Free Things to do in London!

London can be an expensive city to live in and visit... so we've put together the best of what's FREE to get up to in London.

London, as everyone knows, is an expensive place to live and visit. What not so many people seem to realise however, is that the city offers a wonderful range of food, drink and entertainment to those who don’t even have a penny in their pocket.

All that is required is a sense of adventure and a little determination. Hopefully this article will persuade you that there is such a thing as a free lunch in London, and nothing beats the satisfaction of finding it.

See all the free events currently taking place in London here:

Current free events in London >>>

The Obvious Attractions

The most obvious attractions for those with nothing to spend are the world famous National Museums and Galleries, all of which were made free in 2001.

You can attempt to decipher the Rosetta Stone in the British Museum, gaze at the original Apollo 10 Command module in the Science Museum, and marvel at the work of the world’s greatest artists, from Raphael to Picasso, and even Damien Hirst, at the National Gallery and the Tate Modern.

If that doesn’t satisfy your cultural needs, the Victoria and Albert Museum in Knightsbridge houses collections of almost every man – made object you can imagine, and the National Maritime Museum, in the centre of the spectacular Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, reminds the visitor of a time when London was the centre of trading Empire that spanned the entire globe.

These treasures are only a tiny fraction of the wonderful range of free cultural resources available in London, and even the most demanding visitor is likely to finish their visit wanting to make a voluntary donation to these institutions.

Full details on these attractions and many more are listed here: London Museums, and London Galleries; and of course, London is home to some of the best-loved Landmarks in the world if you wish to go sightseeing, such as Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square.

See all the free events currently taking place in London here:

Current free events in London >>>Relax in one of the many Parks

If you had enough culture for one day and are simply looking to relax, then one of London’s picturesque parks makes for an ideal location.

The views on a clear day from Alexandra Palace or the Royal Observatory hill in Greenwich Park are possibly the finest in London. As well as being free to enter, these public spaces frequently play host to organised events.

This past year Regent’s Park, always lively in the summer months, included a chance to meet the England rugby team in its programme. For anyone with an interest in nature, expert-led guided walks around London's Royals Parks are free of charge, and can be easily booked in advance by telephone or e-mail. See for details. Complete listings of London parks and their locations can be found here: London’s Parks

London Markets

If a nature walk isn’t your cup of tea, then a visit to one of London’s markets can be fantastic and lively way to soak up the atmosphere of the capital’s various districts.

The Chrisp Street and Spitalfields Markets in the East End hold regular free events, including seasonal festivals and displays of local artists.

If it is people watching that you’re after however, then Camden Market, especially on a Sunday, is hard to beat. Weird and wonderful rhythms, fashions, tastes, and smells all compete for your attention, while the market itself is so big that you could never hope to see it all in an afternoon. If you are especially lucky and persistent, you may even be able to persuade some of the vendors selling delicious Oriental cuisine to part with some of their food for free around the market’s 6pm closing time.

Once again, see Shopping and Markets for details.

Even Free Food!

As any London student will tell you, Hare Krishna devotees distribute excellent vegan lunches in exchange for voluntary donations outside many campuses in the city, but if you don’t feel like joining a long ragged line of unkempt students, then it is possible to find ‘classier’ alternatives elsewhere.

As mentioned above, Camden Market can be excellent, whilst, Harrods Food Hall has frequent free samplings and promotional launches of its luxurious products. To wash it down, free tastings are almost always available at Majestic Wine Warehouses across the city.Free Nights out

Comedy nights can be an excellent source of evening’s entertainment for those with empty pockets, admission prices often being kept low (or free) to entice punters to the bar.

These free nights at London’s comedy venues can be fantastic fun. On a Wednesday evening, ‘Warren Street Comedy Therapy’ at the Grafton Arms on Grafton Way, and ‘Scabby Tabby’ at the Red Lion in Soho, are definitely worth a go. While on Sunday nights at the Rosemary Branch in Islington, ‘Off the Cuff’, an improvised comedy show from an all-female group of comediennes, is highly recommended.

See a list of comedy night in London here: London Comedy Events

Free TV and Radio Show Recordings

Recordings of BBC television and radio shows can be particularly enjoyable, and tickets are usually free and allocated by a ballot. For a chance to be in the audience for popular programmes such as The News Quiz and others, go to relevant section of the BBC website; as well as Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Top Gear, QI, X Factor and many more, visit:

Free tickets to other TV screening can often be found in the following sections: "What's On

Movie Premieres

Movie Premiere's in London, often held in Leicester Square are free to attend and can be a great way to spend an evening: watching your favourite celebrities walking up the red carpet - just be sure to take your camera.

You can find details of past and forthcoming London Movie Premieres in All In Lonodon's What's On Section and find discussion and celebrity sighting about Film Premieres in the Forum.

Free Sporting Events

Amateur sport, taking place on any given Sunday across the capital, is usually free to watch and almost always great fun.

Local newspapers are the best sources on information for sporting events near you. If you can resist the temptation of a punt at the bookies, the greyhound racing at Walthamstow and Crayford can make for an entertaining free night out.

If you are particularly adventurous, own a pair of roller-skates, and can stop effectively with them on, then you might try a group skate around London. This is fantastic way to meet people, and can give you a unique view of the city. ‘Friday Night Skate’ and ‘Sunday Rollerstroll’ are two of the biggest free events. Skaters of all skill levels are welcomed, and different routes are planned every week.

Updated Free London Events

... and if all that's not enough, then take a look at our Free London Events section which is regularly updated to get the best out of Free London!

Current free events in London >>>