London has a reputation for being one of the world’s most expensive cities, and in some ways this is justified. Eating out and certainly drinking can be pricier than other places in the United Kingdom, and ticket prices to West End shows reflect their status as among the most highly regarded in the world. In some ways, though, London’s expensive image is unfair, and much of it comes from things which in any case don’t apply to tourists, like the famously steep rental prices. In fact, it’s perfectly possible as a tourist in London to fill up an entire visit with the wealth of activities the capital has to offer which are completely free.
Perhaps the best and most surprising of these is London’s plethora of free museums and art galleries. These include some of the most famous and highly regarded cultural institutions in the world, such as the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Tate Britain and Tate Modern; all of these, remarkably, are completely free to enter for general admission. Donations are welcomed, but no pressure is put on visitors in this regard, and special exhibitions are ticketed – but while these can be fantastic, in reality there’s so much to see on general display in all of these institutions that tourists are unlikely to feel the need to buy extra tickets. The British Museum is the most visited cultural institution in the United Kingdom, and for good reason: a monument to the entire history of human culture, it houses a collection so vast that only about 1% of it is on display at any given time – that’s 80,000 exhibits out of a total of 8 million. It’s particularly famous for its Ancient Egypt exhibitions, including several mummies, but the BM spans the entire globe as well as the entire stretch of recorded history. Perhaps the only other institution which can rival it in terms of capturing the imaginations of children and adults alike is the Natural History Museum, a purpose built ‘cathedral to nature’ which enraptures visitors from the minute they cross the threshold and set eyes on Dippy, the huge cast of a diplodocus skeleton who looms over the vaulted entrance hall. Both these museums, and many more, are easily accessible from London City Suites by Montcalm , which has a central location on Chiswell Street.
When you’ve soaked up enough culture, knowledge and art at London’s museums and galleries, why not get some air in your lungs at one of London’s parks? The British capital has a remarkable amount of green space for such a sprawling urban metropolis, and the best of it is free to enjoy at your leisure. The largest, most famous and most beautifully maintained are the eight Royal Parks, which include iconic spots such as Hyde Park, with the Serpentine Gallery, Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial and Speakers’ Corner; Regent’s Park, arguably the most photogenic of them all which is also home to the world famous London Zoo; and Richmond Park, which was established as a deer park by Charles I in the 17th century and remains home to herds of red and fallow deer. A stroll through London’s parks is the perfect way to get some peace and quiet and reconnect with nature in the midst of the urban madness, and many also feature sports facilities of various kinds so you can make sure you and your family keep active.