The Top 12 Free Things to do in London
London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom and home to many royals, such as Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and the famous Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate. But it is also the city with the most iconic attractions caught on camera like the London Eye, Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and St.Paul's Cathedral, just to name a few.
While some of the popular attractions may cost a few pounds to see, there are plenty of free London attractions for you to check out on your trip to London. It's a fantastic city and you can definitely see much of it even if you are traveling on a budget. Once you have checked all the free museums and art galleries, discover some other hidden gems in London for free.
Traveler tip: Store your heavy bags and extra gear in one of our London luggage storage lockers. It's a safe place to keep your belongings so you can see the best of London without your bags slowing you down!
Visit the Harry Potter Platform 9/34
If you are a die-hard Harry Potter fan you know what this is all about. Head towards King's Cross Station and snap a photo at the world's most famous train platform. This is where the entrance to the magical platform in Harry Potter's wizarding world is, but you shouldn't run straight ahead, as this is real life.
It costs nothing to visit or take a photo, but you can stop by the Harry Potter Platform 9/34 shop and buy some souvenirs to take home. If you like London stations with a story, read our guide on how to get around London!
Watch Street Performers in Covent Garden
Head towards Covent Garden to see a little different kind of art. The street performers or "buskers" as the Brits call them are regular entertainers in the Covent Garden Piazza. From dancers and musicians to magicians and human statues, you can easily spend a few hours watching this performance art.
All performers are licensed to do their act so they can make a living from it. While it is free to stand there and be amazed by them, it won't break the bank to pay what you wish for the entertainment.
Explore Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London and the largest out of the four Royal parks which include Kensington Gardens, Green Park and St. James Park. All of these large open spaces in central London are worth paying a visit, but Hyde Park is the most famous one.
This London park was once the hunting grounds for King Henry VIII. Today, Hyde Park offers tons of free activities for everyone rain or shine. Find a good spot for a picnic on a nice sunny day, or go cycling, jogging, tennis, horse riding, sailing, swimming, boating on the Serpentine or skating in winter.
Stop by Hyde Park Corner located on the northeast of the park near Marble Arch and Oxford Street. This was a site for public speeches in the 1800s. Walk around and explore the diverse architecture of the buildings and monuments such as the Statue of Achilles or the Serpentine Bridge. If you start your walking journey at Diana Memorial Playground it will take about two hours to get to Albert Hall.
Hyde Park is a great place in London where you can do all of your favorite free things.
Take a London Bus
There is nothing like a hop-on-hop-off bus tour on a double-decker in London. Red double deck buses are Britain's national symbol and the second largest land transportation after the Tube. Although it's not free, it costs up to 40 USD for a classic ticket to see London's most famous landmarks.
This is the fastest way you can tick off some free attractions to see and free things to do in London. Starting from Big Ben, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, London Bridge and the Tower of London all the way to South Kensington where the Natural History Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Science Museum line up, this cheap tour will have you tick off almost all of the free things to do in London in a day.
Marvel at the Terrific Street Art in London's East End
Although still illegal, street art in London is one of the best free things every tourist should see. One of the best areas in London for street art is Shoreditch, but you will find lots of interesting street art in Camden, Brick Lane, Bethnal Green or Hackney. From a large sketch-like hedgehog on Chance Street in Shoreditch and large colorful alphabet art on Ebor Street to quirky designs on Sclater Street and a huge chihuahua on Chrisp Street, these East London neighborhoods are covered with street art to admire.
See Stunning London From the Sky Garden
One of the best free things to do in London is visiting the impressive Sky Garden. Located on Fenchurch Street, in central London, this glass dome is made of three stories showcasing beautiful landscapes. A lift takes you up to a gorgeous tropical oasis of all sorts of flowers and plants in the sky.
And with stunning free views of London, the Shard in front of you and the Tower Bridge below, it doesn't get any better. Although it's completely free, it's required that you book online and bring an ID with you. The viewing time is limited to an hour and you have to choose your entry time beforehand. but if you want to stay there a bit longer you can grab lunch at the Sky Pod Bar.
The Sky Garden is a great way to see London for free from a bird's perspective.
Relax in Beautiful Regent's Park
If you are looking to spend a few hours breathing in some fresh air surrounded by roses in the center of London, head towards Regent Park. What was once hunting grounds for King Henry VIII, today this London park attracts visitors from all over the world. The park offers a tennis court, beautiful gardens, plenty of wildlife, an artificial lake and is home to the famous London Zoo.
Regent's Park is a great place if you want to get out of the city noise. Have a coffee overlooking the boating lake, take your kids to the park playgrounds or take photos of the gorgeous flowers, ponds, waterfalls and bridges. With so many activities to do and beautiful landscapes to marvel at, visiting Regent's Park is one of the best free things to do in London.
Watch the Changing of the Guard Outside Buckingham Palace
If you have always wanted to take a picture with one of the iconic guards dressed in red uniform with tall bearskin hats standing outside Buckingham Palace, now is the right time. Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays in August and May, and every day at 10.45 am in June and July, except in bad weather.
It is free of charge to watch this 45-minute long traditional changing of the Guard with the New Guard that dates back from Henry VII's reign.
Fun fact: The guards don't even go to the toilet if they need to. They patiently wait for their shift to be over.
Explore Hampstead Heath
There are so many free things you can do in Hampstead Heath, in North London. Start your free walking tour from Parliament Hill where you can get the best views of London all the way to Kenwood House, home to stunning art collections free for you to admire. Have a picnic at the most famous spots at Parliament Hill, or dip your feet in one of the many Hampstead Heath ponds.
This large green space is one of the best and totally free things to visit in London, all year round.
See London's Art Galleries and Museums
There are quite a lot of free art galleries and museums in London that are worth the visit. Check out contemporary artwork in Tate Modern, or a large collection of Western European art in the National Gallery dating from the 13th century. If you want to learn about British art, the British Museum is one of the best to see.
Whether you are traveling alone or with kids, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum are must-sees in London and completely free to enter, but you may have to pay for some of the exhibits.
Browse the Free Markets
While yes, markets and free things don't really go together, one can always save money when not buying anything. But you can also admire the wide selection of choices that London Market's have to offer. If you like your flowers, take a trip to Columbia Road Flower Market. Read more about the fabulous markets in London in our ultimate guide to street food!
For all the gourmands, Borough Market is open from Monday to Saturday, and you can find fresh organic produce and street food from all corners of the world. Borough Market is the largest and the oldest food market in London dating back from the 12th century. Getting there is really easy. Located next to London Bridge Station, it's just a short walk from London Bridge.
Attend a Free Music Event
London is the capital of many things, including music and concerts. While there are many venues that charge really expensive entries, there are some that have free admission. Most of the free concerts and live music happen in places like churches, record shops or theatre foyers and everyone is welcome.
You can enjoy free lunchtime concerts at the Royal Opera House or take in a free concert at St.Martin in the Fields church or attend a choral evensong to get in St. Paul's Cathedral for free. Or enjoy a totally free music event at Southbank Centre or Trafalgar Square.
Enjoy a Free Comedy Show
London is like New York City when it comes to free comedy shows – they are everywhere. But East London is where you will find most of the stand-up comedy acts that are totally free. Comedy Cafe Theatre has been welcoming new talents for 25 years in the New Act Night. This is a free event but you have to book a ticket online if you want to guarantee a spot.
Backyard Comedy Club may not be free, but it is pretty cheap. Located in Kentish Town East London, this is one of the best comedy clubs in London.
Watch a Free Film
If watching a movie in an open-air cinema is one of your favorite things to do, then you are in for a treat! During the summer and holiday seasons, all Londoners and visitors can enjoy free films at various locations in London like Trafalgar Square, Southbank Centre, the British Film Institute and many more!
King’s Cross Summer Love Film Festival is definitely one of the best to visit but you sure you get there early as it's first come first served!
Walk the Tower Bridge for Free and More
With so many great ideas and things to do in London for free, your days and nights will get really busy. If you are feeling energetic, join one of several free walking tours. Browse one of the many independent shops in town or research free museums in London. Head to Paddington Station and take a ride to Hyde Park. There really is much to do in this fantastic city!