London for Free

Yeah, London is an expensive city. And the city’s most popular attractions can mean splurging a hefty chunk of a tour’s budget on tickets. London Eye ticket ranges from £26 to £50, Tower of London starts from £22, and Westminster Abbey costs near about £18. Even the Windsor Castle prices near about £18. But that doesn’t mean that these monetary worries would put you off visiting this magical city.

When it comes to explore London for free, the only thing you’ll be short of is free time. You can have a lifetime travel experience without ever handing over a penny, and not just by wandering on unknown streets, bike paths, or shopping markets. The England’s capital is blessed with hundred of free-admissions places, live entertainment spots, and outdoor activities. Here is a travel guide to London for those who want to explore the best of London for free.

Free-Admission Places to Visit

Explore the Witty Art Collection at Tate Modern

Exhibiting the international contemporary art, Tate Modern is the world’s most-visited modern art gallery and it is not hard to believe why. Located in the former Bankside Power Station, this modern art gallery holds a collection of contemporary artworks dating from 1900 until today. The art collection exhibitions consist of 4 wings, including History, Action, Environment, and Real Life. Blackfriars is the closest station for Tube commuters.

Climb up the Big Ben

This may sound a little strange but you can climb up all 334 steps of Big Ben to hear the Great Bell ring the hour up close. Due to its historic design, the attraction has no lifts. An inside tour of Big Ben is only open to UK residents. The timing of the tours are 9.15am, 11.15am, and 2.15pm. Residents need to organize a visit by writing to their local MP’s or a Member of the House of Lords.

Go back in Time with St Paul’s Church

Don’t get confused with St Paul’s Cathedral (a church of England cathedral that accepts a hefty admission fee), this church at Covert Garden had a long alliance with the theatre community. Due to which, it gained its nickname the ’actor’s church’. This attraction takes you back in time through the great memorials of Charlie Chaplin and Vivien Leigh. So, get ready to discover some well-known characters of the British theatrical history. Make sure you visit a professional chamber Orchestra of St Paul’s while paying a visit to this place.

Uncover the World’s Famous Treasures at British Museum

British Museum proves the statement that the best things in London are free. It is one of the world’s best museums, which is purely dedicated to human history and culture. The museum boasts a permanent collection, figuring some 8 million artworks. It is no surprise that you may find yourself short of time when exploring the amazing collection of this museum. This free-admission museum is open daily for except for 1 Jan and 24, 25, and 26 Dec.

See the Farm Animals at Hackney

This city farm invites you to meet the farm animals and experience farming right in the hub of London. It gives an opportunity to spot, smell, and plant vegetables. Beloved of Londoners and nature lovers, the farm is home to farmyard animals like goats, sheep, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, and a donkey. The place is open to public from 10am to 4.30pm every day, except Monday.

Detail: Don’t forget to try homemade ice cream, coffees, cakes, and roasts at farm’s cafe, Frizzante.

Navigate your Way through the British History

If you are looking for a different way to explore the British history, head to National Portrait Gallery. It is one of the most popular art galleries housing a collection of personalities and faces, from the late Middle Ages to the current day. From British Royal Family to famous musicians and performers, this art gallery holds an extensive collection of memories. The art gallery also boasts a fantastic rooftop restaurant that offers magnificent views across the city skyline.

Live Entertainment Spots That You Can’t Miss

Enjoy the City Life with Free Outdoor Events

Events and outdoor activities are held in the capital all year round. So, you don’t need to wait while planning your London trip. From trade fair and movie premieres to festivals and comedy gigs, London has something for everyone. Though the best time to join the city life is Christmas and New Year, some travellers prefer to travel in summertime to attend beer garden and rooftop events. Music, dance, and street theatre make your visiting experience as enjoyable as possible. If you are planning to visit the capital, then make sure to check the London events calendar to plan your trip accordingly. Check out the London events calendar at Timeout London.

Salute The Queen’s Guard

Yes, it is a display of British pomp and a wee bit touristy, but every tourist must watch the Changing the Guard at least once in their life. As the name suggests, this ceremony includes changing the guard’s duty. Starts at 11.30am, it happens every day from May to July, and on odd days (1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and so on) throughout the rest of the year. To set the tone of British culture, all guards are clothed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats. If you desire doesn’t come to an end after seeing this, you can also watch Guard Mounting ceremony at Horse Guards Arch and Windsor Castle.

Live Comedy Gigs at Comedy Cafe

‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’ and this is something that should be done without splurging pounds. Fortunately, this comedy cafe allows you to catch some hilarious comedians without paying a single penny on every Wednesday night. This cafe bar is perfect for those who can’t afford to miss British live gigs whilst sticking to the beer taps. If you have already visited this place, then you can try The Queen’s Head pub that offers free comedy night for the price of a pint.

Talks, Discussions, and Speech at Speakers Corner

Some ultra-modern people don’t think it is entertaining, but this place exhibits one of the most absorbingly theatrical activities. This is one of the few places in London where open-air public speaking is allowed. Situated in the city’s famous royal garden, Hyde Park, it is the religious home of the British democratic convention of soapbox oratory. Talks are held about the current political, cultural, and social topics. The perfect time to listen the talks is Sunday morning. But, you will find speakers at this place throughout the week.

Celebrity Spotting At Leicester Square

London might not have the same reputation as Los Angeles, but the city is crowded with superstars just waiting to be spotted. The city is also home to Odeon Leicester Square, which has hosted several European and world film premieres. Happening on a frequent basis, these premieres catch the fancy of cinema lovers and Londoners alike. However, go ahead of time in order to get a good spot in the square well before the red carpet is rolled out.
Usually, the premieres start at 7’o’clock, but it suggested reaching at least a couple of hours early.

Outdoor Activities to Do

Stroll along the Iconic Stretch of the Southbank

If you love walking in a leisurely way, then Southbank is one of the best places to explore in London on foot. Cross over the Waterloo Bridge from Covent Garden to start your stroll. While walking along the Southbank, you will discover some of the paid-for and free attractions like the London Eye, Southbank Centre, National Theatre, IMAX cinema and much more. Don’t forget to watch out the OXO Tower, which is home to a number of creative and crafty shops.There is a wide selection of bars, restaurants, and hotels for all budgets. Therefore, you don’t need to leave the comfort of the South Bank, London.

Try Skateboard at Skateboard Park

South Bank has always been the whipping heart of the capital for its highbrow culture. It is also home to Skateboard Park, which is a popular skate park under the arches of Queen Elizabeth Hall. The park comprises of numerous ramps, ledges, raised surfaces, and a set of stairs to keep a couple of skateboarders happy. Considering the safety of travellers, the park also has a railing to restrict people from strolling a bit too close. A quick walk from the park, there is a Hungerford footbridge, which is commonly known as skateboard graveyard. You can visit to see the plenty of broken decks pitched there. Waterloo is the nearest station for tube commuters, while tourists travelling via railways can exist at Waterloo East Railway Station.

Check out Fine Arts at Wallace Collection

Just 2-minutes away from the wearing crowds of Oxford Street, Wallace Collection is an ultimate museum with a world-famous collection of fine and decorative arts. It also houses the fine paintings, splendid furniture, exhibitions of weapons and armours, and stately rooms. The permanent exhibitions at this museum include two paintings by Titian, 5 Rembrandts, and masterpieces by de Hooch, to name a few. To enjoy a traditional-style lunch, you can visit the in-house restaurant, which is city’s most fine gallery dining space. You can do exit at Bond Street Tube Station, which is just 6 minutes away from this museum. For railway commuters, Marylebone is the closest station to the venue.

Unwind at City’s Royal Gardens

Despite a bustling capital of the world, London also offers some stunning, tranquil gardens and open areas. These open spaces are located in the very heart of the city and are hard to overlook. They also offer stunning scenery, which is a perfect way to explore the capital in between all the hectic sightseeing activities. Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, St James’s Park, and Kensington Gardens are some of the famous parks that you can’t afford to miss. The main draw of Hyde Park is Diana Fountain, which is obviously a memorial to Diana (Princess of Whales). Whereas, Regents Park scores high for its boating lake, tennis centre, and open air theatre.

Enjoy Rain at the Barbican

If cultural attractions is not your thing and you’re looking for something unusual to pamper your kids and loved ones, then head to the Barbican. This place is perfect for kids and adults alike. A piece of digital creation, Rain Room uses 2,500 litres of water, and falls at 1,000 litres every minute. The sound of rain and wetness in the air presents the impression of being in the centre of an impulsive downpour, without getting wet. Therefore, you can let your kids go crazy in a rain room without worrying about the clothes change.  It’s free admission is the main reason to attract thousands of travellers, so you should better go early. Admission is done on first come, first served basis.

Chance to Explore the Prime Meridian

If weather permits, you can take a trip to Maritime Greenwich (a world heritage site in London). The place includes some of the well-known attractions like Park, the Royal Observatory, National Maritime Museum, and the Cutty Sark. Perfect for history buffs and nature lovers, this attraction is definitely worth visiting. Widely known as the location of the prime meridian, The Royal Observatory played a vital role in the history of astronomy and navigation. Located on a hill in Greenwich Park, this place is also home of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The park also boasts two restaurants – one is Park Café perfect for coffee lovers and the other is Cow and Bean Café that has a massive area for active kids to run around. The nearest tube station to Greenwich Park is New Cross and the closest railway station is Maze Hill. Commuters are advised to opt for railways, as the station is in walking distance to this spot.

Is that all you got? Not at all, London has plenty of other attractions, shopping markets, and activities too where you can continue your itinerary. However, the above free-admissions places and activities are sure to make your visiting experience as memorable as possible. So, get ready to discover the famous as well as hidden gems without worrying about the budget.
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