30 Unique Things to do in London For Free + Map 2024

Last Updated on November 8, 2023

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London is a city full of surprises and hidden depths.

Most people have an understanding that it is an expensive city with a lot of the major attractions not being budget-friendly.

But the great thing is that in reality there are so many fun and unique things to do in London for free!

Plus, you could spend your entire life here and you would never be able to experience all the different things to do in London.

I have compiled this list of what to do in London for free because I am sick of everyone recommending the expensive tourist traps that many travellers can’t afford.

So, if you’re visiting and wondering what are the best things to do in London today for free, hopefully you’ll find something below!

This way you can enjoy fun and cheap days out in London with the whole family that won’t break the bank.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. I recommend either SafetyWing or World Nomads.

If you want to visit any of these things to do in London for free, you can follow along using this Google Map.

Here are 30 unique things to do in London for free!

Find the best unusual places to visit in London for free, close up picture of ceramic dedication to deceased members of the public reading "Arthur Regelous Carman ("Little Peter") Aged 25 who with Alice Maud Denman Aged 27 Died in Trying to Save Her Children from a Burning House in Bethnal Green April 20 1902"

1. Postman’s Park

Amongst the concrete jungle that is London, there is a park with a difference. Postman’s Park is dedicated to those who lost their lives whilst trying to save another.

It’s very peaceful, so make sure you spend some time just reflecting and enjoying this beautiful little park.

You won’t want to miss one of the most unusual free things to do in London, and can easily get there from St Paul’s tube station.

2. Little Venice

Little Venice is overlooked by many tourists, but it’s such a beautiful little place, especially for affordable days out in London.

It’s a picturesque canal that is filled with quaint boat cafes and great pubs.

You can walk with the canal on the footpath, which leads to the centre of London. It’s a beautiful walk on a summer’s day.

You can get off at the Warwick Tube station and walk along the canal towards Paddington.

Explore the unusual free things to do in London, large section of crumbling Roman wall standing in green area between two modern office buildings

3. London Roman Wall walk

Are you a history lover looking for unique and unusual places to visit in London for free? Then do the London Roman Wall Walk!

Everybody knows about Roman London but people don’t know that the wall that surrounded London still exists today! The walk is 2.8km and can be seen if you follow the 21 market panels. 

You can start in either Tower Hill Postern Gate or go backwards by starting at Noble Street, which is close to the Museum of London.

The best thing is, it’s completely free and it’s a great option if you want to learn a little bit more about the fascinating history of Roman London.

This is one of the best free things to do in London that not many tourists know about!

4. Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market is a restored Victorian market, which is beautifully decorated and has some of the finest food in London.

You can find the market off Whittington Avenue.  It’s open from Monday to Friday, 11am until 4pm.

Find your favourite unusual places to visit in London, wooden pole with noose attached sticking out of Thames river with boats and other buildings in the background on a grey cloudy day
Can you spot the noose?

5. Execution Dock

The name is not inviting, but the history behind the execution dock is pretty jaw-dropping. It was used for more than 400 years to execute… pirates!

They would be hung on the scaffold right next to the Thames at Wapping. The last executions that happened here took place in 1830.

Unlike many hangings, the bodies were not cut down straight away – they were left hanging until three tides washed over them.

Can you imagine what it would be like back in those days watching the public executions as some sort of event?

What a different world we live in today! This is definitely one of the top unique things to do in London!

6. St Bartholomew the Great

The oldest church in London has been used since 1143. If you remember the movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral, you might recognise this as the location of the fourth wedding!

Find the best unusual things to do in London, ornate old building with white stones and slate rooftop with many windows standing in ornate square with patterned tiled floor under a cloudy sky

7. Guildhall Yard – Roman Amphitheatre

Below Guildhall Hall lies the remains of the largest Roman amphitheatre that was built in London.  These remains were only discovered in 1985!

More than 7000 spectators would gather around to watch wild animal fights and the execution of animals.

Below the Guildhall Art Gallery you can see the ruins of the amphitheatre for absolutely free.

8. The oldest house in London

On 41 Cloth Fair lies the oldest house in London, which was built between 1597 and 1614. It’s said to be the ONLY house in London that survived the Great Fire of London in 1666.

This is the more uncommon things to do in London, though it is a popular stop on some ghost and historical walking tours.

Top tip: walking tours are one of the best activities in London, and there are many free options! However, you really should tip if you enjoy the tour, so technically they’re not free.

9. Borough Market

One of the best things to do in London is to see this market. It’s been going for over 100 years, making it the oldest food market in London.

If you just want to wander and see what’s available, this is definitely one of the best free places to visit in London. You might even be able to get some free samples.

There are over 100 stalls selling fresh fruit, cheeses, meat, pastries and much more. There’s also a great selection of food trucks here too that shouldn’t be missed.

I highly recommend the vegan burger from Big V, it’s simply delicious!

10. Bushy Park

Bushy Park is the second largest park in London and is famous for its wild deer. It’s a stunning place to visit so I highly recommend coming here.

If you’re looking for cute things to do in London, a chance to see deer in the heart of the city should be top of your list!

Enjoy the best free places to visit in London, inside of ruins of church with ivy and other foliage growing up the walls and in-between the empty vaulted stone windows

11. Saint Dunstan in East Church Gardens

One of London’s most beautiful secrets is the remains of Saint Dunstan, which has now been turned into one of the city’s most beautiful gardens in my opinion.

It was built around 1100 but was severely damaged when the Great Fire of London hit. It was then patched up but, unfortunately, most of it was again destroyed during World War 2.

Saint Dunstan’s is one of the most unique places in London, and though it is growing in popularity, still remains a hidden gem.

On a sunny day, one of the best things to do for free in London is enjoy a picnic here.

12. Hunterian Museum

The Hunterian Museum is one of the WEIRDEST museums in England, and one of the most unusual things to do in London.

It is home to John Hunter’s collection of over 3500 anatomical and pathological preparations, paintings, drawings and fossils.

As I said, one of the top weird things to do in London, but it’s definitely a one-of-a-kind place and is absolutely free for you to enter!

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13. Number 10 Adam Street

Want to get a photo at number 10 Downing Street but the enormous gates and police officers are blocking your way? No problem!

Head to 10 Adam Street, near Charing Cross station. It looks amazingly similar to the Prime Minister’s house so it’s the perfect place to get a picture!

This is one of the most fun and quirky things to do in London as it’s perfect for getting photos and pretending you visited the Prime Minister.

Discover these uncommon things to do in London, long outdoor corridor with green foliage growing on many stone columns and wooden beams above a neat tiled floor

14. Hampstead Pergola and Hill gardens

Another beautiful secret is the Hampstead Pergola and Hill Gardens! It’s definitely one of London’s hidden attractions and one of the top things to do in London for free.

A wealthy philanthropist wanted to build a pergola for his extravagant Edwardian garden parties, but sadly when he passed away the pergola was left to fade.

It may not be shiny and new anymore, but this place has a special atmosphere that I have never felt anywhere else in London.

15. Cockpit steps

Cockfighting, an old sinister sport, used to happen in this small passageway, which can be found between Birdcage Walk and Old Queen Street.

Not only was this a venue for the upper class to watch cockfighting, but it’s also rumoured that these steps are haunted by a headless lady.

In 1804, two guards witnessed the lady heading down the steps and over to St James Park. They were so scared that they had to be restrained in the hospital.

In 1972, a man driving past the steps hit a lamppost because he was swerving to avoid the same woman in a red dress!

Find the latest quirky things to do in London, street view of outside of old terraced building with faded brickwork and red painted wooden window covers and front door

16. Princelet Street

Princelet Street has got to be the quaintest street in East London. It boasts a strong character, resulting from the old shop fronts and houses that were built in the 18th and 19th centuries.

What I love about this street is the shop fronts seem to look like they did hundreds of years ago, complete with cracked facades and old sign writings that date way back.

It’s like this street has been frozen in time, making it one of the most unique places to visit in London!

For this reason, this street is often used in movie sets.

17. The smallest police station in the country

The space that’s currently a cleaners’ broom cupboard actually functioned as a police station in the past!

Located in Trafalgar Square, this little masterpiece used to accommodate 2 criminals at a time, but now is one of the places to visit in London for free.

However, its main purpose was to be used by a single policeman to spy on people – kind of like an old-school CCTV system.

Take in these things to do for free in London, beautifully manicured outdoor garden featuring green lawns and clear ponds with neat cobbled edges amidst green trees and bushes and stone ornaments

18. Kyoto Gardens

Located in Holland Park is the very peaceful Kyoto Gardens, one of the best free things in London.

This park is beautiful in general, but the Kyoto Gardens are definitely a highlight making it a unique London sight that’s absolutely free to visit!

Bring a picnic down with you and enjoy the quietness right in central London – believe it or not, it’s possible!

Kyoto Gardens is perfect if you are looking for what to do on free days out in London whether by yourself, with friends, a partner or the whole family.

19. John Snow’s Water Pump

On the intersections of Broad Street and Lexington Street is one of London’s historical killers – a water pump.

This water pump used to be one of the main sources of water for thousands of people until a cholera outbreak occurred and killed over 600 people.

John Snow was the hero who discovered that the outbreak came from leaking sewage because of the influx of people in the Soho area.

Explore all the best places to visit in London for free, person sitting in front of darkly painted front door to private residence set in a terraced building in a very narrow London alleyway

20. Goodwin’s Court

One of the most unique places to go in London is another little alleyway that has been frozen in time: Goodwin’s Court.

It still uses flickering gas lamps to this day! Which is just one of the reasons one of the most fun places to visit in London for history buffs.

It dates back to 1690 and, for me, it’s one of London’s hidden treasures that is missed by thousands of tourists walking right past it!

21. The first public drinking fountain

Well, I don’t think this needs any explanation! But for anyone interested in important historical things to see in London for free, it’s a must.

After the whole incident with the John Snow pump, London decided they wanted to provide the residents with fresh, clean and free drinking water.

The fountain was built in 1859 and can be found on Holborn Viaduct.

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22. Portobello Road Market

Another one of London’s great markets and also one of my top 3 favourite is the Portobello Road Market.

It’s located in the beautiful Notting Hill and stretches for about 2 miles. The market first started in the 1800’s and is most famously known for its antiques.

It’s the busiest on a Saturday, but also open from Monday until Friday as well.

Discover the best things to do in London today for free, street view of row of terraced buildings looking up at small street sign highlighted by added graphic of large arrow pointing to it

23. The oldest street sign in London (Tavistock St)

Just because we’re on a roll with old things here, the oldest street sign dating back to 1636 was found on Tavistock Street, which was formerly known as Yorke Street.

It is really hard to spot, but the easiest way to see it is if you stand across from Café Murano and look right at the top. There you will spot a white plaque.

Chances are that you will not be able to see the carved date or name of the street unless you have amazing eyesight!

24. Primrose Hill

Primrose Hill is one of the 6 protected viewpoints of London and boasts extremely beautiful views of the city. Bring a blanket and watch the sunset over magical London!

25. Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park

In one of London’s iconic parks is one of the most interesting places to be, Speakers’ Corner.

It’s where open-air public speaking, debate and discussions are allowed, and there’s usually a few people hanging off the lampposts.

The tradition first started in the mid 1800’s and is still going strong today.

If you’re looking for educational, but quirky things to do in London for free, don’t miss Speaker’s Corner!

Try out some different things to do in London, outside of The Anchor pub complete with bright red painted window boards and ornate sign displaying pub name and old lamppost next to modern street sign for Bankend

26. The Anchor Pub

The Anchor Pub is located not far from the Borough Market and has a pretty gruesome past. It’s the site of a Roman grave, but was also used as bear and bull baiting pits.

On top of all that, it’s also one of the sites used as a plague pit in 1603.

27. The Royal Observatory

This famous site is home to where longitude and the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) was founded.

There are lots to see here, including a range of artefacts used by Royal astronomers and galleries exploring the mysteries of the world.

Discover some fun and quirky things to do in London, inside of Christian church with wooden pews and chandeliers among white stone columns with church altar and ornate wooden display in the background

28. St Magnus The Martyr Church

I stumbled across this on my way to St Dunstan and I’m so glad I did. This church sits where the entrance for the original London bridge used to be.

Back in the day, people used to have to come by this church when they entered the city of London. There’s even still pieces of the original bridge that you can see here!

29. The hidden ears of London

If you are looking for strange things to do in London, you have to spend a day finding all the hidden ears of London!

Artist Tim Fishlock randomly decided to make casts of his own ears and dot them around Covent Garden, two of them are on Floral Street.

Good luck trying to find the rest! This is easily one of the best entertaining things to do in London for free!

30. The hidden noses

Another one of the best cool quirky things to do in London is to find hidden noses!

Just like the ears, if you make your way to Soho you can then search for the seven noses that artist Rick Buckley hid in protest of CCTV cameras that had been scattered across London.

The rumour is that if you can find all the seven noses all the wealth will come your way!

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Accommodation suggestions!

There are so many excellent hostels that are situated in London so I thought I would list my top 5 you should definitely check out!

Also, read my article on top hostels located around London.

Your trip doesn’t have to be expensive, there are loads of things to do in London for free that are tons of fun!

You can now make your trip to London even easier by filling out a UK e-visa application form for an electronic visa waiver.

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Is it possible to have free days out in London?

Absolutely! There are tons of fun things to do in London for free all across the city. These range from small, quirky monuments to museums and gardens where you can spend the whole day.

✅ What are the most unusual free things to do in London?

London is a city full of oddities. But some of the most fun and quirky things to do in London are searching for the hidden noses and ears around the city, the Hunterian Museum and Postman’s Park.

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The Comments

  • Megan Indoe
    October 23, 2016

    I haven’t seen any of these things! It makes me want to go back to London right now, especially since the exchange rate is doing well for the US dollar! I love the parks you mentioned here. I love finding things not everyone knows about!

  • Samantha | There She Goes Again
    October 23, 2016

    Yesss, I want to do everything, especially Bushy Park! I’ve only been to London ONCE for one day and with people who spent most of the time on the London Eye and figuring out where to eat lunch. Like literally, I hung out in a book market while they waited for the Eye -_-. Definitely need to return and experience all of these–especially for free (not even the public toilets are free!).

  • Sofia
    October 23, 2016

    Definitely bookmarking for my next trip! I’ve only been to London once so I’d love to go back soon 🙂

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Sofia
      December 25, 2016

      Thanks for reading!

  • violetaloredana
    October 23, 2016

    I always look for free things to do in a city prior to my visit there. I plan on going to London in the near future, so this list is great! The parks, Kyoto Garden, the oldest house in London, and that unusual museum you’ve mentioned are already on my list – but I found new items to add!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > violetaloredana
      December 25, 2016

      Yay that’s fantastic!

  • Karla | karlaroundtheworld
    October 23, 2016

    I just came from London and I feel like there’s more on this list that I would love to do. Gosh, I should have seen this, I would have stayed longer.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Karla | karlaroundtheworld
      December 25, 2016

      Londons ‘things to do’ list never ends…

  • Claire
    October 23, 2016

    Great list of free things to do in London. I’m a Londoner and I didn’t know some of these! I do love a visit to the Hunterian museum. It’s so weird and wonderful

  • Trisha Velarmino
    October 23, 2016

    Thanks for putting this together. London has been a very expensive city for me, it’s good to see there are some things to do for free!

  • mappingmegan
    October 24, 2016

    I’m actually very impressed, I’ve been to London several times, and in every post which claims “unique things to do” I’ve always done them all already. Pleased to say though that you’ve given me a lot to add to my list for my next trip!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > mappingmegan
      December 25, 2016

      I’m so glad you have found some new things to do in London. That was my goal! 😉

  • Christopher
    October 25, 2016

    When I first came to London, I spent a lot of time with family, drinking beer and tea and eating fish and chips. Next time I come back I will explore some of these places. Very cool.

  • Antonette Spaan
    October 26, 2016

    Great suggestions! I love spending time in London, just walking around and observing things. I will definitely save this post for my next visit, I still haven’t been to Portobello for example …

  • Chris Boothman
    October 26, 2016

    I love this collection of FREE things to do in London! Just wandering around in London is a cool experience but it’s nice to have a list of things to do that will keep you intrigued during your visit to England’s capital.

  • Ticker Eats The World
    October 27, 2016

    Hey, lovely little collection of hidden London spots. Will keep it handy when I visit next. Cheers

  • Tanja
    October 28, 2016

    love this! I’ve been so many times to London and there’s still loads more to do:) so I’m saving this list:)

  • Rhonda Albom
    October 29, 2016

    I wish I had your tips when I was in London 4 years ago. After looking at your list, I can see I really missed a lot.

  • Russell
    November 20, 2016

    Excellent read! There’s so many on here I haven’t done so I now have a good list to work through over the course of the next month ? Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Russell
      December 25, 2016

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  • shannonelizabeth
    November 22, 2016

    I lived in London for five years but you’ve definitely mentioned some places that I’ve never visited. LIke you say, it’s impossible to see everything there. You’re so right about people always flocking to the tourist traps and not seeing the interesting nooks and crannies it has!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > shannonelizabeth
      December 25, 2016

      There are so many unique things to do here and it’s a shame people miss out on them! Thanks for reading

  • The Common Wanderer
    November 23, 2016

    OHHHH this is exciting! We’ve recently moved to London and are always on the lookout for things to see and do! Great post 🙂

  • Stefan Arestis
    December 4, 2016

    As a Londoner, this is an excellent post, filled with tips that not even I knew about! Have pinned to one of our fav Travel Tips boards. My favourite thing to do in London is the walk along the South Bank from Westminster right up to Tower Bridge – particularly on those rare occasions we get a sunny day 🙂

  • Anne @TravelTheGlobe (@TTGLOBE4L)
    December 4, 2016

    Gosh there are so many things to do on this list that I have never heard of. What a great insight into a city I thought I knew but clearly didnt. Saving for later

  • Tamara Elliott
    December 4, 2016

    This is a great list- I still haven’t made it to London but I’ll have to remember these for when I finally do!

  • Sara Broers (@TravelWithSara)
    December 4, 2016

    What a great list! The smallest police station in the country looks interesting, as well as The Oldest Street Sign in London~ 30 great things to do… looks like there is no time for boredom when visiting London.

  • annafaustino
    December 4, 2016

    I love London….and I love free things! great list. Will refer back to it next time we’re in town.

  • mappingmegan
    December 4, 2016

    So many amazing free attractions in London, people always seem to think it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world, but I always tell them it’s only expensive if you let it be. You can have just an amazing an experience hitting up the many fascinating museums, parks, and historic cathedrals, all for nothing!

  • Megan MacNee (@Traveling9to5er)
    December 5, 2016

    I was only in London for 36 hours so I need to head back and get a more of these in. I’d love to explore the Borough Market as well as some of the old buildings on your list.

  • Mar Pages
    December 6, 2016

    Didn’t even know about Little Venice. It’s kind of like the canals at Venice Beach in California, but with grey clouds. And Kyoto Gardens really does look like Kyoto! Really unique destinations.

  • Joanna
    December 7, 2016

    Only a person who truly loves London can write an article like that 🙂

  • carla
    December 7, 2016

    Absolutely loved that red windows and door photo! I will remember this free things post when I visit London again on a layover!

  • Francesca @onegrloneworld
    December 16, 2016

    I’ve been to London twice and each time I found it to be way too expensive! The only free activity I found besides walking or checking out the changing of the guards was the Natural History Museum. This is an excellent resource! Had no idea there were so many options.

  • Joanna
    January 12, 2017

    Saint Dunstan must be my favourite place out of everything on your list. Such an amazing little garden!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Joanna
      January 12, 2017

      It’s so cute isn’t it?!

  • Crystal Luminescence
    February 28, 2017

    Hi Anita, you have certainly found some interesting places in London that I didn’t know about, (British and live in Essex lol). I don’t go up to London much anymore, apart from LHR to go to SE Asia, but the Kyoto Gardens do look interesting and maybe I’ll have a look this summer, plus a few others on your list.

  • Chris Casselden
    March 16, 2017

    Sadly Greenwich Observatory is no longer free.

  • Hostelgeeks (@Hostelgeeks)
    May 28, 2017

    Found this one via pinterest (great design btw), and it’s really interesting what you put together on london.

    The oldest street, Goodwin’s Court, drinking fountain….really an awesome list. i put it on my list for the next London trip.
    I may even update then my own article on fun things to do in London. When I do, I’ll link you up 🙂

    Thanks, Matt

  • Nele
    July 23, 2017

    Great article! I love London and have been there multiple times. But I still found lots on this list that I haven’t yet seen. Now I can’t wait for my next trip!

  • Shiralee Hoy
    March 20, 2023

    Knew off some of these Hidden Gems. But was not sure where they were. Thanks too this Artical, it
    has reminded me to ware they are.

    Thank you

  • Nagendra Sai Patanjali
    July 17, 2023

    Great info. Missed a lot during my visit to London last year. Would love to visit next year and visit all the places mentioned by you. Thanks for all the details, it was lovely