London is one of those cities that finds it’s way to everyone’s Bucket list, but doesn’t seem affordable to a lot of people’s wallets. We are here to prove to you it is possible, no matter your budget. V and I, along with our two friends had London as our second stop on our European Backpacking trip. To my surprise, this was the city we spent the LEAST amount of money in. I was shocked as well! There is just so much to see and do in London, that you will have your camera out more than your wallet. We are here to tell you the TOP 15 FREE THINGS TO DO while on your trip to LONDON.
15 – Telephone Booth Photo Opps:
Alright if you are anything like me, you can’t wait to get your photo with the infamous red English telephone booths. I cannot lie, it was the first thing I wanted to do, along with buying a little English flag. Some call it basic, some call it excitement.. I am going with the latter. 😉 You will see the booths all along the city, so be sure to get in and take photos, as well as do a boomerang or two. It is free and so fun to do.
14 – Street Performances
London is full of so many creative and talented people! They are all around you as you walk through the city and you can find performers any time of the day. We saw break dancers, violinists, singers, soccer players, magicians, and so many more. We even saw a man make music by using nothing but a saw, and it was beautiful!! Of course these are free to observe as you are walking along, but if you decide to stop and enjoy the show, I do suggest you tip. We are all trying to make a living, right?! These street performers definitely add to the overall ambiance of London.
13 – Visit the M&M Store
There is no better way to feel like a kid in a candy store than to go to the best candy store there is, which is the M&M store. If you’ve visited big cities such as New York or Las Vegas, you have probably been to one before, but I still suggest you go here. I love how each M&M store uses an iconic landmark from that City and has it include the famous M&M characters we know and love. You can get a lot of good pictures here and play games. If you want, you can also purchase candy, but this is a fun free place for you and the kiddos.
12 – Stroll through China Town
Every city V and I visit, we love going to their China Town. You are going to love the gorgeous detail embedded in the entrance, as well as their own cultural street performers, and the overall ambiance. This is a place you want to go and spend a little bit of time, just to experience a different side of London. Also, China Town is a great place to get cheap food if you are hungry. (I suggest a bubble cone – it was DELICIOUS!!)
11 – London Eye
The London Eye is an icon! You have to go and observe it while here. You will cross a bridge over the Thames River and this is where you get great photos with the London Eye in the background (like the first photo posted on this blog.) There is also a park right behind the London Eye that I suggest you go and hang out for a bit. You will be doing a lot of walking in London, so it is a great place to rest your feet and enjoy the immaculate view. If you pack a picnic or some beverages, this would be an ideal romantic location too… (cough, cough guys) If you forget to pack anything, they do have food trucks and beer trucks right at the end of the bridge. Of course you can pay to ride the London Eye, but it is a little costly and does take at least an hour of your time, but I am sure the view is worth it. We did not ride it, we just hung out in the park and enjoyed the free views.
10 – Big Ben
Another iconic landmark you cannot miss while visiting London is Big Ben. You are going to want to take a million pictures in front of it, and you should! It’s gorgeous and timeless (see what I did there). We suggest you get a few different angles for your photos of Big Ben. One crossing the bridge back from the London Eye, one at the bus stop to the side of Big Ben, and one in the front of Big Ben. Take your time to really take in the view while here.
9 – Westminster Abbey
Now every girl knows this place and has it on their London Bucket List, right?! I mean we all were glued to our television screens as the royals got married here and began their happily ever after’s. Westminster Abbey is where you have to go and create your own princess vibes. It is obviously free to view from the outside, but you can also attend service here for free. They have service week nights at 5 pm, so if you have the time and would like to go in for free, this is the way to do it. I highly suggest you do so.
8 – Hyde Park
This was my FAVORITE place in all of London! We started our day here and had breakfast in the park, and I truly recommend you do this too. You can pack a picnic and eat here for free, or there is a restaurant as well. This park is gorgeous. You will want to spend hours hanging out here. If you are here for more than a couple days, I suggest renting a bike and riding through and spending at least half a day here. The main reason Hyde Park is probably on your bucket list, like it was mine, is for the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and Garden. The garden is gorgeous and in my opinion, a wonderful tribute to the late Princess Diana. Be sure to stop by here on your visit to Hyde Park.
7 – Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is definitely on everyone’s bucket list and you probably want to go there to see the changing of the guards. We went bright and early to Hyde Park to have breakfast and explore, and Hyde Park actually lets out right at Buckingham Palace, in case you would like to do the same. We we got to Buckingham Palace about 30 minutes early to get a spot to see the changing of the guards happen, and it was already pretty packet. This is totally FREE, and happens every day at 11 am, or Sundays at 10 am. The entire process takes about 30 minutes, and is definitely worth it! I do suggest you get there early, because like i said, it gets extremely crowded. We did go in the summer so it may be busier then, but we were so lucky to barely get a spot at the gates. This is something you cannot miss!
6 – Shakespeare Global Theatre
We all grew up on the famous plays written by William Shakespeare, so going to his Global Theatre seems like an obvious thing to do. If you want a full tour or to see a show here, you will have to pay. It is free to go into the lobby, gift shop, and check it out from the outside though. Be sure to at least see it while here, whether you are a big Shakespeare fan or not.
5 – FREE AMAZING VIEW in LONDON
I am obviously really excited about this next one. V and I stumbled upon this amazing view of the city while our friends did the tour of the Global Theatre, and it was one of our favorite spots of the entire trip. Behind the Global Theatre there is a roof top bar named Switch House that you must go to. It is completely free to go up to the top and just enjoy the amazing views of the city. You will be able to see the Thames River, The Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, and much more from up here. There is also a bar, if you would like to grab a drink and hang out. Be sure Switch House is on your list of to do’s in London.
4 – Tower Bridge
The Tower Bridge is a master piece on it’s own. The detail put into this bridge is like none I have seen before, and we have seen a lot of famous bridges! Make sure you get pictures of yourself with the bridge, as well as the Tower of London in the back ground. As you cross the bridge, keep your camera out in order to capture all the little details of the bridge. Of course, it is completely free and gets you across to the Tower of London, if you are going there. (BONUS: I highly suggest you do the Tower of London Tour! It is only not on here because it isn’t free. It is a MUST do in London though.)
3 – Emirates Stadium
The Emirates Stadium is special because of all the memorabilia outside of the stadium. You can get a free tour of the outside and still embrace the team’s history. Unlike other soccer stadiums, the Emirates Stadium is lined with statues of previous famous soccer players, such as Thierry Henry and more. If you are a soccer fan, visiting this stadium is a must!
2 – Abbey Road
No matter your age, we are all fan of the Beatles. When you go to London I am sure that you will want to recreate their infamous album cover, Abbey Road. This is an actual road in London, so you can go and get your photo here for free. You do have to be careful though! As I said, it is an actual road, so cars are driving here constantly. You have to walk fast and try to get some clicks in before the next car comes. It is worth it though, as long as you don’t have small kids and you are truly paying attention. You will probably get honked at, but just remind them that all you need is love. 😉
1 – Walk
Yes, I know… all this hype for me to just say walk? I am telling you though, this is SUPER important and SUPER free. We all actually bought a city bus tour for London and ended up regretting it. Everything is so close together and there are so many cool things along the way to each place, that you would wind up missing if you were on a bus. Also, due to London’s extremely heavy traffic, it took us WAY longer to get places on bus than it did by walking. At one point we literally moved 2 blocks in 20 minutes… that is when we decided to give up on the bus and begin walking. I suggest you Uber to your starting place and at the end of the night you Uber to get back home, but other than that, walk around London and take in every moment of it.
Please comment below if there are any freebies for London that I missed in this blog. Also, let us know what your favorite things you did while in London were, whether they are free or not to help out your fellow travelers. I love some good freebies, so help ya girl out! 🙂
Until next time…. XOXO <3