10 Best Free Activities in London
London is an expensive city, but the majority of its grand museums are free! It's easy to get overwhelmed though so pick only one a day to explore. The opening hours are also a bit limited, usually 10am-5pm, but some offer weekly or monthly late nights, so be sure to check in advance to make the most of your time.
For a Bit of Everything - The British Museum
For Kids - The Natural History Museum (pictured)
For Style and Design Fans - Victoria and Albert
For History Buffs - The British Museum
For Classic Art Lovers - The National Gallery
For Modern Art Lovers - The Tate Modern
For the London Lover - The London Museum
The Tower Bridge is iconic. After you visit the Tower of London (where this pic was taken) walk over the Tower Bridge, take a few pics, and make your way over to Borough Market for lunch. From there, check out our 3 Day London Itinerary for a great view from the Tate Modern.
St Dunstan in the East
St Dunstan in the East was an old Church of England parish church that was largely destroyed during WWII. Today, its remains have been transformed into a beautiful public garden. We expected to find it busy with tourists but it was nearly empty at mid day, making it a perfect way to escape the crowds and experience a bit of local history. Enjoy a stroll through the garden or pack a picnic and relax away from hustle and bustle of town.
There are a lot of ways to see the London skyline. The Shard and the London Eye are impressive, but equally expensive. Instead, opt for the Sky Garden and experience a 360 degree view for free! Just book a visit online about a week in advance to get one of the best views in London.
For more details check out the Sky Garden Website.
View from the Tate Modern
I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of modern art. What I am a fan of is a free view. The viewing deck of the Tate Modern is located on the 10th floor of the Blavatnik Building and is free to visit. It's on the opposite side of the river from The Sky Garden, facing St. Paul's Cathedral, which gives you a different perspective.
Columbia Road Flower Market
A local market that is only open on Sundays, this is where you go to feel like a fabulous local living your best life. Start the day early with an armful of flowers, pop into cafe for a cup of tea, peruse the small local gift shops, and then head to a beautiful brunch.
Portobello Road Market
One of the best antique markets in the world. The main day is Saturday, but get there early because it gets CROWDED. After, you can stroll around Notting Hill and Little Venice and pretend you can afford the most adorable townhouses in the world.
There are countless free walking tours available in London, focusing on everything from history, Harry Potter, Jack the Ripper, street art, food, drink, and ghosts. You probably can't go wrong with any of them, but we recommend Strawberry Tours. But please remember, while the tours are "free" your tour guides put in a lot of effort, and a tip is not technically required, be a good person and contribute. Think of these tours more as "pay what you feel" rather than "free".
London is filled with urban parks. It is actually considered the "largest urban forrest" in the world due to its 8.4 million trees, almost one for every resident. Take a stroll through these beautiful parks and enjoy some local life. Say hello to the swans in St. James Park, check out the view from Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath, and watch the canal boats pass through Regent's Canal at Mile End Park.
London has some of the best shopping in the world. Between Harrods, Selfridges, and Liberty London, there is no shortage of fabulous window shopping. I asked my husband which one I should recommend for a first-timer, and even he said, "All of them. They're amazing".