6 In Destinations

UK: The Best Free Thing to Do in London

Last Updated on January 17, 2021 by Nina Ahmedow

me in front of the national gallery in london

London is an expensive city, but there’s an important free thing to do in London.

In capitalism, everything is about money. So even basic things are expensive because somebody wants to make money off them (consider the tax on menstrual hygiene products). Travel is a luxury, but as we visit foreign countries, we also partake in activities the locals do. So when those things cost a lot of money they don’t only exclude foreign tourists but also the local population who may not be very affluent.

One thing that’s always really expensive while traveling is visiting museums.

bratislava free walking tour
Free Tour in Bratislava. I love free tours because you only spend as much money as you can/want.

But that’s the amazing thing about London. While this British city regularly makes the list of most expensive cities in the world to live in, it’s possible to save money here. Yes, London’s major landmarks often have steep entrance fees…

But the thing is that you can plan a trip entirely on free things to do in London. Unless you spend months in London you will probably not get to see everything anyway. So why not save some money by doing the best free thing in London? You’ll be able to spend this money on cool things like experiencing all the Harry Potter attractions in London or eating your way through the best vegan restaurants in the city.

So what’s the best free thing to do in London?

Visiting London’s Public Museums Is the Best Free Thing to Do in London

Yes, London’s public museums are free to visit! Isn’t that amazing? I remember how impressed I was when I visited London some years ago. And guess what? Because so many museums are free you see a lot of families there who might not be able to afford high entrance fees.

me in london

It’s usually the temporary exhibitions that you have to pay for but not the main exhibitions in London’s public museums. The following museums in London are free to visit: British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, Wallace Collection. So if you combine visits to these museums with some walking around the city you can see a lot of London for free.

In my opinion, visiting public museums is the best free thing to do in London. In contrast, private museums can be quite expensive. So if you’re on a budget you know what to do on your trip to London. (If you want to spend even more money while traveling also check out my post on free things to do in Sweden!)

pin the best free thing to do in london lemons and luggage

Have you been to any of London’s public museums?


  • Reply
    Katy Emanuel
    March 5, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    I didn’t realize that the public museums were free in London, so that is great to know.

    • Reply
      Nina Ahmedow
      March 6, 2020 at 11:53 am

      Yep, isn’t that amazing?

  • Reply
    March 9, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    Y E S to all of this. I lovvvvvve museums. I was in London and so impressed by the free public museums. Free museums give me life. They can be difficult to find in the US.

    I enjoyed walking around London, even in the rain. And the Tube is well-connected. Sometimes when I write about a place, I realize my favorite thing is walking. And better yet? Walking is free(well…for now…;))! One of my favorite travel memories is walking the entirety of San Francisco with a great friend. A notoriously expensive city, we had a much more enriching and enjoyable experience in San Francisco.

    Did you go to the Victoria and Albert museum? I hear so many great things.

    • Reply
      Nina Ahmedow
      March 10, 2020 at 12:37 pm

      I think that making public museums is also so amazing for low-income families, so I loved that!

      Walking is amazing, yes! I always prefer walking wherever possible. (It’s also a free way to stay healthy, haha.)

      I haven’t been to the Victoria and Albert Museum yet but hopefully soon. Thanks for the comment, Sarah!

  • Reply
    Keri | Bon Voyage With Kids
    March 10, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    This is a great post. On my first study abroad in London, I was blown away by the free museums and discounted prices for students. So many museums and historical sites in London are free, or at least free or discounted for kids! The London Transport Museum is free for kids ages 17 and under! It is certainly an incentive to visit. Great info for sharing!

    • Reply
      Nina Ahmedow
      March 11, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks for the additional info! I think it can be so difficult for families to visit museums when ticket prices are often very high. So great that London takes a different approach.

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