33 FREE Things To Do In London [Written By A Local]

Leah Tierney
Written By:
Leah Tierney
Last Updated:
June 1, 2023
Discover the best free things London currently has on offer. From unique and exciting walks to museums and attractions to inspire your imagination.
best free things to do in London

London is an amazing city. Full of fantastic museums, art, and history.

Plus an amazing food & nightlife scene.

The problem is, it is such a notoriously expensive city to visit. 

In fact, experts suggest that an average visit to London can cost you at least £145 a day!

As I live in London I am always seeking out affordable things to do and places to see. 

So to help save you money (and planning time) I have pulled together this list of the absolute best free things to do in London.

Helping you discover the best London has to offer … without breaking the bank! 

Plus I’ve included some added tips on getting around London to each spot on this list.

Let’s get straight into it …

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Best free things to do in London

1. Try some food at Camden Market

Camden Food Market

London is home to some incredible food markets, with Camden Market being one of the most famous. 

Not only are there endless clothes, jewellery and vintage stores to explore selling anything under the sun, but it is also one of my favourite places to eat in the whole of London! 

If you don't have the budget for a full meal in Camden or just want to try a bit of everything. 

Simply walk in and out of the market a few times and try ALL the free samples! I have tried everything from cheeses, doughnuts, fried chicken, falafel and pasta just from walking up and down!

Camden Market

Don't feel bad though, everyone does it! 

Camden Market is open every day of the year (except Christmas day) until 6 pm. Sometimes they have events on where the market will open later into the evening so it's best to check their events calendar before you visit! 

The market does get super busy on weekends so maybe visit during the week if you aren't a fan of the chaos! 

How to get to Camden Market: the easiest way to get to Camden Market is to get the Northern Line tube to Camden town and walk up the high street to Camden Lock. The walk up the high street is really cool, you won't regret it! 

2. Barbican Conservatory

Barbican Conservatory in London

The Barbican Conservatory is truly one of London's best hidden gems … and it's free! 

This is the second largest conservatory in London, after Kew Gardens, and is located right in the city centre. 

Home to 1500 species of plants and trees as well as 3 ponds holding an assortment of fish and terrapins, the Barbican Conservatory is a must visit for any nature lover! 

The building itself is designed in what's called Brutalist form, concrete, glass and rough lines make a great contrast with the lush greenery that's inside. You completely forget you're in the centre of London when walking through the tunnels and pathways past coffee plants, banana trees and date palms. 

The conservatory is quite a popular thing to do in London, despite the fact that not many tourists know about it. Booking in advance is the best way to ensure you get to visit, the free tickets are released the week before your chosen date on the Thursday and the slots are limited! 

If your budget does stretch a bit further and you would like some more information about the botanic gardens, you can book one of their guided tours of the conservatory. There are also events all year round featuring guest speakers and even afternoon teas. 

How to get to the Barbican Conservatory: The conservatory is only a short walk away from Barbican underground station which is on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. 
When to go: It is best to check the website. The Barbican Conservatory is mainly only open to the public on weekends and it is best to book in advance. That being said, a limited number of tickets are released at 9am on opening day. 

3. Visit the Sky Garden in the Walkie-Talkie building

Sky Garden in London

Looking for an incredible view over the city of London for free? Head straight to the Sky Garden located on the 43rd floor of the famous Walkie-Talkie Building. 

This building provides 360 degree views of London thanks to its unique shape and huge windows. The viewpoint has some lush landscaped gardens to walk around before you can head to the outdoor viewing terrace.

If you are looking for a cup of tea and a slice of cake in style, there really is no place better than Sky Pod Bar. But don't worry if you are looking to save your coins you can just go up and appreciate the view for completely free

Free access tickets are released every Monday with availability over the next three weeks. Sometimes there is availability for walk-ins but there is often a huge queue, especially on weekends so it is better to get yourself a slot in advance. 

With your free ticket, you get a whole hour to explore inside! 

How to get to the Sky Garden: You can walk from either Bank or Monument underground stations or over London Bridge. 
Opening times: The free tickets are available weekdays from 10am until 6pm or 11am until 9pm on weekends. The bar and restaurants have different opening hours but you often need a reservation and as you can imagine, these can be quite pricey!

4. Be amazed by God's Own Junkyard

God's Own Junkyard

I will admit, this one is a little further out than a lot of the activities on this list, but trust me, it's worth it! 

God’s Own Junkyard, is a neon art gallery/ museum/ junkyard full of the coolest neon lights and signs you will ever see. 

Created by the late Chris Bracey who originally started off his work by creating neon signs for some of Soho's late night strip clubs. He quickly grew to fame and some of his work has been in all kinds of Hollywood movies including Batman and Willy Wonka! 

You really could spend hours walking around the unassuming warehouse and reading some of the hilarious signs and art installations. Luckily if you need a refreshment, they have a cafe inside the warehouse! 

God's Own Junkyard up close

The museum is easily accessible by overground train and it is just a short walk into the middle of nowhere to find the warehouse. There's also a really cool brewery just across from the junkyard called Wild Card Brewery which you should definitely stop for a pint at after your visit. 

God’s Own Junkyard is open at weekends from 11am to 10pm Fridays and Saturdays and opens 11am until 6pm on Sundays. It's completely free to enter but if you are wanting to book a table for the cafe, it is better to call in advance

How to get to God’s Own Junkyard: The easiest way is to get the London Overground from Liverpool Street station to Walthamstow and then walk, it is quite well signposted but you may want to get your maps out to find it! 

5. Visit the adorable Neals Yard

Neals Yard in London

Neals Yard is an Instagrammer’s dream! This tiny courtyard located in a back alley off Covent Garden used to be a hidden gem, but that ship has most definitely sailed as it is on the top of a lot of people's London itineraries! 

Tucked down an unassuming side street, you are unlikely to find it unless you know where you are going, is the most adorable brightly coloured assortment of independent shops and restaurants, all committed to being ethical and sustainable. 

My favourites in Neals Yard are Homeslice, an affordable pizza restaurant that has the best pizza I have ever tried (outside of Italy obviously) and St Johns Bakery which has some of the city’s best doughnuts

Although there's not much to do here on a budget, do not miss visiting as it truly is one of the prettiest places in the city and is well worth a trip, even just for the photo op! 

How to get to Neals Yard: It is located in Covent Gardens, while I don't recommend hopping off the tube here, there are other underground stations just a short walk away. There's a small alleyway on Monmouth street that brings you out into Neals Yard. 
When's best to go: Even on a rainy day Neals Yard is bright and beautiful but a sunny day is still the best time to go! 

6. Feed the alpacas at Vauxhall City Farm

Vauxhall City Farm Entrance

While definitely growing in popularity, Vauxhall City Farm still remains somewhat of a hidden gem! 

You wouldn't expect to be able to see goats, sheep, alpacas, pigs and guinea pigs in the middle of London but you can! 

This small non-profit farm is dedicated to helping its community. They run loads of programs that educate and promote environmental and psychological well-being to the people who live in the area. 

The farm is free to enter with a voluntary donation. I think we paid about £2 each into the pot but we saw people giving a lot less so it is completely up to you. You can also buy animal feed which you can use to feed the goats, sheep and alpacas, it's really fun so definitely do this if you can! 

Vauxhall City Farm

Save this activity for a sunny day as the farms are completely outside and the animals aren't the biggest fans of rain. 

They have a great cafe on the farm which is a perfect lunch or tea and cake spot but if you are going for the affordable option, the farm is based in Vauxhall park which makes a great picnic location! 

How to get to Vauxhall City Farm: The farm is only a 5-minute walk away from Vauxhall Underground Station which is on the Victoria Line, making it easy to get to from both Victoria Station and Oxford Circus. 
Opening times: The farm is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:30am until 4pm.

7. Tea Gallery

Tea Gallery in London

Tea’s new permanent gallery in Carnaby street is not your regular gallery. They aim to create an art gallery that makes everyone feel at home. You really can go here knowing nothing about art (like me) and have the best time! 

Sophie Tea is an artist famous in Australia and this gallery pays homage to her art history as well as her newer pieces in the form of NFTs. 

The Gallery is immersive and interactive and by far one of the coolest art galleries I have ever been to. 

From the outside, the building looks like a trendy tea room where tourists go to try afternoon tea but this is actually the first room of the gallery. 

The staff there are so friendly and will gladly chat you through some of the meanings and history behind the pieces. I actually spent ages talking to the lady who worked there before going downstairs to explore the rest of the exhibits.

Obviously, the gallery is completely free to enter, but they are new so really appreciate you posting your experience on their socials

How to get to Tea Gallery: The gallery is located on Carnaby street so is a short walk from Oxford Circus. 
Opening Times: Monday until Saturday 11am until 7pm and Sundays 12pm until 6pm. 

8. Take the iconic photo at Abbey road

London Abbey Road

If you are a Beatles fan I am sure you will know all about Abbey road and will be eager to visit! 

Not only is Abbey Road home to the famous zebra crossing which features on the iconic Beatles album cover but it is also home to one of the world's most famous recording studios

If you are a huge fan, be sure to book this Beatles in London Tour as it's a great way to see the sights and areas that the Beatles made famous. 

You can visit the outside of Abbey Road studios though, they have a really cool graffiti wall and a gift shop inside where you can get some souvenirs. The studio is still a working studio and has been since 1931! 

Don't forget to gather three friends to recreate the iconic Beatles shot walking over the crossing. Careful not to go on a busy day though unless you want to queue up just to take a photo! 

How to get to Abbey road: The crossing is a short walk away from St Johns Wood tube station which is located on the Northern Line. 
When to go: Obviously the crossing is open all the time but if you want to avoid the crowds, head there on weekdays. The gift shop is open Mon - Saturday: 9.30am - 18:00pm and Sundays: 10am - 17.00pm

9. Take a stroll along South Bank

The London Eye

South Bank is one of my all-time favourite spots in London, especially on a nice day. Not only is it a walk along the river Thames but you will come across so many of the city’s most iconic landmarks on your stroll

The walk officially starts at the south end of Westminster bridge but if you're doing the walk solo, I highly recommend including a walk over the bridge in your walk. From here you can get a great view of the houses of parliament and the newly revamped Big Ben

Then follow the south bank along (it's well signposted don't worry!) past the London Eye, and down past the Southbank Centre. If it's around lunchtime, this is a great place to stop for a bite to eat as there are a few restaurants, cafes and Southbank market! 

Next, you will go past the Tate Modern, Shakespeares the Globe and Bankside Gallery. There are always things going on along this strip, art sales, street performers, and last week they even had a huge pop-up book swap! 

The walk officially finishes at Tower Bridge but be sure to stop off at Borough Market on the way! 

There are several free walking tours that will take you along South Bank if you would prefer a guided tour but you can easily do it on your own!

10. Tate Modern

An Exhibit at Tate Modern Museum

The Tate Modern is one of my favourite art museums in London! My knowledge of art is pretty limited but I still always love visiting and taking other people to visit Tate Modern as they truly have some incredible pieces

It's a really fun art museum with famous contemporary and modern art from all over the globe including some works from Picasso, Bonnard, Rothko, Cézanne and many more. 

It is located along south bank in what used to be the old bankside power station. It's a lively area that will fit in very well with a walk along south bank if that's on your London itinerary! 

While some of the special and non-permanent exhibitions do require a paid ticket for entry, entry to the gallery is completely free and there is no need to book! 

How to get to the Tate Modern: The museum is an 8 minute walk away from Southwark tube station which is on the Jubilee line. 
Opening times: Monday - Sunday from 10am until 6pm with last entry at 5:30pm. 

11. Watch a free comedy show

While it's not something you can only do in London, one of the best things you can do for free at night in London is to go to a comedy show. The UK is home to some of the world's best comedians and no matter the talent, you are bound to have a good time! 

Luckily, London has heaps of comedy clubs, many offering free shows so pretty much any day of the week, you can find one! 

One of my favourites is the (not so secret) Top Secret Comedy Club is located in Covent Gardens and hosts a free comedy night every Tuesday. While you can catch some great up-and-coming comedians here, it's also known that a lot of really big comedians come here unannounced to test out some of their new material before taking it on tour. If you are a student or a member, tickets are completely free but if not tickets cost just £1! There are some tickets on the door if they have space but it is best to book in advance! 

Another really popular option is Angel Comedy Club. They are committed to providing budget-friendly comedy and are known to be a great time. They have 2 locations in the city and run free stand-up comedy shows 7 nights a week! So no matter when you visit, you will be able to catch one! 

12. Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station

The long-awaited Battersea Power Station is finally open

It has been shut down and unused for nearly 40 years now and many thought it would never open its doors. Did you know it was almost a theme park? 

What used to be a working power station is now a huge shopping complex, with tons of eateries, bars, a private members club, a cinema and even has a viewing platform. 

As it only opened in October 2022 it is bright, shiny and new complete with a courtyard, picnic area and brand new tube station and Uber boat stop!

Battersea Power Station Ground Floor

While the shopping and restaurants aren't going to be the cheapest, you should definitely visit just to see the incredible architecture of the building and to embrace the hustle and bustle! 

There's also a really interesting museum on the bottom floor that is free to enter and has photos of what the power station used to look like when it was in use. 

How to get to Battersea Power Station: The power station now has its own tube stop which is on the Northern Line. Or you can get there via boat on the river bus, it is around a 15 minute journey along the Thames from Embankment. 
When to go: the power station is open 10am until 9pm Monday to Saturday and open 12pm until 6pm on Sundays but individual restaurants and bars may have different opening hours.

13. Watch the street performers at Covent Garden

Covent Garden needs to be on every London itinerary! It's a vibrant part of the city jam-packed with shops, bars, restaurants and culture. 

Covent Gardens is a notoriously pricey area so if you are visiting London on a budget, I wouldn't recommend stopping off here for a meal but don't let that stop you from exploring! 

Window shopping here is an activity of its own, the area is full of designer stores and one of the best Apple stores I have ever been to! The cobbled streets surround the main market square which has a food court, balcony bars and a few little shops. 

By far the best bit of Covent Gardens in my opinion though are the street performers! There are always shows going on in the middle of Covent Gardens, anything from magicians, dancers, bands and comedians and they always create a huge crowd. 

How to get to Covent Garden: The best way to get there is to either walk from Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus station. Covent Gardens does have its own tube stop but I wouldn't recommend going to it if you don't have to, it is a really small station that gets quite busy and is only accessible by elevator, don't make the mistake of trying to go down the stairs! 
When to go: The main area is always bustling so don't worry about that, but around lunch time is the best time to catch the street performers! 

14. Enjoy Columbia road flower market


Columbia Road Flower Market is where to go if you want to experience one of the busiest and prettiest markets in London

Every week, locals and tourists flood to the area and queue up hoping to get the best house plants, bulbs, herbs and fresh flowers for great prices! 

This market is a must-visit and everyone knows it so be sure to get there early. While it used to be up for everyone to fend for themselves, since covid, you have to queue to get in and people start lining up at 8am! 

It's free to enter if you want to just have a mooch around but if you do want to buy some goods, have a friendly haggle and hang around near closing time when some of the prices drop down

Luckily most of the vendors now take card payments so you won't have to worry about bringing cash with you but do bring a bag if you are planning on treating yourself. 

How to get to the flower market: The queue starts at the Shoreditch end of the market so it is best to walk from the Shoreditch station on the overground line. 
When to go: The market is only open Sundays between 8am and 2pm. If you want the best stuff it is best to get there early and line up but if you are looking for bargains, head between 1pm and 2pm. 

15. Check out the street art at Leake street

Leake Street Street Art

Also known as the graffiti tunnel, Leake Street is the best place to see some of the city’s most impressive street art

Before 2008, the graffiti tunnel was just a pretty boring dingy tunnel, until Banksy (yep THE Banksy) created the Cans Art Festival, a street art festival featuring one of his pieces. Since then the tunnel has become a legal place for street artists to showcase their work. 

You can find street art all over London, especially in the trendy places like Camden, Brixton and Clapham but a lot of the street art here tends to be overrun by Instagrammers trying to get that perfect shot. Leake Street tunnel is much more of a hidden gem

Street Art Along  Leake Street

The tunnel actually now has some amazing bars and eateries that are well worth checking out, especially the board game cafe! 

How to get to Leake Street Arches: The tunnel is a short walk from Waterloo Station and right next to the brand new Brewdog Waterloo.
When to go: Being outside, the tunnel is always open. Some people recommend not going too late for safety reasons but since there are now a few bars in the tunnel, it's pretty well lit.

16. Wander through Chinatown

Entrance to the Chinatown

Chinatown is an area in London that is loved by both tourists and locals! 

The area has 4 large gates marking the boundaries of Chinatown, these are beautiful and make a great photo spot! 

Obviously, they have some of the best Chinese restaurants in London as well as some trendy snacks that have recently blown up on Tiktok! Expect to see some crazy queues for things like Taiyaki, bao buns, popcorn chicken and bubble tea, all really affordable snacks which are great if you have the time to spare!

London China Town

You really don't need to spend a lot to enjoy Chinatown though, the area is really fun to walk around, it has great decorations and a lot of the food stands give out free samples

How to get to Chinatown: Chinatown is pretty central, it's located in the centre on London’s West end so is easy to get to on foot! Its closest tube stops are Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. 
When is best to go: As you can imagine, Chinatown gets pretty busy around meal times, especially around 5:30pm when people finish work. I usually find that just after lunch, the best time to go! 

17. Window shop along Oxford Street and Carnaby Street

Window Shopping along Hamley's Street in London

It is no secret that London is one of the best cities in the world for shopping, or just window shopping! 

Oxford Street is undoubtedly the most famous in London, it is home to 300 different shops, many of which being designer outlets. Selfridges is my all time favourite window shopping spot along Oxford Street as it is a huge department store with so much to look at! Complete with tech displays, a food court, a beauty floor and my personal favourite, the homeware section! 

Turn a right off Oxford Street and you will hit Regent Street, another awesome street for window shopping that is home to Hamleys. If you are looking for free things to do in London with kids, a trip to the giant toy store Hamleys is a fun choice! 

Not far from Regent Street you will find Carnaby Street, filled with tons more shopping, some cute cafes and awesome bars! There are also some outdoor free to sit on picnic benches along this stretch which is perfect for a spot of people-watching if your legs get tired from all the window shopping. 

How to get here: The most connected tube stop is Oxford Circus but this station does get busy, from here I would recommend walking so you don't miss out on any good shops! 
When to go: Anytime! If you want to go into all of the shops then it's best to go in the day but the streets are equally as beautiful at night! 

18. Borough market

London's Borough Market

Borough Market is my all-time favourite market in London. It's also one of London’s oldest markets, in fact, it's over 1000 years old! 

Here you can find all kinds of restaurants and market stalls, selling fresh produce and every kind of cuisine you can think of. 

It's a great option for some of London’s best cheap eats, as markets are a great alternative to eating at a restaurant as these tend to be pretty pricey. Some of my favourite stands are the mac and cheese, the paella, and Humble Crumble if you fancy a sweet treat!

Borough Market in London

For a special tip though, if you head to the market just before the lunch rush, the market is a lot less busy and you will find a lot of the vendors giving out free samples! 

How to get to Borough Market: The market is a short walk away from London Bridge station, just walk up the hill, past the bus station and over the road, it is well sign posted so you shouldn't miss it! 
Borough Market opening times: Monday to Friday 10am until 5pm, Saturday 8am until 5pm and Sundays 10am until 4pm.

19. See the views from The Garden @ 120

The Garden @ 120 in London

If you want to see London from a new perspective, head straight to London’s largest public rooftop space, The Garden @ 120

Not only is the garden beautiful to walk around in itself, but it also has 360 views of the city, from 15 stories high. From here you can see great views over the Thames, Tower Bridge, The Shard and The Gerkin. 

The garden is completely free to enter and unlike the nearby Sky Garden, you don't need to pre-book to visit. 

From the 120 building, you can walk straight into the reception, go through some quick security and then head up to the lift and out into the garden. It is also a great place in London to spot some wisteria if they are in bloom during your visit!

Entrance to The Garden @ 120

There is also a really nice cafe on the floor below if you fancy some refreshments while you're there. 

How to get to The Garden: The closest station is Fenchurch street but it is also a short walk away from both Monument station and Aldgate station. 
Opening times: In summer, the garden is open Monday to Friday 10am until 9pm and on weekends 10am until 5pm. In winter it closes slightly earlier, Monday to Friday 10am until 6:30pm and weekends 10am until 5pm 

20. Take a stroll through the park

Hyde Park in London

You might not think of a city like London being a great place to get into nature and take a walk through the park but London actually has some of my favourite parks in the country. London is home to 3000 different parks all varying in sizes and covering over 18% of the city. 

We might not have as many cool animals to spot as in other countries but expect to see lots of birds, squirrels, horses, rabbits and even deer! 

Hyde Park is one of the more popular parks in the city, it's a huge open park with a large lake in the cente. A perfect spot for some cycling, a walk and to sit and watch the world go by. It is also home to Diana, the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. 

If you want to get a bit further out of the city centre, Richmond Park is well worth a visit. My favourite time of year to go is definitely autumn when all the leaves start to fall, the park looks absolutely beautiful! It's also the best park for wildlife spotting as there are huge herds of deer that live in the park. 

A great park to explore if you are visiting London with kids is Crystal Palace Park in southeast London. They have one of the biggest mazes in the country and also a selection of huge dinosaur statues

21. Pretend you're in Italy at Little Venice Canal walk

Little Venice in London

What is definitely one of the most charming places in London, Little Venice is still often overlooked by tourists. 

Located near the hustle and bustle of London Paddington, Little Venice will make you completely forget you are in the middle of a capital city. 

It gets its name because it is tucked in between the Great Union Canal and Regents Canal. The quaint area hosts tons of canal boats, some lived on and some turned into things like cafes, restaurants and even bookstores. 

While you could definitely enjoy your time here by taking a boat or gondola ride or even watching a theatre show, it is a great place to enjoy the greenery, watch the boats and wildlife and take a stroll along the canals

How to get to Little Venice: The closest tube station is Warwick Avenue located on the Bakerloo line
When to go: the tow path at Little Venice is always open but it is perfect for an afternoon stroll on a sunny day.

22. Visit a free exhibit

Free Art Exhibition in London

One of my favourite parts of living in a city is just how many pop-up events and free exhibits there are, there's always something going on

In the summer you will find free markets or fairs scattered around the city; and winter in London reveals endless Christmas markets and inside activities. 

A lot of free exhibits and events are only on for a couple of days so they can be hard to keep track of. I recommend checking out TimeOut and Secret London before your visit so you can see what events are on during your stay. 

23. Visit The Natural History Museum

Museum of Natural History

If you are looking for free things to do in London for the whole family then The Natural History Museum needs to be on your radar! 

Before you even enter the museum you will be amazed by the architecture of the museum, the building itself is absolutely beautiful and it only gets better once you enter! The museum itself is split into zones. 

The blue zone is probably the most popular as this is where you can see the dinosaurs, mammals, the blue whale gallery and fish and reptiles. The green zone is all about evolution and contains the famous Hintze Hall. 

The red zone is my favourite as you ride the elevator through a meteorite into the volcanoes and earthquakes section! Finally, the Orange Zone contains the Darwin Centre which regularly hosts events and you also get the chance to see scientists at work!

The museum is pretty easy to navigate on your own, there are maps available to purchase but you can easily find your own online to use on your phone or use the ones located on the walls around the museum. 

How to get to the Natural History Museum: The museum is located in South Kensington and is only a short walk away from the train station. 
Opening times: Monday to Friday 10am until 5:50pm 

24. See the skyline from Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge

Millenium Bridge is one of the few pedestrian-only bridges over the Thames. It was built in 2000, and you might hear locals calling it ‘the wobbly bridge’ as two days after it opened, it had to close for two years to fix it as it had a tendency to sway in the wind! 

It's perfectly safe now and is the perfect place to take photos of and view the city. The view from the bridge is impressive in the day but it is absolutely beautiful at night! It also tends to be less busy later in the evenings so you can really stop to take some time to admire some of London's landmarks. 

It is located between Blackfriars and Southwark bridges close to Tate Modern so would be perfect to tie into a visit to both the SkyGarden in the Walkie Talkie Building and a visit to the Tate Modern. 

How to get to Millennium Bridge: The closest tube station to the bridge is Blackfriars but it is also just a short walk from Southwark station. 
When to visit: It is open 24/7 but for those impressive city lights, it is best to go once it's dark!

25. British Museum

The British Museum in London

Another great thing about London is that there are so many free museums to visit! One of the most famous being the British Museum

The British Museum is home to some of the largest collections in the world with 80,000 pieces spanning over 2 million years of history. You really could spend a whole day at this museum and not manage to see everything! 

The British Museum has everything from Egyptian mummies, the Rosetta Stone, a pantheon and a heap more things the museum has curated from all over the world. 

This is one of the most famous and most visited museums in London, so be sure to add it to your itinerary! 

Entrance to British Museum Complex

While this museum is free, you should pre-book your tickets online, they have very limited tickets on the door and I actually got turned away on a weekday last time i tried to visit! They also have a couple of exhibitions that you will have to buy a ticket for if you are hoping to visit! 

How to get to the British Museum: The museum is a short walk from Holborn, Tottenham Court road, Russell Square and Goodge Street stations. 
Opening times: The museum is open every day from 10am until 5pm, apart from Fridays where they are open until 8:30pm with their last entry at 7:30pm. 

26. Daunt books

Daunt Books in London

If you are a book lover, I am sure you will have heard of Daunt Books. Located in Marylebone, Daunt Books is one of London's best bookshops

While Daunt Books only opened in 1990, you really will feel like you've stepped back in time here as the gorgeous Edwardian shop was first built in 1912. 

They actually specialise in travel-related books, which is why I have visited so many times! Since the opening, all the books have been arranged by country, no matter their genre so it is a great place to pick up both history books and travel guides. 

Since taking off on social media, the shop does get very busy but luckily it never feels overcrowded and you could easily browse in here for an hour! 

Daunt Books actually has a few stores across London, but be sure to visit the Marylebone one as that is the OG (and the best)! 

How to get to Daunt Books: The shop is located in Marylebone which is a 10 minute walk away from Baker Street station.
Opening times: the store is open Monday to Saturday 9am until 7:30pm and Sundays 11am until 6pm

27. See the pelicans being fed at st James’s park

Ducks at St. James Park in London

St James’s Park is one of my all-time favourite parks in London. It's very central and a great setting for an afternoon walk. 

The park itself is steeped in history! It has been a women's hospital, Henry VIII’s personal hunting ground, and even a small menagerie featuring crocodiles and camels. 

Today it is a large public park located between Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. 

It's a very popular park however what a lot of people don't know about is that if you head to the pond for around 2:30, you can see the ducks and pelicans being fed!

Duck Shed at St. James Park

The pelicans have been in the park for nearly 400 years and catching a glimpse of them really is a nice way to spend an afternoon in London. Head straight to the duck shed to get the best spot, they get fed every day and it never seems to be busy. 

How to get to St James's Park: The park is only a short walk away from St James's Park tube station which is one the Circle and District lines. 
When to go: The park is open from 5am until midnight everyday but the pelicans get fed between 2:30pm and 3pm at Duck Island Cottage.

28. See the iconic Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Parliament Square in London

You cannot visit London without going to see the most iconic landmark that is Big Ben, more formally known as Elizabeth Tower and the Houses of Parliament. While many people think the clock tower is called Big Ben, it is actually the name of the biggest (13 tons!) of the 6 bells in Westminster palace inside of the clock tower. 

The tower itself was built in 1288, but since then it has been rebuilt and remodelled and looks very different from its original structure! Only in 2022, the tower was uncovered again to reveal its new makeover, and I have to say the new bright gold looks very pretty

The houses of parliament are located right next to the Thames in central London and is hard to miss if you are out exploring. Westminster bridge is a good place to head for some of the best views but it is notoriously busy, especially on weekends.

The Big Ben in London

The other option for getting a good shot is to head to the water and get a good glimpse when going past on an Uber boat

How to get to the Houses of Parliament: Westminster station is the closest which is on the Jubilee and Circle and District lines, or you can walk over the bridge from Waterloo station. 
When to go: Anytime! The houses of Parliament and Big Ben do look especially good at night. 

29. The Wallace collection

The Wallace Collection in London

While a relatively small museum compared to a lot of the others in London, The Wallace Collection is still worth a visit! 

Set in a large house in Manchester Square, the Wallace Collection is mainly made up of a private collection once owned by Richard Seymour-Conway which he left to his son, Sir Richard Wallace. Wallace’s wife then opened the house to the public after he died under the condition that none of the collections were allowed to be removed from the house. The house and collection has now been open as a museum since 1900. 

The house itself is beautiful to walk around and the pieces inside are incredible. Endless paintings, a suit of armour, sculptures and a courtyard with a restaurant are all inside. 

The best part of this museum is that it is in central London and completely free, even the temporary exhibits! 

How to get to the Wallace Collection: It is a short walk away from Bond Street station, not far from Daunt Books, so great to tie in both in a day. 
Opening times: 10am until 5pm everyday. 

30. The National Gallery

National Gallery in London

Trafalgar Square has a lot to offer in itself and should be on your London itinerary on its own but it is also home to The National Gallery

The National Gallery is one of the most famous art museums in the whole world and millions flock to visit every year! 

Expect to see incredible art pieces, some of the most notable including Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh, The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci, Bathers at La Grenouillère by Claude Monet and many more. 

The gallery is completely free to enter with no need to book tickets, even to a lot of its regular temporary exhibits. There really is so much to see here so I would recommend giving yourself a few hours to walk around.

The National Gallery in London

I would also recommend checking out the National Gallery podcast to get some more information on the history of the gallery and the art while you are there. 

How to get to The National Gallery: The closest tube station is Charing Cross located on the Piccadilly and northern lines, from there it is just a short walk across Trafalgar Square, you really can't miss it! 
Opening times: Everyday from 10am until 6pm except Fridays when it is open until 9pm.

31. See the iconic brightly coloured houses in Notting Hill

Portobello Road in Notting Hill

Notting Hill is a fun vibrant area of west London and while it is known to be an expensive area, there are plenty of free things to do. 

Notting Hill is famous for a lot of things, one being the movie! The famous Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant movie had a lot of scenes shot here and you can easily visit some of the iconic shots from the film if you are a big fan! 

You likely would have seen many photos of the beautiful pastel-coloured town houses lining the roads, if you want to see some of the best ones, head down to Hill Gate Place and Portobello road.

Portobello road is also home to one of my other favourite markets in London where you can find incredible street food and endless stands of souvenirs and jewellery.  The market is busiest on weekends but this is the best time to go as all the stalls are there. 

How to get to Notting Hill: Head to Notting Hill Gate station which is located on the Central line as well as the Circle and District Line. 
When to go: Anytime but it is best on weekends in my opinion - if you don't mind the crowds! 

32. Be amazed by the Science museum

The Science Museum in London

The Science museum is one of the best free things to do in London with kids, but don't worry its great for adults too! 

If you are a science nerd like me you're going to absolutely love this one! It is actually Europe's most visited science museum and for good reason. The museum is so interactive and fun that even if you aren't a huge science fan, you will undoubtedly have a good time. 

The most famous exhibits center around space and include the Soyuz TMA-19M descent module, an actual piece of the moon and The Apollo 10 command module and flight simulator! 

I personally LOVE the household technology sections which shows how random devices have developed over time.

A Steam-powered artifact in Science Museum

If you are visiting with kids, do head down to the basement level which has a full kids zone with loads of interactive things to do! 

The museum is completely free but I do recommend booking your ticket in advance as it's a lot less stressful than trying to purchase your free ticket when you arrive. 

How to get to the Science Museum: It is a short walk from South Kensington station and located next to the Natural History Museum. You could easily visit both of these museums in one day! 
Opening times: daily from 10am until 6pm but the last entry is at 5:30. If you want to avoid the crowds, head there on a weekday afternoon! 

33. Watch the Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guards Ceremony

While this is definitely a very touristy thing to do, you definitely should go see the changing of the guard during your time in London. Some people think it's a show put on for tourists but it's actually an official formal ceremony where soldiers are relieved of their duty and replaced by a group of new soldiers. 

The best place to watch the ordeal is Buckingham Palace at 11am, roads will close and the band and ceremony starts. Get a good spot early as the crowds can be pretty big! 

If you don't manage to catch the ceremony of the changing of the guard you can still go to see them guarding at both Buckingham palace, St James's Palace and in Windsor. 

St James’s Palace tends to be the best bet, as there are usually far less people.

A Guard  mounted on a horse in Buckingham Palace

Please bear in mind that these are working soldiers following a strict regime and if you stand in the way or touch the horses or bother them, they will push you out of the way or shout at you as this is their job. There are some quite funny videos of tourists being yelled at so please just be cautious! 

How to see the changing of the guard: You can walk to both St James’s Palace and Buckingham Palace from both Green Park and St James’s Park stations. 
When to go: the ceremony starts at 10:45, usually daily in the summer but it is best to double check online for the dates as they do change, especially in the colder months.

Are there any other free places to visit in London?

Of course there are! These are just my absolute top favourites.

But if you do have any more ideas or suggestions, I would love to hear them, so just drop a comment below …

Alternatively, which of the above do you plan on visiting?

And would you like any more money-saving tips for your trip to London?

If so, check out these other great guides I have put together:

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