One of the most popular cities in the world, London can end up doing some damage to your bank account. With food and accommodation often costing more here than in other cities, many travelers find that it can be tough sticking to the budget while in town. Luckily, several of the city’s most wonderful attractions won’t cost you a thing!
While many iconic London landmarks charge entry fees, there are plenty of things to see and do if you’re trying to limit how much you’re spending. Keep reading to find out what 10 amazing things you can do in London for free.
10 Check Out Platform 9 ¾
London is better than Disneyland if you’re a Harry Potter fan. Aside from the Harry Potter Studio Tour (which is not free, sadly), there are several locations you visit around the city that are connected in some way to the Boy Who Lived. One of the most famous is Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station.
It will cost you to get a photo with the trolley during the day, but according to the London Evening Standard, it’s totally free at nighttime. And we imagine there’s far less of a line too!
9 Book Sky Garden
When people want a phenomenal view of London, they tend to flock to the London Eye. While the Eye does provide fantastic vistas of the city, there’s a cheaper and quicker way to get an amazing view. Sky Garden is the largest public garden in London, located on top of the “Walkie-Talkie” skyscraper. The best part about it is you won’t have to pay a thing to head on up and enjoy the view.
Sky Garden does get busy, so you will have to book in advance if you’d like to go up. But it’s totally worth it!
8 Cuddle Animals At A Free City Farm
You don’t have to venture outside of London to get up close and personal with some cuddly farm animals. Nor do you have to visit the London Zoo, which is not free to enter. Instead, you can check out one of the free city farms, which sell a variety of fresh produce.
One of the most famous is the Vauxhall City Farm in South London. Hostel World advises that you should also check out Stepney City Farm and Hackney City Farm, both in East London, and Freightliners City Farm which is in North London.
7 See Street Performers In Covent Garden
London is full of talent and creativity, and there are displays of art just about everywhere you turn. If you’re looking for a free activity one afternoon, head to Covent Garden and check out the street performers in the West Piazza.
In order to perform, artists have to pass an audition and obtain a license, so you know the shows you see will be of quality. According to Trip Savvy, many street performers are so popular that they draw in huge crowds. Beyond Covent Garden, you can watch more street shows in other locations around the city.
6 Lose Yourself In The British Museum
The British Museum contains some of the most fascinating historical treasures in the world. It’s one of the most popular attractions in London, so it might come as a shock that it’s totally free. Lonely Planet reveals that there are eight million objects in the museum’s possession, but at any given time, only 80,000 a display.
Among the intriguing artifacts, you’ll find here are burial treasures of the Anglo-Saxons, the Rosetta Stone, armor from different war periods, and even a few Egyptian mummies. You could easily spend a day here without getting bored.
5 Stroll Through St. James's Park
Though London is a bustling major city, it does boast its fair share of beautiful green spaces. Add St. James’s Park to your London itinerary if you’re looking for a peaceful way to spend a morning or afternoon that won’t cost you a cent.
Situated in Central London, the park is surrounded by prominent city landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Birdcage Walk, and the Horse Guards. Within the park, you’ll find the picturesque Duck Island in the middle of St. James Lake, as well as views of the surrounding city.
4 Attend A Free Concert At St. Martin-In-The-Fields
London plays host to a variety of shows for every kind of taste, but not all of them are free. One that will cost you absolutely nothing is the free lunchtime concert held in St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The church is situated in the busy Trafalgar Square and welcomes prestigious musicians on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday who perform free concerts inside.
The Anglican Church itself is shrouded in history, and has been holding concerts for more than 250 years. According to Budget Traveller, there has been a church on the site since the medieval period.
3 Witness The Changing Of The Guards
Touring the Buckingham Palace State Rooms isn’t free. But you can still experience a close-up look at Royal traditions for free, by witnessing the Changing of the Guards. This is one of the most popular things to see in London, so you might have to battle it out with all the tourists for a good spot. It’s a good idea to arrive at least an hour early to secure your position.
Watching the Changing of the Guards won’t cost you anything and you don’t have to book. But it’s still best to consult the website to find out exactly when the event is going to take place.
2 Browse Through Daunt Bookshop
London is often cited as one of the best literary destinations in the world, thanks to the many authors who have written there and the endless stories that include the city as their backdrop. The city is also home to an array of bookshops and one of the best is Daunt Books.
An Edwardian bookshop that’s enchanting just to wander through, Daunt Books was originally opened with the intention of providing an alternate browsing experience for the reader, according to Budget Traveller. Book-lovers could easily spend hours checking out the many books inside.
1 See A View Of The City From Greenwich Park
Another park that you might want to visit while you’re in London is Greenwich Park. Aside from being a great spot for a picnic, the park also offers premium views of the surrounding city. Once a hunting park, the area was frequented by several kings and queens.
Within Greenwich Park, you’ll find the Royal Observatory and a variety of beautiful flower gardens. You’ll also have the chance to stand on the Prime Meridian, which is a big deal. The rest of the world is measured by its angle east or west from this very line.