As clouds give way to sunshine, it’s time to enjoy London at its brightest and best. Although considered to be outlandishly expensive, and sometimes with fair reasons – there are cocktails that cost the same as our weekly grocery shopping – a day out in London doesn’t have to involve spending a small fortune.
To keep your holiday budget intact, save some money and still enjoy a girl’s day out, Caroline of The Belle Abroad and I joined forces and put together a short guide to help you. Scroll through for the best 5 things to do across the capital on a budget. We’ve also included plenty to do if the rain decides to come back for old times sake.
Although I’ve not listed them here, remember that most of London’s museums are free, and they’re all worth a visit.
- Unlike some of the other sky-high places in the city, the Sky Garden offers the most spectacular views of London and is free. Booking in advance is recommended though. Grab a cocktail from the bar, or if you’re feeling spendy both the Darwin brasserie and Fenchurch restaurant are excellent. Rivaling the Sky Garden is the roof terrace at One New Change, completely free and open to the public all year round.
- Don’t take the river Thames for granted: besides strolling along, which is really quite pleasant and relaxing in the right weather, it’s the perfect place for sightseeing. Explore the city by boat with Thames Clippers and appreciate just how magnificent London can be. Hop on and off all day with River Roamers (£16.30), the best ticket for exploring the city. Sample London’s major landmarks across the 16 piers, from the London Eye to Tower Bridge and plenty more.
- If you’re anything like us, you want to be pampered in a place that looks like it just jumped off your Pinterest boards. Come for the ‘Bottomless Prosecco Thursday’ at Duck & Dry (available in both stores – Chelsea and Oxford Circus) and enjoy free-flowing Prosecco with your blow dry appointment every Thursday for £40. Their recently opened Oxford Circus venue is serious Instagram goals and I’m sure, you girls, would agree. A swing in the middle of a blow dry bar is something I can totally get on board with. For £29, you can also enjoy a makeover at the Lin&Lo Studio (included within the stylish Duck & Dry, Oxford Circus) and meet Alina Milos, the founder of Lin&Lo cosmetics.
- What do we love more than champagne and flowers? Shopping, duh! Caroline and I dropped by Olivia Burton’s Topshop concession for a little retail therapy. When it comes to predicting what we will be wearing a couple of months down the line, Pinterest is our digital oracle. Last time I checked, rose gold and florals were trending. A fair good reason to splurge on a watch that ticks all the boxes, right girls? Plus, you can personalise your Olivia Burton watch for free with a message of your choice!
- The newly-opened National Cafe is creating the biggest buzz right now. Located in the spectacular National Gallery, with a boasting all-day menu serving British and modern European dishes, the National Cafe promises to be a crowd-pleaser. We dropped by for a late lunch and we enjoyed every single moment of it. Highlights? The spaghetti vongole and the Devonshire crab ravioli with shrimp butter and cockles. If you’re on a tight budget, you can still pop in for a coffee and soak in the relaxing atmosphere.