London is a vibrant and diverse city with countless activities to enjoy, many of which are completely free of charge. Here are some of the best free things to do in London:
Visit the British Museum:
The British Museum is one of the most popular and iconic museums in London, with a collection that spans over two million years of human history and culture from around the world. The museum is home to a vast collection of artifacts, including the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, and the mummies of Ancient Egypt.
Visitors to the British Museum can explore a range of exhibits, from ancient Egyptian and Greek art to Islamic art and Chinese ceramics. The museum also has galleries dedicated to the history of Britain and Europe, as well as a collection of prints and drawings.
One of the most popular exhibits at the British Museum is the Rosetta Stone, which is housed in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery. The stone is inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196 BC, written in three scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and Demotic script. The decipherment of the Rosetta Stone in the early 19th century was a major breakthrough in the understanding of hieroglyphic writing.
Another popular exhibit is the Elgin Marbles, a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures that were once part of the Parthenon temple in Athens. The marbles were controversially acquired by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century and later sold to the British Museum.
The British Museum is free to enter and is open daily. Visitors are encouraged to check the museum’s website for information on current exhibits and events.
Walk along the South Bank:
The South Bank is a vibrant area on the southern bank of the River Thames in central London, known for its cultural attractions, stunning views of the river, and lively atmosphere.
Some of the most popular attractions on the South Bank include the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel offering panoramic views of the city; the Tate Modern, a modern art museum housed in a former power station; and the National Theatre, which stages a range of productions throughout the year.
Visitors to the South Bank can also take a stroll along the riverside promenade, which offers stunning views of London’s skyline and iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Tower Bridge. Along the way, there are plenty of street performers, vendors selling snacks and souvenirs, and pop-up food markets.
Other notable attractions on the South Bank include the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a replica of the original Elizabethan theatre where Shakespeare’s plays were performed; the Southbank Centre, a cultural complex that hosts a range of events and performances throughout the year; and the Royal Festival Hall, a concert venue that hosts classical music, jazz, and contemporary performances.
Visit the Tate Modern:
The Tate Modern is one of the most popular modern art museums in the world and is located on the south bank of the River Thames in London. Housed in a former power station, the museum showcases a vast collection of contemporary and modern art from around the world.
The Tate Modern’s permanent collection includes works by iconic artists such as Picasso, Dali, and Warhol, as well as works by contemporary artists from around the globe. The museum is divided into various galleries, with each gallery showcasing a particular theme or period in modern art history.
In addition to the permanent collection, the Tate Modern hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the work of emerging and established artists.
The museum’s location on the south bank of the Thames offers stunning views of London’s skyline and the river, with many visitors choosing to take a break and enjoy the view from the museum’s terrace.
Entry to the Tate Modern is free, although some special exhibitions may require a fee. Visitors are encouraged to check the museum’s website for information on current exhibitions and events.
Explore Hyde Park:
Hyde Park is a large public park located in the heart of London, England. It covers an area of 350 acres and is one of the largest parks in the city. The park was originally created as a hunting ground by Henry VIII in the 16th century and was opened to the public in the early 17th century.
Hyde Park features several iconic landmarks, including the Serpentine Lake, Speakers’ Corner, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, and the Marble Arch. The park is also home to a number of beautiful gardens, including the Rose Garden and the Italian Gardens.
The park is a popular destination for both tourists and locals, and it offers a range of activities and events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and sports events. It is also a popular spot for jogging, cycling, and picnicking, and it provides a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Visit the National Gallery:
The National Gallery is an art museum located in Trafalgar Square, London, England. It was founded in 1824 and houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings, dating from the mid-13th century to the 1900s. The museum is free to visit, although some special exhibitions may require an admission fee.
The National Gallery’s collection includes works by some of the most renowned artists in history, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Vincent van Gogh. The collection covers a wide range of styles and periods, including Renaissance, Baroque, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism.
In addition to its permanent collection, the National Gallery also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing works from other museums and private collections around the world. The museum also offers a range of events and educational programs for visitors of all ages, including lectures, tours, and workshops.
The National Gallery is a popular destination for art lovers and tourists visiting London, and its location in Trafalgar Square makes it easily accessible by public transport.
Walk through Camden Market:
Camden Market is a popular shopping and entertainment destination located in the Camden Town neighborhood of London, England. It is one of the largest and most diverse markets in London, with over 1,000 stalls and shops selling a wide range of products, including clothing, jewelry, vintage items, and crafts.
The market is divided into several areas, each with its own unique vibe and style. Camden Lock Market is the original market, featuring crafts, antiques, and vintage items. Stables Market is home to alternative fashion and accessories, as well as food stalls and bars. The Electric Ballroom hosts live music events and club nights, while the Camden Market Hall features street food from around the world.
Camden Market is also known for its vibrant street art, with many walls and buildings adorned with colorful and intricate murals. The market is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, and its lively atmosphere and eclectic mix of products and entertainment make it a must-visit destination in London.
See the Changing of the Guard:
The Changing of the Guard is a ceremonial event that takes place daily at Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarch, in London, England. The ceremony is a traditional military display in which the Old Guard, consisting of soldiers from one of the Foot Guards regiments, is relieved by the New Guard.
The Changing of the Guard is a popular tourist attraction and typically draws large crowds of spectators. The ceremony involves marching bands playing music, guardsmen dressed in their iconic red tunics and bearskin hats, and a formal exchange of duties between the Old Guard and the New Guard.
The ceremony usually lasts for around 45 minutes and takes place at 11:00 AM, although it is subject to change and cancellation depending on weather conditions or other circumstances. It is recommended to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot, as the event can get very crowded, especially during peak tourist season.
The Changing of the Guard is a unique and memorable experience that offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history and traditions of the British monarchy and the British Army.
Visit the Science Museum:
The Science Museum is a major museum in London, England that is dedicated to showcasing the history and development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. It is one of the city’s most popular and well-known museums, attracting millions of visitors each year.
The museum’s collection includes over 300,000 objects, including some of the most important scientific and technological inventions and innovations of the past few centuries. The exhibits cover a wide range of subjects, including space exploration, aviation, medicine, robotics, and computing.
Some of the museum’s most famous exhibits include the Apollo 10 command module, Stephenson’s Rocket, and Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine. The museum also features interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and live demonstrations, making it a great destination for families and children.
In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Science Museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing cutting-edge research and new discoveries in the STEM fields.
The Science Museum is free to enter, although some temporary exhibitions may require an admission fee. It is located in South Kensington, near other popular museums such as the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Explore Covent Garden:
Covent Garden is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood in the West End of London, England. It is known for its historic market, beautiful architecture, street performers, and a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
The centerpiece of Covent Garden is the covered market building, which was originally built in the 17th century and now houses a variety of shops and stalls selling everything from clothing and jewelry to gourmet food and handmade crafts. The market is also home to several restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a popular destination for foodies and shoppers alike.
Covent Garden is also known for its street performers, who entertain crowds with music, dance, and circus acts throughout the day. The neighborhood is home to several theaters, including the Royal Opera House and the West End theater district, which offer a wide range of shows and performances.
In addition to its cultural and entertainment offerings, Covent Garden is also a great place to shop, with a variety of high-end and boutique shops lining the streets. The neighborhood is easily accessible by public transportation, and its central location makes it a popular destination for both tourists and locals.
Visit the Victoria and Albert Museum:
The Victoria and Albert Museum, also known as the V&A, is a world-renowned museum located in the South Kensington neighborhood of London, England. The museum was founded in 1852 and is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
The V&A is the largest museum of decorative arts and design in the world, with a collection of over 2.3 million objects spanning 5,000 years of human creativity. The collection includes a wide range of items, including ceramics, glass, furniture, jewelry, textiles, and fashion.
The museum’s galleries are organized by theme, with collections ranging from ancient artifacts to contemporary design. Some of the highlights of the museum include the Cast Courts, which feature life-size replicas of famous sculptures and architectural details from around the world, and the British Galleries, which showcase the history of British design from the Tudor period to the present day.
The V&A also hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing some of the most exciting and innovative work in the fields of art and design. The museum offers a variety of educational programs, including tours, lectures, and workshops for visitors of all ages.
The V&A is free to enter, although some temporary exhibitions may require an admission fee. Its central location and extensive collection make it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
Overall, London offers a multitude of free activities to suit any interest or preference.