Ten Tips to survive a summer in London as a student

London. The sixth most expensive city in the world to live in. As summer fast approaches and we flee from our cheap uni cities, no doubt far away in the north, the reality of spending a summer as a broke student in London dawns closer and closer. All is not lost, however; I’ve compiled together a list of the top ten ways to not only have some fun without having to pay anything, but also a chance to earn a bit of money along the way.

1. Walk everywhere – since we left London to become students of another beloved town or city, we were denied the right to a student oyster card (bloody Boris). Spending £2.50 on a single tube fare is, quite frankly, a little fortune. Walking in the center, you’ll be surprised how close everything is. For example: it’s only a quick 10 minute walk between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street. Substituting that small fortune of travelling on the tube for a chance to take in the beautiful old buildings whilst maybe stopping in a few shops to have a mooch, I believe is a great alternative. 

2. Go to the museums for free – as an incredibly old city, London is blessed with a plethora of museums, most of them free to the public. Whilst visiting the National Gallery  you can eat your sarnies for lunch amongst the hustle and bustle of Trafalgar Square. Other museums of interest include the British Museum, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and many more. 

3. Watch a film for free – the prospect of buying a cinema ticket, popcorn and maybe splashing out on a drink threatens to clean my bank account dry. Believe it or not however, there are a number of places across London to watch films for free including: the Sands Films Cinema Club,House of Vans, SOAS etc. A quick Google search will bring up a number of free viewing opportunities over the summer. 

4. Get a job as a street fundraiser "> – yes those incredibly annoying people who stop you on the street asking for your money. But you’d be surprised how well these jobs actually pay. Charities are always looking to recruit new people to help them out and the work is usually flexible to suit any summer plans you may have. 

 5. Take a walk around London Parks – when the weather is sunny and warm, there is nothing better than taking a picnic to the park and basking in the sun’s rays. London has a number of beautiful parks such as Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Richmond Park, St. James’ Park etc. And best of all, they’re all free! 

London at night

6. Visit the markets – a personal favourite of mine, walking in and exploring markets is both free and cultural. A change from normal retail shops, markets are always urban and refreshing. Some of London’s best include: Camden, Portobello, Greenwich and many more. 

7. Changing of the guards – everyday at 11.30 sharp, the Old Guard hands over to the New Guard at Buckingham Palace accompanied with marching and musical support. Crowds gather every morning to witness this symbolic sight and again, being free, it’s one you really don’t want to miss. 

8. Free music – there are a number of free music events happening across London. Pop down to the Southbank Centre, wonder the Thames to see the free acts there and why not go and experience North London’s renown Notting Hill Carnival. 

9. Street art – London has an array of street art to offer, even just walking down a single road. Why not take a walk in the center or even go on a street art tour, you can book one here

10. Get a job – unfortunately, a very obvious one, but the easiest way to earn and save money is to, simply, get a job. Work is always needed in London so pop into as many places as you can, talk to the manager and hand in your CV. You’ll find you’ll get a response a lot quicker if you meet them in person then if you just fill in an application form online. 

Stasi Roe.


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