London is one of the most expensive (and interesting) cities in the world, but this does not mean you will be spending money with every step you take in this city. There is actually a range of activities you can do which won’t cost you a penny. Whether you’re a tourist in London, an international student (best spots for students in London), or a resident, there are things you can do and activities you can engage with during the day, which are both budget-friendly and entertaining.
Starting from the fascinating museums in London and the art this city has to offer all the way to taking Instagram-worthy pictures on the picturesque London destinations. So, let’s go scroll through this article and see just what London has to offer (for free).
If you want to get your daily dose of culture and art, you should know that you can do this for free in some of the museums in London. Dwelling into art, culture, ancient objects, and whatnot can be a lovely remedy to a boring day. What could be better than walking around the history-packed areas in museums and simply going back in time and culture? Some of the museums you can visit for free in London include:
- Museum of London. This museum documents the history of London from prehistoric to modern times, through reconstructed street scenes, interiors, and a display of authentic artefacts found through the years.
- British Museum. Opened in 1759, this museum was the first national museum to be open to the public anywhere in the world. It is dedicated to human history, art, and culture and has a permanent collection of around 8 million works.
- Science Museum. The Science Museum has seven floors of exhibits where you can also see the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. It was founded in the year 1857 and it has since then become one of London’s major tourist attractions.
- Design Museum. This museum has won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2018. Located in Kensington, London, it covers the likes of product, industrial, graphic, fashion, and architectural design.
- Natural History Museum. Opened in 1881, the Natural History Museum is both a research institution and a museum. It exhibits numerous specimens throughout history and it’s one of the greatest tourist attractions offering natural wonders just within the concrete exterior.
- Victoria & Albert Museum. Named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, this museum is the largest one in the world for applied and decorative arts and design, including sculpture. There are around 150 galleries over seven floors, showcasing numerous pieces of furniture, paintings, jewellery, and textiles, among others.
Apart from these, you will also find numerous other museums in London which are free, educational, and entertaining. These include The Chocolate Museum (I know, right!), Wellcome Collection, Imperial War Museum, Royal Academy of Music Museum, etc.
Art is always lovely, isn’t it? It is actually one of the things you can find in abundance in the UK. Beginning with the murals you can find during your walk to attending the many free art exhibitions and galleries. Here’s where you can find art, for free, in London:
- The National Gallery. The National Gallery is an art museum in Central London. It was founded in the year 1824 and it is now home to more than 2,300 paintings. Highlights from the collection include artworks of Johannes Vermeer, Claude Monet, Giovanni Bellini, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, etc.
- Tate Britain. Known as ‘the home of British art from 1500 to the present day’, this institution began with a small collection of British artworks in 1897, and it now encompasses four major sites and the national collection of British art, which includes around 70,000 works of art.
- Serpentine Galleries. Here, you may find an innovative contemporary art exhibition programme by international artists. Opened in 1970, this destination has grown to be a major tourist attraction.
- East London Street Art. You can find some of the best pieces of art in East London, and it’s all free! Start from the Shoreditch Overground station and head in any way, to find some of the loveliest masterpieces on the walls! (Instagram-worthy)!
You can also visit some of the top London libraries for free! It’s always fun wandering around books and spacious interiors.
London has numerous (and numerous) attractions you can visit (free of charge). Simply get out of your apartment and stroll around and you will surely find something to keep you entertained throughout the day(s). Some of the budget-friendly attractions you can find in London include:
- Shad Thames: If you want to get away from all the modern-day aesthetics, visiting Shad Thames cobblestone street would be an excellent idea. This street looks nothing like you’re used to seeing on a daily basis, but you have probably seen this street somewhere on Instagram. It is close to Tower Bridge and City Hall, so there will be plenty to explore (and photograph) once you get there.
- Streets of Notting Hill: What we would call the opposite of Shad Thames street, would be the colourful, pastel, streets of Notting Hill. Trust me, wandering around Notting Hill will fill your heart (and camera roll). This place is astonishing, and it is fairly one of the most visited areas in London.
- Cecil Court Street: Hi, this is a booklover’s paradise. Lined with around 20 secondhand book stores and antique shops, this street is so lovely to visit and explore that it has even been used as a location by film companies. Also known as “Booksellers’ Row”, Cecil Court welcomes you to its premises to wander free of charge.
- Hyde Park: You’re a fan of greenery? Why not! Hyde Park is your go-to destination. Upon visiting this green wonder, you will feel relaxed and optimistic. Its landscape is one of a kind and you will truly enjoy taking a walk or sitting by the lake.
- David Bowie’s Memorial Mural: Visiting David Bowie’s memorial mural in Brixton (where he was born) is an experience on its own. The graffiti is the work of Australian artist James Cochran, finished in 2013. Painted on a wall of Morley’s Department store, the tribute to the famous singer attracts hundreds of tourists worldwide.
- The South Bank: You can take a lovely stroll along the south side of the Thames while enjoying the numerous entertainment options offered on the South Bank area of London. You’ll find a treasure of heritage and innovation while you’re there.
If you’re like me, you will head straight towards Abbey Road and recreate that iconic album cover of The Beatles. Although in the very, very past this road was nothing more than a way to get around Northwest London, it is now one of the most visited tourist attractions in London. And The Beatles made it so when they shot one of their album covers here, where the four members of the band are walking across the crossing. For more, just ahead of the crossing, you will find the Abbey Road Studios, where The Beatles recorded most their music of 1962-1970.
Keep in mind: There is a live webcam near Abbey Road, where your family or friends can see you crossing the street. So let them know beforehand, and they’ll see you enjoying the epic moment live if they simply go online.
Now, let’s go and imitate that shot, shall we?
Are you perchance, a Potterhead? I mean, even if you are not, you would probably like to visit London’s Platform 9 ¾, located in King’s Cross Station. Probably one of the most famous (non-existent) railway platforms in the world, Platform 9 ¾ is a fictional train based off of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It is actually the perfect place to snap a photograph! It is a visit-worthy destination, and hey, why miss the chance to be transported to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Even if only in our imagination!
Some of the best gigs and concerts are free of charge and all they require is your attention! You can find plenty of these in London as well. If you want to be the one playing the instrument, you can make use of acoustic pianos placed on the streets of London. They are accessible for anyone to play, simply as a way of offering anyone a musical platform. You may also enjoy a lunchtime concert at the Royal Academy of Music, or show up at one of the many bars or live music venues, like Lock Tavern or The Garage, for amazing music performances and enjoy their delicious food and drinks (which you will be charged for). But, hey, the music is great!