Skip to content

136 Fantastic Free Things To Do In London

Free museums in London

Yep, there are lots of free museums in London to visit for a cultural fix. Ancient art, fascinating objects, and even an 82-foot blue whale skeleton can be found in the capital’s array of museums.

  1. Come face-to-face with a roaring T-Rex and experience the earthquake simulator at the Natural History Museum.

  2. Examine treasures at Sir John Soane’s Museum, a 19th-century townhouse.

  3. Explore the fascinating history of England’s capital at the Museum of London.

  4. Hold a real bar of gold at the Bank of England Museum.

  5. Be inspired by the beautiful objects on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

  6. Learn about the history of the river Thames at Museum of London Docklands.

  7. Discover the life and works of one of Britain’s most inspiring designers at the William Morris Gallery.

  8. Head to Greenwich to swing by the Queen’s House and the National Maritime Museum.

Free markets in London

They’re only free if you don’t buy anything, but there are always free samples on offer.

  1. Maltby Street Market.

  2. Broadway Market.

  3. Leadenhall Market.

  4. Brick Lane Market.

  5. Columbia Road Flower Market.

  6. Camden Market.

  7. Greenwich Market.

  8. Portobello Road Market.

  9. Borough Market.

Street Feast has free entry at all markets before 7 pm.

  1. Brixton Village and Market.

  2. Old Spitalfields Market.

  3. Mercato Metropolitano.

Unusual attractions

  1. Marvel at the Jar of Moles at the Grant Museum of Zoology.

  2. See the gigantic overstuffed walrus at the Horniman Museum.

  3. Be wowed by the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies at the British Museum.

  4. Be dazzled by the 400 exhibits – including a Spitfire and a Harrier warrior jet – on show at the Imperial War Museum.

  5. See the world’s oldest dinosaur models at Crystal Palace Park.

  6. See what life was like for the disadvantaged and poor of London’s East End through the late 1800s in the Ragged School Museum.

  7. Take your misery away with a visit to The Anaesthesia Museum; this quirky attraction charts the history of anaesthesia from 1846 to the modern-day.

  8. Browse old sewing tools at the London Sewing Machine Museum.

  9. Examine exhibitions spanning art, health and science at the Science Gallery London.

  10. Visit the Wellcome Collection to see a bunch of weird objects, including an antique mummy, Napoleon’s toothbrush and Darwin’s walking stick.

Park life

 

  1. Unwind on Wimbledon Common where you’ll discover ponds, a nature trail and a windmill.

  2. Go deer-spotting in stunning Richmond Park.

  3. See the Prime Meridian line for free at Park Vista.

  4. Bliss-out in Bushy Park, home to 320 free-roaming deer.

  5. Burn off some calories by running around Hyde Park, which comprises 350 acres (142 hectares).

  6. See the Peter Pan statue at Kensington Gardens.

  7. Watch the pelicans being fed every day at 2.30 pm at St James’s Park. Also look out for water birds, owls, woodpeckers and bats.

  8. Visit the Rookery in Streatham Common. The Rookery was once known as Streatham Spa, and was a place where people came to take local spring water for its medicinal and healing properties.

Free things to do with kids

Ride the singing elevator (JCB Glass lift) in the Royal Festival Hall.

  1. Meet ferrets, bunnies, alpacas and more at Vauxhall City Farm.

  2. See farm animals at Mudchute Farm and Park.

  3. Push a trolley through to Harry Potter’s magical world at the wall marked Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross.

  4. Watch the skateboarders performing death-defying tricks under Southbank Centre.

  5. Go mudlarking – the city equivalent of beachcombing – outside Gabriel’s Wharf or on the City of London side of the Millennium Bridge, where you can check the surface for old clay smoking pipes and bits of pottery. Check the tide tables in advance.

  6. Watch the street entertainers in Covent Garden.

  7. Little ones can be pirates for the day on Captain Hook’s huge wooden pirate ship at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.

  8. Splash about in rock pools and balance on wobbly bridges at Tumbling Bay playground.

  9. See amazing exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command capsule and Stephenson’s Rocket, at the Science Museum.

  10. Explore the V&A Museum of Childhood, where you’ll find dolls’ houses, games and construction toys dating back to the 1600s.

Free London attractions

  1. Watch the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.

  2. Follow in the footsteps of The Beatles by crossing the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing that’s featured on the eponymous album cover.

  3. Watch Tower Bridge open. See continuous images of the 19th-century landmark on our live video feed.

  4. Meet the stone lions at Trafalgar Square.

  5. Explore the parkland, waterways and stunning venues at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London for free.

  6. Take a selfie in front of the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus.

  7. Enjoy a paddle in the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, made from 545 pieces of Cornish granite.

  8. Observe a case at the Supreme Court, the UK’s final court of appeal.

Fantastic views of London

  1. Soak up sweeping views across the River Thames and central London from Greenwich Park.

  2. For some of the best views of the capital from the heady heights of 155m (509ft), head up to Sky Garden.

  3. Celeb-spot while looking out across the capital from Primrose Hill.

  4. Get snapping with our guide to London’s top photo opportunities.

  5. Stroll to the top of Hampstead Heath’s Parliament Hill for marvellous vistas across London.

Best London walks

  1. Take a stroll along the picture-pretty South Bank.

  2. Follow the towpath through tranquil Little Venice to discover a slew of waterfront cafes and pubs.

  3. Join one of the fascinating free London walking tours run by Strawberry Tours.

  4. Stroll through the lush riverside village of Richmond; start at the White Cross pub and continue past the rural idyll of Petersham Meadows, until you reach Ham House.

  5. Take a shady walk among the 35,000 monuments of Brompton Cemetery, including one of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

  6. Escape the city in the ancient woodland of Highgate Wood.

  7. Spot rare plants and insects in Epping Forest.

Free gardens in London

  1. Relax at the Barbican Conservatory, alive with tropical plants, trees and fish.

  2. Achieve Zen in Kyoto Japanese Garden in Holland Park.

  3. Take a look at the Watts Victorian memorial in Postman’s Park, where exhibitions of heroism are marked.

  4. Be dazzled by the wildflowers at the secret Phoenix Garden in London’s West End.

  5. Flower fans can soak up the floral colours and aromas of Columbia Road Flower Market.

  6. Explore the magical ruins of a church bombarded in the Blitz in the lovely St Dunstan in the East gardens.

Unusual cultural activities

  1. See prop-makers and theatre designers working behind the scenes at the National Theatre by walking along its Sherling Backstage Walkway.

  2. Discover London’s rich musical heritage by visiting legendary locations including “Tin Pan Alley”.

  3. Visit neon wonderland God’s Own Junkyard, home to Europe’s most extensive collection of vintage neon signs.

  4. Take a peek at London’s city and street art, including works by guerrilla genius Banksy.

  5. Feast your eyes on literary treasures, including the Magna Carta and lyrics by The Beatles, at the British Library.

Free art galleries

  1. See contemporary art at White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey.

  2. See a Rosetti painting at the Guildhall Art Gallery.

  3. Notice how The Laughing Cavalier’s eyes appear to follow you around the room in the famous Frans Hals painting at the Wallace Collection.

  4. Get an eyeful of kings and queens, musicians and film actors at the National Portrait Gallery.

  5. Discover art by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Renoir and Van Gogh at the National Gallery.

  6. Admire classics by Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol and Bourgeois at Tate Modern.

  7. See contemporary art at Chelsea’s grand Saatchi Gallery.

  8. Learn about contemporary artists at The Curve at the Barbican Centre, which hosts a string of free temporary exhibitions.

Cost-free comedy clubs 

  1. Have a giggle at Angel Comedy Club, offering free comedy shows every evening of the week.

  2. Pay nothing to see comedy and improv at the Top Secret Comedy Club.

Free live music

  1. Hear talented players studying at the Royal College of Music performing free lunchtime and rush-hour concerts across London.

  2. Dance along to ska, roots, reggae and folk rhythms at Hootananny Brixton, which offers loads of free gigs.

  3. See accomplished musicians performing at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music.

  4. Spend a lazy Saturday afternoon at Daylight Music at the Union Chapel (suggested donation of £5).

  5. Southbank Centre holds regular free musical performances in the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall.

  6. Enjoy free entry to blues bar Ain’t Nothing But… from Sunday to Thursday nights.

  7. Discover free lunchtime concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields church.

  8. Tap your feet to live jazz every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at The Troubadour.

Historic London

  1. Check out the secret London Stone, momentarily moved to Museum of London from its home at 111 Cannon Street. Legend states the stone was part of an altar in a temple constructed by Brutus of Troy.

  2. See the remains of London’s Roman amphitheatre in the basement of the Guildhall Art Gallery.

  3. Visit Southwark Cathedral, the oldest cathedral church structure in London.

  4. Explore Kenwood House, a stunning grand home designed by 18th-century Scottish architect Robert Adam on the edge of Hampstead Heath.

  5. View the London Wall, the remnant of the Roman wall which was built in AD 200 and once constituted part of the eastern defences of Roman Londinium.

  6. Explore more than 1,000 years of history at Headstone Manor & Museum.

Free Christmas activities

Go and see the best Christmas lights across London

  1. Carnaby Street

  2. Savile Row

  3. South Bank

  4. Covent Garden

  5. Marylebone Village

  6. Regent StreetKingston market

  7. Wembley Park

  8. Kew Gardens

  9. Oxford Street

  10. Trafalgar Square

  11. Eltham Palace

Free festivals

  1. Celebrate Chinese New Year in London’s Chinatown, the biggest celebrations outside Asia.

  2. Join revellers at London’s largest street party, the Notting Hill Carnival.

  3. Soak up the action at the month-long Totally Thames festival.

  4. Follow the party at the colourful Pride in London parade, celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual community.

  5. See the lively St Patrick’s Day parade wind through the streets of London.

Fun summer activities

  1. Relax in the sunshine while listening to super-talented artists at a free London music festival.

  2. Cool off under the fountains by The Scoop.

  3. Make a picnic to feast on in Somerset House’s gorgeous 18th-century courtyard.

  4. Watch the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships on one of the free large screens around the city.

  5. Hear some free talk as London’s most vocal orators share their views at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: