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Things To Do In London For Free

By Edited Oct 18, 2016 3 2

British Museum

British Museum

As Samuel Johnson said ‘…when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

You can visit London and stay for a month and you still would have not appreciated all that London has to offer.

To help you with the decision of what not to miss, here are some of the free options you should consider.

MUSEUMS

All the below museums have a free entry, although a donation is recommended, if you can afford it. 

British Museum

Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG

One of the greatest museums in the world, the British Museum exhibits over two million years of human history and culture.

Millions of visitors every year, admire remarkable collections and world-famous artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures and the second most comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities including of course the mummies. 

National Gallery

Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN 

A beautiful building in an extraordinary location right in Trafalgar Square.

This magnificent gallery displays some of the world's finest and greatest European masterpieces, by some of the most important painters ever existed, including Van Gogh, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso and many more.

Natural History Museum

Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD 

A vast range of exciting and interactive exhibitions, in one of London’s most beautiful landmark and work of art building, built by architect Alfred Waterhouse and opened in 1881. The Museum offers a range of fun and engaging activities designed to appeal to, all members of the family.

The Natural History museum is an internationally important centre of research and famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons amongst 70 million other items displayed within five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. 

 

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Science Museum

Exhibition Road, SW7 2DD 

Great collections of diverse scientific and engineering artefacts displayed among the 5 floors. Children will love the interactive touch and feel experience, especially the Launch Pad area.

There is also an IMAX theatre inside, which is great, but you need to pay for the ticket (often there are offers associated with this attraction).

Museum of London

150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN 

A hidden gem and a well laid out museum that shows the complete history of this greatest city and its people and how it has developed over the years, from prehistoric times to the present day.

Tate Britain

Millbank, SW1P 4RG 

Located on Millbank Road in Westminster, the recently refurbished Tate Britain contains one of the largest collections of British historic and contemporary art in the world from 16th century to the present day.

Tate Modern

Bankside, SE1 9TG 

Located along the Thames in what used to be a vast power plant, Tate Modern is an intriguing contemporary art museum with work by Picasso, Rothko, Dali and Matisse.

Make sure you stop at the cafe for a great view of the city and browse the gift shops for inexpensive souvenirs.

V&A Museum of Childhood

Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA 

The V&A Museum of Childhood is not only for children, adults will also enjoy re-living fond memories of their childhood fun times. Located in London's Bethnal Green, this museum is a collection of childhood-related objects and toys, including precious dolls, antique prams, old electronic games from the 80s and other artefacts from 1600s to our present day,  in a journey demonstrating the way toys have evolved.

London Tube Map
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LONDON PARKS

London parks are sublime, amongst the nicest in the world. Try to visit as many as you can, they are all truly magnificent and will make your holiday, in this beautiful city, even more memorable. You will find squirrels in any of the parks, don't forget to bring some nuts, if you wish to have a close encounter with these cute animals.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of the largest London's Parks. A great place to go for a walk, the park is divided in two by the Serpentine, a boating lake, which is home to ducks, and swans. In the corner, near Marble Arch, is the famous Speakers' Corner, still used for open air public speaking, where people are free to discuss various topics, mainly on political and religious subjects.

Within the park there are several memorials, on the south of the Serpentine there is a memorial dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales and on the east the London's Holocaust Memorial. and there is also a memorial commemorating the 52 victims of the 7th July 2005 terrorist attacks.

Regents Park

A wonderful and central park to visit and enjoy the beautiful scenery especially during late spring and summer where you can admire, within the Queen Mary’s Garden, all the vivid colours of roses in bloom. Don’t miss the open air Theatre if you visit between May and September. The park is also the home of the London Zoo and a pretty lake inhabited by all sorts of wildlife.

Kensington Gardens

A peaceful oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city, Kensington Gardens are separated from Hyde Park by the Serpentine lake.  While enjoying a serene stroll in this lovely park, don't forget to stop at the Italian gardens and its lovely fountains, the Peter Pan statue, the Albert Memorial and if you have young ones, the Princess Diana Memorial Playground is a must. 

Holland Park

Not as famous as some of the other parks, Holland Park is nevertheless one of the most delightful green area in London, located between Kensington High Street and Holland Park Road, not far from Notting Hill. There are different aspects of this park, from areas that are quite bushy and wild, to beautiful formal gardens, with fountains and statues and even a playground.

The Kyoto Japanese garden is a must see and has a pretty waterfall and residents ducks, squirrels and peacocks are freely roaming around. 

Greenwich Park

A very large and beautiful park, further away from the city centre, but easily reachable by public transport, including ferries.

Within the park is the Maritime Museum, the Queens house and the Observatory from where the GMT meridian goes through. If you are there at 4pm don’t miss the Meridian Line laser being switched on. The walk to the Observatory is a bit steep, but you will enjoy beautiful views of the city, once you are up there.

At the bottom of the park you can find a playground and a little boating lake, if you have children they will appreciate the break after the long walk.

 St James's Park

St. James' Park is a small London park and fairly quiet, considering its central location. It is great to walk through on your way to Buckingham Palace and the Horse Guards.

The flower beds and trees are beautiful at any time of the year; there is also a pretty pond with lots of different types of birds.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park is a fairly large park right in the East End of London. Lots of work has been done to improve this park for the 2012 Olympic Games. It is much tranquil than the more famous Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, nevertheless is very beautiful with a big lake with various bird species, a lovely fountain and great restaurants and pubs very close by.

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is London's largest park and it’s a great day trip that can be combined also with a visit to the surrounding areas, like a walk along the River Thames and a visit to the town of Richmond Upon Thames.

It’s like countryside meet the city, plenty of flora and fauna, including wild deer that wander through  the park , try and approach them quietly you may get quite close.

Rick Steves' London 2014
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Comments

Apr 16, 2014 8:59pm
mcemsh102
I also love the Tower of London, where Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor were both confined, with lots of bloody history, the famous ravens, tons of armor in the white toweer, and the Crown Jewels!
Apr 16, 2014 9:16pm
Larah
Thanks for reading my article Margaret and welcome to InfoBarrel :-D
I love London, there is so much to see and do. I lived in London for many years, before moving to Oz and I had the chance of visiting the Tower of London a couple of times, so much history there (not a free attraction though, but worth the money).
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