Traveling doesn’t always have to be expensive. Spend time enjoying the sights while not blowing your budget. Here are 15 awesome and FREE things to do while you are in London!
15. Walk under the Tower Bridge – Go under the famous bridge that made its debut in 1894. While commonly mistaken as the London Bridge, Tower Bridge holds it’s historic charm with its tall towers and drawbridge over the Thames. Need an adrenaline rush? For roughly $15 per person, go to new heights above London traffic with a skylift to the glass floor.
14. Become a book nerd in the British Library – With a bench that is shaped as a book and a chain, it’s hard not to get distracted on entry to the British Library. Head to the left towards the ground level exhibition and be taken aback. Works of Shakespeare, Lewis Carol and the Beatles surround you as well as history in the making with letters from past Kings and Presidents. In a room near the back, read the Magna Carta, what became a foundation of English common law.
13. Take pictures at Abbey Road– Yes, we all have to do it one time in our lives (especially while traveling in London); replicate the image of the Beatles “Abbey Road” cover. Find 3 friends and get the picture you know will look amazing on your wall.
12. Taste and smell around Borough Market – Follow your food-lover’s heart through the winding lanes and allow your nose to discover great cheeses, oils, olives, spices and more, at the Borough Market. The giant food market sits along the Thames and is a great stop after a play at Shakespeare’s Globe down the road.
11. Watch the Changing of the Guard – Buckingham Palace alone is a terrific sight. With a highly detailed, royal 16 foot high gate and the Victoria Memorial fountain in it’s roundabout, you can’t help but admire the Queen’s Palace. Spend a little extra time here and watch the Changing of the Guards, a must-see for any London visit!
10. Go back in time at the Natural History Museum – While the beautiful architecture is breathtaking, be sure to spend time inside as you find countless pieces of history. From dinosaur skeletons to a deeper dive of Darwin’s theories, there are over 70 million exhibit items to check out, free of charge!
9. Follow Harry to Platform 9 ¾ – If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you must check out Platform 9 ¾ at no other than Kings Cross Station in central London. Find the cart waiting and get that much closer to Hogwarts.
8. Window shop at Harrods – Experience how British royalty shopped by visiting the 1849 Harrod’s store. From caviar to giant teddy bears, this store is seven floors of pure shopping. Splurge on high tea or a café inside and easily spend the day here – if you’re a shopaholic.
7. View Masterpieces at Tate Modern – You don’t have to be an art major to admire some of the greatest modern artwork of our time. Salvador Dali, Claude Monet and Picasso are displayed with a world-class collection of modern art. The building itself will leave you agape, it was an unused power station that architects Herzog and De Meuron renovated.
Note: Tate Britain is also incredible featuring British artwork dating to the 1500s. It’s also free of charge.
6. Explore the world at the British Museum – The 18 foot sculptures from mysterious Easter Island take you to South America, Egyptian mummies take you to Africa, while the ancient Roman sculptures give you a deeper look into European history. However, my favorite piece is what brought so many cultures together, the Rosetta Stone.
5. Stroll Hyde Park – A great way to see Kensington Palace, step outside the busy streets and enjoy a walk with some beautiful greenery. Perfect for a morning jog or bicycle ride.
4. Get lost on Oxford Street – Even for those that don’t like to shop, you can’t help but get lost in the magic of Oxford Street. The famous street lined with shops like Primark, TopShop and Marks & Spencer is a shopper’s paradise. However, it’s also next to some of London’s best nightlife, the Soho District.
3. Smell the roses off Bethenel Green – Let the aroma of the Columbia Flower Market suck you into its colorfulness with flowers from around the world. Romance is abloom, prices are good and there’s something for everyone at this lively market. Go early if you want to avoid the crowds.
2. Visit the V&A Museum – You won’t regret it. This massive museum is full of interesting artifacts for every interest. Photography, furniture, paintings and medieval pieces are only a few of the galleries that take up the 7-story museum.
1. Let Westminster Abbey amaze you – With Big Ben in the background, and the London Eye behind, it’s hard not to fall in love with Westminster Abbey’s presence alone. The Abbey has over a thousand years of history as London’s coronation church. Go in the evening to enjoy an hour-long chorale service, on a first-come first-served basis.