London is one of the world’s best tourist destinations, full of amazing places to explore, magnificent buildings to see, and an incredible history that stretches back thousands of years. Having a great time while you’re in the city is guaranteed, and while there are many fantastic luxury homes in London which are ideal to use as a base, you may want to spend as little as possible while you’re on vacation. With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at some of the best things to do in London for free:
Kensington Gardens are simply beautiful, and the ideal destination if you want to take time away from busy city life. Home to the Peter Pan Statue, the Albert Memorial, and the Diana Memorial Playground, you are free to wander around the gardens and enjoy the fresh air. Take a walk along the paths that are lined with trees, and make your way around the entire park. If you visit during the summer months the park does tend to get quite busy, but it’s still a lovely spot to visit, and ideal if you’re a fan of picnics and spending time outdoors. If you would like to visit a few more parks, head to Green Park, Hyde Park, or St James’s Park as they are all free, and ideal for a pleasant stroll.
The National Gallery
Located in Trafalgar Square, and home to approximately 2,300 masterpieces, the National Gallery houses some magnificent collections along with art from the middle of the 13th century, right up to the early 20th century. While there is no admission charge, if you would like to listen to an audio guide about some of the exhibits you will have to pay £4 (Price correct at the time of writing). If you happen to be travelling with children you may be pleased to know that the Gallery offers activity sheets and special trails so your little ones are guaranteed to have a great time.
A part of London for more than 1,000 years, and located under some magnificent Victorian railway arches, the Borough Market can be found at 8 Southwark Street and is affectionately known as “London’s Larder”. Food lovers and anyone with a bit of an appetite will love the market, thanks to its impressive selection of food for sale. Selling high-end and very fresh products, Borough Market proudly sells food that you can either take away with you or enjoy while you’re there as there as some great cafés and restaurants, offering up a wide variety of dishes that are sure to tempt you. What’s more is if you have a bit of a sweet tooth you may find the numerous cake stalls a little too tempting, but you’re on vacation so a slice or two of cake is fine!
The Houses of Parliament
Home to the Elizabeth Tower, which is also known as ‘Big Ben’ the Houses of Parliament is one of the must-see tourist destinations that millions of people gaze upon every year. Located in Parliament Square, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament is home to UK democracy and a magnificent structure that is steeped in impressive and catastrophic history, making the Palace of Westminster (It’s official name) even more wondrous. The oldest part of the palace dates back to the 11th century and managed to survive the 1834 fire. Whatever the weather is doing, if you want to see one of London’s greatest sights, get yourself to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and get camera-happy.
The Victoria and Albert Museum
Thought to be home to the world’s best decorative art, the V&A hosts an impressive 4.5 million pieces and is a must-visit destination. Displaying Asian art, European art, and the Ardabil Carpet which is considered to be the world’s oldest, you can expect to see some breathtaking pieces that you may never see anywhere else. Located on Cromwell Road, and with some exhibitions changing every few months, a trip to this museum is essential if you love art, architecture and taking in a bit of history and culture.
St. Paul’s Church
St Paul’s Church, which is located on Bedford Street was originally going to be a very simple church that was supposed to look “Nothing more than a barn”, however, the church is thought to be one of the most glorious barns in the country, and is heavily associated with many of the nearby theatres. Visitors should not confuse the church with St. Paul’s Cathedral, which has a history all of its own. Inside the church, you will find a range of memorials that commemorate Noel Coward, Charlie Chaplin, Boris Karloff, and Vivien Leigh. Built in 1622, and commissioned by the Earl of Bedford, St. Paul’s Church is definitely worth a visit.
Portobello Road Market
The perfect destination on just about any day, Portobello Road Market is alive with hustle and bustle, with stores selling anything from vintage clothing, to collectables, fruits and vegetables to fashionable clothing and glorious trinkets. Although you may be tempted to spend some cash at the market, you don’t have to, you can quite easily take a stroll around, and soak in the atmosphere. Please note the market tends to get very busy on a Saturday, so you may want to avoid it during this time if you can. However, if you would like to take a look at a few antiques and spend a little money buying something with a hint of history about it, then head to the antique stalls that are located in Chepstow Villas and Elgin Crescent.
While London may seem like a somewhat expensive city if you want to limit your spending you can always take a walk around a market, spend some time in some magnificent museums, or visit the National Gallery. You really can have a great time on your vacation in London, without spending too much money. Get ready to walk more than a few miles, eat somewhere local, and enjoy your time in this vibrant part of the world.