When it comes to culture, London certainly is the place to be, with more than 1000 museums and galleries all over the city. Nevertheless, especially as a student it can sometimes prove to be difficult finding activities that are cheap or free of charge. This article can provide you with a few ideas on how to make your stay here more memorable.

Free Tours by Foot

If you are keen on walking and exploring the city, check out Free Tours by foot. Through this website, you can find so-called pay-what-you-like tours, with a tour guide or self-guided. The concept is easy – you can simply join a tour and pay as much as you want at the end of it, depending on your financial situation or how much you liked it. Free walking tours are one of the best ways to get to know London, and there are different themes such as the “Dark Side of London Ghost Tour” or “London Graffiti and Street Art Tour”.

You can check out the different tours and timetables here: https://freetoursbyfoot.com/london-tours/#walk

Exploring London’s art & culture – on a student budget

Free entrance to museums

Most of London’s famous museums offer free access to their permanent displays, only charging for temporary exhibitions. This includes everyone’s favourites such as the British Museum, the Natural History Museum or the Victoria & Albert Museum. Also, if you are more of a night owl, a lot of museums offer regular Museum Lates, letting you explore their displays during evening time!

For more information on London’s free museums and other things to do, make sure to check out this website: https://secretldn.com/free-things-to-do-london/

For more information on the world tour and other things to do, make sure to check out this website: https://worldtourtips.com/

National Art Pass

If you love exploring all kinds of exhibitions and galleries and don’t mind spending a little money to start with, you can get the so-called National Art Pass. For only £45 (if you’re 30 or below by the time of the purchase) you will enjoy a 12-month membership, giving you free access for over 240 museums, galleries and historic sites ad 50% off ticket prices for special exhibitions at museums such as the Tate Modern, the National History Museum or the Victoria and Albert Museum.

You will also receive the “Art Map” with it, an annual guidebook to help you pick what you want to see out of over 700 venues. For an investment of less than £4 a month, this is a pretty good deal.

If you’re interested, you can check it out or get yours here: https://www.artfund.org/national-art-pass

Shakespeare’s Globe

As a fan of the performing arts, you will have to check out this place, one of London’s historical sights. The Globe Theatre, located on the south bank of the river Thames, is a reconstruction of the Elizabethan playhouse where some of Shakespeare’s most famous pays were shown for the first time. Productions normally run throughout the whole year, with the summer season productions normally taking place at the Globe Theatre, whilst, for winter season, the plays can usually be seen at the Wanamaker Playhouse.

Despite being one of London’s most famous theatres is also one of the cheapest ones. For £5 only you can get a standing ticket which is the one you’ll want to choose anyway if you want to have the full experience. You need to book fast, however, as shows can be booked out months in advance!

Become a seat filler

Last but not least, one of London’s cultural scene’s best kept secret: the seat filler websites. Via websites such as Central Tickets or My Box Office, you can apply for becoming a seat filler (or so-called paperer) to enjoy all kinds of events all over London. Paperers fill empty seats on struggling shows to make them more appealing or give them a word-of-mouth boost, if the show is good. Events you may be able to attend could be theatre productions, operas and many more. Applying is normally very easy, however, you have to be aware of a couple of things. For once, they will withdraw your membership if you fail to show up to one of your booked shows. Moreover, you are expected not to talk about your arrangement, or you might risk losing your membership as well. If you’re a dedicated culture fan and want to experience as many shows as possible, this is definitely one of the best options for you though!

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