims West India Quay Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch Pizza Pilgrims Swingers Crazy Golf City Pizza Pilgrims Covent Garden Pizza Pilgrims Exmouth Market Pizza Pilgrims Carnaby Pizza Pilgrims Soho Pizza Pilgrims London Bridge Pizza Pilgrims Liverpool Street Pizza Pilgrims Westfield Pizza Pilgrims Victoria Pizza Pilgrims Camden Pizza Pilgrims Waterloo Pizza Pilgrims Hyde Park Pizza Pilgrims Selfridges Pizza Pilgrims Finsbury Park

Keep the night going

Big Chill Brick Lane Big Chill King's Cross
Big Chill Brick Lane
bigchillbar.com/brick-lane
Big Chill King's Cross
bigchillbar.com/kings-cross
Big Chill Brick Lane Big Chill King's Cross

Vibrant party venues

Big Chill is a lively party venue where you can stay out late. The bustling spot attracts a youthful crowd with pumping music and a vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy drinks ranging from craft beer to signature cocktails and get dancing. Fun events take place regularly to enhance the experience.

  • Price: About £10 for cocktails
  • Dray Walk Gallery, Shoreditch/Tower Hamlets 257-259 Pentonville Rd
    Big Chill Brick Lane
    Dray Walk Gallery, Shoreditch/Tower Hamlets
    Big Chill King's Cross
    257-259 Pentonville Rd
  • Big Chill Brick Lane
    bigchillbar.com/brick-lane
    Big Chill King's Cross
    bigchillbar.com/kings-cross
    020-739 291 80
  • Big Chill Brick Lane Big Chill King's Cross

The Jago

Nights out in East London

The Jago in Dalston is a top destination for live music, showcasing a diverse range of global sounds. Drinks are affordable and there's an eclectic line-up of parties and performances here. Everything happens in a vibrant and intimate space. A strong sense of community is also key at this venue.

  • Price: About £10 for event tickets

The Camden Head

Pub parties in Camden

The Camden Head has been around since 1787, making it one of the oldest pubs in Camden Town. Today it's a buzzy nightlife spot with pumping DJ sets until late, comedy nights, a varied choice of drinks, and a lively atmosphere. The venue also does food, dishing up innovative burgers with flamboyant presentation.

  • Price: About £7 for a glass of wine

Free London activities

Strawberry Tours

City walking tours

Enjoy a city tour on foot for free with Strawberry Tours. A knowledgeable local will guide you on your walking tour and there are plenty of route choices. Whatever your interests are, there's something that'll appeal – check out the capital's street art, see places from the lives of film and TV characters, or see all the essential London sights.

  • Price: Free
Palace of Westminster – Affordable weekend
Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster – Affordable weekend
Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster – Affordable weekend
Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster – Affordable weekend
Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster – Affordable weekend
Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster – Affordable weekend
Palace of Westminster

Palace of Westminster

Tour an iconic building

The Palace of Westminster is best-known as the home of Big Ben and the UK Parliament. This striking Grade I listed building sits next to the Thames and is a must-see structure in London. UK residents can also join a tour inside free of charge and learn about the building's history and the inner workings of the political system.

  • Price: Free for UK residents
Natural History Museum – Affordable weekend
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum – Affordable weekend
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum – Affordable weekend
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum – Affordable weekend
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum – Affordable weekend
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum – Affordable weekend
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum – Affordable weekend
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum – Affordable weekend
Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

The wonders of the natural world

Architectural marvel the Natural History Museum is packed with fascinating exhibits relating to the natural world and is free to visit. There's plenty for all ages to discover from fossils and dinosaurs to native wildlife and naturally-formed crystals. It's a family-friendly destination and there are eateries on-site too.

  • Price: Free

Have some lunch

Padella Shoreditch Padella Borough
Padella Shoreditch
padella.co
Padella Borough
padella.co
Padella Shoreditch Padella Borough

Sought-after pasta

Hand-rolled pasta specialists Padella have a serious reputation and hungry Londoners are usually willing to queue for their pasta fix. This modern pasta bar offers a changing menu of antipasti, pasta with fresh sauces and fillings, and alcoholic and soft drinks. Everything is high quality but still comes at budget-friendly prices.

  • Price: About £14 for fettuccine with pesto
  • 1 Phipp St, Shoreditch 6 Southwark Street, Southwark
    Padella Shoreditch
    1 Phipp St, Shoreditch
    Padella Borough
    6 Southwark Street, Southwark
  • Padella Shoreditch
    padella.co
    Padella Borough
    padella.co
  • Padella Shoreditch Padella Borough
Bleecker Burger Westfield Bleecker Burger Bloomberg Bleecker Burger Victoria Bleecker Burger Spitalfields
Bleecker Burger Westfield
bleecker.co.uk/westfield
Bleecker Burger Bloomberg
bleecker.co.uk/bloomberg
Bleecker Burger Victoria
bleecker.co.uk/victoria
Bleecker Burger Spitalfields
bleecker.co.uk/spitalfields
Bleecker Burger Westfield Bleecker Burger Bloomberg Bleecker Burger Victoria Bleecker Burger Spitalfields

Affordable award-winning burgers

Grab an award-winning burger at a price your bank balance will love at Bleecker Burger. These burgers have won some serious accolades and are made with top quality rare-breed, grass-fed beef. The eateries are cool, low-key, and contemporary, offering a straightforward menu of seriously satisfying food – just burgers, fries, and drinks.

  • Price: About £8 for a cheeseburger
  • The Balcony Westfield, Hammersmith and Fulham 16 Bloomberg Arcade, The City/City of London 205 Victoria St, Westminster Old Spitalfields Market, Lamb Street, Shoreditch/Tower Hamlets
    Bleecker Burger Westfield
    The Balcony Westfield, Hammersmith and Fulham
    Bleecker Burger Bloomberg
    16 Bloomberg Arcade, The City/City of London
    Bleecker Burger Victoria
    205 Victoria St, Westminster
    Bleecker Burger Spitalfields
    Old Spitalfields Market, Lamb Street, Shoreditch/Tower Hamlets
  • Bleecker Burger Westfield
    bleecker.co.uk/westfield
    Bleecker Burger Bloomberg
    bleecker.co.uk/bloomberg
    Bleecker Burger Victoria
    bleecker.co.uk/victoria
    Bleecker Burger Spitalfields
    bleecker.co.uk/spitalfields
    Bleecker Burger Westfield
    020-358 229 30
    Bleecker Burger Bloomberg
    020-792 937 85
    Bleecker Burger Victoria
    020-782 880 16
    Bleecker Burger Spitalfields
    020-782 880 16
  • Bleecker Burger Westfield Bleecker Burger Bloomberg Bleecker Burger Victoria Bleecker Burger Spitalfields
M. Manze Sutton M. Manze Peckham M. Manze Tower Bridge Manze's
M. Manze Sutton
manze.co.uk
M. Manze Peckham
manze.co.uk
M. Manze Tower Bridge
manze.co.uk
Manze's
manzepieandmash.com
M. Manze Sutton M. Manze Peckham M. Manze Tower Bridge Manze's

Classic cooking

Traditional London pie shop M. Manze started out back in 1902. If you're looking for classic British food in a timeless setting then this is the place to go. The hearty menu is simple - meat and vegan pies are available, served with mashed potatoes and gravy or liquor. Get some jellied eels if you want to go all in.

  • Price: About £7 for pie and mash
  • 226 High Street, Sutton 105 Peckham High Street, Peckham 87 Tower Bridge Rd, Southwark 204 Deptford High St, Deptford
    M. Manze Sutton
    226 High Street, Sutton
    M. Manze Peckham
    105 Peckham High Street, Peckham
    M. Manze Tower Bridge
    87 Tower Bridge Rd, Southwark
    Manze's
    204 Deptford High St, Deptford
  • M. Manze Sutton
    manze.co.uk
    M. Manze Peckham
    manze.co.uk
    M. Manze Tower Bridge
    manze.co.uk
    Manze's
    manzepieandmash.com
    M. Manze Sutton
    020-828 687 87
    M. Manze Peckham
    020-727 761 81
    M. Manze Tower Bridge
    020-740 729 85
    Manze's
    020-869 223 75
  • M. Manze Sutton M. Manze Peckham M. Manze Tower Bridge Manze's

Budget-friendly shopping

South Bank Book Market

Browse books by the river

Browse books in a covered setting next to the Thames at the South Bank Book Market. Now a familiar fixture on the riverbank, the market attracts tourists and locals and is a great place to find unexpected books on a range of topics. Stacks of books are laid out on tables for shoppers to explore.

  • Price: Varies
Portobello Road Market – Affordable weekend
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market – Affordable weekend
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market – Affordable weekend
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market – Affordable weekend
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market – Affordable weekend
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market – Affordable weekend
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market – Affordable weekend
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market – Affordable weekend
Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market

Massive antiques market

The world's largest antiques market is Portobello Road Market. It's been around for more than a century and is a treasure trove of antique finds, vintage fashion, and bric-a-brac. With traders changing regularly, there's always something new and exciting to discover. Street food vendors enhance the atmosphere here.

  • Price: Varies
Beyond Retro Coal Drops Beyond Retro Westfield White City Beyond Retro Dalston Beyond Retro Soho
Beyond Retro Coal Drops
beyondretro.com/pages/store-locator-coal-drops
Beyond Retro Westfield White City
beyondretro.com/pages/store-locator-white-city
Beyond Retro Dalston
beyondretro.com/pages/store-locator-brighton
Beyond Retro Soho
beyondretro.com/en/help/stores/soho
Beyond Retro Coal Drops Beyond Retro Westfield White City Beyond Retro Dalston Beyond Retro Soho

Find your vintage style

Starting out in a London warehouse, Beyond Retro is now a favourite in the city for unique vintage fashion, with a number of shops dotted about. In the well-stocked shop you'll see distinctive pieces and reworked garments that mean you can put together a one-of-a-kind outfit. You'll find fashion from the 1960s up to the 2000s.

  • Price: Varies, about £25 for a dress
  • Unit 79-81, Coal Drops Yard, King's Cross Ariel Way, Hammersmith and Fulham 92-100 Stoke Newington Road, Stoke Newington 19-21 Argyll Street, Soho
    Beyond Retro Coal Drops
    Unit 79-81, Coal Drops Yard, King's Cross
    Beyond Retro Westfield White City
    Ariel Way, Hammersmith and Fulham
    Beyond Retro Dalston
    92-100 Stoke Newington Road, Stoke Newington
    Beyond Retro Soho
    19-21 Argyll Street, Soho
  • Beyond Retro Coal Drops
    beyondretro.com/pages/store-locator-coal-drops
    Beyond Retro Westfield White City
    beyondretro.com/pages/store-locator-white-city
    Beyond Retro Dalston
    beyondretro.com/pages/store-locator-brighton
    Beyond Retro Soho
    beyondretro.com/en/help/stores/soho
    Beyond Retro Coal Drops
    020-772 990 01
    Beyond Retro Westfield White City
    020-772 990 01
  • Beyond Retro Coal Drops Beyond Retro Westfield White City Beyond Retro Dalston Beyond Retro Soho

Places for dinner

Golden Union

Modern Soho chip shop

Enjoy classic fish and chips at Golden Union in Soho. This modern restaurant serves sustainable fish and also offers ample plant-based choices like vegan sausages. Expect traditional chip shop meals like fish, sausages, chips, and pies, served in a classic dining space with shiny white tiles. Takeaways are also available.

  • Price: About £15 for cod and chips
Brasserie Zédel – Affordable weekend
Brasserie Zédel
Brasserie Zédel – Affordable weekend
Brasserie Zédel
Brasserie Zédel – Affordable weekend
Brasserie Zédel
Brasserie Zédel – Affordable weekend
Brasserie Zédel
Brasserie Zédel – Affordable weekend
Brasserie Zédel
Brasserie Zédel – Affordable weekend
Brasserie Zédel
Brasserie Zédel – Affordable weekend
Brasserie Zédel
Brasserie Zédel – Affordable weekend
Brasserie Zédel

Brasserie Zédel

Grand space for French food

Have a French meal in grand Art Deco surroundings at Brasserie Zédel. This centrally-located restaurant has a timeless and sophisticated look, plus a menu of classic French cooking. The prix-fixe option gives you a two or three course meal for a reasonable price. Wine is served by the glass, carafe, or bottle.

  • Price: About £20 for a prix-fixe three course meal
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs
Tayyabs – Affordable weekend
Tayyabs

Tayyabs

A classic for Indian cuisine

With a history spanning decades, Tayyabs is well-established as an affordable destination for an Indian meal. With its lively, bustling atmosphere and vintage furnishings, this place really feels like a blast from the past. Set menus are available or you can choose from the main offering of Punjabi favourites like curries, biryanis, and dosa.

  • Price: About £11.50 for butter chicken

Stop for brunch

Wild Thyme – Affordable weekend
Wild Thyme
Wild Thyme – Affordable weekend
Wild Thyme
Wild Thyme – Affordable weekend
Wild Thyme
Wild Thyme – Affordable weekend
Wild Thyme
Wild Thyme – Affordable weekend
Wild Thyme
Wild Thyme – Affordable weekend
Wild Thyme
Wild Thyme – Affordable weekend
Wild Thyme
Wild Thyme – Affordable weekend
Wild Thyme

Wild Thyme

Vibrant global recipes

Wild Thyme serves vibrant international brunch dishes in a warm and rustic space. The restaurant puts its own stamp on brunch classics with the choices ranging from light pastries and granola to hearty egg dishes and fried breakfasts. Pair your brunch with cocktails, coffee, or juice. The restaurant is cosy and has an outside terrace too.

  • Price: About £12.50 for a fried breakfast
Cocotte Shoreditch – Affordable weekend
Cocotte Shoreditch
Cocotte Shoreditch – Affordable weekend
Cocotte Shoreditch
Cocotte Queen's Park Cocotte Parson's Green Cocotte South Kensington Cocotte Notting Hill Cocotte Shoreditch
Cocotte Queen's Park
mycocotte.uk/queens-park
Cocotte Parson's Green
mycocotte.uk/parsons-green
Cocotte South Kensington
mycocotte.uk/south-kensington
Cocotte Notting Hill
mycocotte.uk/notting-hill
Cocotte Shoreditch
mycocotte.uk/shoreditch
Cocotte Queen's Park Cocotte Parson's Green Cocotte South Kensington Cocotte Notting Hill Cocotte Shoreditch

Farm-to-table food

Farm-to-table eatery Cocotte specialises in rotisserie cooking, with plenty of chicken dishes on the menu. The chicken is free-range and sauces and marinades are prepared in house. Food is available all day with a brunch menu until 5pm. The venue is bright and contemporary with a homey feel.

  • Price: About £13.50 for chicken and waffles
  • 79 Salusbury Rd, Brent 271 New Kings Rd, Fulham/Hammersmith and Fulham 11 Harrington Rd, Kensington 95 Westbourne Grove 8 Hoxton Square, Shoreditch
    Cocotte Queen's Park
    79 Salusbury Rd, Brent
    Cocotte Parson's Green
    271 New Kings Rd, Fulham/Hammersmith and Fulham
    Cocotte South Kensington
    11 Harrington Rd, Kensington
    Cocotte Notting Hill
    95 Westbourne Grove
    Cocotte Shoreditch
    8 Hoxton Square, Shoreditch
  • Cocotte Queen's Park
    mycocotte.uk/queens-park
    Cocotte Parson's Green
    mycocotte.uk/parsons-green
    Cocotte South Kensington
    mycocotte.uk/south-kensington
    Cocotte Notting Hill
    mycocotte.uk/notting-hill
    Cocotte Shoreditch
    mycocotte.uk/shoreditch
    Cocotte Queen's Park
    020-762 566 06
    Cocotte Parson's Green
    020-761 095 44
    Cocotte South Kensington
    020-758 910 51
    Cocotte Notting Hill
    020-322 000 76
    Cocotte Shoreditch
    020-703 342 77
  • Cocotte Queen's Park Cocotte Parson's Green Cocotte South Kensington Cocotte Notting Hill Cocotte Shoreditch

Popina

Low-cost Mayfair dining

Popina in Mayfair offers affordable brunching in the heart of the city. This upscale café is an award-winner, with a crisp interior and a tempting menu of popular dishes. Breakfast and brunch is the name of the game here, with sweet and savoury options on the menu like sandwiches, plenty of egg dishes, and granola.

  • Price: About £8.50 for French toast

Laid-back activities

Hackney City Farm – Affordable weekend
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Affordable weekend
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Affordable weekend
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Affordable weekend
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Affordable weekend
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Affordable weekend
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Affordable weekend
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm – Affordable weekend
Hackney City Farm

Hackney City Farm

A real working farm

Experience a working farm without leaving the city by visiting Hackney City Farm. This family-friendly destination is free to visit and offers lots to do. You can explore the farmyard and gardens, meet the animals, visit the sustainable farm shop, or stop for a meal. A range of activities and events take place on the farm too.

  • Price: Free

London Cable Car

Soar above the Thames

Cruise above the Thames and take in fabulous views by riding the London Cable Car. Built to facilitate the 2012 Olympics, it's now a way to see the sights and get across the river in a memorable way. You'll get panoramic views, with slower journeys in the evening so you can make the most of it.

  • Price: About £6 one way

Primrose Hill

Enjoy the view

Get a walk in the park and take in picturesque views of central London by visiting Primrose Hill. This North London park with an eponymous hill is a protected viewpoint – even the trees are intentionally kept low so that nothing gets in the way. Admire the view and soak up the atmosphere at this popular green space.

  • Price: Free

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Editors

At Thatsup, we have extensive experience of guiding our readers to a city’s hidden gems. Since 2008, our editors have been writing insightful guides covering restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, and hairdressers, among other things. Our guides consist of carefully selected tips based on our local knowledge and are regularly updated with the help of our focus group, where we collectively discuss selections and content. We are constantly working to inspire and provide you with the best possible experience, no matter where you are or what you are looking for.