From museums to Roman ruins to ancient ceremonies, there are plenty of things to do, see, and experience in England’s cosmopolitan capital, no matter your budget!
Add these free things to do in London to your itinerary, so you can spend less money on sightseeing and spend more money on shopping in Soho (or fish & chips)!
Free Museums in London
Get your culture fix without the cost!
From museums with ancient mummies to rooms filled with bars of gold, you can spend your days getting lost in these 8 cultural institutions.
1. The British Museum
Over 8 million works in this permanent collection! Follow the story of human culture from beginning to present.
2. Bank of England Museum
Follow the story of the Bank of England, then pick up and examine a real gold bar!
3. The Science Museum
Learn and play in this interactive museum – a favorite of both children and adults. Temporary exhibits may have a fee.
4. Natural History Museum
80 million objects within five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology, and zoology!
5. National Gallery
One of the most visited art museums in the world, with over 2,300 paintings ranging from the mid-13th century to 1900!
6. V&A Museum
The world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design! Some exhibits and events may have a fee.
7. Wellcome Collection
A collection of curiosities and medical antiquities…for those with a taste for the weirder things in life!
8. Bonus: Street Art in Shoreditch!
Take a walk through the creative neighborhood of Shoreditch, where you’ll encounter art on building walls, storefronts, and even the ground! If you search hard enough, you’ll even find one of the only Banksy installments in the world that carry the elusive artist’s signature.
Markets & More
From leather goods to floral havens.
Browse the stalls, strike up a conversation with a local, take the perfect Instagram photo, or treat yourself to a handmade ware or two!
9. Portobello Market
London’s colorful Notting Hill neighborhood is also home to one of its most famous antique markets, with over 1,000 stalls and vendors.
10. Borough Market
This iconic food and drink market celebrated its 1,000th birthday in 2014! Treat yourself to a bite at one of the hundred stalls selling snacks and sips, or just have a celebration of the senses with a leisurely stroll through the market.
11. Brick Lane
This famous London street is home to an overabundance of vintage shops, antique stores, and of course, curry houses! This street is also the U.K’s unofficial curry capital, so you may want to indulge in a sampling or two of this flavorful dish.
12. Camden Stables Market
Housed in a former horse hospital, this world-famous market is home to vintage sellers and artists selling handmade wares.
13. Camden Lock Market
Just up the block from the stables market, this cluster of craft vendors is one of the world’s most famous markets.
14. Flower Market on Columbia Road
On Sundays, Colombia Road transforms into a floral oasis! More information can be found here.
Picturesque Parks & Gardens
Feel like royalty with a walk in the park!
From royal gardens to parks with hundreds of free-roaming deer, there’s no shortage of parks to visit during your travel to London.
15. Hyde Park
From lakes to meadows to flower gardens, you’ll find it all here at London’s most beloved Royal Park.
16. Richmond Park
Kite, golf, or spy on the hundreds of free-roaming deer at this Royal Park of London!
17. St. James’ Park
Although this stunning outdoor space is surrounded by three Royal Palaces, it’s really the pelicans that are the showstoppers; catch the feeding show at 2:30pm daily!
18. The Regent’s Park
Within the 410-acre grounds of this park, you’ll find the largest outdoor sports area in London, an Open Air Theater, and the must-visit Japanese Garden in the Queen Mary’s Garden section.
19. Kensington Gardens
As home to the stunning Kensington Palace, this Royal Park deserves a royal mention! Be sure to stop by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial playground during your time here.
Sight See Your Way Through the City
Free London Tours, by foot or bike!
Make the most of your London travel with these different ways to the see the city.
20. Boris Bikes
The first half hour of your Boris Bike rental is free! Alternatively, you can rent on for up to 24 hours for just £2 – peddle on!
21. Free Walking Tours
There are many companies that offer free walking tours in London, from larger ones like Sandeman’s to more local options like Strawberry Tours; these tours are tip-based, so if your guide went above and beyond you’ll want to throw a generous tip their way!
Best Panoramic Views of London
Take the perfect selfie at these scenic spots
Pack a picnic and enjoy breathtaking views of the city from these spots!
22. Primrose Hill
See a clear view of central London from this 213-foot hill located on the northern side of Refent’s Park.
23. Nunhead Reservoir
Perhaps a bit macabre for some, but those willing to make the trip to Nunhead Cemetery will be treated to some of the most breathtaking views of London’s skyline.
24. Sky Garden
At the top of London’s Walkie Talkie building lives one of the city’s best kept secrets: the Sky Garden! Book your tickets ahead of time and enjoy views of the city from over 500 feet in the air.
Check these off your bucket list
No trip to London is complete without a visit to the Tower of London! Here’s how to see it for free.
25. Changing of the Guard
This elaborate ritual is a must-see during your time in England’s capital city! Make your way to Buckingham Palace around 11:30am to witness the ceremony; the Changing of the Guard is held daily from April-July, then alternate days the rest of the year.
26. Witness an Ancient Cemetery at the Tower of London
Experience a tradition that has taken place every night for the past 700 years! To witness the Ceremony of the Keys, interested parties must book far in advance at the Tower of London website.
Roman Ruins in London
Can’t travel to Rome just yet? Here are 4 places in London you can see the remnants of the once at-large empire!
27. London Wall
Built by the Romans in the late 2nd or early 3rd century, the remnants of this wall can be viewed at the Museum of London, London Wall (road), Tower Hill, and in the basements of several buildings scattered throughout the city.
28. Lesnes Abbey
Built in 1178, the ruins of this abbey can be found in London’s borough of Bexley.
29. Blackfriars Railway Bridge
Hidden almost in plain site are the pillars from the ancient civilization, molded into a modern design at this railway bridge at the River Thames.
30. Roman Amphitheater
London’s Guildhall may be more commonly known for their medieval crypts, but visitors can also stumble upon the remains of an ancient Roman amphitheater!
Bonus: For Harry Potter Fans
If you are a Harry Potter fan, we created this guide to help you immerse yourself in the magic of England and Scotland, two countries that are filled with Harry Potter filming locations and HP-related sites.
Is London on Your Bucket List?
If this spurs your wanderlust, let’s make it happen. Taylored Tours plans vacations to England for couples, families, solo travelers, and groups. We create itineraries for self-drive vacations, private driver vacations, and escorted group trips. We will “taylor” your trip to what you want, including accommodations in intimate bed and breakfast country homes to comfortable hotels in cities and even swoon-worthy castle accommodations.
Let’s Start Planning
I believe deeply in the power of travel. Anything I can do to get you out exploring the world makes me happy! So, what are you waiting for? Schedule a call with me HERE and let’s talk about your next adventure.
Taylored Tours will get to know you, your travel style, interests, and vision for your trip. From there, we’ll design a stress-free, “taylored” vacation, full of immersive experiences. It’s really that easy.
Cindi Taylor, Taylored Tours