8 Best Things to Do in London for Free

Looking for things to do in London for free? Below you will find the 8 best and many tips for visiting London 😉

London is undoubtedly one of the coolest cities in the world and definitely a place to visit!

This land of the queen and plebeian hipsters is known for its famous attractions but also for its high prices.

After spending two months in the city and following some local’s advice, I made a list of the 8 best free things to do in London, so you can save some extra pounds next time you visit the city, and also get a better idea of what to do in London and its unusual attractions.

8 Best Free Things to Do in London

1 – British Museum

There is an array of excellent museums in London and even better, most of them are free. But if you have to pick one to visit, it’s definitely the British Museum.

This world-class museum founded in 1753 is the first national public museum in the world and has an incredible collection with over 8 million objects showing the history of the world’s culture. It receives almost 6 million visitors yearly.

I love the British Museum and it should be on everyone’s London bucket list! It’s one of my favourite museums not only in the city but also in the whole world!

The British Musuem

The highlights are the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan, which houses an extensive collection of pieces dating back from the Neolithic period (about 10,000 BC) until today; and the Department of Greece and Rome, which contains the best collection from the Classical world with over 100,000 objects.

You will be in awe when visiting those two sections!

2 – Regent’s Park

With 3000 parks and 47% of green space, it is not going to be hard to find a place to relax on a sunny day in London.

Among all, Regent’s Park is the one on my list of the 8 best things to do in London for free.

It was designed by John Nash and houses an Open Air Theater, a Zoo, the largest outdoor sports area in Central London, gardens, memorial, fountains, statues and a boating lake.

One of the best free things to do in London is to visit Regent's Park.

Regent’s Park is so gigantic that you can get lost easily, especially because there aren’t many rangers to provide information. Even finding water fountains and bathrooms is hard…

But the visit is totally worthwhile, especially because of the Queen Mary’s Rose Garden which features more than 12,000 roses of 400 varieties (the most perfumed part of the park), and the majestic Avenue Garden.

These are the two best parts of the park and you will be delighted walking through the “English Gardens”.

3 – Sky Garden

Despite being a megalopolis and the world’s financial capital, there aren’t many skyscrapers in London.

If you are wondering where you can get a bird’s-eye view of this lovely city without spending any money, the answer is Sky Garden.

Located on the 36th floor in the Liverpool Street area, it provides a spectacular 360 degrees view across England’s capital.

Best views in London
Incredible views at Sky Garden.

The garden with the Mediterranean and South African plants could be much better, but the famous enlarged glass dome is just amazing.

A visit to Sky Garden is totally worthwhile as it provides one of the best views in London.

Reservations can be made up to three weeks in advance. However, after 7:00 PM you can just put some nice clothes on (smart casual recommended) and show up without any reservation. Be patient because lines can be quite long at sunset time and entrance is subject to availability.

4 – Free Walking Tour

I’ve already mentioned that Free Walking Tours are the best way to sightsee and at the same time learn about the history of a place that you’re visiting.

Nowadays in nearly every big city in the world, you can find free walking tours, and I’ve already done Paris, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rio, Prague and of course London.

The most popular tours in London are the Royal and the Old City. I’ve done both with Sandemans New Europe Tours and I personally think that the latter is much more interesting.

Free walking tour, one of the best ways to know more about London's history

The Royal Tour features three Royal Palaces and it’s a great opportunity to learn about London and the Royal Family’s history, and also to spot important landmarks such as: Covent Garden, the Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

There are other companies that provide free walking tours and you can even combine those two tours in only one day.

Tours are in English and Spanish in general, without any cost, but tips are highly recommended and appreciated.

5 – Camden Town

I’ve never seen a city with as many street markets as London. From Portobello Market in Notting Hill (I didn’t like it that much) to Brick Lane (I highly recommend it).

In Camden Town, you find not only one, but a group of markets.

Located in the north of London, Amy Winehouse’s neighbourhood has over 1000 places to shop, eat, drink and dance in the historic centre of London.

Camden is the home of all types and you can expect to see everything from punks to fetish lovers, street artists and goods from all over the world.

Some of the stores are captivating and you can find some treasures that aren’t currently common anymore.

The food stalls are as mixed as London’s population and feature Chinese, Thai, Indian, Italian, African and Mexican cuisines. And if you want to save some money, you should eat at the market.

You may consider Camden too touristy but it’s a good way to get a better sense of London’s eccentricity. And it’s the reason it’s on my list of the eight best free things to do in London.

6 – Greenwich

Exploring London’s diversity, Greenwich is a part of the city that will make you think that you’re in another city.

It is probably the most underrated place in London and offers outstanding attractions.

My favourite one is the Old Royal Naval College: an English Baroque architectonic complex dating back from 1669.

The Chapel and the Dining Hall of this former hospital are open to the public and the Painted Hall has one of the most magnificent ceilings in Europe. I was amazed by visiting this college.

Other places to visit in Greenwich are: the Royal Observatory and Park, the Queen’s House (the earliest English building in classical style), the National Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark (a clipper ship from 1869), O2 Arena, Emirates Air Line (a cable car across the River Thames) and a street market.

Bes London views
The striking view from the Royal Observatory.

7 – Walking on the river banks

A visit to London cannot be completed without a visit to the Thames River banks, especially the part between the Tower and Millennium Bridges.

Yet it’s a great opportunity to marvel at London’s architecture ranging from castles and medieval ruins to modern buildings covered with glass.

The City Hall and Tower Bridge
The City Hall and Tower Bridge.

Some of the highlights are: the Tower Bridge (London’s most famous bridge), The Shard (Western Europe’s tallest building), the City Hall (one of my favourites), The Tower of London (Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress), The Globe (Shakespeare’s theatre), Millenium Bridge (one of most Instagrammable places in London) and Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

As a tourist, this is one of the most pleasant activities and of course, can not be off any things to do in London list.

8 – Shoreditch street art

If you like graffiti art, you will be in heaven in London, particularly in the east part of the city. In Shoreditch, to be more precise.

This neighbourhood is a creative and cultural hub with colourful street art, hip pubs and cafes, edgy art galleries, eclectic bars and popular nightclubs.

Walking on Shoreditch streets is like being in an outdoor museum, with its walls and buildings showcasing large-scale works by some of the British best-known street artists, including Banksy and Camille Walala.

You can find striking graffiti murals everywhere in Shoreditch, but the best ones are on New Inn Yard, Whitby, Brick Lane, Hanbury and Fashion streets, Nomadic Community Garden and around the BoxPark as well.

You will be completely in awe!

Don’t miss the opportunity to admire the graffiti murals in Shoreditch as it’s one of the coolest and best free things to do in London.

This is my list of the 8 best things to do in London for free, but of course, there are many more.

So the next time you head to the queen’s land you will understand why London is one of the most visited cities in the world.

Suggested read:

Helpful links

  • For more information about London VisitLondon.com
  • Other companies that provide free walking tours in London are Free Tours of London and Free Tours by Foot.
  • For more information about Greenwich visit VisitGreenwich.org.uk
  • If you are staying in an AirBnB apartment and want to store your luggage close to Victoria Station, Buckingham Palace, King’s Cross Station or any other place in London, check LuggageHero website. It costs only £1 per hour per bag.

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