London is one of the handful of cities that should be on everyone's bucket list! It's bursting at the seems with things to do and I have put together a list of my absolutely favorite - and completely free - things to do.
TAKE A PICTURE IN A PHONE BOOTH
First things first. Just do it and get it out of the way. It's cheesy and touristy and I know you want to.
SPEND A DAY AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM
Even if you’re not very into museums, you’ll want to see this one. You can easily spend a couple of days in this place and it contains artifacts from all over the world, from the Rosetta stone to the Parthenon marbles from Acropolis. It’s a truly fascinating collection. Free entrance!
TAKE IN THE VIEW FROM THE SKY GARDEN
Try to not miss this panoramic view of the whole city from the Walkie Talkie building. The best time to visit is around sunset as London dramatically changes in the beautiful glow of the sun. Entrance here is, of course, free but ticketed so make sure you get a ticket in advance via the official website.
LITTLE VENICE IN MAIDA VALE
Like boats? Head to Little Venice in Maida Vale and look at the houseboats. Probably one of the most unique and picturesque areas of London.
Yes, there is a lot of money to be spent here, but just walking around this part of London can easily fill a half-day. I absolutely love Covent garden, and I am pretty sure I am far from alone. There are amazing nooks and crannies everywhere filled with brilliant shops, restaurants and bars. Grab an apple cider during winter or watch the street performers during the warmer months.
WALK WALK WALK
I have written two posts about beautiful walking trails all over London. You'll find them here: Breathtaking walk around London Part I and Breathtaking walks around London Part II.
Another favorite of mine. Pack a picnic and have breakfast in this impressive park in central London. A perfect place to rest between your Oxford street shopping. Last time I was there I found this bench and anyone who loved 'Notting Hill' will get it.
A small park, lots of shops, including the famous M&M store, and restaurants. Leicester Square is also the home of the Odeon Cinema where all the major movies have red carpet premieres (including all the Harry Potter films) so if you're there a few days, chances are you'll spot a celebrity or two. And, if you feel like seeing one of the world famous musicals, the Leicester square box office sells heavily discounted tickets for all the shows (on the same day). Great way to see a show for a fraction of the price. I bought 5th row tickets for Phantom here for 25 pounds!
COLUMBIA ROAD FLOWER MARKET
Every Sunday columbia road transforms in to one of the most colorful places you can find yourself in London, filled to the rafters with amazing and beautiful flowers and trees. All instagrammers will have field day here.
RECREATE THE FAMOUS ABBEY ROAD PHOTO
A few years ago I was in London with my mother, sister, cousin and aunt. I decided we should all wake up at 5 the first morning, bring a tripod and recreate everyone's favorite Beatles picture. The only one who ended up coming was my mom (not at 5 though) and after an hour this is what I have to show for it... Thanks mom.
VISIT THE GEFFRYE MUSEUM
Located in hip Shoreditch (yes, this is apparently where all the cool people in London live), the museum is focused on interior design and is a fascinating way to immerse yourself in what a typical British home looked like from the 1600’s right through to present day.
Downtown abbey anyone? Anyone who loves those English period dramas or if you're just a fan of architecture you should visit the Kentwood house. It's said to be one of London's most beautiful places to visit and yet, I don't know anyone who's been here. The gardens and interiors are equally beautiful and it will be a struggle to leave.
PORTOBELLO ROAD MARKET
This is one of the most popular markets in London and is very busy but don’t let that put you off - the market is equally one of the most fun places to hang out in London and the chance that you might score yourself a bargain is definitely enough incentive to, at the very least, pop in.
WATCH A FREE COMEDY SHOW AT THE THEATRE
Monday nights are free nights and it’s a fantastic chance to see some really cracking comedy acts in London.
GO SEE BIG BEN!
If you time it well enough, you’ll get to hear it chime too. Big Ben by the way is the bell in the tower. The Tower itself is actually called The Elizabeth Tower. If you’re resident in the UK (even if it’s not in London) you can actually walk right up to the top of Big Ben and see all of London from there, check out the crack in the bell at the top and actually see the bell in person when it chimes (yes it’s very loud but don’t worry, you’ll get given ear plugs).
QUEEN MARY'S ROSE GARDEN
Another instagrammer-favorite! If you like flowers, or just natural beauty, this place will leave you fealing fulfilled as it is arguably the most spectacular Rose Garden in Britain. It doesn't get more English than this!
WALK THROUGH THE WOOLWICH FOOT TUNNEL
The tunnel runs underneath the river Thames and is a unique experience to cross the River after an afternoon in Woolwich.
WATCH A LIVE RECORDING AT BBC
Tickets for all the shows are available here.
This is a staple for me, every time I visit London. Most of the fashion is a bit out there for me but the food market is worth every minute on that tube! Make time to spend a few hours here, you won't regret it.
VISIT WESTMINSTER ABBEY
This stunning gothic masterpiece is a must. It costs to visit, but, as with all churches in Europe, you can attend an evensong service (or mass) for free. Even if you don’t get the chance to do this, you should definitely head over anyway and take a photo from the outside. It’s absolutely stunning and you’ll be glad you did.
THE GLOBE THEATRE
A replica of the theatre where Shakespeare showed his plays! You could pay to go in but you can check it out from the outside for free. Extra tip: If you want to watch a show here, you can still nab tickets for as little as £5 if you plan enough in advance.
VISIT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON
Immerse yourself in London’s history right through from pre-historic times to more recent times. You’re in London after all, you might as well get the story and the context behind all the amazing sight you’re going to be seeing.
Over to you! What are your favorite places in London?
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