Many museums in London don’t charge on entry, like the Natural History Museum, British Museum and Museum of London but if you’re looking for something different and still want to visit for free, here are the best exhibitions you can explore without paying.
The National Gallery houses some of the world's most famous art, with visitors coming in from all over to see pieces from artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Due to the large selection of famous art on display here; it is likely you will recognise some of the paintings even if you aren't an art fanatic.
Nearest Station: Leicester Square or Charing Cross (Central London)
Where to visit after: FUMO
Treat yourself to an Italian delight at FUMO, this all-day-dining restaurant is recognised for regional food served fresh, and the best quality ingredients based on a menu of Italian cooking from the Milan region. Enjoy yourself with its lively and friendly atmosphere brought to you by the San Carlo group and celebrity chef Aldo Zilli.
Take a look at the most significant human conflicts through the WWI and WWII exhibitions in the Imperial War Museum. The gallery holds more than just arsenal and uniforms; it also carries propaganda and information on how people managed to survive during the war. This is the perfect museum if you wish to learn more about British history through its most challenging times.
Nearest Station: Lambeth North (South London)
Where to visit after: Mercato Metropolitano
A 10-minute walk from the Museum is the food court—Mercato Metropolitano, London’s version of an urban farmer’s market. This street food centre will have something for everyone: French, Vietnamese, Argentinian and Italian cuisines, to name a few, making this place ideal for when you don’t know what you are craving.
Prepare yourself for a wave of nostalgia as this exhibition is made entirely of toys. In V&A Museum of Childhood, you can find board games, dolls, dollhouses, construction and a look into how they have changed throughout the years. Take a look at what other’s childhood looked like and how they’ve evolved in this gallery.
Nearest Station: Bethnal Green (East London)
Where to visit after: St Margaret’s House - Gallery Café
Keep on going with the exhibitions but now at a local level at St. Margaret’s House and its Gallery Café. It’s the ideal stop for vegans and vegetarians since it offers meat-free food and recently changed its menu to remove all dairy products to become a fully vegan café. The menu which holds a range of different dishes like the superfood breakfast bowl and jackfruit tacos.
Named after the famous 19th-century architect, this museum and library holds a collection of objects that Sir John Soane had gathered throughout his life. More than 40,000 artefacts and paintings reside in his former home which has been untouched after his death 180 years ago. Make your way to the basement to find an authentic Egyptian sarcophagus that Sir John Soane bought for £2,000, a price the British Museum (back in 1824) didn’t want to pay!
Nearest Station: Holborn (North/Central)
Where to visit after: Kintan
Visit Kintan the Japanese BBQ in High Holborn. Take your pick of beef, pork and chicken or go for Japanese style sausages for your meal. You can even roast s’mores for dessert!
The Tate Modern is a refreshing look at the most recent performances and artworks. As its name explains, this museum has modern and contemporary art pieces and is the largest of these types of collections in the world. Allow yourself to discover the newest trends in this gallery but also view classics such as ‘Ophelia’ by John Everett Millais which is based on a scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Nearest Station: Southwark (South London)
Where to visit after: The Real Greek
Stop for a delicious Mediterranean treat at The Real Greek. Hot and cold Greek meze platters are available which are ideal for sharing. This modern glass-fronted restaurant will marvel you with its perfect view of River Thames near the Southwark Bridge.