Looking for free things to do in London? You’re in luck! London has so many free things to do that could fill your entire itinerary.
Let’s face it — London is not a cheap city to visit. Luckily, there are a ton of free things to do in London. You could base your whole trip off of going to see the free sights, and you would still have seen most of the best of London.
I love London, and I love saving money, so I put together this list of the best things to do in London for free based off my many trips to the city. So put away your wallet, and let’s get exploring London on a budget!
Best Free Things to Do in London
1. Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Experience the ceremonial Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
While the palace itself is unfortunately not free to tour the inside of, you can watch the royal revelry as the Queen’s Old Guard is replaced with the New Guard with 30 minutes of fanfare, cavalry, rifles, and marching.
2. Westminster Cathedral
Hidden off the normal tourist route, Westminster Cathedral is the largest Catholic church building in England and Wales, with a bell tower so tall and a façade so striking you won’t believe most people miss it.
It is free to enter Westminster Cathedral, but going up the 210 foot tall bell tower will cost you.
3. British Museum
This art and history museum has one of the largest private collections in the world.
At the British Museum, you can see ancient artifacts like the Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, and a kinda ridiculous bust of Caesar Augustus that I’ve taken a picture with every time I’ve gone to the museum.
4. National Gallery, London
There’s a lot to see, so make sure you give yourself enough time to peruse the entire collection.
5. National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery is exactly what it sounds like — an art museum of famous portraits. When it opened in 1856, it was the first portrait gallery in the world.
Located in Trafalgar Square right behind the National Gallery, the museum showcases portraits of Britain’s most famous residents. The portraits are chosen by fame of the sitter rather than the painter, so not all are spectacular paintings, but subjects range from the monarchy to poets.
6. Tate Modern
If you haven’t had enough art museums yet, Tate Modern on the south bank of the Thames has free admission to its international modern and contemporary art collections.
The museum explores themes in modern art such as the “artist and society”, performance and participant art, and “living cities.”
7. St James’ Park
This 57 acres of rolling green park space is completely covered with people out sunning and picnicking on a glorious sunny spring or summer day in London.
St James’s Park is part of a chain of Royal Parks that is within a short walking distance from Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, St James’s Palace, and Buckingham Palace.
8. Hyde Park
The largest of the Royal Parks chain in the city, Hyde Park sits right in the heart of London with easy access to Kensington Palace, Marble Arch, and the Buckingham Palace Gardens.
The 350 acres of land holds the Serpentine Lido, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, and plenty of statues and sculptures to find.
9. Marble Arch
Originally designed to be a state entrance for Buckingham Palace, Marble Arch sits on a traffic island off of the northeast side of Hyde Park.
10. Platform 9 3/4
Because of the popularity of the site, there is now a Harry Potter shop right next to it that sells VIP photo packages where you can skip the line and have a professional photo taken, but you don’t have to do this. You can simply wait in line and have a friend or other person in line take a picture of you on your way to Hogwarts.
11. Paddington Bear Statue
Paddington Bear arrived in London from Darkest Peru at Paddington Station, where Mr. and Mrs. Brown found him, gave him his name, and took him home.
You’ll find the Paddington Bear statue right where he got off the train, sitting under the clock tower at Platform 1.
More Free Things to Do in London
12. Visit the Roman temple of Mithras at the London Mithraeum
13. Visit the gorgeous Barbican Conservatory
14. Immerse yourself in the street art of Shoreditch
15. Stroll through Leadenhall Market
16. Tour Somerset House
17. Attend a debate at the Public Galleries in the Houses of Parliament
18. Peruse Borough Market
19. See the street art of the Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel
20. Visit the Chapel of St Peter & Paul at the Old Naval College in Greenwich
21. Visit the Queen’s House in Greenwich
22. Visit the National Maritime Museum
23. Tour Fulham Palace
24. Take a walk through Brompton Cemetery
25. Tour the Kenwood House
26. See the Harry Potter designs at the House of Minalima
27. Visit the Petrie Museum of ancient Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology
28. Visit the Natural History Museum
29. Explore the Design Museum
30. See the Crystal Palace dinosaurs
31. Go for a walk at Hampstead Heath
32. Find serenity in the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park
33. See the curiosities at the Hunterian Museum
34. Explore the William Morris Gallery
35. Visit the Victoria & Albert Museum
36. Enjoy the views of London at Sky Garden
37. Learn about currency at the Bank of England Museum
Yep, all of this is free!
Also, keep in mind that everything is free if you just look at it from the outside — that’s what Kevin and I did on one of our days in London. You can see a two day itinerary of some of the top London sights here, all of which you can experience just as well from the outside.
Free Things to Do in London Map
Ready to explore all these free things to do in London? Use the map below to plan out your budget vacation!
I hope you enjoy all these free London things to do!
Save on London’s Top Attractions
Want to save big on London’s top attractions? With the Go City London attraction pass, you can save up to 55% on the cost of entrance tickets to museums, tours, and attractions all around the city!
Visit bucket list attractions, enjoy top tours, and discover hidden gems handpicked by local experts. With one price and one pass, you have everything you need right on your phone. This is the perfect companion for all these free things to do in London!
Top London Tours
With so much to see, London can be overwhelming for any first-time traveler. To take some of the stress out of planning your visit, opt for a guided tour! Check out this list of the top London tours to help you make the most of your time in this iconic British city.
- Tour for Muggles
- Small-Group Tour: Historical Pub Walking Tour of London
- Jack the Ripper Tour with ‘Ripper-Vision’ in London
The Best Budget Places To Stay in London
A budget London guide isn’t complete without some cheap accommodations. Take a look at these top budget hotels in London:
And for more cheap places to stay, check out these websites:
- Compare London hotel prices at Booking.com and TripAdvisor.
- Find cheap London vacation rentals on VRBO.
More London Travel Tips
See more of what London, England has to offer with these fantastic itineraries:
- A Self-Guided WWII History Tour of London, England
- 5 Pubs in London’s Pimlico Neighborhood
- Where to Eat in London, England
- 10 Incredible Day Trips from London, England
Ready to visit London, England? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in London using Booking.com.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
- Get a Guide Book: Check out the guide books from Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, or Rick Steves for in depth info about traveling to London.
- Save on Attractions: Save up to 55% on admission to London’s top attractions using the Go City London pass.
What are your favorite free things to do in London, England? Let me know in the comments!