for free !
short guide to London's many free attractions and sights
If you're planning to spend a
few days in London, or even a week or two, there's no need to set aside
a major budget in order to visit the capital's sights and attractions.
While the commercially operated tourist attractions charge an
entry fee, London is also full of attractions which are free. From the
Changing of the Guards ceremony outside Buckingham Palace, to national
museums, and other less well-known attractions - not to mention just
admiring the sights of London by day or by night - , there is plenty to
in London even for tourists who do not have a single penny to
London's free museums
London's major museums and art galleries are among the best in the
world for the richness of their collections. But they are just the
icing on the cake; all in all, London has more than two hundred free
museums and art galleries, and many others where entry costs just
less. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation, and many do, but
there's no obligation.
On Trafalgar Square , you can visit the
Gallery, with its world-class collections of works by the
great masters . Paolo Uccello, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Botticelli ,
Michelangelo, Titian , Rubens , Vermeer, Velasquez, Ingres ,
Monet , Sisley, Van Gogh ... etc. and of course the great British
artists such as Turner, Constable or Gainsborough.
Just behind the National
Gallery is the National
Portrait Gallery, where you can see
the portraits of famous people from English and British history, kings
and queens, nobles, but also scientists , explorers, and others.
On the Cromwell Road, the
& Albert Museum is the world's largest museum of
decorative arts. The permanant collections, to which admission is free,
cover all the decorative arts including fashion and photography.
Also in the West End, the
in Knightsbridge is a vast museum devoted to science and
technology. Collections include cars and locomotives, the wonders of
the scientific world from the discovery of space
to microtechnology, and the museum also has plenty of play
areas for young and old alike, along with interactive games and
experiments. the museum also has a giant-screen IMAX screen, which is a
paid-entry option (£5) .
A few hundred meters away, the
History Museum offers an amazing discovery of the natural
world, ranging from dinosaur skeletons and animatronic models, the
discovery of micro -organisms, to fabulous presentations the natural
On the banks of the Thames,
one on the north, the other on the south bank , the two Tate art
galleries house on the one hand the largest collection of British art
since 1500, and on the other hand (the Tate Modern)
collection of modern and contemporary art, from the Impressionists to
the present day.
Finally, do not forget one of
the other great free museums in London, the British Museum
with one of the largest collections in the world, ranging from
prehistory to modern times, including Egypt of the Pharaohs , Ancient
Greece, medieval times, the Renaissance and all the other periods and
civilizations of the five continents. The "British" is open every day
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, and in the evenings on Thursday and Friday.
In addition to these major national museums,
London has many
thematic museums with free
the Museum of
the Bank of England
or the eclectic Sir
Museum , nicknamed the Mini
British Museum - not
to mention the Imperial
south of the Thames.
of London, near the Barbican, is the world's largest
museum devoted to a single city.
A little further out,
in Greenwich, the National
covers all aspects of
seafaring and navigation, including the history of emigration. There is
plenty here for
young people, including
and interactive games.
Almost every day, somewhere in London, there are
free concerts, sometimes by great musicians. Some free concerts take
place in large venues, such as the Royal Opera House, the Barbican
center (in the heart of the City) , or the National Theatre on the
South Bank - sometimes with major orchestras . Several times
a week free concerts are given by the students and teachers of the
Royal Academy of Music
or the Royal College of Music
(large London schools of music - check their
websites). For example, free concerts are given by musicians from the
Royal College of Music every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the National
Gallery, Trafalgar Square. Check local events listings for free
in London churches such as the Church of St. Martin in the Fields, or
in the great cathedrals of London.
During the summer, all kinds of concerts
take place in the parks and gardens of London, and plenty of them are
Free theater is less common, but it is
often possible to get theater or concert tickets for the
modest sum of 5 or 6 pounds, when buying on the day of the concert.
Standing room at the Globe Theatre (a reconstruction of the 16th
Shakespeare worked ) usually cost about 5 pounds.
theatre tickets are available online from LondonTheatreDirect.com
For people living in London and able to
book well in advance, many other possibilities exist such as free
concerts at the BBC.
Finally, do not forget the many
festivals and other street events, such as the Lord Mayor's show (
November) or the famous Notting
Hill Carnival (late August).
On foot, you can go
in London for free. You
can download free detailed guides to discover areas of London by
free public transport in London... for children up to the age of 10
(inclusive). Yes! It's true ! London travelcards are free for kids up
to the age of 10 ! From 11 - 15, they are half price; from 16 upwards,
they are full price.
Travelcards give free use of buses,
underground trains, and surface trains. A "one day adult anytime"
travelcard currently costs £12. (Dec 2015). the most
travelcard, a seven-day anytime travelcard for zones 1 - 6 costs
Travelcards can be bought online from
the official Travel
for London website.
as a tourist, you have come in to London using a day travelcard, make
the most of your day's travel card (See getting
round in London) and discover central London from the top
of a double decker bus at no extra cost .
most interesting line is route 9 , between Oxford Circus and Lambeth
Bridge (or vice versa , or return), passing by Big Ben and Parliament ,
Whitehall, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.
walk: The Queen's Walk (about 4 km / 2.5 miles)
is a Thames riverside walk from Saint Paul's Cathedral
to Westminster or vice-versa. From Saint Paul's, follow the walkway
south, to cross the pedestrian Millennium Bridge. The path then follows
the south bank of the Thames westwards, crossing back over the
Westminster Bridge, opposite the Houses of Parliament.
shows and other attractions
most popular free show in London is the Changing
of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, every day at
11:30 a.m. from May to July, and every other days during the
rest of the year . The event
does not take place if it is raining heavily.
Otherwise, admire the guards
on duty in front of other royal buildings, such as at the entrance to
Horseguards Parade on Whitehall, near Trafalgar Square.
The red-tunicked guards on duty in London are not just there for show!
London isn't a theme park; these
are real elite soldiers of the British army, and their rifles and
machine guns are loaded ....
along the Thames in the area of the Tower of London, and see the
guardians of the Tower (the "Beefeaters") in their ancient
Visit the collection of historic ships in Saint Katherine's dock, just
east of tower Bridge.
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