Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Go to…

The atrium at London's Natural History Museum ;

Fun and low-cost things to do in London this winter

Amna smiling at the camera in Bush House courtyard
Amna Naseem
MSc Climate Change: Environment, Science and Policy graduate

13 December 2022

Hi there! I am Amna. I have lived in London for some time now as an international student and it’s always refreshing to find inexpensive things to do. But let’s be honest, London is not exactly low-cost and, as students, we always appreciate events and activities that don’t involve spending too much!

There’s lots happening in London this month, and I wanted to share my list of top fun and low-cost things to do in London over the winter break.

Top tip: check out student discounts

As students, we are also eligible for student discounts on a range of things like transport, clothes, food, electronics and more. Don’t forget to download and register on UNiDAYS, Student Beans and TOTUM with your student ID to see what discounts you are eligible for.

Finally, here is also a list of 101 free things to do in London. I hope these ideas help you plan your winter break with a range of diverse activities! Happy holidays!

Visit museums, galleries and free exhibitions

There are a ton of incredible free monuments and attractions in London that you can see without spending any money. These include various renowned museums and galleries including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, the Natural History Museum and more. You will also find these attractions to be great learning experiences as they can provide intriguing information depending on your interests.

If you are on the Strand you can find both the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum close by and free to visitors. From Strand Campus, all you need to do is head towards Holborn for a short walk to discover the British Museum and for the National Portrait Gallery just walk down to Trafalgar Square (don't forget to also stop by the Christmas Market!)

If you are at Waterloo or Guy's Campuses, why not walk to the Tate Modern where you can explore modern and contemporary art from around the world.

Southbank Centre Wintertime Festival

Even on a chilly, gloomy day, the Southbank Centre is one of London's most magnificent locations and their free Wintertime Festival is the place to go for lovely Christmas decorations and riverbank bars serving cosy winter drinks.

The Southbank Centre is just a short walk from our Waterloo Campus, so get dressed up and head to the river where there are chalets selling crafts and winter treats as well as live entertainment all through the holiday season.

Christmas markets

Check out London’s best 10 Christmas markets offering good food, clothing and gifts along with great craftsmanship on items from all over the world. You can also visit Trafalgar Square market and hear Christmas carols that will fill the air with cheer as they ring out across London.

Visit beautiful parks around the city

Here is a list of best winter walks in London for a stroll and to reconnect with nature. Open areas like Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath are always popular amongst students for picnics and get-togethers due to great views of the city.

Brave the cold and go ice skating

Why not enjoy and celebrate the winter season by going ice skating? Check out this list of some of the best locations to ice skate this winter, including both indoor and outdoor rinks, and make sure to check for discounted tickets for students.