Best Free Things to Do in London
London is one of those amazing cities that offers its visitors a multitude of expensive activities, but, at the same times it gives away an amalgam of amazing free things to see and do. The truth is that there aren’t many cities in the world that have so many free museums, art galleries and fascinating shows like London.
Here is a long list of the best free things to do in London, such as art galleries, parks, museums, street graffiti and other interesting endeavors.
Wander Around and Relax in One of London’s Charming Parks
London is famous for the beauty of its parks. Everybody who visits this city has to explore the Royal Parks of London. One of the most beautiful is the popular Hyde Park, which not only an oasis of green and peace but also an important historical spot of the city, the former hunting grounds of King Henry VIII. As important as Hyde Park is the charming Greenwich Park, a splendid green area that offers its visitors breathtaking views of the city. It is a delight to sit on top of the hill and admire the skyscrapers of Canary Warf.
But London has many other interesting spots that are less known by travelers. For instance, if you want to do something more authentic, you can visit the Parliament Hill, a lovely green area that offers spectacular views of London, as well. From the top of the hill, you can see not only the famous Canary Wharf, but also the imposing St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard and, if you are lucky enough to be there on a sunny day you can even catch a glimpse of the Houses of Parliament.
Another beautiful outdoor area is the “Little Venice” of London. You can step into the charming Venetian world by walking along the riverside to nearby Camden or Regent’s Park. If you feel tired, you can also jump on one of the lovely canal boats. This area is not only beautiful but also filled with cafes and pubs. It is a perfect spot for a relaxing walk, especially during the summer months.
Another secret place many travelers don’t know anything about is the delightful Hampstead Pergola and Hill gardens. Though the pergola doesn’t look new and glamorous, it offers an authentic vibe that makes it a top attraction when visiting London. In addition, the story behind this place is very interesting. A rich philanthropist builds a pergola for his lavish Edwardian parties in the garden. Unfortunately, when he died everybody forgot about his pergola and his parties and it was just left to decay. Lucky Londoners and travelers who now have another interesting spot in the city!
Explore Some of the Best Museums in the World
As mentioned above, among the many amazing free things London offers, you can find an impressive number of museums. The most famous, such as The National History Museum and The British Museum have a free entrance. This is something fascinating that you cannot find in any other city.
In addition to all the well-known museums, there are other interesting ones you can also visit without paying an entrance fee. If you go to Greenwich, you cannot miss seeing National Maritime Museum, a place where passionate travelers can admire over two million valuable artifacts related to the maritime history. This is a very cool museum not only for adults but also for kids. The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site. The complex also includes the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House.
One of the best free things to do in London is to visit another museum which both kids and adults love is the Science Museum. Not only does it offer an amalgam of info useful for people all ages and from all over the world, but there are many fun things to do inside this museum, as well. So, if you travel with kids, don’t hesitate and bring them to the Science Museum.
And if you want to explore one of the weirdest museums in London, go to the Hunterian Museum. It hosts John Hunter’s collection of over 3500 anatomical and pathological preparations, together with fossils, drawing, and paintings. Quite awkward, right?
Best Free Things in London: Have Fun in the Colorful Lively English Markets
When visiting London, you have to plan your days thoroughly in order to have enough time to spend in the fascinating markets.
The city is filled with amazing, energetic markets that feel like heaven for travelers from all over the world, but especially for foodies.
One of the most famous markets in London is Borough Market, a charming, lively market located under a maze of Victorian railway arches. Besides the delicious food and the liveliness, a great thing about this market is that it is open Monday to Saturday, so, no matter when you visit London, you can grab a delicious breakfast or just spend some time exploring Borough Market.
Though less known by tourists, another amazing place is Portobello Road Market, a busy market, located in the beautiful Notting Hill. Locals and visitors go to this market not only because it has a special, positive vibe, but also because they can find everything they need here, from delicious street food to antiques and vintage clothes.
And if you want to have some fun while eating amazing food and drinking tasty cocktails, go to Urban Food Fest, a place filled with street food trucks, live music, and happy people. This market is located in colorful Shoreditch and it is open only on Saturdays from spring until the cold winter season comes.
Best Free Things to Do in London: Get in Touch with Art at the Amazing British Galleries
Just like there are many museums you can visit for free in London, there is also a great number of art galleries where you don’t have to pay a penny, even if you get the chance to see works of art signed by famous artists. Visiting these art galleries is for sure included in the best free things to do in London.
The most famous gallery in London is The National Art Gallery. This is heaven for art enthusiasts from all over the world who come and admire the masterpiece of talented artists like Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Vermeer and many others. Tate Britain and Tate Modern are also two amazing art galleries where you don’t have to pay an entrance.
But there are also smaller and less known galleries where you should go while visiting London. And Wallace Collection is one of them. Even though it is not very popular among travelers, this is one of the best small galleries in the city. If you are interested in catching a glimpse at the 18th-century aristocratic life, you have to visit this gallery. Not only does it offer 17th and 18th-century art, but it is hosted in a luxurious house, which is a piece of art itself.
Furthermore, if you are an art lover interested in seeing contemporary art signed by less known international artists, you should add Saatchi Gallery to your list of free must-see things in London. If you loved wandering around the fascinating Tate Modern (http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern), you will also enjoy your time in this gallery.
Follow the Steps of the Famous Street Artist, Banksy
You don’t have to be obsessed with art to know who Banksy is, since the street artist is already famous everywhere in the world. While you are in London, you can wander around the beautifully arranged streets of the city and search for some of the pieces of art created by the political activist.
Even though many of his artworks have been removed by the authorities or by people who knew their real value, there are still some very interesting ones on London’s walls. But you should hurry up if you want to see them before they are removed just like the rest of Banksy’s stencils!
Let the Street Performers Entertain You
If you want to have fun without paying a penny, just wander around the center of London and let the charming street performer entertain you. Whether you prefer exploring Covent Garden Market, Trafalgar Square or Leicester Square, everywhere you have the chance to see really good acts.
Don’t be surprised by the huge amount of people these street performers can draw. Some of them have been doing this for many years and in many countries so, not only do they know what they are doing but they also really know their audience. In addition, they are all licensed and they have passed an audition to perform, so you are going to be entertained by the best street performers!
Enjoy a Walking Tour and Admire the City’s Impressive Architecture
As you can see there are many things you can do in London without having to pay entrances and fees. And one of the best activities for travelers who want to get to know the city is just walking around, exploring its boulevards, small alley, the central, as well as the hidden neighborhoods. Not only is this free of charge, but it is also an extremely surprising activity.
For instance, walking or, if you prefer cycling the Thames Path can be a fascinating experience. You will discover the beautiful public beaches, great pubs, restaurants, amazing views and even the charming village of Rotherhithe.
In addition, even if you might know where the popular St. Paul’s Cathedral is, by walking you can discover other imposing monuments, like the oldest church in London, known as St Bartholomew the Great and used since 1143. It was the location of the fourth wedding in the well-known movie “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and it is absolutely enchanting. It definitely deserves a visit!
Wander around the city until you get to see the remains of the largest Roman Amphitheatre in London, which lies below Guildhall Hall. Admiring this place is a precious thing to do for people interested in history and it is also completely free of charge.
And don’t just stick to central London. Be brave and curious and adventure yourself in less central neighborhoods where you can discover the hidden gems of the city, known only by Londoners. Explore all the amazing places like vibrant Brixton or relaxed Richmond in order to really understand the enchanting city of London.
With this, we conclude the list of the best free things to do in London. Feel free to contribute in the comments with your own ideas.