London ranks among some of the most expensive cities to live in. That means any tourist visiting the capital city of England needs to have a fairly big budget. Traveling through London’s underground tubes can quickly burn through your cash; the city is famous for being home to extravagant bars and restaurants that cost a pretty penny, and entry tickets to the city’s top-rated attractions can cause a sizeable dent in your wallet. That picture on the London Eye that you need to show off your British holiday? It doesn’t exactly come cheap.
Thankfully, however, not everything in London needs to cost you money. In the spirit of open accessibility to art and history, several museums and art galleries around the city let people in through their doors for free. No matter the time of the year or the day of the week, these museums and art galleries are entirely free to visit.
Saatchi Gallery is not only one of London’s most prestigious art galleries, but it’s a name that’s famous all over the globe. The gallery functions as a registered charity that gives emerging artists a platform to showcase their art in front of an audience that doesn’t have to shell out a few bucks to enter. Travelers can see what exhibitions Saatchi has going on through their website and save their cash on entry tickets to actually buy some artwork. Considering the art gallery has a reputation for showcasing the works of prominent artists before they ever reached stardom, you may very well bump into the next Andy Warhol here.
9 Museum Of London
For those who truly want to get to know the history of the city that they are visiting, how it got here today, and the illustrious people who called the city their home, the Museum of London should be on the top of the list of places to visit The museum records London from prehistoric times to the present day, displaying over 450,000 years of London’s history through a mix of permanent displays and temporary exhibitions that showcase notable events in London’s history. The museum is open seven days a week, and visitors can walk in anytime they please during their open hours.
8 National Science Museum
The National Science Museum is located in South Kensington on a lane known as Exhibition Road, which is home to major museums and art galleries, some of which cost no charge for admission. Considered to be one of the greatest science and technology museums in the world, the National Science Museum displays objects and exhibitions related to the fields of chemistry, medicine, space, mathematics, technology, astronomy, and robots, albeit in a fun and engaging way . Occasionally, visitors may even bump into staff members conducting live experiments. Tickets are free, but the museum requires visitors to pre-book their time slots online.
7 Imperial War Museum London
Spread over five different locations in the UK, the Imperial War Museums have three branches in London. Of these, the Imperial War Museum London serves as a memorial for World War I and II. The museum’s permanent displays include a Holocaust Gallery, a display of objects from the two World Wars, as well as separate galleries dedicated to World War I and World War II. The museum also regularly comes up with events and temporary exhibitions, all of which entirely free for visitors.
6 The National Gallery
For those who can never pick between spending the day at an art gallery or a history museum, The National Gallery located in Trafalgar Square is the ideal day out. Founded in 1824 with a collection of 38 paintings, The National Gallery is an art museum that displays the United Kingdom’s collection of European paintings. Anybody with a knack for art history will spot the prominent works of Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Titian displayed on the walls of the gallery.
5 british museum
Dedicated to documenting human history, art, and culture, the British Museum houses an impressive collection of manuscripts, sculptures, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and archeological objects from the ancient world. The museum also hands out a map of object trails for visitors to skip to its most popular displays based on different themes. Although the British Museum is free to visit, the museum requires you to book your time slot in advance to guarantee entry. Walk-ins, though allowed, are subject to the museum’s capacity.
4 National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum is located in a stunning complex that previously housed the Greenwich Royal Hospital School. The museum sits on the banks of the River Thames and displays England’s maritime history through ship models, maritime instruments, photographs, and artworks, and a library that is home to over 100,000 books dedicated to the country’s maritime history. A trip to the National Maritime Museum can always end with a short hike to Greenwich Park, which offers breathtaking views of the museum and London’s skyline, as well as a stroll through the Greenwich market.
3 Tate Modern
Let’s be honest: Most would make a trip to Tate Modern even if the art museum charged pricey admission tickets. The iconic Tate Modern is among London’s top attractions, and the fact that entry to its gallery is entirely free only happens to be a huge bonus! While the art museum houses paintings and sculptures from the likes of Pablo Picasso, Tate Modern is particularly famous for its cutting-edge art installations. Although the museum charges a fee for entry to a select few of its exhibitions (unless you’re a member), access to its galleries is free for all.
two Victoria And Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum, or V&A as it’s known among the locals, houses over 2.8 million pieces of artwork from over 5,000 years of history. The art, design, and performance museum showcases some of the country’s largest collections of ceramics, textiles, furniture, jewelry, photographs, books, and paintings, among other things. The museum does charge a fee for its workshops and a select few exhibitions, but access to the better part of its collections and events remains free to visitors.
1 Natural History Museum
For all those who have grown up watching Jurassic Park and dreamt of a world filled with dinosaurs, the Natural History Museum is a wonderland. Not only is the building that the museum occupies a thing of an architectural marvel, but it houses an even more impressive collection in the departments of botany, paleontology, mineralogy, entomology, and zoology inside. Giant dinosaur skeletons dangle from high ceilings, collections display fossils of extinct mammals, and several exhibitions document the history of human evolution. In the winters, the Natural History Museum’s open gardens transform into a dazzling ice rink surrounded by Christmas trees.