This article about the 10 best free things to do in London was published by the Great British Mag content team on 5 December, 2019.
London has hundreds of attractions but read our guide to the 10 best FREE things to do.
Where: All over London
Price: Free (with optional donations)
Why walk around London on your own when you could be steered around the city on a tour with a knowledgeable guide? There are tours for everything from general tours (specialising in the history of specific areas like Soho, St Paul’s or Brick Lane) to more specific tours, like street art, Jack the Ripper or even ghost tours. Meet a bunch of new people while getting some exercise, then pay whatever you think the tour is worth at the end of it.
Where: Hyde Park
This may sound bizarre but hear us out: Speakers’ Corner started out as a place for public hangings. That all stopped in 1783, but then it started to become a place for protests. It culminated in a massive three-day protest in 1866 and soon became a place where groups held mass protests. Nowadays, it’s a place where open-air public speaking, debate, and discussion are allowed.
Where: Fenchurch St, London
Price: Free, but book a spot in advance
The Sky Garden is one of the most impressive structures in Central London and offers panoramic views of the UK capital city. Entry to the building is free but you’ll need to book a timeslot in advance (often around 6 weeks beforehand). Once you arrive for your slot, you’ll be ferried upstairs in the lift for what feels like an eternity and come out on top of the building to witness a breathtaking garden. You can splurge on a £11 cocktail at the bar or simply walk out onto the deck and soak in the views.
Where: Lululemon, Sweaty Betty, London Buddhist Centre
Price: Free (with optional donations)
There are a load of free yoga classes across London – just waiting for you to get your meditation on. Lululemon offers a complimentary yoga class every weekend across their London stores, with Sweaty Betty similarly offering the same. The London Buddhist Centre also offers free yoga classes every weekday around lunch time, with a small optional donation. Time to get stretching!
Price: There are lots of free exhibitions (alongside some fee-paying exhibitions)
Did you know that all publicly-owned museums in London are free? That means you could see the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum or look at some stunning artefacts at the V&A (not to mention a really cool free LGBTQ+ tour). But, in our opinion, the most impressive free museum is the contemporary art in the Tate Modern. As the former Bankside Power Station, the repurposed building stands tall over the Thames and offers some amazing views of the city.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
It’s a bold claim but we’re making it: This is one of the most stunning pieces of architectural beauty in all of London. A masterpiece of exquisite Hindu design, the building was actually made in India and was put together in London. Come and visit the temple to experience a traditional Hindu prayer ceremony and learn about the world’s oldest living faith. A must-see, if not for the occasional free food on offer.
Harry Potter’s platform 9¾
Where: Kings Cross station
If you’re a big Harry Potter fan, a must-see on your to-do list is visiting the world famous platform 9¾ at Kings Cross station. Take a photo with the trolley of suitcases fitted into the wall, as London’s business people rush around you to catch their trains. Watch out there, there’s usually always a line to hold the handlebars and take your snap.
Where: Hootananny Brixton, Angel Comedy Club, Top Secret Comedy Club
Fancy a laugh? There are loads of free comedy shows across London with some real belly laughter-inducing jokes. From Hootananny in Brixton to the Angel Comedy Club, there are heaps of places on offer. One of the coolest places to listen to some comedy is the Top Secret Comedy Club, in various locations across London. Big names in the industry like Jack Whitehall, Omid Djalili, and Simon Amstell regularly frequent the club.
Where: Richmond Park
One of the coolest things about London is the fact that you can take a short train ride and end up in a massive open-plain park filled with deer. You may need to walk around a little bit to find them, but you won’t miss it as they tend to travel in a massive herd. They’ll graze on the grass as you can walk up to them and see them up close. The park also offers stunning landscapes and beautiful sunsets.
Visit a city farm
Where: Hackney, Spitalfields or Kentish Town
Want a taste of country life? Don’t spend a fortune on a ticket to the countryside, walk down to your local city farm and marvel at the animals on show. There are farms in Hackney, Spitalfields and Kentish Town that offer a range of animals, including chickens, cows, rabbits and one particularly hefty pig in the Hackney farm. So what are you waiting for?
Photos courtesy of Visit Britain