Everybody knows that the cost of living in London is very high and according to the Evening Standard it is, in fact, the most expensive city in the world. Having worked and lived there, I guess that everybody is up for a few tips to save some cash and still enjoy the city.

During my six years in the English capital, I never struggled to find some interesting free things to do and see during my free time. When I first moved to London and being a curious kid I was over the moon to find out that most museums are free of charge and I spent countless hours in them. Everybody thinks that it rains every single day in London: it’s a lie! From recent studies, it appears that in Rome it rains much more, believe it or not! With over 5,000 acres of public parks, I also have never had to worry about where I could put my picnic blanket or meet my girlfriends for a sun tan session. With free movie screenings, comedy gigs, and street festivals, there is always something for everyone and remember, “if you get tired of London, you get tired of life” (Samuel Johnson).

Spotahome tip: Don’t forget to check out many FREE walking tours available in London!

1. National History Museum

Whether you are an architecture aficionado or a science lover, the National History Museum should be at the top of your list. This incredible building speaks volume for itself and contains some of the most brilliant dinosaurs and fossils collections in the world. Pro tip: make sure to go there early in the morning, on a weekday or on their late opening night: as much as we all love kids, it can get crammed with them at weekends.

Photo source: Sabrina Andrea Sachs @thestoryteller

2. Museum of London

Why is London so famous and what happened in 1666? What is the zone system? Whether you are a fresh expat here or only visiting for a weekend, I highly recommend a stop here during your stay. This is a brilliant little museum that gives you a great overview of the fascinating history and culture of one of the largest and most beautiful cities in the world and England’s capital.

3. Queen’s House

Another secret architectural gem that most tourists (luckily) don’t know about. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon strolling around the upper-level gallery, where some beautiful Caravaggios are stored, but also make sure to check the most beautiful spiral staircases in London, the famous Tulip Staircase.

Photo source: Sabrina Andrea Sachs @thestoryteller

4. Wellcome Collection

When you tire of museums, head over to this fantastic collection of weird and historical objects, including Napoleon’s toothbrush, Darwin’s walking stick, and so much more.

5.British Library

With one of the largest book collections in the world, the British Library is the place to feast on literary treasures like the Magna Carta and original Beatles tunes, but also a great place to do your own things online and study/work.

6. Richmond Park

This has to be my favourite park in the entire area of Greater London. With its wild, free-roaming deer and rolling green hills, its the perfect destination for a bike ride and a picnic under one of those majestic trees oaks.  Photo tip: go there before sunrise to see the deer waking up and lazily start their day. In winter, there is normally a beautiful haze through the trees that will make your pictures even more dreamy.

Photo source: Sabrina Andrea Sachs @thestoryteller

7. Hampstead Heath

This less known and underrated park, it’s normally very busy with locals from the surrounding rich neighbourhoods like Highgate, Primrose Hill, and Hampstead. This is the perfect spot for more picnics or to cool down during one of the (rare) summer heat waves in one of the three pools; as in the old British fashion: one for men, one for women and a mixed one. If swimming isn’t for you, then take the path to the top to Parliament Hill for gorgeous views across London.

8. Primrose Hill

If celeb-spotting is your thing, then make sure to take a stroll in Primrose Hill, the Los Angeles across the pond, where Jude Law, Jamie Oliver and Gwen Stefani put their roots and where Kate Moss is often seen having a Greek lunch at Lemonia. I’ve bumped into and chatted with the last two ladies a few times when I was working in the area.

Photo source: Sabrina Andrea Sachs @thestoryteller

9. Barbican Conservatory

One of London’s best kept secrets where tropical plants, trees, and fish occupy a vast area of the brutalist architecture gem of the Barbican Centre. The venue itself is a maze of surprises, art show, movies, galleries and music where you could easily spend a few days without ever being able to see everything.

Photo source: http://www.barbican.org.uk/

10. The Scoop

With its outstanding location and one of the best view of the City of London across the river, it will be hard to focus on the movie on screen, but make sure to book your seat at the next More London Free Festival.

Photo source: http://www.morelondon.com/

11. Angel Comedy Club

Who doesn’t like a good laugh after a tiring day in the office? Well, I did, so make sure to go to one of the most established comedy companies in the capital which runs free comedy nights every day of the week.

12. Royal College of Music

London is globally recognised as one of the best musical breeding ground in the world, so make sure to listen to all these talented students performing free lunchtime and rush-hour concerts across London before they become stars and flee the British nest.

13. Chinese New Year

London’s celebration in Chinatown is the biggest party outside Asia and it welcomes everyone for a day of fun, activities, and much more. Bring your camera (or phone) for some fun shots and stop for dumplings and dim sum at one of the many Chinese restaurants.

14. Notting Hill Carnival

London’s biggest street party can get wild sometimes, but it’s also super fun and extremely loud. Leave your valuables at home, BYO drinks, and make sure to dance your day away along old and new latin vibes and grab a Brazilian snack on the go.

What are YOUR favorite free things to do in London? Leave us a comment below!

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