Best things to do in London for FREE!

London is often labelled for being extremely pricy. As an international student studying in London with a budget to maintain, I was always searching for free things to see and do in London. These are some of the things I’ve discovered and stumbled upon after being here for a couple of years.

Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre is Europe’s largest centre for the arts, attracting millions visitors annually, which includes the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery.

Explore Southbank centre near Waterloo, where you get a scenic view of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, overlooking the River Thames.

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the Southbank Centre’s food market offers amazing street food, a range of beers, wines and cocktails, and even desserts for those looking for something sweet!

From the National Theatre in Southbank Centre, continue walking and you’ll reach the Oxo Tower and Gabriel’s Wharf, which hosts a mix crafty art shops, independent retail design studios, restaurants/cafes along the River Thames.

If you are a museum kind of person, London is just the place for you! There a range of different museums to cater to your interests, whether it’s art, historical wars, or culture – you could spend a week just exploring these museums for free!

1. British museum
2. Tate modern
3. Imperial war museum
4. Victoria and Albert museum
5. Natural History museum


Take a stroll or have a picnic at the Royal parks of London, which includes Hyde, The Green, Richmond, Greenwich, St James’s, Bushy and The Regent’s Parks, and Kensington Gardens. These parks are all free to enter and they each have something unique to offer.

During Christmas season, Hyde Park is transformed into a Winter Wonderland – an annual winter festival offering a dazzling array of entertainment & activities (e.g., ice skating, circus shows, amusement rides). Although the activities are ticketed, entrance to a Winter Wonderland itself is free!

Richmond Park is situated slightly further out from zone 1, however you can easily reach there by a direct train in less than an hour. Be sure to look for the deer that roam freely around. From biking, boating lakes, to playgrounds, visit the different parks and connect with nature to escape from city life!

Don’t be fooled by whatever you read on the internet, you’ll be surprised what London can offer for free!


Alicia Yoon