With London’s great attractions and entertainment, it often feels like you can’t do London on a budget, but that is completely untrue. Take a look at some of the less talked about events or sights and you will see that many of them are completely free. It is however easy to fall into the sightseeing craze where you want to see it all. In that case, it can prove very expensive indeed.
So, what do you do if you don’t have much money and still want to soak up the famous atmosphere?
You join in on all the fun, the only exception, you won’t have to pay. Whatever your hobby or interest, London offers a great variety of freebies and it’s there for your taking.
1. Head over to Buckingham Palace and watch the changing of the guards. Note that in winter this occurs every other day rather than daily like in the summer. Not only is it free but every visitor to London will eventually turn up here so you get plenty of atmosphere. Once you are here, walk around the palace, take some photos and then stroll over to Harrods for some window-shopping.
2. Walk around the lovely parks; Hyde Park, St James’s and St Regent’s park. The Speaker’s corner is an area in Hyde Park where public speaking is allowed. Sit down, relax and enjoy whatever the subject might be of today’s speakers. A few blocks away you have Oxford Street with all of its shops. If you like browsing through the merchandise, this might be a place to stop.
3. London’s museums are often free and very interesting. If not all the time, there are times and days when you get in without having to pay. Take a look at the British museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum, the Natural History and Science museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Imperial War Museum. There are plenty of interesting things in these museums to occupy you on a rainy day.
4. Take a stroll around Covent Garden and sit down and enjoy the free street entertainment. This place always drags a crowd of tourists so you won’t be the only one there. The place has a terrific atmosphere and the crowd is always enthusiastic whatever the entertainment. There is usually a market as well and a few local shops. A stroll away is Leister Square which comes alive at night.
5. Visit the various markets around London. Most famous are the Portobello market, the market in Camden Town and the Notting Hill market. Why not try and find the blue door from the film Notting Hill?
6. Walking is as always free and a stroll along the river Thames is a great way to pass away a few hours. See the Globe from the outside; they sometimes act parts of the play outside. Take a closer look at the Tower Bridge and listen to the men and women entertaining the pedestrians.
7. Trafalgar Square is one of those famous places in London you shouldn’t miss. Lord Nelson is
raising high above street level and the birds are being feed all around you. Sit down and look at the people passing by or try and climb up on one of the lions underneath Lord Nelson. It is great fun for all ages.
8. Piccadilly Circus is another landmark that people tend to take a look at. Walk down there and join the crowds. There are a few good restaurants and bars in this area if you are feeling hungry or thirsty.
If you do feel like spending a few pounds, I suggest that you jump on one of the busses and take a trip around London. It’s a great way of seeing a lot without paying much. It’s nearly as good as those tourist busses driving around. It’s also good for your bearing. London is so big that you sometimes lose track of where you are and how long to get from A to B. Try and do everything in one area at the same time so that you don’t have to go back and forth too much.