London has a piece of my heart. During my year as an expat, I tried to explore as many corners of this metropolis as possible. I also had to realize that London is not the cheapest place on earth: quite the contrary. Therefore, I was seeking things to do and places to eat that are still affordable (if you decide to visit London, the Holiday Inn London Mayfair might be an option), yet allowing me to soak in the spirit of this city. A casual day in London town that won’t blow your budget - here’s how.
Indulge in a Typical English Breakfast or Brunch
English breakfast is usually hearty and filling. They call it the most important meal not for nothing. Head over to Jackson & Rye for different egg variations - and the buttermilk pancakes - or check out The Riding House Café for a full and proper breakfast. You know what this means in England. A personal favorite is the Breakfast Club in Camden featuring amazing smoothies and pancakes for those who don’t like it too savoury. There are many breakfast spots around town.
Things to Do on a Shoestring
The Alternative London Tour allows a different perspective on the East End while learning about Bangla Town and famous street art. Afterwards, shop at Judy’s Vintage Fair. Attention museum lovers: most art galleries and museums are free. An inside tip is Eltham Palace. Afterwards, go for a stroll at Greenwich Park. Alternatively, walk up Telegraph Hill in the South of rather unpopular New Cross for a lovely view on London or fly over the Thames with the Emirates Cable Car. Or how about a Jack the Ripper Tour, for instance?
Get Your Afternoon Caffeine at a Cozy Coffee Houses
Get your afternoon pick-me-up at a playful, cozy coffee shop such as The Haberdashery. Alternatively, make your way over to Hither Green to an inconspicuous place called You Don’t Bring Me Flowers; it’s both florist and café. Moreover, Kaffeeine - the name says it all - brings you excellent coffee. Also, check out Flat White, a “third wave coffee shop” from Kiwi-Land. Last but not least, Climpson and Sons located in Hackney might not look spectacular from the outside but their own espresso blend roast is unbeatable.
Head Over to One of the Many Food Markets
London markets are a great hub for cheap, fresh groceries and oftentimes some interesting foods. A personal favorite is the Real Food Market which you’ll find at the Southbank Center. Also, Borough Market will never disappoint you. You could also head down to Brixton Market, wander around and be surprised by all the different types of food you can get. A local secret is the Notting Hill Farmers’ Market; and don’t forget to check out Greenwich Market for a freshly squeezed juice.
London is one of the most diverse but also utterly expensive cities. Having called the city home for a while allowed me to dig a little deeper and find the things to do and places to eat and have a cuppa that are affordable. Undoubtedly, you can experience this city to the fullest without having to spend a lot of money.
Thank you, Hipmunk, for sponsoring this post.