Flying out to London soon? Contrary to popular belief, there's no need to break the bank just to make the most of this lavish English city. Below are 12 ways you can experience the UK's capital without having to spend a pound.
1. Visit the National Gallery.
Take a trip down art history at Trafalgar Square’s main attraction, the National Gallery. It’s a treasure trove of more than 2000 paintings from iconic artists like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet, and Michelangelo.
Location: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN
2. View the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Located along Cromwell Road, the Victoria and Albert Museum is London’s leading gallery for art and design. It’s a haven for fashion girls who can both marvel at the rich intricacies of old English garb and the works of contemporary luxury designers alike.
Location: Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL
3. Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
Although you'll have to shell out money to enter Buckingham Palace, you can watch the changing of the guard ceremony outside for free. The sight is a fanfare of pageantry awaited by both tourists and locals, and is enacted by the monarch’s sentries as they turn over duties for the day.
For more information, visit their official website here.
Location: Westminster, London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom
4. Have a picnic at the Kensington Palace Gardens.
While it does cost quite a few pounds to enter the famous Kensington Palace, its gardens, on the other hand, is open to the public. Aside from being the perfect location for a relaxing picnic, the swathe of greenery in Hyde Park also houses the memorial fountain of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Location: London W2 2UH, United Kingdom
5. Lounge around at the Sky Garden.
A popular destination for both tourists and locals alike, the Sky Garden glass dome boasts of three floors of landscaped greenery that also provide a majestic view of the city below. While entrance is completely free, tickets must be booked in advance online.
Location: 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF
6. Attend a performance at St Martin's in the Field.
Every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 1 p.m., this 300-year-old church at Trafalgar Square transitions into a concert ground for new musicians. Dubbed the free lunch time concerts, you can catch an eclectic range of music being performed by the city’s rising talents, from pop tunes to classical music and more!
Click here to check their daily schedule.
Location: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4JJ
7. Watch a show The Scoop.
Situated near the London Bridge, The Scoop is a sunken outdoor amphitheater that hosts a variety of free shows from plays, films, concerts, to dance performances and more, every Wednesday to Sunday evening. It can seat up to a thousand people on a first come first serve basis. Since booking isn’t required, all you need to do is turn up and enjoy the night’s entertainment.
Location: More London, Bermondsey, London, SE1 2DB
8. Laugh out loud at the Angel Comedy Club.
Planning a fun night out with your friends? Drop by the Angel Comedy Club where they stage stand-up shows with professional comedians for free every 8 p.m. Seats fill up fast, so it’s recommended you arrive at least an hour early. The comedy club has two branches: Camden Head and at Bill Murray.
Visit their website for more information on show dates and performers.
9. Attend a lecture at London School of Economics.
Ever wondered what attending school at London’s like? Take a gander at one of the free public lectures at London School of Economics and learn from outstanding professors thriving in the field of social sciences. Seats are on a first come, first serve basis so make sure you arrive early. Head over to their site to check out the times and topics to be discussed when you visit.
Location: Houghton St, Holborn, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom
10. Browse through the British Library.
If you’re a bibliophile, visiting the British Library is a must! The building is an endless repository of books, housing at least 170 to 200 million reading material from all over the globe, making it the largest library in the world based on its catalogue. Operating hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Euston Road, London, NW1
11. Take a photo at Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross.
No Potterhead’s London vacay is complete without visiting the Platform 9 and three quarters installation at King’s Cross Station. Just look for a trolley with luggage embedded on a wall at the back of the rail station. If you're traveling alone, don't worry because a professional photographer is there every 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to take your content for you. It’s absolutely free and is accessible for photos anytime.
Location: King’s Cross Station, London
12. Join a free walking tour.
If you’re not confident with your navigation skills and would rather have an expert to follow, London provides tourists with free walking tours backed by knowledgeable tour guides. The three-hour tour meets up at Covent Garden and rounds the capital’s most famous attractions including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Trafalgar Square.
Head over to their site for more information.