London is a city that is absolutely accessible on a budget, and there are hundreds of exciting things to see and do that are completely free.
From free concerts, films, comedy shows and leisure activities to beautiful lush green open spaces, there's something for everyone.
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10.00: Visit the British Museum
The world-famous British Museum was founded in 1753 by an Act of Parliament, from the collections of Sir Hans Sloane. The museum is one of the greatest in the world, showcasing the works of man from prehistoric to modern times, with collections drawn from the whole world. Highlights include the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures and the mummies of Ancient Egypt. There is a programme of special exhibitions and daily gallery tours and talks. Entry is free but special exhibitions require tickets.
13.00: Enjoy a free lunchtime recital at the Royal Opera House (Mondays)
The popular series of free Monday lunchtime recitals continues. Members of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Royal Opera Chorus and the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme present a range of song recitals and chamber music. There are several recitals each month. Be sure to call in advance.
14.30: Enjoy street theatre, food, music and window shopping at Covent Garden
Covent Garden's central piazza has a thriving café culture and is buzzing with outlandish street entertainers and fun events all day, every day.
19.00: Take part in a free samba class at Guanabara
Head on down to Brazilian bar Guanabara where you'll find free dance lessons most evenings. Dance styles include Brazilian favourites such as gafiera, samba and forró. Get down early for happy hour and free entry before 8pm.
Parker Street, WC2B 5PW (Holborn underground)
Contact number: 020 7242 8600
10.00: Visit the Museum of London
Step inside the Museum of London for an unforgettable journey through the capital's turbulent past. Discover prehistoric London, see how the city changed under Romans and Saxons, wonder at medieval London and examine the tumultuous years when London was ravaged by civil wars, plague and fire. Then venture into the Galleries of Modern London where you can walk the streets of Victorian London, take a stroll in recreated pleasure gardens and marvel at the magnificent Lord Mayor's Coach. Free entry.
12.00: Visit the London Wall
London Wall is a remnant of the Roman wall that once formed part of the eastern defences of Roman Londinium. The wall was built in AD 200 and defined the shape and size of London for more than a millennium.
Fenchurch Street, Tower Bridge EC3N 4DJ
13.30: Lunch at Bodean's BBQ
Bodean's is an authentic American BBQ restaurant serving large portions of steaks, racks of ribs and other American BBQ dishes. The American decor and atmosphere adds to the authenticity as does the friendly service. Main dishes start from £6.75.
16 Byward Street, The City, London, EC3R 5BA (Tower Hill underground)
16.00: Visit the Bank of England Museum
Housed within the Bank of England, the Bank of England Museum traces the history of the Bank from its foundation by Royal Charter in 1694 to its role today as the nation's central bank. There are gold bars dating from ancient to modern times, coins and a unique collection of banknotes, as well as the pikes and muskets used to defend the Bank, the Roman pottery and mosaics uncovered when it was rebuilt in 1930 and documents relating to famous customers such as Horatio Nelson, George Washington and the Duchess of Marlborough. Free entry.
Bartholomew Lane, EC2R 8AH (Bank underground)
Press contact: email@example.com
21.30: Watch the Ceremony of the Keys for free at the Tower of London
The 700-year-old ceremony of the locking of the main gate of the Tower of London is carried out each evening by the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower accompanied by an escort of guards. Passes are essential and must be obtained in advance upon written application. Quote name, date required and alternatives, number of people and enclose a stamped, addressed envelope.
10.00: Explore Richmond Park
Richmond Park is the largest Royal Park in London (1,000 hectares/2,500 acres) and is home to 650 deer. This pastoral landscape of hills and woodlands set amongst ancient trees, with plants, animals and butterflies, offers a peaceful respite to visitors. The park boasts playgrounds at Kingston and Petersham gates, and two golf courses near Roehampton Gate. There is fishing available at Pen Ponds, plus horse-riding tracks and a cycling path. The Isabella Plantation is an organic woodland garden. For eating, choose from Pembroke Lodge, a Georgian mansion with spectacular views and garden seating, Roehampton Café or refreshment kiosks located at main car parks.
14.00: Visit the National Army Museum
Find out how Britain's past has shaped our present and future. Discover the impact the Army has had on the story of Britain, Europe and the world, and see how the actions of a few can affect the futures of many. As well as four gallery displays, there's an events programme offering a range of changing exhibitions and children's activities. Free entry.
15.30: Visit the Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi Gallery was established by Charles Saatchi in 1985. It is well-known for controversial contemporary pieces of art and displays of work by relatively unknown artists. In 1992 it held the Young British Artists shows, where Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin rose to fame. Its current site is at the Duke of York's Headquarters where it has been since 2008.
18.00: Dinner at My Old Dutch
The original pancake house was established in 1958 and offers savoury and sweet pancakes as well as a selection of salads, traditional Dutch starters and desserts. The atmosphere is warm friendly and relaxed which makes it a great place for families. Main dishes start from £5.95.
221 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5EJ (Sloane Square underground)
20.00: Spend the evening at Tate Britain (open until 22.00 every Friday)
Tate Britain holds the largest collection of British art in the world. The gallery shows work from the last five centuries, including contemporary British art, in a series of free changing displays. Tate's collection includes masterpieces by British artists such as Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Millais, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Sargent, Sickert, Hepworth and Bacon. The extraordinary work of JMW Turner can be seen in the Clore Gallery. Free entry.
10.00 Visit the V&A Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the world's greatest museums of art and design, representing over 3,000 years of human creativity. Highlights include the Medieval Renaissance galleries containing some of the greatest surviving treasures from the period, the amazing William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery and the stunning British Galleries, illustrating the history of Britain through the nation's art and design. In addition to its outstanding free permanent collection, the V&A offers an internationally acclaimed programme of temporary exhibitions and an extensive events programme.
12.30: Explore Hyde Park and Speaker's Corner (every Sunday)
Hyde Park is one of the greatest city parks in the world. Covering 142 hectares (350 acres) and with over 4,000 trees, a large lake, a meadow and ornamental flower gardens, there's a good chance you'll forget you are right in the centre of London. Hyde Park has something for everyone. You can enjoy swimming, boating, cycling and skating. There are pitches for team games, tennis courts, tracks for horse riding and a spectacular children's playground.
The park has two lakeside licensed restaurants, serving everything from a three-course meal to a cup of coffee. The park is home to a number of special buildings and monuments, such as The Serpentine Bridge, the Joy of Life fountain, the famous Archiles statue and the Diana Memorial Fountain. If you're out and about on Sunday, head to Speaker's Corner to hear London’s most vocal orators share their opinions with the world.
15.00: Visit Tate Modern
A visit to London isn't complete without a trip to Tate Modern. Britain's national museum of modern and contemporary art from around the world is housed in the former Bankside Power Station on the banks of the Thames. The awe-inspiring Turbine Hall runs the length of the entire building and you can see amazing work for free by artists such as Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol and Bourgeois.
17.00: Explore the shops and restaurants of Carnaby
Carnaby is located just a five minute walk away from Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus tube stations in the heart of London's West End. The 13 streets of Carnaby are known for unique boutiques and global brands, making it one of London's most popular and distinctive shopping destinations. Step under the iconic arch of the world-famous Carnaby Street for fashion and lifestyle from concept flagship stores and global brands.
Next-door to Carnaby Street is the creative hub of the Newburgh Quarter where you can discover independent boutiques, restaurants and iconic brands. For new talent and emerging brands in food, fashion and lifestyle, Kingly Court offers three floors of independent retailers in a stunning open air courtyard.
20.00: Dinner at Flat Iron
Enjoy top quality flat iron steak for just £10 at this no-reservations restaurant in Soho. All you need to do is choose which side dish to go with it!
17 Beak St, Soho, W1F 9RW (Piccadilly underground)