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"Can't afford the Dome? Or even the wheel? The Tate Modern is the hottest new millennium addition to London's attractions - and it'll cost you nothing."
- Gemma Pitcher

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No such thing as a free lunch
by Gemma Pitcher, 26, London, United Kingdom
July 18, 2000

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It's a hard year to be a visitor to Britain. The pound is exceptionally strong, business is booming and many tourists are finding that many of the country's best-known attractions are simply out of their reach. London is more expensive still - prices in the capital are more than ten per cent above the rest of the UK.

If you're a backpacker, a retired visitor on a frugal budget, or simply strapped for cash, the prospect of trying to make your money last while still enjoying the flavour of Europe's most vibrant capital can be daunting.

But a visit to London does not have to mean queuing for hours behind a family of screaming children to pay £12 for an overcrowded hour or two at Madame Tussaud's. The new and much-heralded Tate Modern Art Gallery is just one of London's many completely FREE attractions. Many of the services and events listed here are a bit offbeat, and most are located outside the Leicester Square/Piccadilly tourist trap, but who wants to follow the herd?


Tate Modern: Can't afford the Dome? Or even the wheel? The Tate Modern is the hottest new millennium addition to London's attractions - and it'll cost you nothing. The former Bankside power station, which stood derelict for years, has been transformed into a unique art space. But if art is not your thing, the Tate Modern is still worth a visit for the impressive views of London offered by the glass-sided café on the newly-built top floor and the building's peaceful, spacious architectural design. At weekends the crowds outside can be overpowering and queues for entrance tediously long; so visit in the week for the chance to wander around the cavernous interior and visit the art collections in peace. The works are grouped into four themes, inspired by French seventeenth century traditions: Still Life, Landscape, Nude, and History. Paintings date from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day.

Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1. Nearest tube(subway(: Southwark/London Bridge Tel: 020 7887 8000 Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday, 10.00-18.00 Friday and Saturday, 10.00-22.00 (galleries open at 10.15)

Not the Royal Academy: The Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition is one of the mainstream art events of the summer. It will, however, charge you £8.00 to get in, so why bother when you can visit Not the Royal Academy, featuring the artworks NOT chosen to grace the walls of the Summer Exhibition. It is completely free and is meant to echo the 19th Century 'Salon des Refuses' in Paris, at which Manet and Sargent rebelled against the French Royal Academy and mounted their own exhibition.

Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, The Cut, SE1 Telephone: 020 7620 1322 Opening Hours: 10-19.30 every day except Sunday Nearest tube: Waterloo/Southwark

What about the famous Camden market?

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