Things to do this week for £5 or less.
1. Say goodbye to Museum of London
We're now in the final week of the Museum of London in its current home. After Sunday, the museum closes for a few years, to open in a new home in Smithfield, under its previous moniker The London Museum. Why not take some time this week to pay it one last visit? Alternatively, head there this weekend for a music festival themed event, and bid farewell with live DJs throughout the day, a late-night film festival, museum tours and more.
Free, until 4 December
2. Learn about the Bank of England and slavery
Make good use of your lunch break by taking a free tour, led by a curator, around the Bank of England Museum's current exhibition, Slavery & The Bank. Focus is on the institution's connections to transatlantic slavery, and how wealth created this way shaped the development of Britain. The tour only lasts 20 minutes, so plenty of time to eat your sarnies afterwards.
Free, 29 November
3. Join David Attenborough in a virtual reality experience
Head to Westfield London in White City for a new pop-up virtual reality experience voiced by Sir David Attenborough. Don headgear and be transported above the clouds to a world of flying dinosaurs, butterflies and hummingbirds, with Attenborough providing the narration.
The experience ties in with a new virtual reality documentary, Conquest of the Skies VR, a more high-tech follow-up to the 2015 series of Conquest of the Skies.
Free, 29 November-4 December
4. Stay late at Science Museum
Science Museum holds its monthly late night opening on Wednesday, and it's a special one this time, coinciding with the launch of new exhibition Injecting Hope. The free exhibition looks at the worldwide effort to develop vaccines during a pandemic, and the work done by scientists and researchers in a bid to keep us all safe. Artworks, interactive exhibits and personal objects all feature.
The adults-only Science Museum late is a chance to hear from an expert panel including Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University, as well as taking a BSL tour of the exhibition, alongside the usual Lates entertainment such as a silent disco.
Free, 30 November (exhibition runs 30 November-January 2024)
5. See the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree illuminated
You might have been fending off those festive feels up until now, but on 1 December, when the Trafalgar Square tree is lit, it's time to accept that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. As is tradition, on the first Thursday of the month, people gather in the square from 6pm for the official lighting ceremony, which features carol singing.
Free, 1 December.
6. Call in on Christmas at Foyles
For the first time ever, Foyles on Charing Cross Road holds a Christmas evening. Arrive after 6pm for a night of live music, readings, and a chance to meet authors and get your books signed. Linger on the ground floor for an 'alternative' Christmas DJ set by Jude Rogers, or head up to the cafe on the fifth floor for live jazz from 7.30pm.
The first floor is where you'll find the 'Indie Stage', hosting readings from authors published by independent presses, including Sheena Patel, Peter Scalpello, Robin McLean, Jennifer Atkins and Thea Lenarduzzi, while Michael Rosen, Polly Dunbar and Owen Hatherley take part in book signings.
Free, 1 December
7. Celebrate Aldgate in Winter
Head to Aldgate to see the area enchantingly illuminated for the Aldgate in Winter Festival. Enjoy an afternoon browsing winter markets in Aldgate Square and Mallon Gardens, and an open air photography exhibition by London Metropolitan University students. Take part in a lantern making workshop, in preparation for the community lantern parade at 6pm, starting and finishing at Aldgate Square. Live music and dance performances also take place throughout the event.
Free, 2 December
8. Get on track at a model railway exhibition
Not many people know about The Model Railway Club in King's Cross, but they should — it's the world's oldest model railway club, running since 1910. If that's piqued your interest, there's a chance to visit on Saturday, for the December Mini Exhibition.
Wander through different rooms seeing model railway layouts built both by club members and guests. There's also a shop where you can browse and buy pre-owned models, and food and drinks are available to buy at the venue.
£5 adult/£1 child, 4 December
9. Celebrate Christmas by the River
The free-entry Christmas by the River festival is back alongside the Thames, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge on the south side. It consists of a traditional festive market, and free outdoor entertainment, including Christmas film screenings, choir performances, and a lantern parade. Don't miss the beautiful Christmas tree inside Hay's Galleria. All that's free, but if you do have a few quid to spare, there are two pop-up bars selling festive and warming drinks — make ours a mulled wine.
Free entry, until January 2023.
Looking for more free things to do in London? Here are 102 of em!
We've also compiled this epic map of free stuff in London.