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30 free things to do in London

30 free things to do in London

I absolutely love London! It’s the cosmopolitan beating epicentre of England and one of the best capital cities in the world. There’s nowhere like London but unfortunately she can be a very expensive date! But fear not fellow travellers, although there are many costly tourist attractions to see and do, there are just as many if not more free things to do in London so here are 30 to get you started :)

1) Stroll around Hyde Park

One of the greatest city parks in the world with a beautiful lake and 4,900 acres of trees and greenery.

2) Go on a free Walking Tour

Why go on a paid tour when you can hit the ground running with the locals on a free walking tour? Check out: www.freelondonwalkingtours.com for a variety of tours all over London that run throughout the day.

3) Watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace

Immaculately turned out guards, precision drill and bands playing stirring music all combine to make changing of the guards one of London’s most popular free attractions.

4) Walk past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Two of the most famous landmarks in London which you need to pay to go inside but can get incredible photos just by crossing the Westminster Bridge.

5) Visit the Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is Britain’s national gallery housing an international collection of modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the present day.

6) Experience the lights and buzz around Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is almost a mini version of Times Square in New York, with lots of great shopping, entertainment and within walking distance of Soho, Chinatown and Leicester Square.

7) Go to Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square, at the heart of London, is one of the city’s most vibrant open spaces. Go see Nelson’s Column and people-watch as London goes by.

8) View the city from the top of Primrose Hill

Opened to the public in 1842, Primrose Hill once served as a hunting ground for Henry VIII but now boasts the best views in the city including the Shard and London Eye.

9) Visit the National Gallery

The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900.

10) Visit Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Built for the Summer Olympics in 2012, the park is now open for the public and is home to unique parklands, waterways, venues and attractions. Relive the 2012 Olympics where gold medals were won and lost, world records were broken and the history books re-written.

11) Cross over Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge offers panoramic views from high level walkways and behind-the-scenes access to original lifting machinery. Although you have to pay to see the exhibition and have a tour, it has a diverse and interesting history so bookmark that for another day.

12) Walk past the Globe Theatre

Although not the first Globe Theatre to be built from Shakespeare’s time, it is an exact replica and stands close to the original site. Sometimes there are even free shows performed outside the theatre so keep your eyes peeled if you’re walking past.

13) Visit the Geffye Museum

A unique Museum that shows living interiors including furnishings, pictures, and ornaments from 1600 to the present day. It’s like being in a time machine visiting this museum as you get a true feel for how everyday people have lived through history.

14) Go to the British Museum

The British Museum is dedicated to human history and culture with a vast collection of world art and artefacts. It’s got a great collection and well worth a visit.

15) Visit Platform 9 3/4

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last 15 years, you’ll know what platform 9 3/4 is!  It’s a fun photo op at Kings Cross Station and it’s completely free Harry Potter fans.

16) Pollocks Toy Museum

This is a really cute quirky little museum that started in 1956 in a single attic room at 44 Monmouth Street, near Covent Garden. The Pollock’s Toy Museum collection includes board games, marbles, money-boxes, puppets, wax dolls, toy theatres, dolls houses as well as the world’s oldest surviving teddy and a 4,000 year-old mouse made from Nile clay.

17) View a free concert at the National Theatre

Yes, free concerts! Check out the website: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk for more information on times and dates.

18) Go to the Victoria and Albert Museum

Named after the famous monarchs of the Victorian era, The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. The building itself is worth a visit, the architecture is stunning.

19) Go to the Museum of London

The Museum of London documents the history of London from prehistoric to modern times. The War exhibitions are particularly fascinating.

20) Listen to free music at the Notting Hill Arts Club

Playing some of the best Indie music in London, the Notting Hill Arts Club is a great hang out as well as free to get in.

21) Walk across the crosswalk at Abbey Road

Sight of the iconic Beatles album cover Abbey Road, the crosswalk is a great photo op and next to the studios where the Beatles recorded a lot of their most famous hits.

22) Visit the Dinosaur exhibition at the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum could take you days to get round! It is vast and has detailed exhibitions on everything in the natural world (and it’s awesome!!). The Dinosaur exhibition is the best I’ve ever been too, you even get to meet a life-size t-rex as you’re on your way out.

23) Visit 10 Downing Street

What is a visit to London without a casual stroll past 10 Downing Street? One of the most famous addresses in the world and home to the Prime Minister to boot.

24) Watch Street Performers in Covent Garden

Covent Garden is a lovely area of London to hang out in with all the shops, restaurants and entertainment, there’s always something to see and do. The street performers are out in droves here and range from the quirky to the fascinating.

25) Touch the old Roman London Wall

London Wall was the defensive wall first built by the Romans around what was Londinium. Throughout the city of London you’ll see traces of the original Roman Wall fortification with the largest piece located near the Museum of London.

26) Visit the Pelicans at St James’s Park

Living near Duck Island are St James’s Park’s famous resident pelicans. Pelicans were first introduced into St James’s Park in 1664 as a gift from the Russian Ambassador.

27) Visit the Science Museum

London’s Science Museum is world renowned for its historic collections, awe-inspiring galleries and inspirational exhibitions. There is also a large amphitheatre that regularly shows the latest in scientific documentaries.

28) Have your photo taken with one of the Queen’s guards

It’s a cheesy one but has to be done when you’re in London! The Queen’s guards are not allowed to move or smile although cheeky tourists give it a go anyway.

29) Go past Tower of London

Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. Site of many executions including Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, it has also been prison to many famous faces such as Thomas Cromwell and Guy Fawkes. Just walking past is like going back in time.

30) Browse around Camden Market

London’s leading Market destination, home to independent retailers, global street-food, restaurants and bars. Camden is much loved by Londoners and one the locals would definitely recommend.

If you have anything to add to the list feel free to pop it in a comment box below!

Mel x

About the author

Hi, I’m Mel! The adventure-seeking vegan travel blogger behind Footsteps on the Globe. On this blog you'll find my latest adventures, travel inspiration as well as tips and tricks on how to be vegan around the world. You don’t have to give up being vegan to follow your travel dreams and I’m here to show you how!