Top Ten Free Things to Do in London
Though London might seem an expensive destination, it’s actually the ideal place to visit if you’re trying to keep costs down. The capital is simply bursting with interesting, free things to do: from fantastic museums to bustling markets and stunning green spaces, there’s so much you can see without spending a penny. Here are our top ten free things to do in London.
The National Gallery
The National Gallery hosts over six million visitors every year: no surprise, really, when you consider the fact that it houses one of the best art collections in the world! It can get very busy at weekends, so we recommend taking a trip during the week (mornings and evenings tend to be the quietest), when you will be able to revel in masterpieces by da Vinci, Renoir, van Gogh, and more. The permanent collections are always free to view.
Your perfect home: Our stylish Mayfair penthouse would be the ideal base for exploring the National Gallery and a host of other attractions.
Houses of Parliament
There’s plenty to see around the Houses of Parliament – not least Big Ben, which happens to be the most famous clock on the planet. Take some time to walk around outside and bask in the neo-Gothic architecture; then head inside to watch all the democratic goings-on. It’s best to reserve your place in advance, but visits are completely free.
Your perfect home: Our charming Victoria abode would make a great base for your Westminster excursion.
The British Museum
For a taste of culture and history, there’s no better place than the British Museum. Under this institution’s impressive roof Egyptian mummies can be found a few floors away from Anglo-Saxon artefacts. There’s also a little-known wonder called the Rosetta Stone to take a peek at. The museum chooses 80,000 objects to display from its mind-blowing 8 million-strong collection, so there’s always something new and exciting to see – and you don’t have to spend a penny!
Your perfect home: Our classic home in Bloomsbury is ideally located for a trip to the British Museum.
Walking around Borough Market is entirely free, though trying not to spend any money might be a challenge once you catch sight of all the delicious food and drink stalls! The atmospheric market, which is located under a series of Victorian railway arches, is over 1,000 years old – and it seems to get bigger and better every year. With every kind of cuisine you can think of under one roof – from ice cream to exotic street food - there’s no better way to spend an afternoon (and if you’re lucky, you might even bag a few free samples).
Your perfect home: Our chic and contemporary abode, which is located in the heart of London (next to Monument station), would make a fantastic base for exploring Borough Market, Southwark and London Bridge.
One of the most popular contemporary art institutions in the world, even if art isn’t your favourite thing, you’re certain to find a visual treat to amuse your brain at the Tate Modern. The artists featured at the Tate are known for pushing boundaries, meaning that there’s always something surprising and challenging to see (or do – often these artworks are interactive!). The permanent collection is free, and gives visitors the chance to look over some of the world’s most famous artworks: from Picasso to Rothko.
Your perfect home: Our supreme South Bank home is a stone's throw from the Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe, the London Eye, and all the major riverside attractions.
There’s something for everyone at the V&A museum, which is a place dedicated to human creativity. Housing 2.3 million objects from a range of different areas – fashion, ceramics and sculpture being just a few examples – there’s no greater place to visit if you’re hoping to feel inspired.
Your perfect home: Get your cultural fix by staying at our stylish Chelsea abode - the V&A is just ten minutes' walk.
London boasts so many amazing places to walk in that it’s hard to pick just one: but if we had to, we’d probably choose Hampstead Heath. For one thing, it’s one of the biggest parks in town (sprawling over a vast swathe of North London); in addition, it’s one of the most diverse green spaces in the capital. If you’re in the mood to get lost in forestry, you can stroll through ancient woodland; if you’d like to bask in a mesmerising view, you can climb Parliament Hill and look over the city. And, if the weather is right (and you have some spare change), there’s always the lido – you can take a dip for as little as £2.
Your perfect home: Immerse yourself in gorgeous woodland with a stay at our vintage Regent's Park apartment, which is ideally situated for a stroll round nearby Hampstead Heath.
The Changing of the Guard
For atmospheric English traditions, little beats the Changing of the Guard. This ceremonial act, which takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, is completely free to watch. Roll up at Buckingham Palace by 10.30 am on any of the days listed above to see the Queen’s Guard in all their regalia – complete with bearskin hats – as they switch their duties by marching to the music.
Your perfect home: Our modern Knightsbridge home would make a great base for visiting Buckingham Palace and watching the famous Changing of the Guard.
Street Performers in Covent Garden
Even if you don’t have the cash to splash on a theatre ticket, you can still catch a performance or two in London’s famous Covent Garden. The piazzas of this iconic shopping district are awash with street performers: from mime artists to opera singers, these entertainers have been performing for the crowds since the 17th century, and you can watch them showcase their skills for free at any time of day. You might want to have a couple of coins handy to tip them with, though – they deserve it!
Your perfect home: Bask in the atmosphere of central London with a stay at our sensational St Paul's Home - the apartment is in a prime location for exploring Covent Garden, the South Bank, and more.
Trafalgar Square is home to some of London’s most famous landmarks – including Nelson’s Column and, during winter, its iconic Christmas tree – but there are plenty of lesser-known things to look at, too. Wander round the various statues flanking the square and learn about the great feats completed by the historical figures they celebrate, then debate the meaning of the frequently-changing piece of contemporary art that sits on the Fourth Plinth. Finally, spend a moment by the flowing waters of Trafalgar Square’s beautiful fountains, which were designed by acclaimed British architect Sir Edward Lutyens. Trafalgar Square might just be the perfect spot to catch your breath in during a whirlwind tour of the city!
Your perfect home: Our classic Belgravia abode offers an oasis of calm in the centre of the city - great for unwinding in after a busy day walking around Trafalgar Square and the surrounding areas.