London, one of the oldest cities in the world, is definitely worth a visit. The capital city alongside the River Thames is so much more than its attractions. From world-class museums, stunning castles to towering skyscrapers, magnificent galleries and markets, there is so much to see in the city. You are so excited to see London but worried that it will cost you a fortune? It’s time you changed your mindset. You will find a lot of free things to do in this beautiful city. So here are the 12 best free things to do in London.
Explore artefacts at the British Museum
A visit to the British Museum is a must when in London. Built in 1753, the museum houses a vast collection of historical artefacts, statues, art and sculptures featured in over 60 galleries. Browse through Pharaonic history at the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery and expect to witness the Rosetta Stone and the sculpture of Ramesses II. Do not miss exploring the African Gallery which features artwork and pottery-making traditions and the Europe Gallery featuring the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo while you are there.
Marvel at the masterpieces of the National Gallery
Located at Trafalgar Square, National Gallery attracts lovers of art from around the world. If you are someone who adores art, you should definitely make a visit. The gallery houses a collection of over 2300 European works belonging to the 13-20th centuries, including masterpieces of the world’s most admired artists Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo and Claude Monet. Check out Venus & Mars of Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks without fail. Trust me, you will be inspired.
Try free samples at the Borough Market
If you are a food lover, don’t miss the Borough Market. There’s nothing like it elsewhere. From gourmet stalls selling fresh produce, spices, condiments and bakery goods to food stalls and restaurants selling falafel wraps, German sausages, pasta, scrumptious desserts and beer, it is exciting just to stroll along. Don’t forget to try their samples too!
Explore Tate Modern for some inspiration
This is yet another free thing to do in London. On the south bank of the River Thames, Tate Modern is a spectacular art gallery worth exploring that houses a permanent collection featuring the works of Picasso, Matisse and Pollock.
Relax at Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the incredible free parks in London spanning 142 hectares. The park is full of beautiful lawns, where you can enjoy a good picnic and a bountiful of trees. You can also explore the colourful Rose Garden, the Holocaust Memorial Garden and the Diana Memorial Fountain while strolling through the park. The Serpentine Gallery is also around the corner in case you feel like exploring.
Enjoy panoramic views from the Sky Garden
Occupying the top three floors of the Walkie-Talkie skyscraper designed by Rafael Vinoly, the Sky Garden offers unparalleled views over the city free of charge. Enjoy breathtaking views over the River Thames and the city’s skyline from London’s tallest public garden, probably the best observation point in all of London. You will find floor to ceiling glass windows to view the city’s beauty from the skies. The Sky Garden designed by Gillespies also features planted terraces with French Lavender, African Lilies and Bird of Paradise. If you think you can spend a bit, indulge in the finest wines at Fenchurch Restaurant, enjoy breakfast and brunch at Darwin Brasserie, Champagne rosé and DJ music at Sky Garden’s bars City Garden and Sky Pod. Make sure to book your tickets in advance if you are planning to visit Sky Garden to make the most of it.
Witness the famous Changing of Guard ceremony
You simply cannot miss this ceremony when in London. Observe guards in red coats and bearskin hats marching from St. James Palace to Buckingham Palace every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11 am switching responsibilities with each other. You can witness this ceremony outside Buckingham Palace and watch out for the King’s guard walking around to music. You will love the whole thing!
Visit Victoria and Albert Museum
Among the free things to do in London, a visit to Victoria and Albert Museum is totally worth it. The museum houses a permanent collection of objects amounting to 4.5 million. Can you believe it? Well, you’ve got to. Browse through paintings, sculptures, textiles, jewellery and fashion and you will be inspired. Don’t miss enjoying the copy of David by Michelangelo and Rafael’s Cartoons at the museum.
Make a visit to Portobello Market
Located in Notting Hill, Portobello Market is an interesting market to explore. From fruits, vegetables, street food to vintage clothes, antiques, shoes and even furniture, you will find everything and anything here. You actually don’t have to buy anything to be happy.
Discover the marvellous collection of the Natural History Museum
Consisting of more than 20 galleries, Natural History Museum is a world-class museum that you cannot miss when in London. Meet Hope, the skeleton of a blue whale in Hintze Hall, an animatronic T-Rex and explore the Darwin Center, Dinosaur Gallery and Mammals Gallery while you are on the premises. If you are travelling with kids, this is an excellent attraction for them to get engaged.
Explore the London Mithraeum
This is yet another free, exciting attraction in London to explore. Make your way to the Temple of Mithras, an ancient Roman Temple discovered in 1954 by descending seven meters below modern street level. You will also come across Roman artefacts here discovered during the excavation period.
Spend some time at Holland’s Kyoto Garden
Escape from the bustling city of London and spend some time relaxing in the Kyoto Garden. Located in Holland’s Park, Kyoto Garden is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden featuring a pond with koi, waterfalls and stone lanterns. You can end your tiring day here without spending a penny.
London is a city to admire. While there are many things to do in the city, these free attractions offer great experiences at no cost. So, if you have been kicking your heels to visit London, but are delaying because of the city being expensive, relax. Your visit can still be worth a lot!