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50 Cheap or Free Things to Do in London

There is no doubt that London is one of the most captivating places in the world. Whether you are a local or international tourist, there is an endless list of things to do, see, and experience that will leave you with a lasting memory.

The city is rich in history, culture, and entertainment suited for people of all ages and for various tastes and preferences.

In this article, we talk about 50 things you can do in London. And you don't even have to break the bank. Some of these things you can do just for free, and others at a very cheap cost. Check them out.

Museums and Galleries

Starting us off are museums and galleries. These are extremely affordable to visit and experience and are sometimes even free during national holidays or special events. Here are some of the top museums and galleries you will enjoy;

1. British Museum

Explore world history and culture with over 8 million works, including the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. This iconic museum is a treasure trove of artefacts from all around the globe.

2. Tate Modern

Enjoy contemporary art in a converted power station and make sure to check out the Turbine Hall installations. They are always impressive.

3. National Gallery

Discover masterpieces from renowned artists like Van Gogh and Da Vinci at the National Gallery. This is located in Trafalgar Square.

4. Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum allows you to dive into decorative arts and design. From fashion to furniture, there will always be something for everyone here.

5. Natural History Museum

Do you want to marvel at dinosaur skeletons and other interactive exhibits? Natural History Museum is the place for you. And while at it, don’t miss the life-sized blue whale.

6. Science Museum

Science Museum allows you to engage with hands-on exhibits and fascinating displays. This is great for kids and adults alike. It usually offers free entry, but special exhibits may have a little cost.

7. Museum of London

Learn about the city's history from prehistoric to modern times at the Museum of London Discover London's Roman roots and medieval past.

8. Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum is a great place to explore wartime stories and artefacts. Here, you will find powerful exhibits on the World Wars and the Holocaust.

Image: A photo of the the Natural History Museum in London, UK, featuring stunning and intricate details, with visitors strolling and gathering at the entrance.

Parks and Gardens

9. Hyde Park

Stroll through one of London's largest and most famous parks. To enhance your experience even more, you can rent a paddleboat on the Serpentine.

10. Kensington Gardens

Visit the beautiful Italian Gardens and the Serpentine Gallery at Kensington Gardens and make sure to check out the Peter Pan statue.

11. Regent's Park

The Regent’s Park offers great picturesque gardens and an Open Air Theatre. This is a great spot for a picnic or a rowboat on the lake.

12. Greenwich Park

Besides the stunning views here, you can also visit the Royal Observatory and have fun standing on the Prime Meridian line.

13. Richmond Park

Richmond Park is the perfect place for cycling or taking long walks with a friend or spouse. It is a great spot for kids too.

14. St. James's Park

Relax near Buckingham Palace at St. James’s Park and watch the pelicans, while enjoying the sight of the beautiful flower beds and the lovely lake.

15. Hampstead Heath

This allows you to take in panoramic views from Parliament Hill. It is also great for hiking, or you can go swimming in the ponds.

16. Victoria Park

If you are into festivals and local concerts, then visit Victoria Park and enjoy the boating lake and summer festivals.

Image: A stunning photo of a Helter Skelter lighthouse featuring an amusement ride spiralling around a tower with the Union Jack flag flying at the top at the Winter Wonderland Christmas festival in Hyde Park, London.

Markets and Shopping

17. Borough Market

For foodies and those who love shopping, visit Borough Market and sample delicious foods while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. This is great for treats and street food.

18. Portobello Road Market

At Portobello Road Market, you can browse antiques, fashion, and unique finds. This is best visited on a Saturday with kids or friends.

19. Camden Market

Explore eclectic stalls and street food vendors, as well as a hub of fashion and crafts at the Camden Market.

20. Greenwich Market

This is a historic market with a lively vibe. Discover arts, crafts, and gourmet food.

21. Brick Lane Market

The Brick Lane Market is a great place to experience the multicultural vibe and vintage shops. It is also famous for its curry houses and street art.

22. Covent Garden

Enjoy street performers and boutique shopping at the Covent Garden. Make sure to visit the Apple Market for handmade goods while still here too.

Historic Sites and Monuments

23. Changing of the Guard

Watch this iconic ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Make sure to arrive early for the best view.

24. Trafalgar Square

Explore Nelson's Column and all the other surrounding architecture at Trafalgar Square. This is also a great spot if you are into “people-watching”.

25. Tower Bridge

Walk across this famous bridge and enjoy the views. There is always an exhibition inside for a small fee that you can also visit.

26. Westminster Abbey

Attend Evensong for free and experience the choir.

27. St. Paul's Cathedral

You can either access the ground floor or attend a service, all for free.

28. Houses of Parliament

Take a free guided tour when Parliament is in session and see where laws are made.

29. Somerset House

Explore the courtyard and seasonal exhibitions, and enjoy the ice rink in winter at the Somerset House.

30. Leadenhall Market

Explore this historic covered market, featured in the Harry Potter films

Image: A photo of Trafalgar Square, featuring tourists, statues, and a water fountain, with the National Gallery in the background

Cultural Experiences

31. Southbank Centre

Southbank Center is a vibrant arts hub, where you can enjoy free events and exhibitions along the Thames.

32. National Theatre

Attend free performances and workshops at the National Theater with friends or loved ones. Ensure to first check their website for their schedules to know what you are in for.

33. Royal Festival Hall

Experience free concerts and events at the Royal Festival Hall, also located on the South Bank.

34. The Scoop

You can watch free outdoor theatre and film screenings at The Scoop. This is especially great for summer evenings.

35. British Library

Explore exhibitions and the impressive reading rooms, including the Magna Carta and other rare manuscripts.

36. Battersea Power Station

Check out the evolving cultural hub and enjoy riverside walks and pop-up events at Battersea Power Station.

Image: People seated near the National Theatre on London's South Bank, with the iconic architecture of the theatre in the background.

Walks and Tours

37. Thames Path

Walk along the river and enjoy the sights. Thames Path offers great views of landmarks like the Tower of London.

38. The Mall

You can take a stroll from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace. The Mall is also often used for royal processions.

39. Greenwich Foot Tunnel

Walk under the Thames for a unique experience. The Greenwich Foot Tunnel links Greenwich with the Isle of Dogs.

40. South Bank Walk

Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and iconic landmarks, walking from the London Eye to Tower Bridge.

41. Little Venice

Explore the picturesque canals of Little Venice, a tranquil spot with charming houseboats.

42. Regent's Canal

Take a scenic walk from Little Venice to Camden through the Regent’s Canal and enjoy the peaceful waterside path.

Image: A photo of a peaceful view of the Regent's Canal in London, UK, featuring people walking by the edge near moored narrowboats, a willow tree by the riverbank and concrete buildings in the background.

Unique Experiences

Here are more unique experiences at almost zero cost;

43. Platform 9¾

Pose for a photo at King's Cross Station's famous spot, Platform 9¾. This is especially a must for Harry Potter fans.

44. Sky Garden

Book a free visit to London's highest public garden, Sky Garden, and enjoy the stunning views of the city skyline.

45. God's Own Junkyard

Explore a neon wonderland in Walthamstow, filled with vintage signs and artwork at God's Own Junkyard

46. Columbia Road Flower Market

Browse beautiful flowers on a Sunday or during a public holiday at Columbia Road Flower Market. This is great for a family out.

47. Speakers' Corner

Listen to orators at Hyde Park's historic spot. Speaker’s Corner is a tradition of free speech where you can listen to debates and participate in discussions touching on various subjects.

48. Street Art in Shoreditch

If you have a thing for urban art, you can lounge at the Street Art in Shoreditch, and enjoy the vibrant murals and graffiti.

49. Walthamstow Wetlands

Enjoy nature trails and birdwatching at London's largest urban wetland, the Walthamstow Wetland.

50. Rooftop Bars

You can never go wrong with rooftop bars for a perfect, relaxing evening, sipping your favourite cold, or warm drink, while also enjoying the stunning views of the city.

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