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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Naughton

Best Free things to do in London

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Discover the Best Free Things to Do in London

London, a vibrant metropolis brimming with history, culture, and innovation, is often perceived as an expensive city. However, for the savvy traveler or curious local, there are plenty of free activities that offer a rich taste of what this iconic city has to offer. From world-class museums to stunning parks, here are some of the best free things to do in London.


1. Explore World-Class Museums

London is home to some of the best museums in the world, many of which offer free admission.

  • British Museum: Journey through time and across continents as you explore the vast collections of the British Museum. Highlights include the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, and the Egyptian mummies.

  • National Gallery: Situated in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery boasts an impressive collection of Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries, featuring works by Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and Rembrandt.

  • Tate Modern: This contemporary art museum on the South Bank of the Thames houses an array of modern and contemporary artworks. The building itself, a converted power station, is worth a visit.


2. Stroll Through Iconic Parks

London’s green spaces are perfect for a leisurely day out.


  • Hyde Park: One of the largest parks in London, Hyde Park is perfect for a picnic, a paddle on the Serpentine Lake, or a visit to the Speaker’s Corner where you can hear public debates and performances.

  • Regent’s Park: Known for its beautiful rose gardens and the open-air theatre, Regent’s Park is a tranquil escape. The park also offers excellent views from Primrose Hill.

  • Greenwich Park: This historic park offers stunning views of the River Thames and the London skyline. It’s also home to the Prime Meridian Line and the Royal Observatory (though there is a fee to enter the observatory itself).


3. Wander Through Markets

London’s markets are a feast for the senses and perfect for a day of exploration.

  • Borough Market: While the delicious food here isn’t free, wandering through Borough Market is a delightful experience. Sample some free food, and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

  • Portobello Road Market: Famous for its antiques, this market in Notting Hill is a treasure trove of unique finds. It’s also a fantastic place to soak up the vibrant local culture.



4. Marvel at Historic Sites

London’s rich history is visible in its many landmarks.

  • Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace: Witness this quintessentially British ceremony that takes place outside Buckingham Palace. Check the schedule in advance to ensure you don’t miss it.

  • The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben: While tours inside come with a fee, viewing these iconic structures from the outside is free and offers a glimpse into Britain’s political heritage.

5. Discover Unique Neighborhoods

Each London neighborhood has its own distinct charm and character.

  • Covent Garden: Known for its street performers, boutique shops, and lively atmosphere, Covent Garden is a great place to wander and people-watch.

  • Camden Town: Famous for its alternative culture, Camden is home to bustling markets, quirky shops, and colorful street art.

  • Soho: Explore the energetic heart of London’s West End, known for its entertainment venues, cafes, and nightlife.

  • Shoreditch, Hackney, Brixton, the list goes on and on


6. Enjoy the River Thames

The Thames is the lifeblood of London, offering scenic walks and stunning views.

  • South Bank: Walk along the South Bank of the Thames, where you can enjoy views of landmarks such as the London Eye, the Globe Theatre, and the Tate Modern. Street performers and pop-up events often add to the vibrant atmosphere.

  • Thames Path: This long-distance walking trail follows the river from its source to the sea. In London, it provides a scenic route through the heart of the city, past many famous landmarks.


7. Attend Free Cultural Events

London’s cultural scene is diverse and often accessible for free.

  • Free Concerts and Talks: Many venues, including the Southbank Centre and the National Theatre, offer free concerts, performances, and talks. Check their schedules for upcoming events.

  • Open Air Theatre and Film Screenings: In the summer, various parks and venues host free outdoor theatre productions and film screenings. Regent’s Park and Somerset House are popular spots for these events.

Conclusion

London’s wealth of free activities ensures that you can experience the city’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking to enjoy a day out, London has something for everyone. So grab your walking shoes and start exploring this magnificent city!


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