Here we present some of the best London Budget tips to help make your stay in the capital a wallet-friendly one!
Get Time Out Magazine
Time Out, the “arts and entertainment weekly” comes out every Tuesday and in 2012, this magazine became even more budget-friendly by becoming entirely free! (Yes, you did read that right.) The magazine is an invaluable listings journal providing details of the week’s art, comedy, dance, film, music, nightlife and theatre events, amongst other things, and will certainly give you ideas as to what to see and do as well as helping you plan your time in London. The magazine is typically given out at Underground stations across London.
Don’t forget that Time Out also have an assortment of guide books to London, as well as a London Visitor’s Guide.
Free Newspapers & Magazines
Apart from Time Out, there are also two free newspapers available in London that will also give you ideas for what to do whilst visiting the city. Metro can be picked up from Underground stations in the morning (look out for the special boxes), usually available until about 10am (when it runs out). The news is a little on the mind-numbing side, but the paper also has some listings details, film reviews and similar.
London’s long-established evening paper, The Evening Standard has been free since 2009! Be sure to pick up a copy at Underground stations from about 4pm onwards; it’s also available in some (but by no means all) supermarkets. Once again, alongside that day’s news, there’s a decent amount of listings and music, bar, restaurant reviews and more.
Go Sightseeing by Bus
As long as you pick a route in Central London, sightseeing by ordinary London bus is very cheap, whether you pay by Oyster card or with cash! Sit on the top deck and you’ll have a great view of some of London’s sights, and if you see something you’d like to explore a little more of, you can just hop off.
Watch a TV show for free
Now, if you’re a foreign visitor, you might not be overly enthused by being in the audience of a TV show you’ve never heard of. But if you pick a comedy or general entertainment show, you’re at least guaranteed some laughs and enjoyment (hopefully!) even if you’re never heard of the show before and don’t know any of people up on stage! Alternatively, pick a chat show – that way, you may well see some famous stars (yes, even internationally known ones!). One good one to go for is The Graham Norton Show which usually has a mix of comedians, actors and musical guests.
There’s obviously a whole host of shows you can get tickets for. For BBC television and radio shows, check the BBC Tickets website for what’s available, and how to obtain them.
Other ticketing websites include SRO Audiences (where you can get tickets for The Graham Norton Show and The Jonathan Ross Show, both chat shows), Lost in TV, Applausestore, TV Recordings or the Hat Trick website. Do note that these sites also have tickets for some BBC shows, some of which are produced by external companies.
Attend a movie premiere!
Or at least, stand outside the cinema before the start of one… The Odeon in Leicester Square is where a great number of the British premieres for blockbuster movies are held. Just turn up (you may have to get there quite early) to try to spot a few celebrities. We will not be held responsible if they’re of the D-list kind. Your best bet may be to wait until a Tom Cruise movie comes out – he’s quite famous for spending hours (literally) meeting his fans outside these events, signing autographs, calling up people’s mothers on mobile phones…