Top 10 Free Things to Do in London

So, the price of London’s got you down: Westminster Abbey lightened your wallet by 40%, it seems like you have to top up your Oyster Card after every other trip, and it takes British monarchy-style cash to get a decent Full English. Chin up, young traveler! As expensive as the cost of living can be, London has plenty of world-class attractions that are blissfully free. Here we compiled ten of the best:

1. The British Museum

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How, you ask, could a museum of this magnitude and depth possibly be free? Scientists are still working on an answer to this difficult question. Just be thankful you can lay eyes on the Rosetta Stone without dropping a sixpence.

2. The Royal Parks

So many to choose from—Greenwich, Regent’s, Hyde, Kensington Gardens, to name a few—and all these acres and acres of green are free and open to the public to frolic within as they see fit.

3. The National Gallery

Over in the United States, large art museums are happy to reach deep into your pockets. But the British just want you to waltz through rooms and rooms of medieval and Renaissance art until you collapse from exhausted joy.

4. The Changing of the Guard

We’re honestly shocked they haven’t monetized this yet, since it’s one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, but for a sacrifice of merely your time and personal space, you can see this famous spectacle of funny hats and high knees.

5. The Victoria and Albert Museum

This is a world-class museum in every sense, from the depth of its collections to the range of time periods and geographic areas it covers. It’s no wonder people eagerly queue for free access.

6. The British Library

Okay, so being free is kind of a library’s whole shtick, but when you’ve got documents of such importance on display you could stand to charge a few pounds. Lucky for us, the BL takes mercy on our parchment-craving souls.

7. The Tate Modern and Tate Britain

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Two spectacular Tates for the price of one—or is that the price of zero, since they’re both free? You don’t have to be good at math to appreciate the collections in Westminster or Southbank.

8. The Courtauld Gallery

Gee, it doesn’t take much cash to see good art in this town. Head on over to the gorgeous Somerset house to view all the famous Impressionist paintings your heart desires.

9. Portobello Road

This spectacular outdoor market could become not free very, very fast, but if you exercise self-control, browsing is almost as fun as buying.

10. Take a walking tour

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Almost every hostel has some sort of free walking tour, and it’s a great way to orient yourself to your surroundings and maybe even—gasp—make a pal or two along the way.

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