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.
[Savinginlondoncity.com uses affiliate links. which means that if you click through to a website and register or purchase something, I get a commission from that sale at no extra cost to you. However, all opinions and reviews are my own!]
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!
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.
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. The current Asda pizza and movie offer is good value, or 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.
You might like: How to Get Free Alcohol
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.
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 section (although I’d probably need to take out a loan just to buy a single bauble), 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 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.
You might like: 3 Best Cat Cafe’s in London to Visit this Weekend
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!
You might like: Costa Refer a Friend Scheme (Get Free Coffee)
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…
If you are a freelancer, or spend time working remotely, you might want to change up your workspace. Sure, working at home can be nice, wearing pajama bottoms all day and enjoying lie ins. However, balance is key, and sometimes you need to get out and about, to meet new people and switch things up!…
As we approach the back to school rush, it’s nearing the annual review of your household’s school uniform situation. Whether your child has joined sixth form, has had a growth spurt, or has maybe left school for good, you might be left with uniform pieces that you no longer need. If you are thinking about…
The price of just about everything is going up these days, and that includes takeaway drinks. There are, however, lots of ways to grab a freebie coffee if you keep your eyes peeled. Despite the rising cost of living, sometimes we need a fancy salted caramel frappe with extra sprinkles to get us through a…