Last Updated on December 13, 2022
Are you planning a trip to London and wondering how to save money during your tour? We have gathered 20 cool activities that will keep you hooked without breaking your bank. You will also learn about the various places in London that you need to visit on a budget.
You are also about to discover the best free things to do in London. Various places also offer free passes, meaning that you can enjoy more activities during your trip and minimize the costs.
Free Museums and Galleries in London
It is inevitable that once you arrive in London, you visit the free museums within and around the city. Some of the exciting museums and galleries to consider include:
#1. The National Gallery
Founded in 1824 as an art museum, the National Gallery has a collection of more than 2300 paintings from the 13th century. The most recent items you can find in the museum are of the 19th century.
Address – National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Central London.
Fees to visit – free of charge.
Open time – 10 AM to 6 PM.
Friday – 10 AM to 9 PM
Dates when it is closed – January 1st and December 24th-26th.
Enjoy free photography at the museum for personal use. The free Wi-Fi also allows you to do stuff online while marveling at the unique and innovative art. To get to the museum, you can plan a visit using the online interactive guide for personalized directions.
#2. The Science Museum
One of the biggest tourist attractions in London, the Science Gallery was set up in 1857. There are about 3.3 million visitors to the museum each year. With an interactive display, you have the opportunity to learn from 15,000 Science objects.
Address – Exhibition Road, S. Kensington, London.
Visiting Fees – Free entry, donations welcome. Tickets required for special exhibitions.
Open Time – Daily 10.00 – 18.00 (Last entry at 17.15).
Closed Dates – 24th to 26th December.
To get to the Science Museum, you should plan a visit with public means of transport. There are a few parking spaces on Exhibition Road for the disabled. Only the blue badge holders can park for four hours.
#3. The Museum of London
The Museum of London is built on the bomb-damaged part of the city. It is part of the Barbican complex constructed between the 1960s and 1970s. The museum documents London’s history since the prehistoric era.
Address – 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN, London.
Visiting Fees – Free entry.
Open – Daily from 10.00 to 18.00.
Closed Dates – December 24th – 26th.
At the Museum of London, you can connect to the Wi-Fi free of charge. You can take photos, but avoid using flash at the galleries. In case you have luggage boxes, you can get a locker for £1 as you tour the galleries. You can get to the Museum of London by bicycle, coach, car, bus, or train (from Farringdon, Liverpool St, or City Thameslink).
#4. The British Library
Set up for inspiration, enjoyment, and research, the British Library is a national library with free things to do in London. It tops the world’s biggest national libraries because of the number of items it has.
Address – 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB, London.
Visiting Fees – Free for various activities.
Opens – Monday to Thursday, 09.30 – 20.00
– Friday, 09.30 – 18.00
– Saturday, 09.30 – 17.00
– Sunday, 11.00 – 17.00
Closed Dates – December 24th – 26th, December 31st, January 1st.
To ensure that you get the best out of your tour to the British Library, check that your activities are open during your visiting hours. Use the location map and means of transport to get to the library.
#5. Tate Britain
Tate network of galleries is a collection of art galleries in various parts of England. Tate Britain is the oldest gallery located in the City of Westminster. The gallery was opened in 1897. It contains British art from the 1500s to date.
Address – Millbank, SW1P 4RG, London.
Visiting Fees – Free entry, but fees for various exhibitions. There are many free events and exhibitions to explore.
Opens – Daily, 10.00 to 18.00.
Closed Dates – December 24th – 26th.
There are various ways to get to Tate Britain. From Millbank, you can use bus route 87. Trains are available from Vauxhall and Victoria. Security in the area is a serious subject, and you are assured of your safety when visiting the gallery. It also has an accessible car park, and the Blue Badge holders can park on Atterbury Street.
#6. Victoria and Albert Museum
London’s V&A Museum is the world’s largest museum that features decorative and applied art and design items. In total, there are over 2.27 million items in the museum. The museum was set up in 1852 and got its name from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Address – Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
Visiting Fees – Free entry, some exhibitions have individual charges, but members access the exhibitions free of charge.
Opens – Daily: 10.00 to 17.45.
– Fridays: 10.00 to 22.00.
Closed Dates – December 24th – 26th.
Access to the museum is fully developed to allow the disabled to enjoy their experience. There is no maximum time for the blue badge holders parking. Facilities to cater for breastfeeding mothers, exclusive cafes, and much more, are available at the museum.
The parking for personal cars is limited. You may have a better experience by using public transport means to the museum.
#7. The National Maritime Museum
Located in Greenwich, London, the National Maritim Museum is set up on historic buildings, including the Royal Observatory and the Queen’s House of the 17th century.
Address – Romney Road, London SE10 9NF.
Entry Fee – Free. Some special exhibitions cost £9 for adults.
Opens – Daily, 10.00 to 17.00.
Closed Dates – December 24th to 26th.
Visiting the National Maritime Museum is one of the cheap things to do in London. The location has developed accessibility for the physically impaired. You are, therefore, encouraged to come along with your friends without discrimination.
#8. Wellcome Collection
Located on 183 Euston Road, the Wellcome Collection is both a museum and a library to quench the desires of the “incurably curious” – as their website puts it. The museum displays medical artifacts and other original artwork. The collections bring out the idea of the connections between life, art, and medicine.
Address – 183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE.
Entry Fee – Free.
Opening Time – 10.00 to 18.00
– Thursdays, 10.00 to 21.00
Closed Days – Mondays, December 23rd to 26th, January 1st.
The museum has facilities for people with special needs. The building is also open to everyone, and there is an assistant on the ground floor that will direct you on anything you want. Getting to the museum is easy, and you can use various means of transport to the Wellcome Collection.
Free Outdoors/Walks/Parks in London
Outdoor activities offer a better alternative for free things to do in London. You can do many things outdoors like visiting the parks or hiking. These outdoor activity parks will satisfy your need for cheap things to do while in London.
#9. Hyde Park
As a visitor to London, Hyde Park is one of the places that you need to see. The royal park is common, and it stands on a 350 acres piece of land. It is among the top largest city parks around the world.
Many activities take place in the park. You can go horse riding, football, or boating. Hyde Park is the only place you will see the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, Marble Arch, Pet Cemetery, among other interesting features.
Address – W2 2UH, London. See the map of the Park.
Opens – Daily, 05.00 to 00.00.
Closed Days – None.
When planning to visit the park, use public transport for easy access. Private car parks have limited space, and you may not find one because of the number of visitors.
#10. Richmond Park
The park is a natural beauty attraction site. As a national reserve, the Richmond Park is also the city’s largest Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is a natural habitat to the red deer and fallow – an indigenous European species.
Address – Richmond, London, TW10 5HS.
Entry Fee – Free of charge.
Opens – Daily, 24 hours for pedestrians and from 7 am to dusk for vehicles.
– 07.30 to 22.00 for pedestrians during the culling season.
Days closed – None.
Although there is space for parking cars, public transport to the park is most convenient. During the culling season, you can only enter the park during the day from 7.30 am and get out before 10 pm. During the deer mating season, the males are aggressive and can harm you. Stay at least 50 meters away, and do not bring your dog to the park.
#11. St. James’ Park
Standing on a 57-acre piece of land, the St. James’ Park is a must-see destination in London’s city center. The park is surrounded by the most popular landmarks in the City of Westminster including the Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, and Clarence House. The park also includes the Horse Guards Parade and The Mall.
Address – City of Westminster, London.
Entry Fee – Free
Opens – Daily, 06.00 to 00.00.
Dates closed – None.
When visiting the park, you need to use public transport by either bus or tube. There are no car parking facilities in James’ Park. On some special occasions, some roads may be closed to public traffic.
#12. Victoria Park
In East End London, Victoria Park is the first public park that was established solely for the people. The park covers an expanse of 213 acres of land, and it is the largest in Tower Hamlets, an attraction with over 9 million visitors each year.
Address – E3 5TB, Grove Road, London.
Fees to Enter – Free.
Opens – Daily, 07.00 to dusk.
Dates closed – None.
The park is easily accessible by public transport. When driving, you can find free parking space on Victoria Park Road. Other parking around is free from noon. Victoria Park gives you freedom for dogs and has a big play space for kids. You can also book a room in one of the two buildings for personal activities, conferences, workshops, etc.
#13. Kensington Gardens
Previously, the private gardens in the Kensington Palace and part of the Hyde Park, the park is now among the Royal Parks that fall under the Royal Borough of Kensington and the City of Westminster. Kensington Gardens park lies to the West of Hyder Park.
Address – W2 2UH, London.
Opens – Daily, 0600 till dusk.
Days Closed – None.
Public transport is the easiest way to access the park. You can use bus stops around the park as well as tube stations. However, private parking is only available for the disabled. The parking bays are along West Carriage Drive, precisely at the Queen’s Gate.
#14. Regent’s Park
Regent’s Park is part of the Londons’ Royal Parks. The park lies partly in the Borough of Camden and partly in the City of Westminster. The Park covers 410 acres of land, and the London Zoo is one of the attractions in the park.
Address – NW1 4NR, Chester Road, London.
Open – Daily, from 05.00. The closing time differs depending on the season.
Closed Days – None.
Access to the park is most convenient by public transport means. There are car parking facilities in the area, but due to limited space, you are advised to leave your car behind. Bus stops and tube stations around will help you get to the park easily.
Markets and Stores in London
When looking for cheap things to do in London, shopping comes handy. While traveling, you need to buy some accessories to facilitate your tour. Shopping is an essential part of any outdoor or vacation experience. These are some of the markets and open stores you should visit in London.
One of the largest world outdoor shopping centers, Soho is the place to be for your shopping needs. You will find many street shops and outlets for all kinds of items you may need. The center is close to high-end shopping places like Regent Street.
There are also restaurants where you can go for refreshments at a budget-friendly price. Enjoy the food, meet new friends, and have fun.
#16. Apple Market
Situated within Covent Garden, Apple Market is a shopping destination for people who are into fashion and design. The stalls in this place mostly trade in handmade items. You can buy jewelry, watercolors, unique soaps, etc.
Address – Covent Garden, WC2E 8RD.
Apart from buying various goods, you can as well dine at the market center. Remember that items are much cheaper at Apple Market than in the branded shops in Covent Garden.
Next to Hyde Park, Knightsbridge is an up shopping center in the middle of London. While looking for free things to do in London, you can give yourself a deserving treat with quality food and items from the shops and restaurants.
Address – City of Westminster, SW1X 7LX.
#18. Walthamstow Market
Although not the largest, the Walthamstow Market is the longest open market in Europe. The market is situated at Walthamstow High Street, a business street in London. It is also one of the cheapest market centers in the region, and your ideal choice for cheap places to visit while touring London.
Address – High Street, E17 7JN.
Arts Culture and Entertainment in London
Entertainment in London may vary depending on your choices. After your tiresome day, you need to find a relaxing entertainment center for recreation. Here are two centers that may interest you.
The BeatOrbit is the place to be when you want to re-energize with the drum beats and music. You get the opportunity to compete with your friends or others in drumming. You also get to interact with other people of like minds.
Address – 38B Georgiana Street, NW1 0EB.
Open – Wednesday to Sunday, 14.00 to 21.00.
#20. Old & New Photography
Do you want a photograph of you in the 18th century? Maybe not exactly, but resembling the times. Old & New Photography is your ideal place of interest. Take photos with guided poses with style. Whether you want to update your current photos with modern trends or antique features, you get everything done as per your wish.
Address – LG Floor, Knightsbridge, SW3 1ER.
Open – Saturday and Sunday, 11.00 to 10.00
Duration of Visit – Less than one hour.
London is a modern city with unlimited cheap things to do. Your choice of destination and activity may depend on the season you are visiting, the duration you will stay, and your taste. With a well-planned tour map, you will enjoy your tour with all the pleasantries without spending too much for the whole vacation.
With these cheap beautiful places to visit, your London tour dreams can come true with pleasant experiences.