Things to do for free in London
Exhibitions & Day's Out,  Travel

Things To Do For Free In London 🇬🇧

My Top 10 Favourite Things to See & Do For Free in London

Whether you live in London, just outside or have to travel far to visit, you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg in order to enjoy the best parts of it! Here is a list of my favourite things to do for free in London (including some incredibly instagrammable locations):

The Tate Modern

Bankside, SE1 9TG

Nearest Stations: Southwark/ Blackfriars (Underground) Stations

Free in London
The Tate Modern Skyline

Showcasing some amazing international and European pieces of art, the Tate Modern is free to enter, although donations are welcome, and has so much to look at. Open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s a fantastic place to spend a day or an evening and since the opening of the Viewing Level you can take in breathtaking views of the London skyline and take some great photographs, totally free of charge. Located in the old Bankside Power Station, the building itself is a marvel to behold. If you have time, you must check out its sister gallery, The Tate Britain. Home to works of British artists from the 16th century onward, Tate Britain is easily reached from Pimlico Underground Station.

If you have a few pennies to spend:

Grab a drink at the bar, relax and marvel at London’s beautiful skyline. Alternatively, why not pop to the gift shop and grab some great recreations – I always get a Warhol postcard.

Covent Garden

WC2E 8BE

Nearest Stations: Covent Garden (Underground) or Charing Cross (Train & Underground) Stations

Covent Garden is the main theatre and general entertainment area in London’s West End. Fabulous shops (my favourites include the Moomin Shop and Whittards of Chelsea), amazing street performers and a buzzing atmosphere at all times, Covent Garden is the place to be. Covent Garden Market is fabulous and The National Gallery is close by, and you can take a peak at The Royal Opera House, too. I once saw the Philharmonic Orchestra play against the film Casablanca there and it was the most incredible experience. This is also the location of the London Transport Museum – unfortunately, admission for children is free but adults have to purchase a ticket.

If you have a few pennies to spend:

It’s worth seeing what’s on at The Royal Opera House. If you were to grab a drink I strongly recommend the Punch & Judy pub; the outdoor balcony overlooks the performance area of Covent Garden, so you can hole up there for the evening to watch the performances, or just the wonderful people floating around. Otherwise, simply wander through, take some incredible photos in the market and enjoy the vibes!

The Natural History Museum

Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD

Nearest Stations: South Kensington / Knightsbridge (Underground) Stations

Free in London
The Natural History Museum

As most of the museums in London are free of charge, only a few will dominate this list – however, they are the ones I most recommend visiting if you have a short amount of time in the city. If you’re staying for longer, there are heaps more for you to see, take a look at Visit London if you need inspiration.

Despite all it houses, it is actually the architecture of The NHM building that I love the most. You’ll know what I mean as soon as you get outside! The NH Museum is home to various skeletons including dinosaurs, there are plenty of insects and fossils to learn about, you can walk through the rain forest AND, my absolute favourite thing to do since I was a child: the Earthquake simulator. You step onto an escalator which goes high into the heavens, and once through you enter what looks like a supermarket. The lights dim as various ‘CCTV’ videos play out showing the footage of a real earthquake in Japan. The floor begins to move and items from the shelves start to shake and drop. If you visit the Natural History Museum for one thing, it should be this. Kids LOVE it. Entry is free of charge but donations are of course welcome.

If you have a few pennies to spend:

Why not book into one of the wonderful exhibitions?

The Science Museum

Exhibition Road, SW7 2DD

Nearest Stations: South Kensington (Underground) Station

The Science Museum is a fun time for EVERYONE. There is so much to see and do, including interactive galleries where science literally comes to life. The Science Museum really is great for all ages and is just a short walk from The Natural History Museum. As mentioned, again this museum is free to enter, but accepts donations.

If you have a few pennies to spend:

Take a little visit to the gift shop – you can pick up some wonderfully innovative products and gifts.

The V&A Museum

Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL

Nearest Stations: South Kensington (Underground)

Just a hop, skip and a jump from the above museums is The Victoria & Albert Museum.

Once again, entry is free but donations are welcome. If I had to pick one museum from thise list to visit, it would definitely be The V&A. Hosting collections of fashion, sculpture, photography and theatre through the ages, to name but a few of the things on show, this is one for fans of the arts. There are some amazing items to see and I recently had a great time visiting the Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition here, which only cost £12.00 to enter.

If you have a few pennies to spend:

Book into one of the fabulous exhibitions, they are so worthwhile, or alternatively, why not grab a coffee in the Courtyard Cafe – a stunning outside area located within the museum.

Camden Town

Camden High Street, NW1 8NH

Nearest Stations: Camden Town (Underground)

Camden is the funkiest, punkiest place in London. Just take a few steps down Camden High Street and you will see why. I love the way the shops have 3D fronts, they are super cool and great for photography. Further down the High Street is Camden Market and Lock. Here you can browse a variety of unique products and you HAVE to pop in to Cyber Dog – just for the experience. It is THE most space-age, trippy shopping experience, ever.

If you have a few pennies to spend:

My favourite thing to do is grab some noodles from one of the many market vendors, kick back on one of the moped seats overlooking the lock, and watch the world go by.

Greenwich

Nearest Stations: North Greenwich (Underground) or Greenwich (Train) Stations

Free in London
The O2 @ Greenwich

There are many other ways to get to Greenwich, too; DLR, Emirates Cable Car from the Royal Docks or my personal favourite, the Thames Clipper service. For more information on transport and boarding locations, see Visit London Better still, sign up now and receive a free London Guide Book.

I love Greenwich; it’s a beautiful area and a full day out in itself.

The O2

Formally the Millennium Dome, entry to the O2 is free if you just want to wander around inside.

Greenwich Market

I like to start off at Greenwich Market – there are some fabulous stalls serving every type of street food you could possibly imagine and cute, unique shops.

The Cutty Sark

Down at the riverfront you can see the Cutty Sark, one of the last Tea Clippers to be built, proudly on display for you to admire – whilst you do have to pay to board, the exterior is on display for some great photo moments.

The Queen’s House

The Queen’s House is free to walk around and houses some incredible art.

The National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum, again free to enter, is home to the history of the Royal Navy – I love that the faces of great British maritime figures adorn the walls outside.

The Royal Observatory

The place where Prime Meridian was established in 1851 – you have to pay to enter but you can view the building externally.

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park offers the best views of Greenwich and the Thames – the oldest of the Royal Parks, it is home to a herd of deer and just so pretty!

If you have a few pennies to spend:

You definitely have to try out some of the street food – it’s absolutely delicious; I had THE best South African quiche from one of the stalls.

The British Museum

Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG

Nearest Stations: Holborn/ Russell Street (Underground) Stations

Free in London
The British Museum

Showcasing an array of ancient artefacts from periods throughout history, The British Museum allows you to get up close to so many wonderful items. My favourite things to see include the Egyptian Gallery, as you can view actual mummies recovered from Egypt; I also enjoy just standing in the entrance hall – the ceiling is INCREDIBLE and well worth a photo!

If you have a few pennies to spend:

Why not grab something cute from the gift shop? They do some great replica items of those of show. Alternatively book into one of the exhibitions – in 2016 I saw some items recovered from two of Egypt’s sunken cities which were on show for a limited amount of time – I’m so glad I got to see them!

Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and China Town

WC2H 7BX

Nearest Stations: Piccadilly Circus/ Leicester Square (Underground) Stations

Free in London

Piccadilly Circus

Home to the world famous advertising boards, Piccadilly Circus is always busy and brimming with activity. My favourite things to do include visiting M&M World and popping into the Trocadero. It’s a wonderful place to wander round and you can get some great photographs here.

Leicester Square

Walk through Piccadilly Circus and you will end up in Leicester Square; again, another busy area buzzing with activity at all times. Leicester Square is mainly full of restaurants, however if you check beforehand, you might just catch some celebrities attending a new film premiere!

China Town

China Town is such a cool place to visit. As you stroll through, Chinese lanterns float above you. I love this little bit of China in the middle of London, and the Chinese Shops do some great, fresh ingredients. You might even spot a Pokemon or two wandering around.

The above are all just a short walk from each other, and if you fancy strolling a bit further, why not head to Buckingham Palace, which is a 20 minute walk away?

If you have a few pennies to spend:

Grab something to eat from one of the many restaurants, or, why not pop into M&M world and get some personalised M&M’s? They’re so fun to design and see made.

The Southbank

SE1 District – the area between Blackfriars Bridge and Westminster Bridge

Nearest Stations: Depending on where you want to go along The Southbank, the following stations all serve the area; Waterloo, Charing Cross and Blackfriars (train and underground stations) or, Westminster, and Embankment (underground) stations.

I adore walking along the Thames here. There is so much to see and The Southbank is brimming with culture. Just a few of the things to see include: The Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall, The National Theatre, The London Eye and the skate park which has some incredible graffiti all over it.

If you have a few pennies to spend:

There is a wonderful stall selling books under the bridge – I love to stop and have a nosey at any new additions. There are also some lovely restaurants with outdoor seating areas and views over the river.

What are your favourite things to do and see for free in London? Drop me a comment below!

Peace Out.

A.C.G. x

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