Whether you’re new in London or consider yourself a seasoned local, the city is never short of interesting things to do and see. However, entertaining yourself in London can take quite a toll on your finances, so we gathered together some of the many fun things to do in London without paying a penny…
- Walk among dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
Volcanoes, dinosaurs and a full-sized blue whale skeleton are just the beginning of the wonders of the Natural History Museum. Learn about the pre-historic world with four animatronic displays revealing the secrets of the era and its creatures.
- Or walk among dinosaurs at the Crystal Palace Park in South London
Thicket Road, Crystal Palace, London SE19 2GA
Home to full-size dinosaur models built by the Victorians, the Crystal Palace Park has also an outdoor concert stage, a children’s farm and playground, national sports centre and plenty of green space. The park has a good range of habitats, including a lake which is valuable for water birds. So if you’re tired of the commotion of central London, this is a perfect getaway.
- Have a free laugh at Theatre Royal Stratford East
Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN
A great way to see upcoming talents, Comic Mondays held in the bar at Theatre Royal Stratford East are there to please. The longest running free comedy night in London, their sessions start at 8pm with a full bill of stand-ups determined to boost your mood. And if one of the comics fails to tickle your funny bone, at least their free entry has left some cash in your pocket for a drink.
- Enjoy the view from Big Ben
Westminster, London SW1A 0AA
Did you know you can have a go at climbing up all 334 steps of the iconic timepiece? Needless to say, the views are staggering and you can also explore behind the clock faces, which makes the moderate(!) physical exercise pay itself off tenfold.
Guided tours only at 9am, 11am and 2pm every Monday-Friday. Book ahead.
- Or have a different look at the city from Primrose Hill
Primrose Hill, London NW1
With it’s postcard-worthy view of the city’s skyline, Primrose Hill is well worth a visit to get a fresh perspective of London. Take a walk in the surrounding area and you’ll find it to be just as attractive as the celebrities who frequent the gastropubs and quaint cafés along Regent’s Park Road and Gloucester Avenue. At sunset, make sure you’re back on the hill to enjoy the breathtaking view of London in night lights.
- Have a taste of the countryside at Hackney City Farm
1a Goldsmith’s Row, London E2 8QA
Donkeys in London? Indeed. A little piece of the countryside can be found at Hackney City Farm right in the heart of the city. A great place to take the kids, the farm is packed with all kinds of animals big and small – from rabbits and chicken to goats and pigs. Their mission to support sustainable living is an icing on the cake.
Open from 10am–4.30pm every day except Monday.
- Enjoy lunchtime concerts at St-Martin-in-the-Fields
Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ
If you enjoy classical music, look no further. Located on the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields hosts lunch concerts every Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 1pm. Listen to tomorrow’s classical music stars from pianists to choirs as they play and sing for free at this beautiful church. No ticket required.
- Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA
Ah, yes, the changing of the Guard. You can’t really say you’ve been to London unless you’ve seen the Queen’s Guardsmen in action. The change takes place at 11.30am on odd days (2, 4, 6 etc) throughout the month.
- Watch a trial at the Old Bailey
Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, London EC4M 7EH
London’s premier criminal court the Old Bailey is open for anyone wishing to watch trials in session from the public galleries. Access is based on the first come first served basis, but note that you can’t take in any bags, cameras or mobile phones and there’s no cloakroom. All people wishing to attend must also be at least 14 years of age.
Open Monday to Friday, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm.
- Be in the BBC audience
Longing for your 15 minutes of fame? Why not! Apply for tickets to be in the audience of your favourite BBC show and get a behind-the-scenes view of how they really do it.