London: The Best Things To Do For Free
London is not known for being a cheap city – either to visit or live in. But in truth there are a vast number of activities- from scenic walks to vibrant markets and world-class museums – that you can enjoy in London without spending a thing. Read on to discover the best things in London to do for free, leaving you more money to spend on the fantastic food and shopping!
London has an incredible range of museums on art, culture and science that are all completely free to enter. Start your education at the British Museum, one of the world’s oldest museums, which houses such a wealth of objects that only a fraction can be on display in the museum at any one time. To learn more about art and design through the ages head to the Victoria & Albert Museum, before heading to the hands-on Science Museum and the fossil-filled Natural History Museum. Art lovers can study work by many of the European Masters at the National Gallery.
London has some fantastic markets for foodies and fashionistas, which are just as great for browsing as they are for buying. If you love one-off and vintage clothes then the Sundayup Market on Brick Lane is a great place to start. Brick Lane is full of Indian eateries but there’s a range of International cuisine sold on the streets on market days so make sure you go shopping with an empty stomach. Make time to wander the surrounding streets of Shoreditch too as internationally acclaimed street artists have left their artistic mark all over this area of London. Insider tip: head to Cargo on Rivington Street if you’d like to see an original piece by Banksy.
If you like rummaging through antique items head to Portobello Road on Friday or Saturday and you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped into the movie Notting Hill.
For foodies, London’s Borough Market near London Bridge must not be missed. From fresh vegetables to hot pies and chocolate brownies you’ll find something to satisfy everything craving here.
Finally, my favourite market in London is the Columbia Road Flower Market, which takes place every Sunday. Stalls selling an array of colourful blooms line the old streets of East London, making it an incredibly vibrant place to wander on a Sunday morning. You’ll also find cute cafes and independent boutiques hidden amongst the terrace houses; Lily Vanilli is a fantastic place to stop for cake.
Read also: Where to stay, eat and have fun in London!
When the skies clear Londoners head to the city’s parks to soak up the scenery and every minute of sunshine. For a little sight-seeing before your sunbathing head to Green Park Station. You’ll exit the station right near the Ritz Hotel and then can walk through the park up to the gates of Buckingham Palace and along The Mall to Trafalgar Square.
Other parks worth visiting are Hyde Park, which is often a host for concerts, Hampstead Heath, which has spectacular city views from Parliament Hill, and Kensington Gardens, where you can hire a boat and float around the Serpentine Lake.
The best way to see London without spending a penny is simply to walk it. One of my all time favourite walks is along the south bank of the river Thames. If you start as far east as Bermondsey you’ll be able to travel along the river passing sights such as the HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge, City Hall, Borough Market, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Continue further still and you’ll pass Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern, a fantastic art gallery that is also free to enter! Along your way you’ll pass traditional pubs and modern cafes with riverside views where you can stop for refreshment.
The city centre is also pretty easy to navigate on foot, once you’ve got your bearings!
From shopping mecca Oxford Street you can easily walk to:
- Regents Street,
- Piccadilly Circus,
- Leicester Square,
- Covent Garden,
stopping to take photos whenever you please!