As we are based a lot in Northern Ireland, we find a lot of our travels further abroad will inevitably include a stopover in the British capital city of London. A city which has become all too common in our travels these. But it is also a fairly expensive city, and while we have covered many of the pay-in and pre-pay tourist spots, these days we just find ourselves pottering around the city for free. However, there is always the problem with lugging luggage through the city all day, although this has been fortunately helped by LuggageHero, which is a bit like an Airbnb for luggage, where you can store your baggage in various stores/hotels found in the local area (London LuggageHero Locations here). So we’d store our annoying bags safely away, then hop onto the trains, to go and explore the city stress-free and spending-free (Luggage Guide here).
Free Attractions in London
London is undoubtedly a beautiful city sharing a contrast and amalgamation of tradition and modernity. But it is also obviously a huge destination for tourism, and when it comes to national pride, there is a whole battery of places to explore, with no ticket price included, and free for all to enjoy. And here we share a quick list of the free tourist spots we have covered so far. Through a city of parks, monuments, prestige and architecture, that few other cities in the world can allow.
The National Gallery
Found right by Trafalgar Square in the centre of the city, the National Gallery is a world-class gallery where tourists can view art by Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and hundreds more. All for free. In order to see the gallery in peace, however, I would avoid the weekend and evening times when visiting the gallery. Either way, the permanent galleries are always free. Check current events here.
No stop in London is complete without the iconic Thames River View with London’s Westminster buildings and the gongs of Big Ben. This area of London was built in the mid-19th century and is a neo-gothic style of architecture and is free to explore at any time of the day. However it is possible to see the Houses of Parliament in action for free. Just check the times for public viewing.
This sprawling park is found in the London borough of the same name (Greenwich) a Thames riverside area with hilltop views over the city. Making it a great spot for a picnic while watching the Thames snaking further into the sunset. The park is also part of the s part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site.
This iconic market celebrated its 1000 years of existence not long ago, in 2014, meaning there is a crazy amount of history and stories to tell through its millenium of operations. And for those really looking to penny pinch there will always be free samples of food and local produce as well as amazing foods from all across the world.
Kensington Gardens would often be our first port of call in London as there is just so much to explore and it’s a great way to spend an entire afternoon. Other than the tree-lined pathways and various there are just so many monuments and attractions including the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Galleries and the Peter Pan statue. Entry to Kensington Gardens garden is free, which goes the same for London’s other royal parks like Regent’s Park, Hyde Park and St James’ Park.
Changing of the Guard
This rather special event takes place outside of Buckingham Palace at 10:30 AM on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. And it is well worth planning a stopover to London around seeing the ceremony. In short, it is when the on-duty guards of the Palace are relieved by a new batch. Showcasing traditions in dress, protocols and marching to the music. It is also known as Guard Mounting and a similar ceremony can be seen at the Horseguards.
The Sky Garden
One of the more contemporary attractions in London has to be the Sky Garden, a free to visit skyscraper, with fantastic views of the city (20, Fenchurch Street). An attraction which does allow for walk-in visitors at specific times but it is recommended to book a free visit in advance through their booking system. Unfortunately tickets do have a time limit of 1 hour from the time of entry although this is more than enough for most visitors.