What are the cheap attractions in London
Free Attractions in London - Top 30
London is considered one of the most attractive travel destinations in the world, although the city is far from cheap. No wonder, before their trip to London, many worry that they will lose more pounds in the British metropolis than they would like. Your trip doesn't have to be expensive. There are a lot of things in London that are free. We have written down for you what you can do in the city to save your wallet. With this list in your pocket, you can get the most out of your trip on a budget!
More ideas for your London trip
30 things you can do for free in London
In the overview you get a first impression of the free attractions in London, which I present to you in this text. Whether child or senior, indoors or outdoors, cozy or adventure - here are 30 free activities for every taste!
Low-budget in London: experience the sights for free
Prepare yourself for a long text. I have tried very hard to gather as many options as possible for you so that you can get the most out of your trip without becoming impoverished. You can experience a lot of things in London for free. Some of these activities are on every London traveler's bucket list, others are a nice extra - but read for yourself!
1. Visit London's free museums
Of course, it's number one on the list: London's museums are among the most important in the world. The collections are fantastic! Whether you prefer to see the mummies in the British Museum, learn about the world of dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum or watch the moon in the Science Museum - admission is free!
This also applies to the fantastic exhibitions at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the National Gallery. For us, the fact that London's museums are free is one of the things that make the city so great! If you want to know which museums you can see what and which ones are our favorites, then take a look at our museum article.
LONDON'S BEST MUSEUMS
2. Stop at Harry Potter Railway Track 9 3/4 in King’s Cross
With the Harry Potter films, King’s Cross station got a lot of wind, because there you will find the famous platform 9 3/4. The spot is particularly popular with young travelers and film lovers. In the train station you will find the typical luggage cart that disappears into the wall like in the film. To take a picture there, you don't even need a train ticket, just a little time.
A little tip from me: When you arrive, you will immediately see the queue. There is also a professional photographer on site to take pictures. Don't let that confuse you, you can take photos yourself at the same time. You only have to buy the professional picture in the store if you really like it. King’s Cross platform isn't the only Harry Potter spot you can discover for free in London, but it's definitely the most popular! You can read about which places Potterheads should visit in our big guide.
GREAT HARRY POTTER GUIDE
3. Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
The Royals give London a special charm! After all, Buckingham Palace is her home and many royal activities take place in the metropolis. A great way to get a bit of the royal flair is the changing of the guard at the palace. It's one of the top things to do in London that is free. You can see Changing the Guard in London every day in summer and every other day in winter. The ritual is only canceled once if the weather is too bad. However, if you want to be there, you should be there early. The changing of the guard is a spectacle that always attracts huge numbers of tourists. In short: there is often a scramble in front of the palace. If you want to get hold of a nice place with a good view, I recommend that you arrive on site about an hour earlier, i.e. around 10 a.m. The official start time is 11 a.m., but the march usually starts 15 minutes earlier.
DETAILS ON CHANGING THE GUARD
4. Strolling in London's parks
Believe it or not, London is an incredibly green city! This is mainly due to the beautiful parks. In my opinion, a park excursion should be on the bucket list of your visit. And of course the walks in the green areas are not only super relaxing, but also free. In many of the parks you will find great swimming areas, meadows for picnicking and one or the other landmark!
The most popular parks include James’s Park across from Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens and Greenwich Park, through which the famous Zero Meridian runs.
The most beautiful parks in London
5. Tower Bridge observation spot with the London skyline at the back
Tower Bridge is one of London's most impressive monuments. Your crossing costs absolutely nothing! So you can take a leisurely stroll over them and enjoy the view of the Tower of London, the City Hall and the backdrop of the city! For me, by the way, the best time to take a walk like this is always when the sun goes down. For me there is hardly anything better than watching the sun go down behind The Shard from Tower Bridge. The water of the Thames reflects the colors of the evening - fantastic!
MORE ABOUT TOWER BRIDGE LONDON
6. London's Markets
London is and will remain a city of markets. They are available in abundance and in many different designs, from food markets to flea markets. A foray is of course free. However, then you have to take yourselves together. And that is often really difficult for me, for example. I love to stroll through the stalls and look at the many treasures, often enough I find something that I absolutely (not) need at the moment. But I never regret the purchase!
The most famous flea market in London is probably Camden Market. If you have the chance, go there during the week. At the weekend it is often bursting at the seams in front of people. Go to Brick Lane Market on Sundays instead. It's one of my all-time favorites. Or to Notting Hill on Portobello Road or ... oh, you can see. The decision is not easy!
THE BEST MARKETS OF LONDON
7. Illuminated Piccadilly Circus at night
Piccadilly Circus is one of the most visited places in London. The square is roughly what Times Square is in New York. If you are in central London, you will inevitably pass him at some point. I would advise you to make a detour to Piccadilly Circus after dark, because it only shines in its full glory in the dark, when the neon signs really come into their own. Piccadilly Circus is one of the main meeting places in London. The atmosphere on site is fantastic! By the way: Many only come here to take pictures of the world-famous billboards and then move on quickly - in my opinion, they miss the best! I highly recommend taking a stroll from Regent Street to Oxford Circus!
8. Enjoy the view from the Tate Modern
The Tate Modern is one of the most prestigious museums in the world and, as already mentioned, the permanent exhibition does not cost any admission. But what many do not know: there is a fantastic vantage point with a panoramic view on the 10th floor of the building. From there you have a phenomenal view of the skyscrapers of the City of London, St. Paul's Cathedral and The Shard. Sure, it's not the absolute best view of London, the building's chimney covers part of it, but - I repeat myself - access is free and therefore a great opportunity to get a great perspective of the city without digging deep into your pocket to have to. For me, visiting the Tate Modern is one of the best things you can do in London for free! For the view, it's best to climb into one of the elevators. But be careful: not all elevators go all the way up!
9. Relax in the Crossrail Place Roof Garden
The Isle of Dogs is treated rather neglected by many travelers to London and simply excluded from their visit. There are some really interesting things to see in the area to the east. Not only does the financial district have a really great skyline (yes, I can't get enough of the views of the city!), You will also find an exciting museum at the docks. You can also get in there for free!
Personally, however, the Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf blew my mind the most. As the name suggests, it is a garden that was built over the subway station, so to speak. The great thing about the garden is that it is - ok, that sounds cheesy - an oasis of peace. In the middle of bustling London, you can really switch off there. There are also pianos that can be played by anyone. Make sure to stop by the garden when you're around!
10. Explore Big Ben and Parliament
There is no getting around Big Ben in London. Its chime sets the tone on the Thames. Every child knows its melody and you can experience its sound for free on your trip to London! And you should definitely take a photo of England's most famous church clock home with you! Unfortunately, you are not allowed to go up the famous bell tower. This is a shame because you would certainly have an excellent view of the city from up there, but it is important to preserve the building.
!!! Danger: Unfortunately, I have to tell you that Big Ben is currently being restored. This is absolutely necessary, because the tower has gotten quite lopsided in recent years due to floor vibrations. So you only see Ben scaffolded at the moment. However, the measures are expected to be completed in 2021. Nevertheless: a flying visit to the imposing parliament building is always worthwhile. And that can even be visited from the inside! You can choose between different tours. You can book the parliament tour with audio guide on the official website. But there are also more exclusive guided tours.
OUR GUIDE TO BIG BEN
11. London window shopping
London is a fashion city! Many big brands have a shop in London, so the city is also fantastic for shopping. But even if the march through the department stores doesn't fit your idea of vacation, a stroll through the shop windows of London is always fun! Take a stroll down Bond Street and let yourself be impressed by the luxury products in the shop windows. And at Christmas time you should definitely not ignore the magnificently decorated shop windows in the main shopping streets of Regent and Oxford Street. There is a shop for just about every taste in central London. And after all, just looking doesn't cost anything!
Our guide to shopping in London
12. Look out over London from the Sky Garden
The Sky Garden in the Walkie-Talkie building is another highlight in the list of things you can discover for free in London. The highest garden in the city is a wonderful place to take a deep breath. In addition, from the Francis Golding Terrace on the 35th floor you have a phenomenal, if not the best, view of the city and The Shard.
Admission is free, but you have to register online beforehand on the official Sky Garden website and reserve a period of time for your visit. Don't forget to stop by one of the two bars when you're inside!
13. Walk on the south bank of the Thames
We love to explore the city on foot and always discover new corners. London is great for walking. One of my favorite walks in London is the South Bank Promenade, which leads from Lambeth via the South Bank Center to the Oxo Tower.
So you get to see a lot of spots along the way that you would otherwise not be able to miss. You have to plan about two hours for the route.
More on Bankside & South Bank
14. Walk among the ruins of St. Dunsten
Recently the ruins of the old church in central London have been turned into a beautiful city garden! In autumn, when the garden is wrapped in red-orange colors, the area invites you to relax on the benches. On a long day of sightseeing, you can take a break in the ruins and regain your strength! Many Londoners come to the ruins on their lunch break, have a small snack in the fresh air or read a little. Not infrequently you can also watch photo shoots on site!
15. East London is a free street art gallery
As you know, we love East London and especially Shoreditch, Brick Lane and Spitalfields. The whole area is a huge open-air gallery, with works of art on almost every wall. Nowhere else in the city do you get to see as much of the street art scene as there. Up-and-coming artists painted there as well as the greats of the scene. Even Banksy was immortalized there. Many of the great pictures are hard to find for people who are not familiar with the area. We are therefore big fans of guided tours. With these you not only make sure that you don't miss the best, you also learn a lot about the artist. With or without a tour - for us, walks through the street art hotspots are part of every trip. We love to discover new works in London (for free). And because it's a short-lived art movement, some pictures are only on the walls for a few hours before being painted over by another artist, there is always something new to see!
Street art guide
16. Public Viewing: Follow sporting events live
The British love to watch the big sporting events in the midst of many people! In the summer months, huge screens are set up in markets, squares and parks all over the city for this purpose. It is an experience to see a Wimbledon match, a stage of the Tour de France or the final of the cricket league in the midst of the sport-crazy British. When the weather is nice, just grab a cool drink and sit down! You will see how easy it is and how fun it is to talk to the Londoners.
17. Let yourself drift in Little Venice and on Regent’s Canal
We had to pinch ourselves on our first visit to Little Venice because we couldn't believe that this green idyll in the middle of London actually existed. If you are reasonably good on your feet and the weather cooperates, then you have to, have to, you just have to make a detour to London's little Venice! The promenade from Little Venice along the banks of Regent’s Canal to Camden Market is one of the most beautiful of all, after all, the name of the area is no coincidence. With its watercourses, bridges and boats, thoughts of the Italian Venice can arise. If you approach the whole route, you will also cross Regent’s Park and with a little luck you might catch a glimpse of the animals in the zoo.
The whole tour is of course free of charge. The danger lurks only at the end point: Camden Market. There you can put the icing on the cake for your walk, which takes about two hours. However, it is very unlikely that you will leave the market without buying at least a little something at the many stalls! Camden Market is the largest and most popular in town for a reason!
More about Camden Market
18. Be amazed by the street performers in Covent Garden
Covent Garden is one of the most popular neighborhoods in London. This is mainly due to the huge concentration of shops, restaurants and bars. In the heart of the district you will find the Covent Garden Market. The shopping center used to be an old market hall and is a real eye-catcher! Make sure to check it out if you're in the area! The building is always very lovingly decorated, appropriate for the holidays and the seasons. That never makes the visits boring.
What makes Covent Garden Market really unique are the many street performers who use the site as a stage. Musicians, singers, magicians, trapeze artists, dancers, comedians ... you can see great shows at Covent Garden Market - for free. (Well, we don't include the donation in the hat!)
More about Covent Garden Market
19. Explore the Far East in Chinatown
Well. I know Chinatown is not for everyone. But I just can't help myself and send you over there anyway! Every time I stroll through Chinatown, I feel beamed into a different country, the atmosphere is great and there is something to discover around every corner. The area is well laid out and only covers a few blocks, but for me a tour of Chinatown is one of the best things you can do for free in London.
Chinese lanterns hang everywhere, the doors are made in the traditional style and the artistic Chinese gates are fascinating anyway. When you have a few groschen to spare, treat yourself to a meal in one of the many Chinese restaurants - they are among the best of their kind-
Our CHINATOWN GUIDE
20thSee the Magna Carta at the British Library with your own eyes
The famous British Library can be found in King’s Cross, just five minutes from the train station of the same name. The exhibitions in the premises are not only interesting for literature lovers! The library's treasury includes Jane Austen's desk and many, many manuscripts by British authors. One of the most important pieces is the famous Magna Carta, on display in the British Library and accessible free of charge.
21. Discover hundreds of plants at the Barbican Conservatory
The Barbican Observatory is London's second largest botanical garden with more than 2000 species of tropical plants and trees. What is exciting is that it is at home in the Barbican Center, a cultural center in the heart of the City of London. Unfortunately you cannot visit the small jungle every day. Visiting the winter garden is free. From time to time specials like a tea time in the jungle are offered.
Unfortunately, the Barbican Observatory only opens its doors on selected Saturdays and Sundays. You can always find out exactly which one on the official website of the Barbican Center. The dates are always two months in advance.
22. Events in Trafalgar Square
Street festivals are a fixture in London city life. Even if the events start at very different locations in the center, Trafalgar Square is usually a meeting point with stages, food stalls and more. The most popular events include the Chinese New Year celebrations, St. Patrick’s Day, London Pride and the West End Music Festival.
23. Take a photo of Neal’s yard
Just minutes from Covent Garden Market is one of London's most photogenic places: Neal’s Yard. The square is lined with Tudor-style houses. The cafés and restaurants on the square are great places to stop. In addition, it is not far from there to Seven Dials, where you can stroll through the beautiful boutiques.
24. Knock on the door of the Harry Potter pub "Zum Lippenden Kessel"
Leadenhall Market is one of the special features of London. Hidden in the middle of the City of London, you have to look a little closer to discover this pretty little market. The fantastic classical architecture creates a very special atmosphere. Parts of Harry Potter films were shot in this setting. Among other things, you can discover the shop there that became the entrance to the pub in the first Potter film, "Zum Lippenden Kessel".
In the meantime, Leadenhall Market is mainly home to restaurants and pubs. But even if you don't want to take advantage of the gastronomic offer, you will be amazed by the architectural beauty of the place. The building forms a fabulous contrast to the modern buildings in London's financial center.
More about the City of London
25. Visit London's new observation deck
A few months ago, there was an increase in the number of viewpoints in London. “The Garden at 120” on the 15th floor of the Fen Court Office block aims to compete with the Sky Garden. Of course, the view is not quite close (admittedly, that is also difficult), but admission is free and the queues are much shorter than in the Sky Garden. The view of the city center is nice and if the weather cooperates, you can relax a little outside!
26. Stop by the floating park in the Paddington Basin
Just a few meters from Paddington Station and a five-minute walk from Little Venice, he finds the in-spot Paddington Basin. Since it has been greatly upgraded there, the area around the water basin has become one of the favorite excursion destinations for Londoners. Many nice cafes and restaurants have settled along the shore. The bascule bridge and the small floating park in the Paddington Basin are particularly charming. When the weather is good, the green space is often full of people reading, drinking a café or just watching the activity on the water.
Our guide to Paddington
27. Indulge in luxury in the Harrods department store
Harrods has a name like Donnerhall. The luxury department store is a must-see and one of the most visited places in London. The department store is huge and unites a huge, exclusive range under one roof. The impressive interior design and the Hall of Fame on the third floor alone are worth a visit. If your heart beats for good food, then you are in the right place in the Food Halls of Harrods. Of course, you don't have to pay an entrance fee to get into the department store!
28. Have a coffee on the steps of Granary Square Square
Of all the many things that are free in London, there are few that I really do regularly, but that’s part of it: I sit on the steps of Granary Square and stretch my legs. I like King’s Cross incredibly, and a little more since they built coal drop yards. Whenever I'm there, I always go to Redemption Roasters first, get myself a coffee, sit on the artificial turf stairs and enjoy the view of the canal!
29. Discover the pirate ship on the waterfront
If you've been walking around a bit in London, sooner or later you'll end up in Bankside. Be sure to keep your eyes open there, because at some point you will pass the Golden Hinde, the first British ship to circumnavigate the world under the command of Sir Francis Drake. So you can admire a real pirate ship in central London for free!
30. Cross the Prime Meridian in Greenwich
Greenwich Park is always worth a visit! Even if it's just to cross the time zone. The zero meridian runs in the park! You will also find the Royal Observatory in the park and a really neat antique market in the center of Greenwich.
Our Greenwich Guide
More savings tips for your trip to London
You now know which places you can visit without having to pay any money. If you want to find out more tricks on how to make ends meet in London cheaply, then take a look at the following article.
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