London on a budget.
10 free places in the city
Tips | 30.04.2019
No matter how expensive the city might be, there are plenty of places and activities in every world metropolis where you won't need to break the bank. If you always thought that London was expensive –we can prove the opposite! We're here to tell you where you can have a great time and not have to spend a single penny.
1. Natural History Museum
A large interactive museum full of natural history. It's a must-see! Even if you're not planning a budget trip to London. There are more than 50 million exhibits. A collection of dinosaur skeletons, rare plants, minerals and Archie the Giant Squid, measuring a whopping eight metres long!
The museum has an earthquake simulation room, a Tyrannosaurus rex snapping its teeth and many more interesting exhibits and entertainment. Entrance to the museum is free, but be wary of queues at the weekend. The best time to visit is in the middle of a weekday, or by entering through the side entrance (if you really want to avoid the crowds).
2. SkyGarden
The SkyGarden was opened in 2015 in the heart of the city centre, on the roof of the Walkie Talkie skyscraper. The glass building was only given permission to be built in such a historic urban landscape on the condition that there would be a free park on the roof. And that's how it came to be! Make sure you book your ticket in advance and you'll gain access to the platform with a stunning view of the whole city – without having to fork out a single pound!
3. National Portrait Gallery
London's National Portrait Gallery is the hall of fame to the important personalities of British history. More than 2,000 portraits, dating back from the Middle Ages to the most recent history, are exhibited here: musicians, scientists, politicians and other important figures. Portraits have been created in different styles, techniques and in different eras. So, besides the works themselves, it's a great opportunity to trace how the art of portrait painting has changed over time. The gallery exhibits displays devoted to a series of portraits, and events. Although, for some of them you will need to buy a ticket.
4. Bushy Park
In the city's second largest park, travellers don't just go for a rest and a stroll. Here, royal stags and fallow deer roam completely free. You can come across them easily and being in the park itself feels as if you're somewhere in the middle of untouched rural nature. The deer are wild, so they aren't really used to people, but you can watch them from a distance and completely free of charge.
5. Southwark Cathedral
One of London's main gothic buildings located in Southwark. Inside the majestic 17th century gothic sculpture is stained glass windows dedicated to Shakespeare's plays: "Hamlet", "Midsummer Night's Dream", "The Tempest".
6. Platform 9¾
Going to the locations of the Harry Potter films isn't really worth the money. Kings Cross Station is a real place, and on platform 9¾ there is even a photo-zone with a trolley loaded with suitcases. The staff of the Harry Potter store, which is nearby, will help you stylise your own photo: they'll give you a magic wand and a scarf from one of the four wizarding houses to pose with.
7. Tate Modern
For lovers of modern art, London also offers free places. Tate Modern presents a wide collection of works from Claude Monet, Kazimir Malevich, Andy Warhol and other famous artists. If you don't want to just wander about, we recommend going on a free tour. Small groups gather daily in the gallery and talk for 40 minutes about the most interesting works of modern art.
8. Leadenhall Market
Once a Roman forum, now a covered market with cafés and boutiques right in the city centre. Even if you're not planning on buying anything, it's worth a trip to see how old architecture blends with modernity. By the way, this is the place the Diagon Alley scenes were filmed in "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone".
9. Science Museum
Another interesting museum with completely free entry. Seven floors and 15,000 exhibits about the creation of the world, physics, medicine, space and other areas of human life. The museum has many interactive galleries where you can touch, watch or listen. This is a really popular place among tourists, so it's better to go on a morning during the week in order not to have to stand in line.
10. Chinatown
Chinatown is a vital part of practically any megacity around the world. Therefore, if you want to get to know London a little better, you should come here for a walk. Decorated with street signs, brightly coloured streets, the general atmosphere of a never-ending holiday, and the full feeling that you are in Beijing, and not on Gerrard Street.
London is a rich cultural centre with so many things to do –even if you didn't draw out all your savings for your trip. You can walk around the city, go to museums, study amazing examples of architecture or spend your time relaxing in parks. In order not to miss any of London's most interesting places, download the city map in advance, or you can even download the offline London guide in our routes catalogue ;)
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