Free Things To Do in London

Yes the food and drink are over-priced and travel costs are frightfully high, but the British capital makes up for all that by having more free things to do than perhaps any other city in the world. Once you decide where to stay in London, you would probably need months to do participate in the hundreds of London’s freebies, but just in case you don’t have months, here is a pick of the best.


Perfect for whiling away a rainy day (and let’s face it, there are plenty of those in London), the capital is home to some of the best museums in the world, most of which are completely free. The big hitters include the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum (all found at South Kensington tube station), while the smaller options include the Wallace Collection, the Bank of England museum, the National Army Museum and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology.

The Houses of Parliament

Arguably one of the capital’s biggest tourist draws, the Palace of Westminster (and the quintessentially British Big Ben clock tower) is a magnificent neo-gothic building and home to the House of Commons and House of Lords. If you get yourself organised and reserve ahead you can watch a real life Parliamentary session – all for free of course!

Art Galleries

The Big Smoke is a haven for art buffs on a budget. The fantastic Tate Britain and Tate Modern (at the unmissable Southbank along the river Thames) are two of the best, while the massive National gallery and National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square will keep you busy all day.A quirkier option is the wonderful Camden Arts Centre – featuring works from famous and aspiring contemporary artists since the 60s, visitors can see the whole lot for free.

Watch a Trial at the Old Bailey

You can watch legal proceedings live at what is arguably the most famous criminal court in the world, the Old Bailey. The public galleries are open from 10am, Monday to Friday.

London’s Super Markets

London is crammed full of some of the best street markets in Europe, many of them taking place seven days a week. Our top picks include Camden Market for clothes and accessories, Portobello Market for vintage, antique and bric-a-brac, Old Spitafields Market for independent designers and quirky gifts, Brick Lane Market for music, fashion and a great atmosphere(Sundays only), Borough Market for the best of British food and the self-explanatory Columbia Flower market (Sunday mornings only).

The Southbank Centre

Part of a relatively recent multi-million pound facelift given to the southern bank of the River Thames, the Southbank Centre is home to the world-renowned Tate Modern art gallery and the Royal Festival Hall, playing host to free exhibitions, concerts and presentations all year round. The Southbank is the place to be on a warm summer’s day, when residents and tourists alike flock to the river to enjoy the free entertainment and great weather.

The Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

A tradition dating back 700 years, every evening the Chief Yeoman locks the main gate to the Tower of London and brings the keys to the resident Governor. Although tickets are free you need to reserve them at least two months in advance.

Changing of the Guard

The iconic British crowd-pleaser, the Changing of the Guard has been a royal tradition since the 15th Century. Accompanied by music (and plenty of spectators), the bearskin-hat-clad guards change shift at 11.30am every day at Buckingham Palace.

London Parks

Considering its sprawling size and high population, London is incredibly green, and has some of the most beautiful inner-city parks anywhere in the world. Battersea Park is home to a lake, sporting facilities and Battersea Children’s Zoo, the centrally located 350 acre Hyde Park was once used as hunting grounds, and the gorgeous Richmond Park is home to herds of deer.


Walking is free, good for you, and surprisingly easy in central London. Check out some recommended routes online or in your guidebook and don your walking boots for one of the best ways to see all the historic and architectural sights that London has to offer. 

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