LONDON

12 Best Things to do Alone in London on a Budget

With so much going on, London can be a great place to spend time alone exploring.

In my opinion some of the best activities are those that you do in silence anyway, so they can be enjoyed just as much with pals or alone! No one is chatting much at the cinema or theatre are they?

I’ve tried to include budget friendly ideas too, as we can all benefit from saving money these days where we can.

Whether you’re planning a jam packed itinerary, or would prefer to wander and feel those main character energy vibes, I have you covered with ideas for your next solo visit to the big smoke.

things to do alone in London
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Things to do Alone in London on a Budget

1. Visit a comedy club

Live comedy takes place every single night of the week in London, and you can usually get tickets at short notice. If you find yourself at a loose end, this could be an entertaining way to spend an evening solo.

The Top Secret Comedy Club is a good place to start, as shows are often free to attend, or tickets can cost just a few pounds. Often the act is kept under wraps, so you never know who you might see! Plenty of well known British comedians attend to try out their new material.

If you are an NHS employee it’s worth signing up to Tickets for Good, a platform giving away free tickets to comedy, theatre and music events for health care workers. I’ve been to a free comedy club show via Tickets for Good and got to see a host of great comedians including Phil Wang!

A few other options for reasonably priced comedy are the 99 Comedy Club and 21 Soho.

2. Catch a theatre show

If you are spending time alone in London, heading to a West End show is a fab option. There are so many shows and plays to choose from, and often great deals meaning you should be able to bag a ticket for a reasonable price.

Be sure to check out the Disney Day tickets for £29.50 Frozen or The Lion King tickets every Monday, or try signing up to a seat filler website for free or discounted tickets.

Websites and apps such as TodayTix are great for cheap rush tickets on the day, too.

3. Experience live music

For solo visitors, I would 100% recommend a Sofar Sounds show. Sofar Sounds gigs are very intimate, small and seated, so you can go alone feeling totally comfortable.

Select your venue based on location, and 36 hours before the show you will be sent details of your secret location. The artists are a surprise too! Expect a warm and chilled ambiance at these small sit down shows. There are even fairy lights too! Adorable. Sofar Sounds shows are the dream for introverts that want to enjoy the performances, whilst avoiding larger crowds.

4. Watch a movie

There’s something so cosy about taking yourself off on a solo cinema date. Get your snacks of choice, bundle up in your comfiest clothes, and switch off for a few hours.

There are lots of ways to bag cheap cinema tickets, so try to avoid paying full price if you can. Be sure to check Groupon for the latest deals (the 5 tickets for £25 ODEON Groupon is good if you can spot it!)

5. Explore museums and galleries

The majority of museums and galleries are free in London, and it’s the perfect place to stick  your headphones on and have a wander. It’s quiet too so there’s no talking usually anyway!

The Tate Modern, RA and V&A are all beautiful spots to spend an hour or two admiring the displays.

6. Attend a free talk

I love attending a talk, debate or screening. London is the ideal location to find an event that will capture your interest. Universities, libraries and museums are the first port of call when looking for interesting lectures or events.

Check out Lectures London, Open Lectures, Portrait of London, or search EventBrite for lectures in London.

7. Go window shopping

Spend an hour window shopping in the more luxe, upmarket Bond Street, admire the window displays at Fortnum & Mason, or go thrifting in London’s best charity shops. There really is something for everyone in London looking to shop ’til they drop.

Harrods is a fun place for window shopping, and there is always a new pop up or event to explore. I love browsing the Christmas decorations, and perusing the Harrods food court is one of my favourite past times!

You could also pop to Westfield or Oxford Street for some serious retail therapy. Some of the best shopping trips are those taken alone. You can visit all of your favourite stores and spend hours in the changing room guilt free!

I spent a long time browsing Glossier in Covent Garden for the first time recently, and was glad I was alone. No one wants to wait for me to examine every single lip gloss three times over, before leaving empty handed really do they?

8. Hit the tourist hotspots

If you’re unfamiliar with the city, it could be a good idea to visit some of the famous landmarks and fully embrace being a tourist for the day. Be cringe! Take that Big Ben selfie with no one there to judge!

Visit Covent Garden, have a wander past the Tower of London, or walk along the Thames with a free coffee pretending you’re in a movie.

If you are a local, pick a borough you’re less familiar with and have always wanted to spend more time in, and take the whole afternoon to explore. Next on my list to spend the afternoon is Hampstead.

9. Spend an hour people watching 

People watching is such an underrated activity! I love heading to a coffee shop and sitting outside, sipping my latte and reading my book, watching the world go by.

Head to London Bridge for beautiful views across the river or Covent Garden if you prefer to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle.

10. Stop by a food market 

If you don’t fancy eating alone in a restaurant, there are plenty of food markets, or food halls which means you are able to grab a quick bite rather than sit alone for too long (if that’s not your thing! I know some people adore dining alone).

Market Halls are one of my favourite indoor market spots and can be found dotted across the capital. I’ve never had a bad meal there and it’s a speedy option for when you want a quick meal but don’t want fast food. There is great variety with each stall selling a range of cuisines and snacks.

Seven Dials food market is another great option, although this does tend to be busier and I have struggled to get a seat before. If you can, try eating outside of peak evening meal times for a quieter experience.

The food market in Camden is another favourite (and they have the yorkshire pudding wraps!), as well as Spitalfields for Humble Crumble, which is my top London dessert!

11. Spend time in nature 

Take a walk through one of London’s many parks. Battersea park, Regents park and Greenwich park are all great spots to take a brisk winter walk, or spend a lazy summer’s afternoon.

The Walthamstow Wetlands are another great walking spot on a sunny day. Grab a coffee at the Engine House Cafe, and watch out for the geese!

12. London Lonely Girls Group 

And finally you might have found yourself in a situation where you are alone but would like the opportunity to make some pals in the city.

The London Lonely Girls club is a social group that meet a few times per month. If you’re looking to meet ladies for brunch, drinks or crafting, I definitely recommend joining this group!

Some people love their own company, but if you’re looking for ideas to meet people in London instead, then there are plenty of activities to try.

Safety tips for solo travellers in London

I’ve lived in London for years now have have never found myself in any dodgy situations luckily, but it’s always good to be aware and prepared. A few tips for solo travel in London and beyond:

  • Tourist hot spots and central areas are likely to be busy even later at night, so these places are good options to explore at solo. Stay on well lit roads and pathways in the evenings.
  • Keep your valuables hidden and zipped away. Avoid tote bags if you are carrying items of value, and take a bag with fastenings or zippers instead. Store your items in inside coat pockets instead of outer pockets.
  • If you are at a bar and find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, speak to a member of staff and ‘Ask for Angela’. This code phrase will signify that you are in need of help, and a trained staff member will be on hand to provide support.

Final Thoughts: Things to do alone in London on a budget

If you’re planning to spend some time in the city solo, then I hope these things to do alone in London help to spark some inspiration! Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed anything…

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