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Things to Do in London for Free

Things to Do in London for Free

London can be expensive, but thankfully there are also plenty of incredible experiences that won’t cost you a penny.

Start your exploration with a stroll along the South Bank of the River Thames. From the iconic Tower Bridge to the majestic London Eye, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the city’s skyline.

Take a moment to admire the grandeur of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and then continue your walk to the vibrant Southbank Centre. Here, you can catch free performances, exhibitions, and events, making it a cultural hub for all to enjoy.

From free museums to scenic walks, London offers an array of unforgettable experiences that won’t break the bank.

Things to Do in London for Free

See the Change of Guards at the Buckingham Palace

No trip to London is complete without a visit to the Queen’s house. Buckingham Palace has been the residence of the Monarch of the United Kingdom since 1837.

You can watch the changing of the Queen’s Guard, which officially begins at 11 am every day, but specific times can vary so be sure to check online before you go.

Entry to the State Rooms of the palace is only open for about 2 months during the summer when the Queen and relatives aren’t there.

Visit Some of the Museums

Let’s not forget that some of the best museums in the world are in London and they’re free. However, during busy periods booking a time slot in advance is essential.

Visit London’s Venice

It’s almost like you’ve stepped out of metropolitan London when you visit the quiet area of little Venice near Paddington, with its cute little rows of canal boats running along this area of the Thames, passing by the London Zoo and Camden Market.

They’ve got the adorable little Puppet Theatre Barge which is perfect for entertaining children and one of the prettiest cafes in London, the Clifton Nurseries where you can have a peaceful meal surrounded by gorgeous indoor plants.

Spot London’s Blue Plaques

Look out for blue plaques on buildings as you walk as there are about 1000 around the city. Search for any figures that might interest you on English Heritage’s website, but some of the most commonly searched are:

  • Diana, Princess of Wales, at Flat 60, Coleherne Court, Old Brompton Road
  • Agatha Christie at 58 Sheffield Terrace, Holland Park
  • Bob Marley at 42 Oakley Street, Chelsea
  • Jimi Hendrix at 23 Brook Street, Mayfair

Meet Queen’s Swans

Did you know that all the wild swans in London legally belong to the Queen? You’ll see them gracefully swimming along the Thames and especially in the parks. Hyde Park especially is perfect for a walk or a fun tour of the water on a little pedal boat to feed the swans.

Leadenhall Market

Built in 1881, this Victorian covered market. Harry Potter fans may recognize Leadenhall Market from the movies, as it was also the filming location for some of the exterior Dragon Alley scenes. It’s a great spot for photography.

Have a Picnic at Primrose Hill

With the prettiest view of the famous pastel houses of Nottinghill on one side and the London Zoo on the other, Primrose Hill is always lush for a weekend picnic.

Pack a basket, some cucumber sandwiches and take a lie in the sun on the grass, soaking in the fresh air. The park is dog-friendly and is a quick walk from Camden Market.

Go to Leicester Square Film Premieres

Find out what film premieres are planned on the Westminster City Council website.

Visit Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park

Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park is iconic for having had famous historical figures like Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell give speeches to whoever would come to listen.

Today, the corner accommodates large public demonstrations and rallies relating to various social and political issues. It’s worth a visit to stand on the grounds where much of history was made.

Hyde Park

If you’re searching for green space in London, head to Hyde Park, the largest Royal Park in London. Here you can escape the rush of the city and enjoy tranquility amongst beautiful flowers, sculptures, and statues.

To the west, Hyde Park merges with the Kensington Gardens, a ‘smart and formal’ fenced-in garden only open during daylight hours.

Here you’ll find beautiful bridges and fountains just a short distance from St. James’ Park, Green Park, and the Buckingham Palace Gardens.

Stroll through the Southbank

London’s Southbank is the hub of the city’s cultural center. The walkway by the Thames is lined with a selection of restaurants, historic pubs, and there are often fairs or events going on.

Even if you happen to just wander into the area, there’ll most likely be something fun to see. The Southbank Centre website is helpful to help you find out what will be on when you visit.

Find Banksy in Shoreditch

Probably the most hipster and trendy corner of London, Shoreditch is popular for its quirky shops, vegan restaurants, modern ambiance and it’s colorful street art. Visit the Box Park for a wide variety of restaurants and treats.

Stroll down the High Street past funky bars, arcades and hair salons, or make your way to Brick Lane not too far away for a famous Brick Lane chicken tikka masala – it’s a British dish, not Indian 😉

Photograph Some Pretty Streets of London

Try your photography skills by capturing some of the most beautiful street in London. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Kynance Mews in South Kensington (The nearest tube station is Gloucester Road on the Piccadilly and Circle and District lines. )
  • Shad Thames in Bermondsey (East of Tower Bridge. The nearest tube station is Bermondsey on the Jubilee line.)
  • Hillgate Village in Notting Hill (The nearest tube station is Notting Hill Gate on the Central)
  • Kelly Street in Kentish Town (The nearest overground station is Kentish Town West)

Watch Street Performers in Covent Garden

Covent Garden in the West End is London’s theatre and entertainment hub, home to the Royal Opera House and the Lyceum Theatre which puts on famous musicals. But you don’t have to book a ticket to be entertained in Covent Garden.

People come from all over London to show off their various skills and talents for the busy crowds on the busy pavements. From singers and musicians to magicians and stunt performers. There’s always something fun to watch as you’re wandering around the colorful and busy area.

Westminster Abbey

You can see inside Westminster Abbey for free. The Abbey never charges people who want to worship but they rely on admission fees from visitors to cover running costs.

Evensong by a talented choir is at 5 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and at 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. This is also where Prince William and Kate Middleton had their wedding.

There are a number of burials and memorials at Westminster Abbey, including the monarch Mary, Queen of Scots.

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