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London for less

Time for some cut-price culture

Culture in London on a budget

No visit to London could be complete without a dip in its thriving cultural scene. Sure, the star-studded plays sell out months in advance, but you don’t necessarily have to shell out to get your culture fix here. From free stand-up comedy to tours of ancient Egyptian art, the city’s distinctive blend of high-brow and low-brow is accessible to everyone.

See the Bard’s plays as they were intended, or catch a glimpse of the next big thing in one of London’s plucky under-the radar-galleries. Here’s our guide for culture vultures on a budget.

London culture for less

God’s Own Junkyard

Shernhall Street, E17 9HQ

This neon wonderland is open to the public – and free to visit – Friday to Sunday. Prepare to be dazzled.


The National Gallery

Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN

Tick off Cézanne’s Bathers, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and more – it’s free to visit the permanent collections.


Shakespeare’s Globe

21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT

For the most authentic (and cheapest) way to see a play here, stand in the yard as a ‘groundling’ (£5).


Tate Modern

Bankside, SE1 9TG

Art without the entry charge: see the latest Turbine Hall installation, then climb the newer Blavatnik Building for extraordinary views.


Top Secret Comedy Club

170 Drury Lane, WC2B 5PD

This scruffy, underground Covent Garden club is famed for its free comedy nights, which star the odd big name.



Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL

Free to visit, the art and design collections are endlessly fascinating, running from delicate Qing dynasty teapots to edgy McQueen frocks.


The Photographers' Gallery

16–18 Ramillies Street, W1F 7LW

See world class exhibitions without paying a penny – if you visit before noon.



95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST

Cinema tickets at the ’Plex are a mere £4.99 – almost unheard of in pricey London.


British Museum

Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG

This iconic museum is crammed with treasures, from the Rosetta Stone and Parthenon marbles to its mummified cats.


NOW Gallery

Peninsula Square, SE10 0SQ

Cette petite galerie à Greenwich a le don pour dénicher les artistes et designers du moment. Au palmarès de ses expos gratuites, une installation florale de Rebecca Louise Law.


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