Like most European capital cities, London can be an expensive place to visit. But when it comes to sightseeing, activities and generally having a great time, there is actually a lot that you can do for free!
Many of London’s museums are free to visit – some ask for a small donation, but this is usually always optional. Free museums include: the V&A museum, where you’ll find one of the world’s greatest collections of sculptures, portrait miniatures, ceramics and photography; the British Museum, one of the oldest museums in the world packed with various collections that will keep you fascinated all day; the Science Museum; the Natural History Museum and many more!
Parks and Gardens
Strolling around one of London’s beautiful parks is a great way to spend an afternoon and it won’t cost you a penny. In North London, Hampstead Heath is a slightly unkempt but wonderfully peaceful place with a great view of the city and a perfect picnic spot. Around this area there’s also the famous Regent’s Park, home to the ZSL London Zoo (unfortunately not free) and the Open Air Theatre. In the summer, Regent’s Park comes into full bloom with vibrant and colourful flowers surrounding the fountains, especially on the park’s Japanese Island where you can stroll along the winding paths past enchanting willow trees and ornamental flowers.
In Central London, Hyde Park, Green Park, Kensington Gardens and Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park are all lovely places to find respite from the bustling London streets. In the South, Battersea Park is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon, especially if you’re travelling with kids! Home to an art gallery, a zoo, a boating lake and an adventure playground, you could spend a whole day here without breaking the bank.
Another free kid-friendly activity (who knew kids could be so expensive?!) is the Hackney City Farm in East London, a bright a cheerful farm full of animals for children to pet. The farm also has a pottery studio and a vegetable garden and (apart from if you want to do art classes) it is completely free to visit.
Shows and Concerts
Believe it or not, it is actually possible to be entertained for free in London, you just have to know the right way to go about it! If you’re a comedy fan, try out Angel Comedy where, if you’re lucky, you could see some big names like Russell Howard, Dara O’Briain and Tim Vine. Usually comedians are testing out new material or the comedy club is introducing new talent, so the shows are free every night at 8pm. Get down there early (at least by 7.30pm) to avoid disappointment!
If classical concerts are more up your street head to St-Martins-In-The-Fields in Trafalgar Square. The beautiful venue regularly holds free concerts ranging from piano recitals to full orchestras. The music is always of an incredible standard and you will leave feeling totally inspired (and maybe quite smug for having found some amazing free entertainment).
There are many more free things to do in London, meaning that with a little research you can have an incredible time in this exciting city whilst managing to stick to your budget!