Top Things To Do In London For Free: Mapped

By Londonist Last edited 9 months ago

Last Updated 01 August 2023

Top Things To Do In London For Free: Mapped

London can be an expensive place to live or to visit. But the city is also blessed with hundreds of free museums, galleries, cultural venues and regular events.

Every week in London, it's possible to attend a free classical music concert, hear from a leading scientist or economist, visit a world-famous museum, climb to a roof garden, and pet a goat... all without spending a penny.  

But you need to know where to look. That's why we've put together this map of free places to visit, plus other free experiences around the capital. Zoom, scroll and click on icons for more details. Here's what you'll find:

Free museums in London

We've included the big names like the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and British Museum — but also many smaller venues, like the wonderful Horniman Museum and the quirky Sewing Machine Museum.

Free galleries in London

Again, we've got the biggies such as Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery covered. We've also included many smaller galleries that will be of widespread interest. London contains hundreds of smaller, private commercial galleries that you can usually just wander into, but we've left these off so as not to overwhelm the map.

People sat on the steps outside the National Gallery
The National Gallery is one of scores of free to visit galleries and museums. Image: Londonist

Free talks and tours

London contains several venues that put on regular talks and tours. Chief among them is the ancient Gresham College, which arranges free public talks several times a week. LSE, Guildhall Library, the Royal Society and UCL are other good options.

Free events at cultural centres

You can see more in London for free than you might imagine. Seek out free comedy nights, classical music concerts, community events and other cultural freebies.

A cow mucnhes some grass while a train comes towards us
There are lots of farms in London, and most are free to visit. Image: Matt Brown

Free city farms in London

The first city farm opened in Kentish Town in 1972, and London has since seen the establishment of many more. Most of these farms are free to visit, but you're heavily encouraged to give a donation, to help with expenses.

Free places to get a good view of London

We've also mapped some of our favourite places to get a decent eyeful of London. Of course, there are many hills around London where this is possible (Greenwich, Primrose, Parliament, etc.), but we've mostly mapped buildings and structures that give you a free panorama. These include the wonderful Caledonian Park tower in Islington and numerous roof gardens in the City and beyond.

A formal garden popping with pink tulips
Image: Matt Brown

Gardens and outdoor wonders of London

Again, this category could run into hundreds of entries. We've limited ourselves to parks, gardens and nature reserves that are not so well known, and offer something a little bit special.

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Got something you think we should add? Email [email protected] with subject line "Free London map".