Considering that just last year a study found that London was the most expensive city to live in (in the whole world), it’s not surprising that the biggest complaint visitors to the city make is that everything is just so expensive! Luckily, if you plan it right, London doesn’t have to break the bank and can totally be done on a budget. There are still plenty of free things to do in London!
Top 10 Free Things to do in London:
#1 Sky Garden
Ah, if there’s one thing that you make sure to do on your visit to London, make it the Sky Garden! Nestled in the very heart of ‘the city’, (London’s financial district), the ‘Sky Garden’ at 20 Fenchurch Street is a welcome from the hustle and bustle of daily London life. It’s a respite from the busy city and a pretty one at that! However, if you’re heading to the roof terrace and bar, hoping to get some extra oxygen, then it’s important to note that there isn’t actually much of a garden to see…
#2 Head to Greenwich
Greenwich (confusingly pronounced without the ‘w’) is situated in South-East London, about a 35-minute tube ride from the center. Here, you can find the Greenwich Mean Time Line (where the exact hour is measured from), a quaint town and the Royal Naval College. Free things to do in the area include visiting the Queen’s House (home to the infamous spiral Tulip Stairs) and checking out the National Maritime Museum.
#3 Check out one of the many, many Green Spaces
From Hyde Park in central London to one of the dozens of parks situated in Richmond (including the iconic deer park), London has no shortage of green space. Rent a boat and go paddling in Hyde Park or enjoy a relaxed Sunday picnic with friends in the Regent’s Park.
#4 Visit a Museum
Of all the free things to do in London, this may be the activity I partake in the most! Here’s a fun fact: there are dozens of free museums in London! These include the Grant Museum of Zoology (quite near to the final resting place of Jeremy Bentham), the Imperial War Museum, the British Museum and the Sir John Soane Museum (a personal favourite of mine- if you want to see how many artefacts and precious objects can be squeezed into a tight space, then checking here is your best bet!)
#5 Stroll along the Thames
The London Eye, Tower Bridge, the Shard; all these places can be seen during a simple stroll along the Thames. Plus, the views are even better if you head there at sunset! The photo below was a puddlegram taken at More London place a couple of weeks ago. One of the best things about London is trying to figure out how to capture all of the amazing and quirky architecture that has popped up in the city since the Industrial Revolution. From the simple to the downright bizarre, heading out for a stroll along the Thames definitely won’t dissapoint!
#6 Check out some art!
Never mind all of the free museums, if you’re into art, then you’ve come to the right place! London is packed with galleries, art events and the like. Plus most of the best art museums in London are completely free (apart from special exhibitions). Personal favourites of mine include the National Portrait Gallery (getting to see paintings of the Tudors up close was pretty special) and the Tate Modern.
#7 Marvel at some history
Considering that London can trace its roots back over 2000 years, there’s plenty of history to discover in the city. Known to the Romans as ‘Londinium’, today you can witness the impact each new generation has had on the city first hand. From Millenium Bridge (featured in Harry Potter) to St Paul’s Cathedral to the Houses of Parliament (built at a time when the Gothic style of architecture was just coming into fashion), the city is an architecture lover’s dream.
#8 Attend a Free festival
Whether you’re into film, art, music or something else, there’s always something new to discover and explore. From Notting Hill Carnival (the biggest street party of the year) to the New Year’s Day festival, there’s a free festival for everyone to enjoy.
#9 Listen to some live music
There are always plenty of live music events going on in the Big Smoke. Get your groove on and dance at the Forge for free every Friday night. Alternatively, there are free concerts at the Royal College of Music during certain lunchtimes and free concerts at the church Saint-Martin-in-the-Fields on various days of the week.
#10 Over to you!
Got any ‘insider tips’ for free things to do in London? Let me know in the comments below!