Make your money go further: 10 things to do in London for £10 or less

You’d be forgiven for thinking you have to take out a small loan to thoroughly enjoy a break in the capital, but that’s really not the case. From hearing your fave comedian test out fresh material, to bagging the best bargains at world-famous street markets, London’s brimming with budget-friendly things to do. And you don’t need to fork out on the journey there either, as we’ll get you to London for as little as £5. So go on – you might as well make the most of it!

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    Laugh all the way to the bank with free late night comedy sessions

    Where: Angel Comedy, 2 Camden Passage, N1 8DY

    Just because you’re in London doesn’t mean you have to pay over the odds for comedy show tickets. In fact, we know where you can pay nothing at all (you’re welcome). You can see shows seven nights a week for FREE thanks to Angel Comedy. The cosy Camden venue may take an  affordable approach to comedy but trust us, the gigs are still a barrel of laughs. A one-of-a-kind experience, you can expect everything from the fresh faces of the open mic circuit to household names you never thought you’d actually see in real life (heads up – Russell Howard is one of the many comedians known to drop by and test new material). Our top tip? The shows start at 8pm, but as you can imagine, seats fill up fast, so arrive early to bag the best spots. Of course, this gives you plenty of time to stalk as many people from Comedy Central as you can find too!

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    Enjoy the countryside whilst in the city. Yes, really!

    Where: Hackney City Farm, 1a Goldsmiths Row, E2 8QA

    Would anyone really say no to seeing adorable animals without paying a single penny? Not that we know of, and seeing as Hackney City Farm has brought the countryside’s cutest to the heart of the city, there’s no way you can’t visit. Once the site of a brewery (and apparently haunted too, but we’ll steer clear of any chicken-like ghosts for now), the ever-popular farm is home to donkeys, pigs, goats, rabbits, and sheep… to name a few. And, whilst we’re on the topic of ghosts, if you fancy reenacting that iconic movie scene, the farm also holds pottery classes twice a week (as well as mosaic classes, which just so happen to be perfect for those of you that may end up smashing their pottery masterpiece #silverlings).

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    Take a sky high selfie

    Where: Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch St, EC3M 8AF

    Getting those Insta-worthy sky-high snaps of the capital doesn’t have to cost a fortune, you know. Visit the Sky Garden and you’ll have unrivalled 360 degree views of the city and far beyond. Impressive whatever time of the day you go, it’s the perfect place to people watch from above, admire a burning London sunset, or stand beneath the starry skyline with that special someone. Just remember to send us that all important selfie over at @nationalexpress!

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    Admire adorable animals at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo

    Where: Battersea Park

    Keeping the kids entertained over the summer months doesn’t have to break the bank, you know. Thanks to our wealth of 2 for 1 London offers, you can see the city for so much less and enjoy many of the capital’s finest attractions. One that’s fun for the whole family? Easy peasy – just visit Battersea Park Children’s Zoo for £8.95. Bargain! There’s always something magical going on at the zoo. Both the little ones and the grown ups will love watching the charming meerkats from the secret look-out tunnel and can see everything from swinging Bolivian squirrel monkeys, through to Shetland ponies, Scottish wildcats and Indian runner ducks (if that last one doesn’t have you intrigued, we don’t know what will!). All the animals have wonderful names and whilst Wiggle and Piggle (the Kune Kune pigs) are front runners for our favourites, we think Ant and Dec, the long-lashed emus, may just have nabbed the winning spot.

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    Bag the best bargains at a street market

    Where: Portobello Road, W11 1AN

    London’s famous for its street markets and if you’re hunting for your next bargain or one-of-a-kind-find, look no further than Portobello Road. A firm favourite of a certain Paddington Bear (which alone is enough reason to go), it’s got everything from beautiful editions of books and retro posters to fresh fruit and bread, ceramics and vintage clothing. #Justsaying, it’s also the world’s largest antiques market, with over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of collectible you could imagine. So yes, you’ll need to bring some cash for those unique pieces, that’s a given, but the fun of the market is 100% free. With shouting, haggling and a backdrop of colourful houses, you’re guaranteed an exhilarating day, whether you’re feeling thrifty or not.

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    Be economical with your exercise

    Ditch the gym memberships that burn more holes in your wallet than kcals and instead make the most of all the outdoor activities the capital has to offer. If you want to go for a swim (or just chill by the pool and catch some rays, we’re not judging), head to Brockwell Lido. Nicknamed ‘Brixton’s Beach’ thanks to its wave of popularity in the summer (see what we did there?), you can take a dip in the Grade II listed Olympic size pool for just £2. Bargain!

    Or, if splashing about isn’t really your thing, you could always burn some calories whilst getting your groove on with an all-star dance troop at Pineapple Dance Studios. Hosting both hip-hop and classical ballet dance classes from just £7, it’s an affordable way to do something alternative. The only rule? Don’t be shy! Whether you’ve got two left feet, want to dance like no-one’s watching or are a Darcey Bussell in the making, everyone’s welcome to go along and embrace their inner dancing queen.

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    Drink it all up for so much less

    From your standard English breakfast tea at a café to a cheeky, after-work cocktail (has to be done), going out for drinks in London can often leave you out of cash. But fear not, we’ve hunted down the best places in the capital to make your money go further because yes, they do actually exist. So if a café visit is on the cards, you can relax with some furry felines whilst enjoying a ‘smeowthie and a Pretty Kitty Cake’ at London Cat Village (admission is £5, tea from £4). Or, if you want to lose yourself in your favourite book whilst drinking a pot of tea, get cosy in the London Review Bookshop Café (prices from £3.65). And finally, if you want to enjoy spirited sophistication at dirt cheap prices, you can swill some half-price martinis during Happy Hour at Dirty Martini Monument.

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    Marvel at the city’s top museums

    As the capital of culture, London is not only home to some of the UK’s top museums, but some of the most extraordinary exhibits in the world too. And, you’ll be pleased to know, you won’t have to dent your bank balance on entrance fees either, as many of the capital’s museums are completely free to visit!

    First on your list? We recommend stepping back in time and wandering through the spectacular Natural History Museum. You’ll see everything from a Diplodocus skeleton (it’s dinosaur lingo) to giant Earth galleries and the first adult Neanderthal cranium ever discovered. If you want to keep on exploring, you’re just a five-minute walk from the The Victoria and Albert and Science Museums, both offering a wealth of exhibits, they’re guaranteed to excite and inspire all ages. Sounds great, right?

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    Enjoy some clawesome dining

    Where: Smack Lobster, W1D 6AL

    Okay, we tell a lie. The lobster’s actually £12, but trust us when we say it’s so worth going over that strict £10 price bracket for. A takeaway meets restaurant, Smack Lobster dishes up some rather juicy shellfish in brioche buns and, we have to say it’s pretty clawesome (sorry, we just had to). As a no-bookings restaurant where you’re buzzed when your food’s ready, it combines the best of no-nonsense service with the art of fine dining – and that’s something we love! It’s not just lobster they specialise in though, you can also enjoy shrimp, burgers, fries and salad, so there is sure to be something to satisfy even the fussiest of your friends.

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    See the city from different heights

    Where: Emirates Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0FJ

    Thought the London Eye was the only way you could enjoy panoramic views of luscious London? Well, think again! Boasting some of the best views of London, we’re all about the Emirates Air Line. Hop on board for a super affordable £6 to see spectacular attractions including Canary Wharf, the Thames Barrier and the Olympic Park.

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So, we think that confirms it. You don’t have to break the bank or take out another student loan (because one really is enough) to enjoy some of the best attractions the capital has to offer!