Top 10 Free Things to Do in London

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    Best Free Things to Do in London

    The Shard and London Skyline, London, England, UK
    ••• The Shard and London Skyline, London, England, UK. © Cultura Exclusive/Leon Sosra / Getty Images

    Visitors worry that London is an expensive city but there really are so many free things to do here. These ideas should get you started but if you're already familiar with these suggestions you need the super list of 100+ Free Things to Do in London. Now, there's got to be something new to you on there! And if you're traveling with a  family, the Free Things to Do in London with Kids feature should come in handy. If you'd like to stick with central London have a look at the Free Things to Do in Westminster article.

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    Free London: Art Galleries

    UK, London, Bankside, Tate Modern and Millennium Bridge over River Thames
    ••• Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge. © Alan Copson / Getty Images

    Tate Modern and Tate Britain house some of the finest pieces of art in the world. Tate Modern focuses on contemporary art while Tate Britain displays British Art from the 16th century to the present day.

    Other major London art galleries include the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. I would also recommend The Wallace Collection as it's just off Oxford Street and makes a perfect escape from a busy shopping spree.

    And remember, many of London's major art galleries and museums stay open late.

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    Free London: Museums

    British Museum
    ••• British Museum. © Jonathan McManus / Getty Images

    All of the major London museums are free, but most offer some special exhibitions for a fee. My favorite is the Museum of London where you can learn the history of London from Roman times to today. And I love the Geffrye Museum which shows English domestic interiors and helps bring to life what it was really like to live in London in different eras. The Horniman Museum is another good day out - you have to see the over-stuffed walrus!

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    Free London: Parks and Gardens

    St James's Park
    ••• St James's Park (Buckingham Palace in the distance). © EURASIA PRESS / Getty Images

    I regularly hear people tell me the Queen Mary's Rose Gardens in Regent's Park is their favorite spot in London, and who am I to argue? I would also recommend St. James's Park as it offers one of the best views of Buckingham Palace. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens (side by side) are enormous and include the ever popular Diana Memorial Playground and the Peter Pan Statue.

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    Free London: Changing of the Guard

    Changing of the Guard, London
    ••• Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. © LatitudeStock - David Williams / Getty Images

    No visit to London is complete without seeing this military tradition. The Queen's Guard in London changes in the Forecourt inside the gates of Buckingham Palace at 11:30 am every day in the summer and every other day in the winter. Get there early and view the spectacle from outside the front gates.

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    Free London: The South Bank

    South Bank, London
    ••• South Bank, London. © Petre Sebastian Condrea / Getty Images

    It really is amazing how many London landmarks you can see along this stretch of the River Thames. The South Bank includes The London Eye and Tate Modern.

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    Free London: Trafalgar Square

    Trafalgar Square
    ••• Trafalgar Square, London. © Jorg Greuel / Getty Images

    Trafalgar Square is one of Britain's greatest visitor attractions and was designed by John Nash in the 1820s and constructed in the 1830s. This iconic square has many sights to see including Nelson's Column and the National Gallery. It is both a tourist attraction and a focus for political demonstrations. Every December, Norway donates a marvelous Christmas tree, to thank Britain for liberation from the Nazis.

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    Free London: Street Performers

    Shrek street performer in London
    ••• A mime dressed as Shrek in front of the Tate Modern in London close to the Thames with tourists taking pictures around. © Gerard Puigmal / Getty Images

    The West Piazza of Covent Garden Market has street performers to entertain you every afternoon. Good acts can draw huge crowds and the performers love to get audience members to help them with their act. All performers are licensed and have passed an audition to perform here.

    You will find more street performers at the weekend along the South Bank, particularly outside the National Theatre.

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  • 09 of 11

    Free London: Street Markets

    Camden Market, London
    ••• Camden Market, London. © Alex Segre / Getty Images

    London is well-known for its popular street markets. The most popular are Camden Market and Portobello Market, following closely by Greenwich Market. Find out about these markets and more:

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    Free London: Westminster Abbey

    Westminster Abbey
    ••• Westminster Abbey. © Julian Love / Getty Images

    You can see inside Westminster Abbey for free. The Abbey never charges people who want to worship but they rely on admission fees from visitors to cover running costs. Evensong is the most beautiful of services where the Abbey choir sings. The Choristers of the Choir are educated at Westminster Abbey Choir School and are all extremely talented. Evensong is at 5 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and at 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

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    Free London: Music

    Caucasian men jumping with musical instruments
    ••• Caucasian men jumping with musical instruments. © Jeremy Woodhouse/Holly Wilmeth / Getty Images

    The Southbank Centre has lots of free music events and there's Free foyer concerts at the National Theatre, also on the South Bank. You can enjoy free Monday lunchtime recitals at the Royal Opera House and regular free lunchtime concerts at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

    See Free Music in London for full details.