How to Enjoy London Without Spending Money

London! My favorite city in the world. It also happens to be a very expensive city!

I have to really watch my spending while I’m there, or I can easily go overboard. Luckily, I know of loads of things to do around London without spending any money! This helps keep my spending WAY down and helps make my budget adventures a reality!

 

How to Enjoy London Without Spending Money

 

I’ve visited (some of) the tourist spots before, but from then on, I’ve just viewed them in passing. On my last visit, I traipsed around London only even going near the touristy spots once, and that was to enjoy some fish and chips in front of the Tower of London! It is such a huge city, you can never run out of things to see and do.

Enjoying Fish and Chips in front of the Tower of London

How did I spend $0 in London aside from transit and food?

On a previous trip to Europe, I made a handful of incredible friends! One of whom very kindly invited me to stay at her house, and I purposely avoid anything with an admissions fee!

If you don’t have a sweet, angelic friend in the LDN, check out Couchsurfing or even Workaway to find a free place! Don’t look at these two options as just a free place to stay though, you’ll need to spend some time getting to know the people you are staying with, and even help them with tasks if you found them on Workaway.

The Free Things To Do

Explore ruins! 

My favorite new place I visited was St. Dunstan’s of the East, a cathedral which was bombed during the war, and only the external shell of the cathedral remains. It has been turned into a park, and you honestly can forget that you are even in the city as you sit on one of its benches.

St Dunstans of the East, London

The skeletal ruins of what remains after WW2.

London’s museums are free!

Did you know this? I pop into several different museums each time I visit, whether it’s just to escape the weather, enjoy a cuppa tea, or to stare at some lovely art. My favorite museum is the Tate Britain.

It houses Millais’ Ophelia and Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shallot; my two favorite paintings! I can sit and stare at these two heart-wrenching pieces for hours on end before remembering that I’m in the most magnificent city in the world and run outside to take in more sights.

Exploring the Tate Britain, my favorite museum

Exploring the Tate Britain, my favorite museum!

 

I also enjoy popping into the British Museum for a bit! The architecture is gorgeous and all on Instagram, plus they have a great gift shop and the most amazing collection of archaeological finds I’ve ever seen!

 

The architecture of the British Museum

The famous architecture of the British Museum

 

Lewis Chessmen found in the British Museum

The adorable Lewis Chessmen found in the British Museum

 

The V&A (Victoria and Albert) Museum is also one of my favorites to visit! There are some exhibits which may require a fee, but overall you should find most of the exhibits to be free. Here, you can see clothing from throughout the ages, catch some short videos on the World’s Fair and history of London, and enjoy a cuppa tea in the simply breathtaking (read: MUST SEE!) cafe! According to their website, it is the world’s oldest museum restaurant. My favorite rooms of it are the Morris Room and the Gamble Room. You can see more pictures on their website.

Victoria and Albert Museum - Inside one of the cafes at the V&A

Victoria and Albert Museum – Inside one of the cafes at the V&A

Though London has a magnificent transportation system, I’m not opposed to exploring London on foot.

I have found so many amazing new sites just while walking around. London is a city full of history! Just walking around can take you to the more interesting spots. Original public drinking fountains with cups attached by chains? Yep! They’re all over! You can find loads of quirky little oddities while exploring!

Original drinking fountain, you can find several hiding around London!

Original drinking fountain, you can find several hiding around London! These once had cups attached via chains for (shared) public consumption. As you can imagine, this didn’t go very well!

 

How about a Roman Amphitheatre from Londinium? It’s magnificent and free! When I visited, I was alone in the entire amphitheater! Talk about an incredible experience! Speaking of the Romans, did you know London was once a Roman city called Londinium? The original city walls can be found all over!

Roman Amphitheater, London

Roman Amphitheater, London

 

Does the history of London interest you? Be sure to check out the fantastic Museum of London! Admission is free and it goes in depth into the history of London! Plus, if you walk to it, you are almost guaranteed to pass by these Roman walls pictured below!

While exploring, there are several spots where you can come across the walls of Londinium!

Don’t only see London from the ground, though!

For a view that can’t be beaten (especially with the price tag of FREE), head up to the rooftop of One New Change beside St. Paul’s Cathedral! On a beautiful day, carry a cup of coffee up with you and take a moment to relax and take in the city.

You can also check out the view from the Tate Modern or head to the park, Hampstead Heath!

View from One New Change, London

The View from One New Change is simply breathtaking! Plus, there is shopping downstairs if you fancy something new!

 

View of London from the roof of the Tate Modern

View of London from the roof of the Tate Modern

Visit Camden Town

No visit to London is complete without a visit to Camden Town. Walking through the former horse stables now set up as shops selling everything from Banksy prints to Crepes is an adventure in itself and can easily turn into an entire day’s adventure.

Crepes at Camden Town

Crepes at Camden Town

Green Spaces

In addition to Hampstead Heath, there is an abundance of green space around London! Some of my favorite parks to explore include, of course, Hyde Park and the Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park, and Battersea Park.

Hyde Park is a fantastic place to lose yourself for the day! It is truly an expanse of greenery, with so much to offer! Catch sights such as Kensington Palace, find the upsidedown tree, the Peter Pan Statue, the Princess Diana Memorial, the Holocaust Memorial Gardens, and the Winter Wonderland (seasonal). Follow the park to the Northeast corner and you will find yourself on Oxford Street, where you can browse the shops, listen in to inspirational speakers or crazy ramblers, and possibly get free hugs at Speaker’s Corner, or catch a bus to your next location!

I enjoyed exploring Regent’s Park, accidentally, when I decided it would be wise to walk from Camden back down to towards the Thames. Why would I do this? Because it didn’t look far on my map! It did make for a fantastic walk though!

 

Art Underfoot

On your walk to the Tate Modern, be sure to cross over the Millennium Bridge. Look down.

No, not at the river. Look at the walkway. Do you see gum all over the bridge? Take a closer look and enjoy the free, outdoor artwork of Ben Wilson, the Chewing Gum Man!

Chewing Gum Art, Millennium Bridge, London

Chewing Gum Art, Millennium Bridge, London

 

Did you find something new and exciting to do in London without spending money?

Hopefully, this list will help inspire your next trip there! Did I miss your favorite free activity? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Headed to Dublin soon?

Check out my guide to Dublin here!

How to Enjoy London Without Spending Money

How to Enjoy London Without Spending Money

 

 

My life has been a collage of airlines and exhaustion, and I wouldn't change a thing! I'm a budget traveler, and I adore exploring the world one plane or train ticket at a time!

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