A student living in London can find it a struggle due to the sheer expense of living there. This article provides information on some activities and dining options that are affordable on a tight student budget, some of which are free!
CASS Art is fantastic. It can be a bit expensive but the student discount does go a long way. It has various convenient locations and really helpful staff. Make sure to get on the student mailing lists as the London branches host student days where you can get really great student deals – from voucher booklets to prizes for the first 500 students etc.
Discount available: Up to 15% off with valid student card
Hunterian Museum and Archives
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3PE
Housed in the Royal College of Surgeons, the Hunterian preserves the 18th century collection of John Hunter’s comparative anatomy and pathology specimens. Holding jars of alcohol preserved bits – this museum is not for the faint hearted. However there are also less queasy and informative exhibitions that often are often over-looked – for instance the ‘Extinct’ exhibition brings forth an array of extinct and endangered species that range from the prehistoric to the modern day. It’s a fascinating look into our species mark on others.
Discount available: Free
Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW2 1JG
The Ritzy is a Brixton icon. It’s a colourful little cinema with oodles of character. You can start your night with a drink and some food at the cafe and end it listening to music at the Upstairs Bar after your movie. On those lovely spring days it’s a great place to sit outside and people watch before shooting off to your movie.
Discount available: £1 discount for students – £5 for a ticket with student card on Mondays – £9.50 all other days
The Lindy Hop is a manic and energetic dance that evolved in Harlem in the 1920’s and 30’s. Swing Patrol’s a great way to get your groove on and meet some new people. You don’t need to book in advance nor bring a partner – but it’s a fun thing to do for a bit of a laugh with a group of mates.
Discount available: £5 for one class or £8 for two classes of Lindy Hop completed on the same evening – with presentation of a valid student card
Fashion and Textile Museum
83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF
The Fashion and Textile Museum honours contemporary fashion, textiles and jewellery in London. It allows you to take a look behind the fashion industry whilst also inspiring creativity with workshops and activities. London being the fashion hub that it is, you could imagine to see some pretty edgy and beautiful things at this museum.
Discount available: £5 for exhibitions with valid student card
St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Churchyard, EC4M 8AD
St. Paul’s is an iconic London masterpiece. The sight of the occupy movement; the Cathedral keeps popping up in London’s history. You need to experience the inside of the cathedral to truly understand its grandeur – the clean white exterior suddenly opens up to reveal an explosion of warmth and colour within.
Discount available: £11.50 online or £13.30 at gate with presentation of valid student card
Dr Johnson’s House
17 Gough Square, EC4
Dr Johnson famously declared “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”. It was in this house that he compiled the first comprehensive English dictionary in 1755. The house has been restored to the time it was habited by Johnson. It is a great view into Georgian London.
Discount available: Reduced entrance fee at £3.50 for students with valid student card
Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum
St Mary’s Hospital, Praed St, W2
These are the types of places that really drive home the particular extraordinariness that can only be felt in London. The Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum is a little known spot to visit. It is where Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin and with it antibiotics. It would only be in this dingy little recreated lab that mould could infect his cultures changing the course of medical history forever.
Discount available: £2 for students with valid student card, Free for Imperial College Healthcare and Medical students
101 Kingsway, London, WC2B 6QU
OK if the canned drink and free bag of chips doesn’t sell you then the tasty sandwiches will. It’s nice having a toasted ciabatta oozing with cheese on a really cold winters day. It’s a good enough place to grab a quick meal. There is seating but it gets pretty packed during lunch times!
Discount available: 10% discount and free bag of chips and canned drink with valid student card
The Greedy Cow
2 Grove Rd, London, E3 5AX
The Greedy Cow’s a burger place where you have a choice of alternatives if a burger is not exactly what you’re after. It’s not exactly the cheapest place, but the bespoke burgers are a good sell. The interior is also quite nice and intimate, with aged wooden floorboards. It’s close to the tube and the park which is convenient.
Discount available: 10% off normal menu
35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3PE
Housed in the Royal College of Surgeons, along with the Hunterian – the Wellcome museum is only open to students and practitioners. Not being a student in medicine or related subjects, I cannot overly comment on this museum, however I have been told that it is a great place for students to get lost in for days.
Discount available: Only open to students (in medicine, nursing and allied health subjects, and related scientific/technical subjects) and practitioners (free)
Victoria and Albert Museum
Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
Keep your eye out for some of the fantastic exhibitions on at the V&A. It very much may stand up to its boast of being the ‘world’s greatest museum of art and design’. Whilst some exhibitions are free others have varying costs. For instance the V&A’S autumn exhibition on Hollywood Costumes will bring together some of the most famous costume designs in history – think Darth Vader and Spiderman! The exhibition is £9 for students and early bookings are recommended.
Discount available: Student concession for entry into exhibitions with presentation of valid student card
*Prices, discounts and offers are correct at the time of publishing this blog entry