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London is one of the world’s more expensive cities. However, between seeing all the iconic sights there are many free activities of interest and they will add to your trip.
Firstly, check out the internet especially Free LondonListings which lists events and attractions in London that are either free or nearly free. This list contains over 1000 entries and is updated regularly.
Then there are the great parks of London : St James’s Park, Hyde Park and Regents Park . St James’s Park has a lake where there are a number of pelicans and, additionally, squirrels are an everyday sight. The park is one of the green oases of the Westminster area and, come the summer, many workers spend their lunch breaks here. The park is perfect for a short morning or evening walk.
If you are at Liverpool Street station then Broadgate Arena has some free events. During the winter there is ice-skating (this is not free but is always interesting to watch). Moving to the South of the River Thames, to the East of Tower Bridge there is a small area where during the summer months there are sometimes free showings of films.
Every year a number of buildings, normally closed to the public, hold an open day. This is usually a weekend in the middle of September. Some tours need to be pre-booked, others just turn up and join the (sometimes very long) queue.
London has many markets of interest, giving a rich slice of London life. Columbia Road flower market, Portobello Road market and Spitalfields are all worth a visit. For foodies, Borough market at London Bridge is a gastronomic experience and forms a great part of a long leisurely walk from the London Eye down to Tower Bridge on the South Bank.
Finally, some of the sights themselves are free, including the Tate Modern, Tate Britain and many museums. A short walk from the Tate Modern is the.gallery@oxo . This is an interesting little gallery and the exhibitions are very varied. Their website is here.