27 cheap date ideas in London

Explore the city's most charming spots, see mesmerising sunsets and experience unforgettable moments without breaking the bank, with the best cheap date ideas in London.
Written by Coralie Modschiedler Edited by Hannah Cornish 05 July 2024
Two people sit on the banks of the river Thames to watch the sun set over the London skyline including The Shard and Tower Bridge.
Enjoy incredible sunsets in London. Credit: Antoine Buchet. Image courtesy of Antoine Buchet.

Whether it's your first date, Valentine's Day or a special anniversary, discover affordable romance in London with these fantastic, wallet-friendly date ideas.

From secret vantage points with incredible views to fun activities, free culture and excellent foodie haunts, woo your date with these cheap date ideas across the capital.

Cheap date activities in London

People sit on green lawns in Greenwich Park in front of a view of the London skyline.
  1. Enjoy a picnic in one of London’s most scenic parksHampstead Heath, Greenwich Park and Primrose Hill all offer fantastic views of the London skyline.
  2. Browse beautiful flower displays at Columbia Road Flower Market: Stroll hand-in-hand and take home some gorgeous blooms and gardening essentials.
  3. Explore the city together on a Santander bike: Cycle around London’s most beautiful hidden routes.
  4. Catch some Shakespeare at The Globe: Standing tickets cost just £5. Or join a special tour of The Globe.
  5. Visit the free Sky GardenBe amazed by wonderful views of London’s skyline.
  6. Or get lost among the foliage at The Barbican Conservatory: One of the city's best-kept secret gardens. Pair your visit with a trip to The Barbican's art gallery.
  7. Visit London's top free museums and galleries: The perfect cheap date activity idea for a spot of culture in the capital!

Cheap date night ideas in London

A couple stand close together as they take a selfie on battersea power station with London as the backdrop.
Scale the Lift 109 to take a snap of the iconic view of London. Image courtesy of The Cast Agency.
  1. Experience breathtaking 360-degree views at Lift 109Soar high above the iconic Battersea Power Station and enjoy the view with your special someone.
  2. Glide above the Thames in the IFS Cloud Cable CarSoak in spectacular night-time views of London for under a tenner per person.
  3. If you prefer staying on the ground, join a London by Night Open Top Bus Tour: Enjoy the sights after dark and see the city twinkle on a romantic bus ride.
  4. Make the most of London's top pubs or bars: Enjoy two-for-one cocktails during happy hour for a great start to an affordable date night in London!
  5. Bag some wallet-friendly tickets to a cheap gig in London: Make the most of the city’s unrivalled music scene for a fun and cheap date night to remember.
  6. More into theatre? Get discounted tickets for major West End shows: Visit the TKTS booth in Leicester Square on the day of the performance and surprise your other half.
  7. Enjoy a pint and an innovative play or stand-up comedy at a pub theatre: An original and great-value date night idea that's sure to impress.
  8. Or expand your mind by heading to a late-night opening of one of London’s top museumsYou don't have to spend a fortune to enjoy a cultural night out in London – many of these evening exhibitions and events are free.

Cheap date ideas for foodies

A pink table with white plates and brightly iced cakes.
Lily's Cafe. Image courtesy of TGP International. Photo credit: Steven Joyce.
  1. Treat yourselves to a delightfully affordable afternoon teaEnjoy this British tradition without going over budget, with plenty of wonderful afternoon tea options available in the capital for less than £30 per person.
  2. Head over to London's best food markets for cheap treats aplenty: Discover an exciting crop of weekly farmers’ markets and delicious food halls perfect for foodies on a date.
  3. If you both love street food, embark on a tour of the city's best street food vendors: From juicy burgers to vegan sushi and sweet treats, tuck into all your favourites and share London's best street food with your special someone.
  4. Or book a table for two at one of London's best cheap restaurants: Find great-value lunch deals at top restaurants, budget-friendly vegan tables and fast-food favourites.
  5. For a cosy evening meal, choose from London's most charming traditional pubs: Immerse yourselves in history as you enjoy a drink and classic British fare in some of the city's most atmospheric locations.

Cheap first date ideas in London

A frothy cup of coffee in a green cup and saucer
Enjoy some of the best coffee in London. Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash.
  1. Get to know each other over coffee at one the city's best independent coffee shops: Not a large chain in sight, these guys know their beans. Sip a top-notch flat white as you spend some quality time together on your first date. 
  2. Stroll through London's most beautiful parks and gardens: Find out all about each other while enjoying a leisurely walk in the capital's most scenic outdoor spots.
  3. Relax and admire unique views of the city at one of the best rooftop bars in LondonSip delicious cocktails, chat the night away and take in incredible views all at once.
  4. Or break the ice at one of the best activity bars in London: Try axe throwing, funfair games and ping pong for a cheap and original first date.
  5. In summer, catch a movie at one of the city’s open-air cinemas: Watch all-time classics outdoors or from the comfort of your own car.
  6. Alternatively, pick one of London's best independent cinemas for your first date: From independent picture houses showing arthouse films to luxury London cinemas with sofas, there are many stand-out places in the capital to watch your first film together.
  7. In winter, get your skates on and take to the ice at one of London's best ice rinksFrom stunning historic locations to modern surroundings, treat your date to one of London's best outdoor ice-skating rinks.
Find more date ideas in London for all budgets and occasions, plus check out 101 romantic things to do in London to impress your other half with date ideas for years to come!