Best Free Things to do in London

Everyone knows that London can be EXPENSIVE right? That’s why I’ve created the ultimate list of the BEST FREE THINGS to do in LONDON. From the best free ROOFTOP GARDENS to MUSEUMS, PARKS and more. Browse my list to find the best FREE places to go in London.

The Garden at 120

Where to find the 10 Best Free Things to do in London

Address: 1, Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF

Reason to visit: Amazing 360° views of London, and the best view of The Shard

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The tallest roof garden in London, with incredible views, is also completely Free. That’s right, you just need to order your free tickets online and make sure to bring some photo ID. The gardens located at the 20 Fenchurch Building, also known as The Walkie Talkie due to its appearance, also houses a restaurant, bar, seating areas, and an outside viewing platform with impressive views of The Shard, the tallest building in London.

2. The Barbican Conservatory

Barbican Conservatory
Barbican Conservatory | ©EatingOutorIn

Address: Barbican Centre, Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS

Reason to visit: Relaxing escape from the busy city

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Next up on my list of the best free things to do in London is the Barbican Conservatory. Located within the brutalist Barbican complex, this hidden garden, of over 1500 plants is an oasis in The City of London. And, it’s the second biggest conservatory in London. You have to reserve your time spot online, but entrance is completely FREE.

Address: Crossrail Place, London, E14 5AB

Reason to visit: Botanical gardens surrounded by skyscrapers

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Keeping the garden theme, the next best free thing to do in London is the Crossrail Roof Garden. Built on top of the new Elizabeth Line station at Canary Wharf, it’s not a very tall rooftop at just 1 story above ground level. However, it is a haven for plants from all around the world and a calming and relaxed environment, in contrast to the huge skyscrapers that surround it within the financial district.  

4. The Garden at 120

Address: 120 Fenchurch St, London, EC3M 5BA

Must try dish: 360° open views, and no pre-booking required

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Yes, another FREE ROOFTOP GARDEN on top of a skyscraper. The Garden at 120 is just down the road from The Sky Garden. Not quite as tall, but the roof space is totally open, giving you a different perspective. The good thing is that you don’t need to make a reservation or bring photo ID. Just, join the queue, if there is one, to pass the metal detectors, and then allow the lift to whisk you up to the 15th floor in a matter of seconds. 

5. The British Library

Address: 96 Euston Rd, London, NW1 2DB

Reason to visit: The Magna Carta

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When looking for free things to do in London, why not visit the BIGGEST LIBRARY in the WORLD? A Home to about 14 million books, some dating back 4000 years. The majority of the 400 miles of shelving are off limits to the general public, but such incredible famous pieces like the MAGNA CARTA are completely FREE to view. Other items to look out for in the free exhibition room include a 1000 year old manuscript of the poem “BEOWULF“, JANE AUSTEN‘s desk, and original writings from WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, CHARLES DICKENS, MAHATMA GHANDI, OSCAR WILDE and many more.

6. Covent Garden Market

Address: London, WC2E 7QH

Reason to visit: Most famous market in London

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It wouldn’t be a trip to London without a visit to Covent Garden. There’s certainly many places to spend your money in and around this famous square, at the many restaurants, pubs, shops, market stalls and the London Transport Museum. However, just wandering around the cobbled streets, the neoclassical market building, built in 1828, or watching a street performance in the piazza opposite St Pauls Church is pleasure in itself.

7. Parliament Hill

Address: South-east corner of Hampstead Heath in north-west London

Reason to visit: Spectacular views

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Parliament Hill has some of the most spectacular views of central London to the south and of Highgate to the north. Located in the southern part of Hampstead Heath, this is one of the highest points in the capital at 98 metres. It’s the perfect place for a picnic (weather dependent), a stroll, or sitting on one of the benches and soaking in those vistas.  

8. Primrose Hill

Address: Top of hill in Primrose Hill, London Borough of Camden

Reason to visit: Panoramic views of London

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Number 8 on my list of the best FREE THINGS to do in LONDON is another viewing point located in a park. Situated closer to central London than Parliament Hill, at Primrose Hill, in the affluent North London area, views stretch over Regents Park and beyond. A great spot to see how many London landmarks you can see, including THE SHARD, THE LONDON EYE, ST PAULS CATHEDRAL, the skyscrapers of CANARY WHARF and THE CITY, and many more.

9. Trinity Buoy Wharf

Address: 64 Orchard Place, London, E14 0JW

Reason to visit: Only lighthouse in London

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Trinity Buoy Wharf, where the River Lea meets the River Thames, is home to the only remaining LIGHTHOUSE in LONDON. Entry to the lighthouse is free. As well as providing glorious views of the GREENWICH DOME, the LONDON CABLE CAR, and the buildings of CANARY WHARF, there is also something very interesting. THE LONGPLAYER is a musical instrument of singing bowls that plays a continuous piece of music. Started in 1999, it will continue to play for 1000 years.

10. The Museums

Locations: Russel Square (British Museum) | South Kensington (Natural History & V&A) 

Reason to visit: Thousands of exhibits 

British Museum Website | Natural History Website | V&A Website

Last up on my list of the best FREE things to do in London are The MUSEUMS. A great thing about London is the fact that the majority of the big museums are completely free. They are so vast and have so many exhibits you could spend your whole trip visiting the museums alone. The main three which are a must visit are The British Museum, The Natural History Museum and The V&A (fashion). 

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See my full list of other London content here.

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