There are so many free things to do in London and with the expensive hotels and restaurants around the city, it is worth taking advantage of those free gems. Here are some of our favourite picks that don’t cost a thing!
Visit Trafalgar Square
Take a selfie with Nelson’s Column, the iconic stone lions and the Fourth Plinth along with some pretty fountains whilst surrounding yourself with pigeons. Trafalgar Square should be top of many lists as an iconic stop in London.
Watch Street Entertainment at Covent Gardens
Full of street performers and quirky shops, Covent Garden is a great place to spend some time having a wander around and some window browsing. It is also home to plenty of restaurants and food stalls, the Royal Opera House and the Transport of London Museum which offers free tickets for children.
The great museums of London are all free; explore dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum, learn about British and world history at the British Museum and wander around the beautiful exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Science Museum is also a great choice for those with children. Some may prefer to explore the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich or the Imperial War Museum to admire the 400 exhibits of World War artefacts. Art lovers head to Tate Modern – an incredible building full of art displays and sculptures from around the world.
Visit Harry Potter Film Locations
As a fan of Harry Potter this is high up on my list. You can visit various film locations around London including platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station, Leadenhall Market; the film location for Diagon Alley and Australia House – where the interior shots of Gringotts were filmed.
Cross an iconic Bridge of London
Perfect for photographers, London is home to a host of fascinating bridges that can be photographed and admired across the city. The Millennium Bridge and the Tower of London Bridge are popular choices for tourists visiting London.
Recreate the Abbey Road Beatles Photo
Fans of The Beatles may wish to head to Abbey Road and take a photo of themselves crossing the iconic Beatles Album walking on a Zebra crossing.
Watch the changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
A must whilst in London, head to Buckingham Palace and watch a daily changing of the guard; the ceremony lasts about 45 minutes and usually takes place at 11.30am.
Visit Piccadilly Circus
As one of London’s busiest Squares, it is easy to rush straight through Piccadilly Circus. Take some time to admire the neon signs and the Statue of Eros. I like to grab a coffee in one of the many cafes and watch the world pass by through the window.
Take a stroll around a Flower Market
For those who love some colour in their life, head to Columbia Road Flower Market just off Brick Lane or the Kyoto Japanese Garden in Holland Park.
Take a Walk in a Park
Although busy and cramped, there are some beautiful parks to be found in London. A favourite of mine is the Kensington Gardens which holds the popular Peter Pan statue or Richmond Park which is home to free-roaming deer. Hyde Park is a famous choice for many; particular over the Christmas holidays when it is transformed into Winter Wonderland, a free attraction with the various gift and food markets along with fairground rides, ice skating rinks, a Christmas Circus and an Ice Kingdom.
Greenwich Park offers some stunning views across the River Thames. Regent’s Park provides a beautiful rose garden, open-air theatre, sporting areas and the London Zoo. There are some beautiful gardens to visit in the UK – take a picnic in the summer months and enjoy.
Browse Street Markets
Enjoy wandering around and trying some delicious food at Borough Market, bring cash if you want more than just a taster sample. Head to Brick Lane Market on Sunday mornings which sells a bit of everything, whilst Camden market is a good choice when you’re looking for some unique fashion. Portobello Road and Market are home to antique stalls with a variety of galleries and arcades scattered amongst them.
Read a book at the British Library
Those who enjoy a bit of history, you can head to the Library and view the Magna Carta and original Beatles lyrics.
Enter a Red Phone Box
Although not used as much nowadays, I still can’t resist a photo inside a red phone booth. These are dotted around London whilst a blue Police Phone Box can be found outside Earl’s Court Tube Station – used in the famous BBC series, Doctor Who.
Visit Leicester Square
A bustling square which always reminds me of a British Times Square. Here you can explore the expansive M&M store and various souvenir stores. It also hosts many movie premieres and an array of eateries.
Catch a Performance at The Scoop
Enjoy free music and performances at The Scoop; the outdoor amphitheatre near city hall.
Visit Somerset House
Famous for its courtyard and expansive Georgian architecture, Somerset House is a great way to spend a hot summer day in London. Enjoy the dancing courtyard fountains during the summer which then turn into an ice rink during the winter.
Visit Westminster Abbey
The Abbey never charge people who want to worship, head to the church for an Evensong service of beautiful choir singing – this is held on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 5pm and at 3pm on both weekend days.
Window Shop at Oxford Street
Browse the stores of famous Oxford Street; which is particularly magical during the winter months when the Christmas lights make the street sparkle.
Take a Photo of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
A favourite London landmark, Big Ben and its surrounding areas is a top choice for tourists in London. Across the river from Big Ben is the famous London Eye and the surrounding streets offer some great London pubs where you may even bump into an MP on their lunch break.
Honourable mention: London’s Street Photography locations are great places to visit for those looking for the perfect shot!