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Published On: Fri, Nov 22nd, 2019

Find out what you can see for free on a budget trip to London

London is well-known as being a popular and expensive destination. However, there are plenty of attractions you can see for free and others that you can make a saving on with the London Pass. 

Photo/Andrew Dunn, 29 September 2004 via wikimedia commons

Before looking at the major attractions, London is renowned for its window shopping, including the famous Harrods store. There are also a number of popular shopping streets, including Oxford Street, Bond Street, Carnaby Street, King’s Road and Nightsbridge, among others. Browse the fabulous book stores, shops selling the latest fashion and shoes, gourmet delights and wines and more. These are all free, unless, of course, you get tempted to buy something!

The expensive side of London

Some of the major attractions, however, will cost you quite a bit, including Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. If these are some of the must-see attractions for you, it would be worthwhile to invest in a London Pass to save some money. The London Pass will also assist you with accommodation, food and drink and, if you are lucky, you can also get a discount on the price of the pass itself.

Free London

If you are happy to skip the expensive attractions, enjoy a read about 10 of the top free options in London below.

  1. British Museum

The British Museum is one of the top attractions in London and entry is free. Here you can view Samurai armor, Egyptian mummies, the Rosetta Stone and Anglo-Saxon burial treasures among an amazing 80,000 objects exhibited in the museum.

  1. National Gallery

Entry to the permanent collections at the National Gallery is free, including masterpieces by iconic painters such as Renoir, van Gogh, Michelangelo and da Vinci. To avoid the crowds, visit during the week in the morning or on a Friday evening.

  1. Tate Gallery

Another great visit for art fans is the Tate Gallery, which is set inside the former Bankside Power Station on the banks of the River Thames. Here you can view the permanent collection, with works by Picasso, Warhol, Matisse and Pollock, at no charge. It is worth making a stop in the upstairs cafe, however, for a coffee or cup of tea overlooking the view of the Thames.

  1. Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament are a well-known sight in London, with its neo-Gothic architecture from the mid-19th century and one of the most famous clocks in the world, Big Ben. The building consists of two houses, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and if you plan well you will be able to enter to watch the British government in action, which can be especially lively while Brexit continues to drag its feet.

  1. East London Street Art

Returning to the art theme, head to various areas in East London, including Shoreditch, where amazing displays of graffiti can be viewed at zero charge. Also, try the side streets in the area surrounding Brick Lane, Sclater and Middlesex Streets.

  1. Borough Market

Borough Market has been going for more than 1,000 years, so it’s safe to say this one of the top attractions in the city. The market is spread under a series of Victorian railway arches and is available from Monday thru Saturday. This is a great place to buy delicious food from all over the world, often with free samples available! What better way to get a free lunch?

  1. Greenwich Park

For fair weather fun, put together the makings of a tasty picnic and head to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of London, including the skyscrapers and famous monuments of the city, with the sun shining on the Thames as it passes through the city.

  1. Kensington Gardens

Another relaxing place for a sunny day is the Kensington Gardens, which includes a number of other attractions within its boundaries. Here you can view the Peter Pan Statue, the Albert Memorial, the Diana Memorial Playground, the Round Pond and the Serpentine Gallery. Also, take a stroll along the paths throughout the park in the shade of the trees.

  1. Other free parks in London

Besides Kensington Gardens there are a number of Royal Parks throughout the city, all with free entry, including Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, St. James’s Park and Green Park. These are perfect for relaxing with a snack to revive your tired self during a busy day of sightseeing.

  1. Museum of London

One of the greatest attractions of London is the Museum of London, which will take you through the history of the Thames Valley and London in its various incarnations, right through the era of the Anglo-Saxon inhabitants to the modern London of today.

Whether looking for luxury items, wishing to view all the major attractions or heading to the city on a budget, London is an ideal destination at any time of year.

Author: Anne Sewell

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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