From the London Eye to a West End musical with a trip to Madame Tussauds thrown in for good measure, you’ll never find yourself at a loose end in London but if you’re not careful the costs can really skyrocket.
So if you are looking for a city break that won’t break the bank, here are 10 great places you could visit that won’t cost you a thing.
1. The British Museum
The most visited attraction in London; the British Museum is the largest and one of the most prestigious in the country. Featuring a wealth of artefacts from across the world and throughout time, including the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon Sculptures and the Mummy of Katebet, there’s a wealth to see, just make sure you free up a whole day to experience it all
2. The Scoop
A great free alternative to a West End show, The Scoop offers a variety of live content including theatre, opera and a four-month long fringe festival. No need to book in advance, just grab a seat in the 1000 person amphitheatre and enjoy the show!
3. Tate Modern
Once the Bankside power station, the Tate Modern has quickly become a must-see attraction for any visitor to the city. Completely free, including a guided tour, and featuring numerous pieces from Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and many more, it’s easy to see why the Tate has become the most popular gallery in the world.
4. Tate Britain
The older brother to the trendier Tate Modern, this gallery houses the largest collection of British art anywhere on the planet, including pieces by Turner, Constable and William Blake. A great and fitting companion to its contemporary namesake and visiting both galleries is a fantastic way to see how art has evolved through the centuries.
5. Hyde Park
Created in 1536 to allow Henry VII to hunt and later the site of London’s Great Exhibition, Hyde Park is a true piece of London history and one you shouldn’t miss. Covering 350 acres the beautiful scenery and delightful ornamental flower gardens are a far cry from London’s bustling city streets and if you head over to northeast corner of the park, you’ll be able to catch another great piece of London’s history, Speakers’ Corner.
6. Speakers’ Corner
First formed in the Victorian era, Speakers’ Corner is one of the most famous areas for free speech in the world. Famous visitors and speakers throughout the years have included Tony Benn, Karl Marx and George Orwell. These days new and vibrant voices can be found, discussing, debating and exercising their right to free assembly and if you have anything to say yourself, you can even join in.
7. The Houses of Parliament
You cannot visit London without witnessing the Houses of Parliament. Next to the Thames and accompanied by the iconic dongs of Big Ben, it is the quintessential London experience. If you’d like to see inside, contact your local MP and they can organise you a free guided tour, just remember to book in advance.
8. Gresham College
Gresham College is a bit different from most places of higher learning; it has no enrolled students and has held completely free public lectures for over 400 years. Now presenting 140 lectures a year including a variety of philosophical, cultural and political topics, Gresham College is a fantastic experience and a great piece of London’s history.
9. The View Tube
A small community and art space, The View Tube, built completely from used shipping containers and painted a dazzling green is a piece art in its own right, and inside you will find even more. A great café, fantastic views of the Olympic park and varied gallery space that has shown both local art projects and Turner winners.
10. The Changing of the Guard
If you want to witness a display of Britain’s love for ceremony and tradition, The Changing of the Guard is held outside Buckingham Palace at 11:30am every day. The process as the new guard replaces the old is a fantastic glimpse into another time long ago and shouldn’t be missed.
What have you found on your exploration of London?