London is a great place to visit with plenty of things to do and see. It’s also expensive, especially if you’re on a budget. But don’t worry! With this itinerary by a local, you can enjoy London a day for £100 and get off the beaten path.
I love London but my bank balance definitely does not… Putting together a full day of sightseeing in London for only £100 can be challenging but there’s plenty that can be done with this amount.
The best part about London is there are plenty of fantastic places that will entertain you without costing any money at all. And generally near some iconic attractions!
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Starting At Borough Markets and London Bridge
The day starts off in London Bridge at 10 am to go to the famous Borough Markets. It’s been open for over a thousand years, still loved by locals and tourists.
It’s now run by a charitable trust and it’s all about sustainability and sourcing local food. No better place to get a morning breakfast than here! Freshly made juice is my go-to option as I’m not a big breakfast person. This came to £4.25.
Food options are plentiful in the area, from freshly baked bread and pastries to some of the best produce. If none of those tempts you then there are also wonderful restaurants nearby the market like El Pastor for tacos, Padella for pasta and Brindisa Kitchen Bar for Spanish tapas.
Coffee is something that I truly love, so that was next on my list. There are two great places in Borough Market -Monmouth Coffee, and Gentlemen’s Barista. I generally prefer to go to Gentleman’s Barista because it’s a little bit more chilled and off the main road. Whereas, Monmouth Coffee is right next to the market and busier.
A flat white with oat milk at Gentlemen’s Barista costs £3.20.
Walk Along the Thames to St Paul’s
Continuing the day by walking along the Thames footpath. I’m always in awe when walking along the Thames and seeing places like Shakespeare’s Globe, the Tate Modern and St Paul’s.
Reaching the Millennium Bridge, it’s time to cross. You would recognize Millennium Bridge from the Harry Potter movies and its great views of St. Paul’s.
The bridge was built so it had the perfect line of sight to see St. Paul’s, and that’s why there are so many epic photos that you can take from that location.
Walk across Millennium Bridge to get to St. Paul’s. Look out for the little pieces of artwork whilst crossing the bridge, there are over 400 small artworks that you can find. Made by Ben Wilson nicked named The Chewing Gum Man as they are all made from gum.
St. Paul’s is one of the most iconic and popular tourist destinations in the city – and for good reason too. With its stunning architecture and history, St Paul’s is definitely worth a visit. Book your ticket online today and experience this amazing sight for yourself! It will dent £20 in the budget for the day.
A little tidbit, if you do have a rail ticket and travelling with two people then Days Out Guide will give you two-for-one to get up to St. Paul’s.
Explore Brutalist Architecture at the Barbican Complex
The next stop is the Barbican Centre. The Barbican complex is in brutalist architecture style, so it’s really out there. Some people love it and some people hate it, but it’s a really cool place to go and visit.
The centre took over a decade to build, and the Queen also declared it as one of the modern wonders of the world. It’s recognized internationally as an urban landscape and one of the most significant architectural buildings of the 20th century.
In the complex, you will find all sorts from apartments, secret gardens, and the Barbican Centre, which is where this itinerary is heading to. The Barbican Centre has a lot to offer, the Conservatory, a cinema, exhibitions and restaurants.
The Conservatory is free! Normally open on Sundays but during the school holidays, they open more slots. They have over 1,500 plants, and it’s just really nice to walk around, take some photos.
For lunch, you can opt for one of the Barbican Centre restaurants such as Bonfire or for something a bit different, there is Whitecross Street. Historically, they have markets open during the weekday and you can go pick up some lunch there and go to the Two Brewers pub and sit and eat your lunch. There are also restaurants along Whitecross Street that are just around the corner from the Barbican Centre, and it’s well worth going to.
Lunch at Bonfire came to £22.50 which included a burger, fries and a beer.
Afterwards, make sure you have a little wander around the centre. Make sure you don’t get lost because the estate is big.
Enjoy Italian Food and Wine
Located in the heart of the city, Eataly London is a food lover’s paradise. Offering something for everyone, there’s no shortage of delicious options at this Italian marketplace. From wood-fired pizza and pasta dishes to artisanal cheese and fresh fruit, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Eataly.
For those who have a second stomach for desserts, this is where I would pick up something sweet!
Some people say it’s a bit overrated, but importing food isn’t cheap and it does give you a taste of Italy. I grabbed an Italian espresso there, coming to £2.
Nex is Passione Vino, it’s this cute Italian wine bar located in the heart of Shoreditch. The staff will run you through their recommendations. They are really good for taking in your taste and your budget range and suggesting a bottle that you can buy.
You pay for the bottle and then a corkage fee, it’s on the pricier end but totally worth it for the quality.
As it was summer, two bottles of white wine were on the menu. The bill for the wine came to £33.50. I did spend a bit there!
Drinking isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea so for something else to do then the Shoreditch Street Art scene is a must to explore.
Explore Shoreditch Street Art
Street art has really skyrocketed in the last couple of years, and now some cities are totally embracing this as a part of their identity especially London’s East End. Shoreditch incorporates it into its vibe by hosting famous street artists like Banksy or El Mac who paint amazing pieces on buildings all over town!
You can find it in Brick Lane, Shoreditch or Fashion Street. But if you want to be sure there’s something specific then head on down for a free walking tour at Strawberry Tours where they’ll show us their favourite pieces from around the city – I went last year and had an amazing time seeing pieces from talented artists while learning more about street art.
A great way of seeing this is by taking one up as offered through various companies like theirs who run them completely FREE (but they do rely on tips so have some cash ready).
Alternatively, do a DIY tour and save a bit of cash!
Dinner on the Pho Mile
The best authentic Vietnamese food in London is located on Hackney’s Kingsland Road. Locals call it the “Pho Mile”, and are famous for serving you classic pho or barbecue dishes. Best of all, most of them offer BYO! Who doesn’t love saving some money on drinks?
I went to Song Que Cafe, the meal came to £25 which included fried spring rolls, noodles, and wine. Bargain when it comes to London prices!
Finish The Evening with One of These Choices
Hoxton and Shoreditch have plenty of options when it comes to activities at night. Here are some ways you could spend the evening:
- Queen of Hoxton rooftop changes for the summer and winter seasons. Each year the themes change and in 2021 it’s all about Alice in Wonderland for the winter season, serving up signature cocktails, moreish food delights and even shisha!
- See how good your crazy golf is at Plonks Clubhouse or try your hand at foosball, arcades and board games.
- Bring out your competive side at Bar Kick with a table football competition with friends or team up to play other people in the pub.
These weren’t in my budget for the day but are great options if you have leftover money!
Breakdown of £100 Day in London
I love seeing walking along the Thames, seeing the free views of the iconic buildings and the surprising amount of free attractions London has to offer. I did spend a lot of money on food and drinks, but that’s how I enjoy my holidays.
Not everyone loves spending money on food and drinks so there are plenty of alternative options in the itinerary for more activities.
- £4.25 Breakfast Juice
- £3.20 Flat White
- Free Views at One New Change
- Free Barbican Complex and Conservatry
- £2 Coffee at Eataly
- £33.50 Wine at Passione Vino
- Free Shoreditch Street Art
- £25 Dinner at Song Que Cafe
- £6.20 Transport
The total came to £95.35.
Hi, I'm Kat, an Australian that moved to London in 2013 to start a new adventure. What a roller-coaster that was! I love helping others move to the UK and people explore the world! I’d be honoured if you’d say, “Thanks!” with a £3 coffee on Ko-fi.