London might be known as one of the priciest cities on the planet, but hold onto your hats because this city is jam-packed with awesome, wallet-friendly experiences that’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear!
Whether you’re a wanderlust-filled adventurer, an art-loving enthusiast, or just someone watching the pennies, London‘s a treasure trove of freebies that’ll tickle your fancy. From world-famous museums and bustling markets to a hip evening in an art gallery, get ready to dive headfirst into London’s lively, wallet-saving world!
1. Treat yourself to a killer view at Sky Garden
The Sky Garden, or Walkie Talkie, is London’s free-to-access sky-high garden with lush indoor greenery and a jaw-dropping view from level 34, where you can spot most of London’s iconic landmarks.
To grab your free ticket, head to their website (yep, it’s free), but act fast because these tickets disappear faster than an English summer! They release new tickets every Monday.
Once you’ve got your ticket, make sure it’s ready on your phone. If your preferred time and date are booked, try your luck with walk-in spots available daily at 10am, 11:30am, 2pm, and 4:30pm. Enjoy the view!
Address: Sky Garden, 1 Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF
2. Experience tea like never before at Twinings’s flagship store
Fancy a cuppa? Make your way to the Twinings’ flagship store on The Strand and treat yourself to a delightful, no-cost journey through the wonderful world of tea! As London’s oldest tea emporium, this particular Twinings establishment boasts a legacy that spans centuries, and it now stands as a haven for tea aficionados with its wide array of tea collections.
Here, you’re warmly welcomed to explore the diverse tea offerings and even get schooled in the fine art of brewing. Hidden deeper within the store also lies a little treasure — a mini museum delves deep into the tea universe. From the fascinating history of tea to the origins of each tea leaf, it’s all here waiting for you to discover.
Address: 216 Strand, Temple, London WC2R 1AP, United Kingdom
3. Kensington Gardens
When strolling through Hyde Park, remember to explore the enchanting Kensington Gardens tucked away behind Kensington Palace. While the palace might charge an entrance fee, the park is open to the public, offering a serene and stunning escape.
Inside these lush green grounds, you’ll stumble upon landmarks like the Princess Diana Memorial Garden, the majestic Albert Memorial, the whimsical Peter Pan Statue, and the peaceful Italian Gardens.
Insider tip: On a sunny, warm day, be on the lookout for a vintage Rolls Royce ice cream truck. Treat yourself to a scoop of creamy goodness as you meander through the rest of this beautiful grounds.
Address: Hyde Park, London
4. Immerse in art at Tate Modern
Tate Modern, the globally acclaimed contemporary art gallery, is nestled within a transformed power station right by the scenic River Thames. The permanent gallery is open to the public, free of charge. Art enthusiasts will love the remarkable collection of modern and contemporary masterpieces. Think Picasso, Warhol, and Hockney.
If you want to dodge the crowds and truly soak in the art at your leisure, Wednesday is the best time. On the last Friday of every month, Tate Modern cranks up the excitement with Tate Modern Lates. The museum comes alive with live music, engaging workshops, and insightful artistic discussions.
Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG
5. Go shopping at Portobello Road Market
Fancy a saunter through the heart of London’s liveliest market scene? Look no further than the Portobello Road Market in the charming Notting Hill neighbourhood. Cherished by both locals and visitors alike, this market is an absolute gem.
Picture this: vast antique emporiums, vintage clothing treasures, sparkling jewellery, household goodies, delectable street food, and much more await! As it goes on for a whole mile, we suggest putting on your comfy shoes. It’s like a treasure hunt with sections catering to all sorts of interests.
For fans of the iconic rom-com movie, Notting Hill, keep your eyes peeled. You might just recognise some of the spots from the film, as it was shot right here on Portobello Road. Plus, there are plenty of souvenir shops where you can grab a piece of Notting Hill to take back home as a souvenir.
Address: London W11 1LJ, United Kingdom
6. Visit Queen’s House Greenwich
The Queen’s House in Greenwich, a historic royal palace designed by architect Inigo Jones, is renowned for its classical design and unique layout. It’s known as the ‘House of Delights’ and boasts an impressive art collection. The highlight? The Tulip Stair, one of Britain’s first self-supporting spiral staircases. Entry is free, but booking online is recommended due to limited daily slots.
Address: Romney Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF
7. Dive deep into the world of words at Daunt Books (Marylebone)
Book lovers, don’t miss Daunt Bookstore in London! It’s renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful bookshops, boasting an Edwardian-style design and long oak galleries. This independent bookstore, founded in the 1990s, specialises in travel literature, with books organised by country. With three floors of narrow book-filled lanes, you can easily lose track of time exploring and admiring the architecture.
Address: 84 Marylebone High St, London W1U 4QW
8. Admire the Royal Exchange
Stroll around The Royal Exchange, a historic building that was once a centre for trading goods. Today, it houses many of the world’s finest brands, along with cafes and restaurants. The original building was completed in 1571, but endured several unfortunate incidents involving fires. It was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666 and later again in 1838.
The current Royal Exchange, designed by William Tite, was completed in 1844. Despite its closure in 1939, the Royal Exchange remains a fantastic architectural site to explore in London. The central courtyard atrium is truly awe-inspiring, filled with natural light that creates a beautiful ambience reminiscent of the past.
Address: Royal Exchange, London EC3V 3LR, United Kingdom
9. Get colourful at God’s Own Junkyard
God’s Own Junkyard will transport you to a vibrant neon art universe featuring neon installations collected worldwide. This free attraction is more than just an Instagram-worthy spot in London; it’s also the home of Electro Signs, a legendary neon sign company since 1952.
This unique neon wonderland was created by the late artist Chris Bracey, known as the ‘Master of Glow’, with over 1,000 neon signs that cost over £3,000 (roughly RM17,500) a month to power. Inside this neon wonderland, you’ll find a quirky little cafe — a great spot to relax and be mesmerised by the neon signs, each with its own unique story.
Address: Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, London E17 9HQ, United Kingdom
10. Have a laugh at Angel Comedy Club
Angel Comedy Club hosts Raw Monday every week, providing a platform for novice and seasoned comedians to test their latest material. It’s a great opportunity to experience emerging comedic talent in an intimate and energetic setting, guaranteed to have you in stitches.
This event is free, but seats are limited, so arrive when the doors open at 7:30pm to snag a spot! If you’re a fan of open mic events or comedy in general, this is an absolute must-do in London, and it won’t cost you a thing!
Address: 2 Camden Passage, London N1 8DY, United Kingdom
11. Educate yourself with history at the British Museum
One of the best things about London is the free access to most major museums, including the British Museum. You can easily lose track of time here, exploring artefacts from various civilisations and eras, including iconic pieces like the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.
The museum’s architecture is a masterpiece in itself. The luminous central courtyard, with a circular reading room at its heart and a massive glass steel roof, leaves a grand and lasting impression. Entry to the permanent collections is free, but booking a timed slot online is advisable to avoid waiting.
Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom
12. Surround yourself with sensory beauty at Outernet London
Next to Tottenham Court Road Station, Outernet London offers a free 360-degree immersive projection. The dynamic visuals, crafted by various digital artists, provide a captivating sensory experience with impressive sound technology and floor-to-ceiling screens.
With seating available, you can fully immerse yourself in this ever-evolving sensory adventure. It’s a fantastic experience worth exploring, and a perfect spot to take a break during your London adventures.
Address: Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 8LH, United Kingdom