When you’re out of loot in London

Let’s face it: It’s summer and you’re broke. If you’ve somehow managed to make it to Europe and have some money for food and shelter, you might not have cash for much else. Trust me, I’ve been there. Everyone knows activities in places like London, for example, is pricey. But it’s important to know that there are several fun and interesting things to see and do that are completely free.

London Bridge is always free, and always majestic.

London Bridge is always free, and always majestic.

With that in mind, this is the first in a series focusing on free sights and activities in some of Europe’s best cities.

Taking the London example, here’s just a short list of free activities that give you a good taste of that amazing city:

-The National Gallery is free, although that may surprise many. Yes, one of the world’s great art museums—hosting works by world-renown masters—does not charge for entry.

-Piccadilly Circus, the gateway to the West End, is a colorful sea of people—especially when the sun goes down and the neon lights wash over the surroundings. Great people watching.

-The Changing of the Guard at the palace is always a sight to behold. The military pomp has been tradition for centuries, epitomizing military precision.

-Regent’s Park includes the city zoo and a wildlife garden. An oasis of leafy tranquility in the heart of the metropolis.

-There’s also St. James’s Park, ringed by some of London’s biggest landmarks (Buckingham Palace and Whitehall) featuring gorgeous greens and a soothing lake when the Tube and the crowds drive you mad.

St. James's Park

St. James’s Park

-Speaking of great urban parks, no list would be complete without mention of Hyde Park. Lots of open air festivals and concerts are held here, especially in summer. Amble on over and enjoy.

-The Tate Modern (free except for certain special exhibitions) hosts a dazzling array of modern art, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Tate Modern

Tate Modern

-The rightfully revered British Museum is another world-class treasure trove of history that deserves your time. It’s a jaw-droppingly thorough survey of human civilization.

British Museum

British Museum

Of course, the best parts of travel, meeting the people and sampling the culture, are always free—but having a list of other free stuff to do certainly helps.

Posted by | Comments (5)  | July 19, 2013
Category: Backpacking, Europe, On The Road, Travel Bargains, Vagabonding Advice, Vagabonding Life

5 Responses to “When you’re out of loot in London”

  1. Andrea Kirkby Says:

    Also the Soane Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a quirky museum that was architect Sir John Soane’s residence and home to his collection of paintings, antiquities and architectural models and drawings. Well worth a visit.

    All the South Kensington museums (V&A – art and design; Science Museum; Natural History Museum) are also free.

  2. Chris Raybould Says:

    Good info! London is a brilliant city (but we may be a little biased!)

  3. Christoffer Moen Says:

    This is great — thanks for sharing! Especially the bit about the National Gallery, quite surprisingly not a lot of people realize that (and quite a handful of museums in LDN) are free for viewing access.

  4. Isabel Says:

    Good list! Most of the main museums and galleries are free. There’s also lots of good free entertainment, such as comedy nights around.

  5. James Ullrich Says:

    Glad you liked it. Hope it’s useful to you! Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg, but I wanted to mention the big stuff. Lots of other free options too, fortunately. The list could be really long!