The best and most beautiful offerings in the capital of England are often worthy of being graced by royalty, which means they're usually worth a king's purse, too. However, it is possible to visit chic places all over London without spending a fortune.
The UK's largest metropolis doesn't have to empty your pockets every time you go out because there are budget-friendly places all around. We've also curated them for you so that all you need to do is pick the nearest or most exciting one and start planning a visit.
Here is a Backdrop guide through eight of the most affordable and beautiful places in London. Follow the collection on our app to get an update to the list before everyone else.
1. Benk + Bo
The name of this place has Norwegian origins, where Benk refers to workbench, and Bo is a term for a place to live. The cultural centre aims at reimagining the life of creatives in London through a variety of products and experiences from the cafe to the library, or the workspace, which is transformed into an events centre most nights. Benk + Bo occasionally hosts exhibitions, but visiting any regular day is also pretty worth it, whether you're there to work in the amazing atmosphere or to try some yoga and explore the garden afterward.
2. Conservatory Archives
Find beauty and awe in the diverse range of plant species here, some of which you might not find anymore by your next visit. At the Conservatory Archives, you learn about and connect with nature while you also enjoy access to urban gardening supplies, which are available for personal as well as commercial projects. The Lower Clapton location is the one on Backdrop, but there are two more; one at Hackney Road and the other at Middleton Mews.
3. EL&N London
This self-acclaimed Most Instagrammable Hotspot in London is a chain of pink paradises in the swinging city. The Hans Crescent location of Eat Live & Nourish makes it to our app and collection for other reasons like the fact that it's a 'carousel wonderland', and their charming cups of coffee, some of which barely cost £4. The brand expresses the founder's (Alex Miller's) years of experience in luxury lifestyle and fashion.
4. Milk Train
I was pleased to find that this dairy haven also sells candy floss and popcorn, in addition to their bestseller: ice cream. In fact, Milk Train is the first in the UK to market candy-floss ice cream cones. One visit to the concept store at Covent Garden is to climb aboard an engine headed for flavourful frivolity — and all it'll cost you is about £15 for two people.
5. Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum, once the Cathedral of Nature, is a world-famous historic structure where history lovers can find skeletons of dinosaurs and other (pre)historic fauna and flora. The museum has two openings in The Big Smoke, with the one at South Kensington earning a spot on the Backdrop collection not only for its free entry and many free exhibitions/shows but also for guided tours as low as £12 for adults. Those rates go even lower for children, making it a top family-friendly spot, too.
6. Paper & Cup
This coffee shop is the place I'm sure I'd find in heaven, and I think almost anyone would agree with me as long as they understand the gospel of a good book accompanied by an equally refreshing cup of coffee. Paper & Cup also sells cakes and other snacks, and just when I started thinking, "I could spend the whole day here," I noticed they also sell local artist works and vintage clothes. As a nonprofit organisation, practically everything sold here is at the lowest possible price.
7. Serata Hall
Serata Hall is a restaurant and cocktail bar, where you can learn to mix your own drinks — and at discount prices, too, with Tiny Tower Liquor. You can make the most of these discounts through links on their homepage to Gift Cards. The beverages range from gin and absinthe to soft drinks, while the restaurant serves pizza and sharing plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
8. The Hero of Maida
You barely need £10 to get something off the menu, even without their occasional discounts and gift vouchers. The Hero of Maida is well recognised as a hotspot for culinary and aesthetic enthusiasts alike, as it is enough to sit with a drink and admire the view and visitors. However, you probably still want some of their delicious food (The Nudge also rates the gastropub's Sunday Roasts as one of the best in London).