London has a reputation for being an expensive place to visit, but did you know you can enjoy yourself for days on end in this city and not spend a penny?
I’ve visited London many times for business and just for a weekend away, and I’ve picked out five of my favorite free activities from literally hundreds.
1. Walk along the South Bank of the Thames
Sometimes something as simple as a walk can be really enjoyable. I love the south bank of the Thames, and you can definitely enjoy it too. Start your walk at Tower Bridge, and walk west towards HMS Belfast – you can’t miss it, it’s the huge World War II battleship moored along the river. Next you will pass by Hay’s Galleria where you can get out of the sun or even rain for a bit and maybe have a drink before continuing on towards Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. A bit further down is the Tate Modern Museum, and admission is free. By this time I’m usually tired, and welcome a break at the museum.
2. Attend a BBC TV show recording
You will have to plan ahead a little for this one as you will need to apply for tickets to your favorite TV show on the BBC website. They open up seats for almost all shows they make in London from the early morning children’s shows to the afternoon talk shows, and even evening game shows. It’s an interesting way to sneak a peek into the process of producing a TV show, and a chance for you to even participate in the show itself.
3. Go on a cemetery tour
Many people don’t think about going on a tour of the cemeteries in a city, but it’s actually quite fascinating. It’s a very peaceful and tranquil way to spend an afternoon in this busy city. There are several cemeteries around London that are open to the public, including Bunhill Fields cemetery where Daniel Defoe is buried, and Nunhead Cemetery which is very Gothic in feel.
4. Hang out in Hyde Park on Sunday and listen to or even participate in Speaker’s Corner
Hop on the Underground to Marble Arch Station on the Central Line, and head up in to Hyde Park for one of London’s most unique traditions. Every Sunday morning people gather in an open forum where there is no set topic or theme. You are free to speak your mind, or engage in debate with a speaker. It’s a fascinating glimpse into British life and a great way to spend a free Sunday.
5. See a movie at The Roxy
The Roxy on Borough High Street is a very popular night spot that likes to screen movies – some you have to pay for in the form of a small cover charge, and other movies are free. If you take out a membership, you can attend all movies for free for the entire year – now that’s a deal. I’ve been to several screenings here, both old movies and current releases. Plan this one a little ahead, and you are sure to find a free screening, but… it’s first come first served, so make sure you arrive early.