Millions upon millions of people visit London every year, but no one can deny that it's an expensive city to spend time in. The pound is up and deals are few and far between for the average tourist, whether you're taking in a West End Show, touring the Tower of London, or going for a spin on the London Eye.
As with any large city though, there are plenty of things to do that don't cost a shilling. Here's our list of the top 5 free things to do in London:
Tate Modern - One of the most renowned modern art galleries in the world offers free admission... how great is that? The Tate Modern is housed in a former power station along the Thames, and doesn't charge admission to its permanent collection, which includes works by great 20th-century artists like Dali, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko, and Warhol.
Speakers' Corner - On peaceful Sundays in London, it's great to wander the leafy paths of Hyde Park, and enjoy activities like swimming, boating, tennis and horseback riding. One of the most interesting things to do in the park though, happens every Sunday from mid-morning to late afternoon. Speakers' Corner is a long-standing tradition where anyone can say their piece about anything as long as they're on a box. You never know what you're going to get, whether it's crackpots or undiscovered geniuses.
Changing of the Guard - It's one of the best-known traditions in London, one that most tourists see at one point or another. Sure there are hordes of tourists everywhere, but really, no visit to London is complete without seeing the Queen's Guard go through their paces, and it's free! Just get their a little early to get a good viewing spot. The Changing of the Guard happens every day at 11:30am in summer, and every other day in winter.
Camden Market - London has many street markets, but the most popular is Camden Market, a sprawling collection of antiques, t-shirts and food. With 100,000 visitors every weekend the people-watching here is especially good as well, and it's the best place to spot the remnants of the London punk scene. If that's too crowded for you, the Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill is also good.
Evensong at Westminster Abbey - One of London's most popular attractions, Westminster Abbery charges £10 admission during the day. Most people don't know that you can get in for free though, if you visit later in the day when Evensong takes place. Not only do you get to see the magnificent interior of the Abbey for free, but you're treated to a beautiful preformance by the Abbey Choir. Evensong takes place at 5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursday and Fridays; and 3pm on weekends.
Image by Gabriel Villena.