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Brooklyn (New York)


Free things to do in London?

This starving artist needs some good ideas for free attractions to visit while I'm there all this summer. This will be my first time in London, so I'm open to anything as long as it's free or close to free! 

10 Answers

top answer by
Mat from London

South Kensington's museums on Exhibition Road are free. Many days can be spent wandering around the following all within a 15 minute walk of each other: the Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Royal College of Art and Royal Geographical Society on Kensington Gore are next to the Royal Albert Hall and have free events and exhibitions- continue your walk into the Hyde Park and the Serpentine Galleryin the park- dip your toes into the Diana Princess Of Wales Memorial Walk, and it is possible to swim on the south side of the Serpentine Lake So bring a towel.......

National Galleries are free... Trafalgar Square has the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery is just behind

Another alternative is to spend a long day or many days wandering along the Thames River- It depends where you start, but you could start outside the Houses of Parliament, cross the river and pass the Millennium Wheel.....carry on to the South Bank Centre....there are usually free summer events going on along the river- (check Time Out magazine) or inside the Royal Festival Hall for music - a food market sometimes sets up behind the Royal Festival Hall- wander down along the river heading towards Tower Bridge

Pass a book market under the bridge outside the BFI Southbank .....before you pop into the Tate Modern you might take a rest with a pint at the Founder's Arms, then check out the Millennium Bridge with St Pauls the other side. Keeping to the south of Father Thames pass Shakespeare's Globe...go on to Borough Market for food (check the days its on) near London Bridge you can of course just keep going....pop into see City Hall (Greater London Authority) the London Mayor's modern building with free exhibits, then on to Tower Bridge. The Tower of London to the north. You can just keep going....there's plenty to see.....The Thames offers a cross section of London's history and variety.  You could pay the river bus fare and go to  Greenwich with its market,  Maritime Greenwich and Observatory and on the way watch the river get wider whilst passing the point the Mayflower set off....

Premier Inn London County Hall HotelThe Bloomsbury HotelEden Plaza Kensington

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. South Kensington (neighborhood)
  2. Victoria & Albert Museum (attraction)
  3. Natural History Museum (attraction)
  4. Science Museum (attraction)
  5. Royal College of Art (attraction)
  6. Royal Geographical Society (attraction)
  7. Royal Albert Hall (attraction)
  8. Hyde Park (attraction)
  9. Serpentine Gallery (attraction)
  10. Diana Princess Of Wales Memorial Walk (attraction)
  11. Serpentine Lake (attraction)
  12. Trafalgar Square (attraction)
  13. National Gallery (attraction)
  14. National Portrait Gallery (attraction)
  15. Thames River (attraction)
  16. South Bank Centre (attraction)
  17. Royal Festival Hall (attraction)
  18. Tower Bridge (attraction)
  19. BFI Southbank (attraction)
  20. Tate Modern (attraction)
  21. Founder's Arms (attraction)
  22. Shakespeare's Globe (attraction)
  23. Borough Market (attraction)
  24. London Bridge (attraction)
  25. City Hall (Greater London Authority) (attraction)
  26. The Thames (restaurant)
  27. Greenwich (attraction)
  28. Maritime Greenwich (attraction)
  29. Premier Inn London County Hall Hotel (hotel)
  30. The Bloomsbury Hotel (hotel)
  31. Eden Plaza Kensington (hotel)
12 thanks

answered first by
Edward from London

There are quite a few ideas in other posts that I have commented on so check them out. But, walk along the Thames, visit The British Museum, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Museum of London Docklands, visit Greenwich (picnic near the observatory for a great view over the city) and Camden Town, check out 'the scoop at more London', often free films and plays in the summer there (it's outdoors). Walk along the Regent's Canal, see the house boats and back of London Zoo. See the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and listen to the weirdos at speakers corner in Hyde Park.

Where are you staying, and when.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The British Museum (attraction)
  2. Science Museum (attraction)
  3. Natural History Museum (attraction)
  4. Museum of London Docklands (attraction)
  5. Greenwich (attraction)
  6. Camden Town (neighborhood)
  7. Regent's Canal (attraction)
  8. London Zoo (attraction)
  9. Buckingham Palace (attraction)
  10. Hyde Park (attraction)
11 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Keith from New York City

I would also be sure to hit up  Borough Market for lunch one day - on one of the side alleys is the street used in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Not too far from the market is the  Tate Modern which is also free (and crowded on the weekends). You can walk along  Thames River from  London Bridge to the Millennium Bridge (other way around in this case. This walk will also take you by the  Globe Theatre which isn't free.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Borough Market (attraction)
  2. Tate Modern (attraction)
  3. Thames River (attraction)
  4. London Bridge (attraction)
  5. Globe Theatre (attraction)
  6. Millennium Bridge (attraction)
9 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Ryan from London

A few great galleries apart from the obvious Tate are the Serpentine Gallery and Whitechapel Gallery. Also take a stroll through Shoreditch, Broadway Market and once acclimatised to the London rhythm check out Dalston and Peckham. The BFI Southbank at south bank can be fun, you can browse through a collection of popular and obscure cinema in a private booth for free.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Serpentine Gallery (attraction)
  2. Whitechapel Gallery (attraction)
  3. Shoreditch (neighborhood)
  4. Dalston (attraction)
  5. Peckham (attraction)
  6. BFI Southbank (attraction)
  7. Broadway Market (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Michael from Brisbane

Grab some of the local "What's On" type guides (been a few years and I can't remember any names) - they tend to be in coffee shops, book shops, etc. You'll find most have a section devoted to local art shows, some guides are just about art shows. As well as the usual big name type places you will find a lot of smaller private galleries (usually in an old home now devoted to the art collection of some dead earl or similar) - these have mainly traditional works - including some by the big names. Usually they are pretty empty of others because people just don't know about them.

What is even more fun are the dozens and dozens of smaller student run or new artist spaces. These may be in old shops warehouses, etc that may be just there for the exhibition, or may be permanent artist spaces. Some of these exhibitions are in obscure little corners (cheap rent) others just temporarily set up in more prominent locations. Obviously there won't be the big names, but you will find some incredible new art of all kinds.

Here's the other great thing - you will get to explore all over London! You could easily to 2 or 3 galleries a day, every day of the year, always seeing something new.

It truly is a great way to explore, find some great art, meet new people (they have the time to talk with you, and usually want to)... all for the price of bus fares.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
4 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Jacqui from London

Hi Gerald, 

Most museums are free in London. For other free or budget things to do in London:

Things to know before visiting London:

Have fun! 


3 thanks

answered by
Andrea from Ottawa

Go to a play at the Open Air Theatre in The Regent's Park! Ticket prices are reasonable, great shows...and you can BYOB!:)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Regent's Park (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Krista from London

I would focus on markets! Borough Market for food on a Saturday, Columbia Road Flower Market for flowers and atmosphere on a Sunday, Brick Lane Market on a Sunday for people watching. All of this is free!! London is a great city for walking.

You might also consider London Walks for very inexpensive walking tours of London. Not free, but a very good value. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Borough Market (attraction)
  2. Columbia Road Flower Market (attraction)
  3. Brick Lane Market (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Simon from London

London has so much fantastic architecture and sites its great just to walk around. I could name loads but around Trafalgar Square is a great place to start - there's so much nearby. 

Then of course most of the galleries and museums are free entry so whether you're into art or history, science or nature there's lots to do.

Rather than take the underground (subway) either walk or take the bus - you'll see so much more. Get a 1 day travel card and hop on, hop off and use the underground system - better value than the electronic oyster card system

Well, that's a start!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. London (city)
  2. Trafalgar Square (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Tom from San Francisco

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Nelson's Column (attraction)
1 thanks

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