Free things to do in London

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As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, London has no shortage of attractions to keep you busy on your trip to England’s capital city. Lucky for the budget-minded traveler, many of the city’s top attractions are free to see or visit. Here are a few free London attractions to put at the top of your travel list.

Museums

The Reading Room at the British Museum (Image: brewbooks used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
The Reading Room at the British Museum (Image: brewbooks used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

You’ll find plenty of free museums to visit throughout London. The British Museum is one of the oldest museums in the world, and you can browse the 8 million-piece collection for free throughout the year. The National Gallery on Trafalgar Square is another notable – and free – museum, displaying more than 2,300 historic paintings by notable artists like Monet, Da Vinci, Raphael and Van Gogh. The Science MuseumNational History Museum and Museum of London are other notable free museums worth a visit.

Culture

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Image: aurelie_solenne used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Image: aurelie_solenne used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license)

For a taste of English culture, drop by Buckingham Palace to watch the ceremonial Changing of the Guard. The ceremony is held at 11:30 a.m. every day from May to July and every other day from August to April. For a more modern experience, you can apply for tickets to be in the studio audience of a BBC production, held in various venues throughout London. Or, you can enjoy a free concert at The Scoop or St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

Walking Tours

Big Ben (Image: apdk)
Big Ben (Image: apdk)

If you’d rather catch all of the city’s must-see sights from a local perspective, you can join a free walking tour during your trip to London. Free Tours By Foot offers three experiences: a Westminster tour that includes Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, a City of London tour that features St. Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and the River Thames, and a Southwark tour that includes the Millennium Bridge, Palace of Winchester and Borough Market. SANDEMANs New Europe free walking tour focuses on London’s royal heritage, taking guests to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and historic sites like Westminster Abbey and the House of Parliament. Both companies offer their tours free of charge – just don’t forget to tip your guide!

(Main image: Gabriel Villena)

Free things to do in London was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (786 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.