Are you visiting London on a budget? Do you want to know 10 things to do for free? Here is a list of the ten best tourist attractions which can be enjoyed free of charge.
See our complete list of free events in London
Big Ben is usually off-limits to the public, put did you know that you can climb up it for free? All you've got to do is write to your local MP for a ticket and they will arrange for you to attend a tour. The guide will take you up the tower to see the clock mechanism, the clock faces, and even let you stand in the belfy whilst the big bell goes off!
No trip to London would be complete without seeing the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace. It starts at 11.30AM in the summer and every other day in the winter. There are actually two detachments of the Guard that get changed – one at Buckingham Palace and another at St. James’s Palace, a short walk down The Mall. If you arrive early then you can take up a position by the front gates.
The British Museum is one of the world’s great museums, covering everything from Ancient Egypt and Rome, to pre-historic times in Africa. It’s collection houses some of our greatest national treasures, including the controversial Elgin marbles and Rosetta Stone. Opening times: Galleries: 10 AM to 5.30 PM (Sat to Wed), 10 AM to 8:30 (Thu, Fri); Last admission 10 minutes before closing time. Cost: Free.
The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square houses more than 2,000 works from 1260 onwards. All of the great names in art history can be found here, including Raphael, Rembrandt, Renoir, Titian, Turner, Monet, Da Vinci and Van Gogh. Opening times: Gallery: 10 AM to 6 PM (Sat–Thu), 10 AM to 9 PM (Fri); Tours: 11.30 AM, 2.30 PM (daily) and 7 PM (Fri) . Cost: Free.
Did you know that both UK residents and overseas visitors can enter the Houses of Parliament and watch the MPs debating for free? Galleries run around the top of both Chambers (the Lords and the Commons), looking down upon the MPs. The visitors section is at the back, looking towards the chair. Opening times: House of Commons public gallery (when in session): 2.30 PM to 10.30 PM (Mon, Tue); 12:30 AM to 7.30 PM (Wed); 10.30 AM to 6.30 PM (Thu); 9.30 AM to 3 PM (Fri).
The Natural History Museum has 69 million specimens covering every aspect of life on Earth, from our prehistoric past to the present day. The towering bones in Dinosuar Hall are a particular favourite, but they also have a veritable zoo of stuffed exhibits, including elephants, lions, tigers and every kind of bird – even the Dodo! Opening times: 10 AM to 5.50 PM (daily); Last admission 5.30 PM. Cost: Free.
The Ceremony of the Keys is the traditional locking up of the Tower of London, which has taken place on each and every night, without fail, for at least 700 years. The event is free, but must be booked up a long time in advance. Opening times: 9 AM to 5.30 PM (Tue–Sat, Mar–Oct), 10 AM to 5.30 PM (Sun, Mon, Mar–Oct), 9 AM to 4.30 PM (Tue–Sat, Nov–Feb), 10 AM to 4.30 PM (Sun, Mon, Nov–Feb); Last admission 30 minutes before closing time. Cost: Adults £19.80; Children £10.45 (5–16); Infants free (under-5); Family ticket £55.00.
At 203 feet Primrose Hill is a bit of a climb, but it’s well-worth the effort – it boasts one of the best views of the London skyline. Its position north of Regent’s Park gives you a fine view of London Zoo below, as well as the City in the distance and Canary Wharf to the east. You should be able to pick out the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s and the Shard of Glass, but there’s a big silver plaque to help you.
If you want to get a taste of what London’s really about, then where better to start than the Museum of London. This free museum tells the history of the city from its Roman occupation right through to the 17th-century plague, the Great Fire of 1666 and the Blitz of World War II. Opening times: 10 AM to 6 PM (daily); Last admission 5.30 PM. Cost: Free.
The transformed power station that now houses the Tate Modern focuses on work from the 19th-century onwards. Some of the great names on display include Dalí, Pollock, Picasso, Matisse, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko. Opening times: Gallery: 10 AM to 6 PM (Sun–Thu), 10 AM to 10 PM (Fri, Sat); Last admission 45 minutes before closing time; Tours: 11 AM, noon, 2 PM, 3 PM (daily). Cost: Free.
Follow Drummerboy’s trip around London, as he
visits every attractionLondon Drummerboy’s blog
Pick of the best shows coming up in London…
|> Upcoming events|
|> For free in May|
|> For free in June|
|> For free in July|