London – this historic city, which has been in many a bucket list, is infamous for being one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the world.
According to research carried out by Deutsche Bank, London is the world’s most expensive city for public transport – the average cost of a ticket each month is a whopping $179.40.
But you don’t need a lot of cash to trek London – although if you are looking for a little cash boost, you can always check out Mr Lender. Here’s how you can be a tourist in London without having to break the bank.
London is one of Europe’s oldest cities, dating back from 47 AD when the Romans first founded Londinium. Given the length of its history, it’s little wonder that the UK capital is home to some of the best museums in the world.
Visiting these museums is a great way to learn about British history, as well as British contributions to art, technology, and science. Here’s a list of the best museums you can visit in London, completely free of charge.
Natural History Museum
Anyone who is interested in the natural world can see an impressive collection of specimens from many areas of natural history. The museum is located on Exhibition Road, together with the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The British Museum first opened its doors in 1759. It’s the oldest museum in the world that covers all aspects of human life. Today, there are more than 60 free galleries to explore in the building which is located on Great Russell Street.
The science museum is a great place to visit for anyone who loves stories about scientific achievement and iconic objects. It’s especially attractive to young visitors who love the interactive exhibits. The museum is situated on Exhibition Road, close to the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
This is just a small selection of free museums in London that you can visit.
London is littered with parks.
Parks are a breath of fresh air among the hustle and bustle of this cosmopolitan city.
You can take walks, feed ducks, take pictures, cycle (you can rent London bikes, called Santander Cycles, for as little as $2.57) or just simply relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
Aside from encountering Mother Nature, the best thing about parks is they are absolutely FREE.
These are some of London’s most scenic parks. Check them out the next time you visit:
Hyde Park is a stunning green space in the center of London. There are plenty of quiet spaces in the park, where you can enjoy a tranquil stroll. Alternatively, you may want to buy tickets for one of the many world-class concerts that take place in the park each year.
This park is arguably the greenest of London’s green spaces as there are no flower beds to be seen. It has an interesting history, having been a dueling ground and the location of the attempted assassination of Queen Victoria, in the past.
Kensington Gardens used to be part of Hyde Park. Now, it’s a popular park with visitors, in its own right. In the park, you can spend time admiring the splendor of Kensington Palace and kids are certain to enjoy the Diana Playground.
These are just a handful of green spaces in London that you enjoy as a visitor.
Joining a FREE walking tour is probably one of the best ways to explore the city.
The top three walking tours in London are currently:
- Strawberry Tours
- Sandemans new EUROPE
- Free Tours By Foot
All three operate under a ‘pay what you like’ basis, so you can tip, but you’re not obligated to (although it is customary to give even just a little bit – Strawberry Tours even give all tips to charity).
These tours go through a variety of locations, from bog-standard to the downright unusual.
So, whether you want someone to guide you through Buckingham Palace, or if you want to visit the areas where Jack the Ripper murdered his victims, these tours have something for everyone.
London has some of the most historic landmarks in Europe. You can spend days marvelling at their architecture.
Here are some of the most iconic landmarks you must visit before you leave:
The Houses of Parliament
You can sit in the public galleries inside the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It’s free to do this and tickets are not needed, for general debates. However, there’s usually a queue.
Westminster Abbey is a mostly Gothic church that is known for its stunning architecture. It’s also the home of the coronations of British monarchs and has hosted many royal weddings; the most recent being that of William and Kate, in 2011.
If you are interested in the Royal Family, you should visit Buckingham Palace while you’re in London. You can take a tour of the staterooms inside the Palace, and watch the Changing of the Guard.
20 Fenchurch Street (aka The Walkie Talkie)
The building gets its name from its distinctive shape. You can visit the Sky Garden which is located at the top of the building. The entrance is free and you get a fabulous view of the London skyline.
These are three of the most famous landmarks in London. Other equally well-known sights that you may want to see include; Trafalgar Square, St James’s Palace, Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and Trafalgar Square.
Final Advice to Travel Like a Pro
Avoid public transport as much as you can. Maybe use a service like minicabit.com to get from the airport to the city.
For example, instead of taking the train from Piccadilly Circus to Hyde Park Corner, why not walk it in 22 minutes? You’ll be saving $3.08!
As you can see, free can be fun. If you’re smart, you can enjoy London without it costing you an arm and a leg.