It’s widely known that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in and visit, but some of the best experiences you can have as a tourist are totally free of charge. Check out this ultimate London bucketlist of free experiences that you won’t want to miss!
Watch the Changing of the Guard
The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace is one of London’s most popular free attractions and usually draws big crowds outside the palace gates. During the 45-minute ceremony the Queen’s Guards hand over the responsibility of protecting the palace to the new Guards. Be sure to check out the website in advance for dates and timings to ensure you get a good viewing spot.
Visit the Natural History Museum
You probably have already heard but one of the best things about London is that all of the major museums are totally free of charge to enter. Among the museums not to be missed is the Natural History Museum, which was built in 1873. Highlights include the dinosaur skeletons, the blue whale, and early human skeletons which are thousands of years old.
Go for a Picnic in One of London’s Great Parks
London is one of the greenest cities in Europe and when the sun is shining is a wonderful place to have a picnic in one of the city’s many parks. Some of the best parks in the city include Hyde Park, the largest of the Royal Parks created in 1637, St James Park which is located near Buckingham Palace, and Hampstead Heath in north London, which is a huge open space with fantastic views of the city that has featured in movies like Notting Hill.
Explore London’s Markets
Another one of London’s best features is its abundance of regular markets, selling everything from food to clothing. For food check out Borough Market in London Bridge or the street food market at Southbank by the Thames River, the world’s largest antiques market on Portobello Road, and fashion and jewellery at Old Spitalfields Market. Lovers of alternative and street fashion should check out Camden Market whilst book lovers should head to the second book market under Waterloo Bridge.
Discover Historic Greenwich
Situated in the south east of the city, Greenwich is a charming district with historic buildings to include the Cutty Sark clipper boat, the National Maritime Museum, and Royal Observatory. Greenwich Park is a tranquil spot to go for a walk or a picnic, whilst Greenwich market sells crafts, jewellery, antiques and street food from around the world. The streets of Greenwich are packed with independent restaurants and cafes giving the whole area a local atmosphere not found in central London.
Join a Free Walking Tour
Strawberry Tours provides free walking tours of London that cover all of the major sights and attractions, in addition to free themed tours such as food tours, street art tours, ghost tours, Harry Potter tours and a Jack the Ripper walk. There is no charge to join these tours but the guides work on a reward system, so you just pay what you think it was worth at the end.
Recreate That Beatles Album Cover
Made famous for appearing on the cover of the final Beatles album, the recording studios at Abbey Road in North-West London are legendary within the British music industry. You can recreate the famous zebra crossing image and make your own DIY Beatles album cover. Perfect for your Instagram feed.
Admire Famous Artworks
Along with the history and science museums, London’s art museums are also free to enter, so it’s possible to spend an entire day looking at great works of art without spending any money. Whatever your taste in art is, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes. From the European masterpieces on display at the National Gallery, to the modern collections at the Tate Modern, be sure to check out at least one gallery during your visit.
Discover Treasures in the British Museum and British Library
A huge museum that you can easily find yourself lost in, the British Museum is home to some of the world’s greatest treasures to include ancient Egyptian mummies, the Rosetta Stone and ancient Greek sculptures from the Parthenon. If you only have time to visit one museum in London, make it this one. Meanwhile, over at the British Library, you can see great literary works by famous writers such Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen.
See a Free Concert
You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on theatre tickets to see a show in London when there are plenty of free world-class performances you can catch. St Martin-in-the-Fields church plays host to free classical concerts at lunchtimes, and the Royal Opera House also puts on a programme of free recitals during the day.