London is renowned as a cultural hub and one of the most modern and tourist friendly places in the world. However, there’s no denying that it is also one of the most expensive cities to live in. But did you know that almost half the tourist attractions in London can be visited free of cost?
The UK’s vibrant capital is full of wonderful things to see and not all of them have a hefty entry fee. There are several fantastic sites to visit in London without spending a penny which include markets and royal parks as well as popular tourist attractions such as monuments, museums and galleries.
The best way to explore London is on foot. You can also buy an oyster card with a student discount and use it to easily travel in and around London thanks to the super efficient and well-connected metro called the ‘tube’. Walk around as much as you can and remember to carry an umbrella with you and be prepared for the sudden and frequent London showers!
Learn about the best free places that international students can visit in London below and for information regarding travelling to and studying in the UK in 2021, book a free consultation with SI-UK India today.
Four Places to Visit in London for Free
London is full of fantastic museums and while you may have to stand in a queue for most of them, they are totally worth it and they don’t cost a thing. Another good news is that most of the popular museums can be visited together as they are situated close to each other in London’s museum district in Kensington, London. Popular London museums include:
The British Museum
This British Museum is the museum of human history and is full of precious artworks and artefacts from all over the world. It’s also famous for the incredible Great Court which has a beautiful glass roof.
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum or V&A Museum focuses on fashion, design and art with exhibits from all over the world, through the centuries. The museum has a beautiful exterior as well and a gorgeous courtyard to rest in after spending a long day exploring the place.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is right before the V&A Museum and impresses one at the entry itself with its gigantic T.rex dinosaur fossil. The museum is divided into different zones featuring the diversity of living beings, different forces of life, the earth’s evolution and the wildlife garden.
Also located in London’s museum district, this place is a must see for children and adults alike with fascinating things to explore like space exploration and the Big Bang.
2. Art Galleries
London has some fascinating art galleries that feature the world's greatest art and are absolutely free to enter. Popular art galleries in London include:
Situated in Trafalgar Square which is a tourist attraction in itself, this place is a must visit when in London. The gallery features a collection of world-class art, more than 2300 pieces, with paintings by the likes of Leonardo and Van Gogh.
National Portrait Gallery
Located right behind the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery has the largest collection of portraits in the world. Thus the focus is on the subjects instead of the artists with portraits of famous people such as Shakespeare and the Queen.
The Tate Modern was established recently in 2000 and is one of the most impressive art galleries to visit in London. It boasts one of the largest collections of contemporary art in the world. Highlights include works by the likes of Francis Bacon, Monet and Picasso amongst many others.
Tate Britain has existed for way longer than Tate Modern and should be visited to see a large collection of British art through the times. It’s a walk through the country’s art history from Hogarth to Turner and Reynolds.
3. Royal Parks and Gardens
Parks are one of the most visited places in London. These luscious green spaces with lakes and all kinds of flora are truly a delight to visit. Situated all over the city, these parks are some of the grandest parks in the world and are absolutely free to visit. Popular parks include:
Hyde Park is one of the greatest city parks in London and the world. The park has a variety of flora and fauna, a large lake with two lakeside restaurants and lots of activities to do such as cycling, boating, swimming and skating. There’s also a rose garden with a Diana Memorial Fountain where several open events take place.
You can enjoy the smell of fresh blooms all over the stunning formal gardens in Regent’s Park. Situated on Regent’s Street close to the tube exit, the park is easy to reach and you can enjoy sitting leisurely in the open air theatre, by the lake, playgrounds or the outdoor sports area, which is the biggest one in London.
St. James’s Park
This park is situated in the centre of three royal palaces and is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city while being right in the centre of London. It hosts important royal events at what is called The Mall such as Trooping the Colour and the Horse Guards Parade.
Greenwich Park is London’s oldest park and offers breathtaking views of the city and the River Thames. The former hunting park has stunning landscapes and a rich history going back to Roman times. You can actually stand on the Prime Meridian at Greenwich Park, which is the reference point for Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Richmond Park is a Royal Park and the largest one in London covering 2500 acres. You can sit under ancient trees and spot a variety of animals including over 650 free-roaming deer. With restaurants, cafes, playgrounds, golf courses, ponds and horse riding tracks, there’s something for everyone at the park.
4. Historic and Royal Ceremonies
The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Symbolising Britain’s pomp and military ceremonies, the Changing of the Guard is one of London’s and Britain’s most popular tourist attractions. It is a ceremony where the Queen’s Guard hands over the responsibility of protecting Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace to the New Guard.
The Ceremony of Keys at the Tower of London
The Ceremony of Keys is an enactment that forms part of the locking up of the Tower of London, one of England’s most popular historic sites where the monarch used to reside and where crowning jewels are kept till date. Tickets must be pre-booked.
Trooping the Colour and Horse Guards Parade
This parade features hundreds of officers, horses and musicians from the Household Division honouring the Queen on her birthday. It starts from Buckingham Palace and ends with the Royal Air Force flypast which the Queen views from her balcony.
Study in London
Enjoy the rich history and culture of one of the most amazing student cities in the UK. For information regarding living and studying in London from September 2021, book a free consultation with SI-UK India today.