101 free things to do in London

Save money with the top places to visit in London for free. From top free attractions to cost-free concerts, London has plenty of things to do for free.
Written by Visit London Editors 24 May 2024
People walking through the Great Court at the British Museum in London on a sunny day
The British Museum is one of the many free museums in London. © visitlondon.com/Jon Reid.

Whether you want to explore the best free attractions in London or simply want to find places to visit in London for free, keep the price of your trip low with these 101 fabulous London freebies.

Free museums in London

  1. See the Rosetta Stone and ancient artefacts from around the world at the British Museum.
  2. Come face-to-face with a roaring T-Rex and experience the earthquake simulator at the Natural History Museum.
  3. Examine treasures at Sir John Soane's Museum, a 19th-century townhouse.
  4. Find out about the history of British currency at the Bank of England Museum.
  5. Immerse yourself in royal history as you admire an extensive art collection of royal portraits at Queen's House.
  6. Be inspired by the beautiful objects on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  7. Learn about the history of the river Thames at the Museum of London Docklands.
  8. Get educated on national LGBTQ+ culture at Queer Britain, with artefacts spanning more than 100 years of history. 
  9. Discover the life and works of one of Britain’s most inspiring designers at the William Morris Gallery.
  10. Journey through Britain's naval history at the National Maritime Museum

Find more free museums in London.

Enjoy London park life for free

A grazing deer in Richmond park with view of London behind it

  1. Go deer-spotting in beautiful Richmond Park.
  2. Climb to the top of Greenwich Park for stunning views of the city skyline and a row of cherry blossoms in the spring.
  3. Wander the 200 acres (81 hectares) of gorgeous Battersea Park, which features a stunning pergola, a lake, riverside walks, a children's zoo and play areas.
  4. Bliss out in Bushy Park, home to hundreds of free-roaming deer.
  5. Burn off some calories by jogging around Hyde Park, which covers 350 acres (142 hectares).
  6. See the Peter Pan statue at Kensington Gardens.
  7. Watch the pelicans being fed every day at 2.30pm at St James's Park.

Unusual free attractions 

  1. Marvel at the Jar of Moles at the Grant Museum of Zoology.
  2. Be dazzled by the exhibits – including a Spitfire and a Harrier fighter jet – on display at the Imperial War Museum.
  3. Spot the gigantic overstuffed walrus at the Horniman Museum.
  4. See the world's oldest dinosaur sculptures at Crystal Palace Park.
  5. Examine exhibitions spanning art, health and science at the Science Gallery London.
  6. Visit the Wellcome Collection to see fascinating exhibits about health and medicine.
  7. Push a trolley into Harry Potter's magical world at the wall marked Platform 9¾ at King's Cross
  8. Immerse yourself in the virtual world of Outernet London, which puts on regular arts, sports and music events.

Free things to do in London with kids

Front of colourful buildings at Neal's Yard

  1. Let teens fill up their social feeds with colourful photos at Instagrammers' hotspot Neal's Yard.
  2. Ride the singing lift at Royal Festival Hall.
  3. Watch street entertainers at Covent Garden.
  4. Marvel at mind-blowing creations from the famous plastic bricks at The LEGO Store on Leicester Square.
  5. Follow in the wizarding trail of Harry Potter at filming location Leadenhall Market.
  6. Watch skateboarders perform gravity-defying tricks at the Southbank Centre Undercroft.
  7. Check out acts by performers along the South Bank. Dancers, musicians and bubble shows often happen outside Tate Modern and near the London Eye.
  8. Let the little ones be pirates for the day on Captain Hook's huge wooden ship at the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.
  9. Splash in rock pools and balance on wobbly bridges at Tumbling Bay playground
  10. Meet ferrets, bunnies, alpacas and more farm animals at Vauxhall City Farm and Mudchute Farm and Park.
  11. See amazing exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command capsule, at the Science Museum.

Free attractions in London

Guards in traditional dress form an orderly parade down the road during Changing the Guard

  1. Watch the Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.
  2. Take a selfie in front of the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus.
  3. Spot celebs at the latest red-carpet film premiere at Leicester Square.
  4. Be amazed by the ornate arches and pagodas in Chinatown, home to lots of low-cost eateries and Asian supermarkets.
  5. Hunt down permanent light installations around Carnaby, including one work made from 51 oversized light bulbs.
  6. Follow in the footsteps of The Beatles by crossing the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing that's featured on the eponymous album cover.
  7. Check the calendar to find out when to watch Tower Bridge open for large boats.
  8. Meet the stone lions at Trafalgar Square.
  9. Roam around The Line, a public art walk exploring nature and heritage that connects Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2.
  10. Paddle in the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, made from 545 pieces of Cornish granite.
  11. Observe a case at the Supreme Court, the UK’s final court of appeal.

London's unusual cultural activities for free

Man walking in front of street art of a giant cartoon style sumo wrestler

  1. Scout out blue plaques across London, linking people of the past with buildings of the present. There are more than 1,000 in the capital!
  2. Track down the best places to see street art in London, including works by Banksy and Insta-worthy pieces in the Leake Street Arches
  3. Feast your eyes on literary treasures, such as the Magna Carta and lyrics by The Beatles, at the British Library.

Best London walks

  1. Walk along the picture-pretty South Bank.
  2. Follow the path along Regent's Canal to tranquil Little Venice to discover a slew of waterfront cafes and pubs.
  3. Join a fascinating free London walking tour
  4. Stroll through the lush riverside borough of Richmond. Start at the White Cross pub and continue past the rural idyll of Petersham Meadows until you reach Ham House.
  5. Escape the city in the ancient woodland of Highgate Wood.
  6. Spot rare plants and insects in Epping Forest.
  7. See London's bridges lit up as part of the Illuminated River art installation.

Fantastic views of London for free

  1. Find some of the best views of the capital from the heady heights of the Sky Garden or nearby The Garden at 120, both in the City of London.
  2. Wander around picturesque Regent's Park towards Primrose Hill, which offers striking views across the capital.
  3. Stroll to the top of Hampstead Heath's Parliament Hill for marvellous vistas across London.
  4. See the city from elevated free public viewing galleries at One New Change and Oxo Tower.
  5. Get snapping with this guide to London's best 10 photo spots.

Free gardens

People sitting and relaxing in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Gardens on a sunny day.

  1. Chill out in the Barbican Conservatory, alive with tropical plants, trees and fish, on select days throughout the year.
  2. Venture up the yellow spiral staircase to Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden for river views and drinks among wild flowers.
  3. Take some time out at the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Garden, which boasts more than 3,300 species of flora and fauna, and a dinosaur sculpture!
  4. Feel at peace in the Kyoto Japanese Garden in Holland Park.
  5. Take a look at the Watts Victorian memorial in Postman's Park, where acts of heroism are marked.
  6. Flower enthusiasts can soak up the floral colours and aromas of Columbia Road Flower Market.
  7. Explore the magical ruins of a church bombed in the Blitz in the pretty St Dunstan in the East gardens. 
  8. Stroll through the stunning botanical garden at Fulham Palace to admire rare and beautiful plants and the walled garden.

Free art galleries in London

Two people looking at paintings in the red-painted halls of the National Gallery.

  1. Discover art by world greats, including Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Turner and Van Gogh at the National Gallery.
  2. Take a journey through the history of British art from 1500 to the present day at Tate Britain.
  3. Check out the Royal Academy of Arts' free collections of artworks, sculptures and statues.
  4. Admire more contemporary masterpieces by the likes of Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock and Warhol at Tate Modern.
  5. Marvel at the Pre-Raphaelites and study paintings of London from the 17th century at the Guildhall Art Gallery
  6. Notice how The Laughing Cavalier's eyes appear to follow you around the room in the famous Frans Hals painting at the Wallace Collection.
  7. Dive into another world of contemporary art at Saatchi Gallery.

Free live music in London

Man and woman sing whilst playing guitar illuminated by red lights at The Troubadour

  1. Dance to the sound of free jazz at weekly nights around London, from venues including The TroubadourGrow HackneyThe Junction and Night Tales Loft.
  2. Bag a spot at one of Southbank Centre's regular free musical performances in the Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall.
  3. See opera for free as part of the Royal Opera House's Live at Lunch concerts.
  4. See accomplished musicians performing at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music.
  5. Discover free lunchtime concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields church.
  6. Search for records old and new at Rough Trade, which frequently puts on free live music events and signings.

Free historic London attractions

People sharing a picnic on the lawn in front of Kenwood House on a bright sunny day

  1. Discover historic treasures and rarely seen artefacts at the City of London Heritage Gallery.
  2. Light a candle and take in the beauty of Westminster Cathedral, which dates back to 1903.
  3. Explore Kenwood House, a stunning stately home designed by 18th-century Scottish architect Robert Adam on the edge of Hampstead Heath. 
  4. View the London Wall, the remnant of the Roman wall which was built in AD 200 and once formed part of the eastern defences of Roman Londinium.
  5. Check out more Roman ruins and artefacts at the London Mithraeum, an ancient temple that was left untouched for centuries.

Free festivals and seasonal events in London

A group of brightly dressed dancers perform on a stage in front of crowds in Trafalgar Square during Chinese New Year in London

  1. Celebrate Chinese New Year in London's Chinatown, the biggest celebrations outside Asia.
  2. Explore more cultural highlights from across the globe with festivals on Trafalgar Square, including ChanukahDiwali and Eid.
  3. Enjoy plenty of pomp and pageantry at one of London's free parades, such as the Lord Mayor's ShowNew Year's Day Parade and State Opening of Parliament.
  4. Join revellers at Notting Hill Carnival, London's biggest street festival.
  5. Soak up the action at the month-long Totally Thames festival.
  6. Join the party at the colourful Pride in London parade, celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community.
  7. See the lively St Patrick's Day parade wind through the streets of central London.
  8. Brighten up winter nights with light installations around Southbank Centre and Canary Wharf.
  9. Get into the festive spirit with Christmas installations around the city, featuring iconic Christmas trees and wonderful Christmas lights.

Fun free summer activities

Girl looks at vintage items at a stall during Spitalfields Antique Market

  1. Relax in the sunshine while listening to talented artists at a free London music festival.
  2. Watch the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships on one of the free big screens around the city.
  3. Hear some free speech as London's most vocal orators share their opinions at Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park.
  4. Wander around one of London's buzzy markets that offer everything from world cuisine to vintage clothing, art, flowers and trinkets.

Check out this budget guide for cheap things to do in London, or discover some of the best free attractions in London as well as top tips on how to save money on a London visit.

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