Ten Things to do in London for Free
We’ve been thinking about some of the things you can do in the capital that won’t cost a penny.
London is a great city but it also a very expensive one whether you live there or are just visiting. If you are visiting the capital on a budget and need somewhere to stay why not try Airbnb? and here are ten ideas:
1. Visit the museums and galleries
This is a bit of an obvious one but we are so lucky in the UK that so many of our museums and galleries are still free to visit. There is something for everyone from the impressive collections in the National Gallery to the planes and weaponry housed in the Imperial War Museum. If fashion is more your thing how about the Victoria and Albert Museum and which child would say no to a visit to the Science Museum?
See Visit Londons: Top 50 museums and galleries in London
2. Walk the South Bank
The last few years have seen an incredible transformation of the South Bank and it well worth taking the time to walk from Westminster to Tower Bridge. On the way, you will pass the London Eye, the Royal Festival Hall, the Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre and HMS Belfast. Then you can walk across Tower Bridge and have a look at the Tower of London. You can see plenty from the outside so there is no need to pay for entry unless you really want to.
For more info see South Bank London Official Visitor Guide
3. Attend a service at St Paul’s
If you find yourself on the South Bank you can pop across the Millennium footbridge to St. Paul’s Cathedral. It’s now quite expensive to visit (although your ticket is valid for a year). However, you are entitled to attend a service without paying an entry fee so if you are happy to sit for a while in peace it’s a great way to experience Wren’s remarkable church.
For more info see St Pauls Cathedral website
4. Visit Borough Market
While you’re on the South Bank (it’s going to be a busy day this one!) you can take the opportunity to go to Borough Market by London Bridge. As London’s most renowned food market you will find an incredible range of fresh produce and will probably get to sample a few bits too.
For more info see Borough Markets website
5. Visit Westminster Cathedral
If you take the train or tube to Victoria and head down Victoria Street to Westminster you will pass Westminster Cathedral, London’s Catholic Church, on your right-hand side. For a small fee, you can also take a lift to the top of the tower which gives you great views across London and isn’t as tiring as climbing St. Paul’s or the Monument!
For more info see Westminster Cathedral’s website
6. Visit the parks
If it’s a nice day why not take a picnic to one of the big London parks? Green Park, Regents Park and Hyde Park are all huge green spaces and if you want to amuse the children you could try Kensington Gardens. Plus do not forget Hamstead Heath.
See Visit London’s Best parks in London
7. Visit Harrods Food Hall
This one sounds a bit strange but Harrods Food Hall is amazing and well worth a visit (as is the rest of the store). Built-in 1902 with Art Nouveau decoration it’s both a place to buy food and an art gallery. Check the dress code before you visit though because they are quite strict.
See Harrods website
8. Hop on the number 11 bus
You don’t need to pay for an expensive sightseeing tour; the number 11 will take you from Chelsea to Liverpool Street via some of the most famous landmarks in London. These include Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, Horse Guards Parade, Trafalgar Square, The Strand and St. Paul’s Cathedral. If you are using an Oyster Card the cost of the trip is minimal and children travel free.
See the No 11 bus route on the TFL’s website
9. Stroll down the shopping streets
If you don’t like crowds we don’t recommend this one in the run-up to Christmas but walking from Tottenham Court Road down Oxford Street and then Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus is good for window shopping. You could even cut the corner and visit Carnaby Street and Liberties.
See visit London’s Top shopping destinations in London
10. Have a drink at the George Inn
This one is cheating a bit because it will cost you a drink but the 17th century George Inn on Borough High Street is the last remaining galleried Inn in London. With a lovely big courtyard outside it’s a great place to relax before heading to London Bridge to catch a train home. Frequented by Dickens and even mentioned in Little Dorrit it’s not far from the George that the pilgrims in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales set off on their pilgrimage from the Tabard Inn in the 14th century.
See the George Inn’s website
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If you have visited this page and have a poor credit rating and would like to see some options, see our compare loans page. If you do not need a loan, we hope this post gave you some ideas for a great day out!