Tips for Getting London Culture on the Cheap?
December 12, 2011 6:37 AM   Subscribe

How can I find cheap tickets for cultural events in London?

Hi. I just moved to the London area, and I'm really excited to check out all the theater, opera, ballet, etc. But of course everything I'm finding is incredibly expensive and I really don't have much money. In NYC, I found all sorts of ways to get cheap opera tickets (lottery, waiting in line), and found the "out of the way" theaters that had good shows on for cheap.

What are the hacks to getting good culture in London on the cheap? Any special programs or opportunities I'm missing? Cambridge suggestions are also welcome!

posted by EtTuHealy to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You probably know already about tkts in Leicester Square.
posted by Segundus at 6:56 AM on December 12, 2011

If you are 16-25 then the National Theatre has a good option.
posted by vacapinta at 7:21 AM on December 12, 2011

You can buy £5 standing tickets at the Old Globe.
posted by vacapinta at 7:22 AM on December 12, 2011

Not "events" as such, but nearly every museum in the UK is free - probably the best thing Blair and his pals ever did for us.

All the Tates. National Gallery. National PORTRAIT Gallery. Science museum. Natural History museum - the list goes on and on. Enjoy it before the Tories take it away.
posted by Ted Maul at 7:25 AM on December 12, 2011

We've seen a lot of great plays also at the Cochrane Theatre for £5 seats. There are lots of small theatres like this in London.
posted by vacapinta at 7:26 AM on December 12, 2011

also. Timeout maintains a list of each production and how to see it cheaply.
posted by vacapinta at 7:32 AM on December 12, 2011

My theatre-loving friend took us to tkts, (see Segundus' answer) and that really seems to be the cheapest way. :/ I know, it's still *so* expensive...
The same friend also showed me how to get cheap tickets at the Cambridge Arts Theatre (in Cambridge) - wait at the side door on the evening of the performance, and they will sell the tickets that are left. I didn't have any luck going to a popular show on a Friday, though, but apparently this works very well during the week.
posted by easternblot at 7:33 AM on December 12, 2011

Often theatres have cheap tickets for sale at the door on the day of the performance. The policies differ by theatre, but definitely call up to check. E.G. £10 day tickets for the sold out Jerusalem.

Seconding the museums! Also, don't forget about the amazing V&A! There are a couple that aren't, like The Design Museum, so double check before you head there.

Check Londonist's Things To Do In London On The Cheap column, which often has free or cheap performances.
posted by Magnakai at 7:36 AM on December 12, 2011

I had a great time at the Exhibition Road Music Day (in 2008). Looks like it's a yearly event. I got to see an Amadou and Miriam concert for free, which was absolutely amazing and inspiring. I did have to wait in line for tickets in the afternoon, though.
posted by carolr at 8:02 AM on December 12, 2011

There are ten pound tickets at the National Theatre for most shows. The Royal Court used to have seven pound Mondays. has many very good shows at deep discounts (as well as some of the standard long-running mediocre shows).
posted by cushie at 4:32 PM on December 12, 2011

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