London is, indeed, one of the world’s top destinations during all time, at any period of the year. And while the first thought to cross your mind would be that it’s a pretty expensive city (which it is, it’s actually one of the most expensive in Europe), one of the greatest things about London is that there are plenty of things that tourists can enjoy for free. Since the history of the place is extremely rich, the attractions it has to offer are of a huge range as well, from classy top museums to very popular bars and parks, amphiteaters waiting to be filled with artsy people and churches’ choirs singing for impressive audiences. And while not anyone can afford some of these small destinations of their own, the good news is there are lots of attractions for free for any budget traveler who decides to visit London.
By far, my first decision would be Hyde Park. And not just for its patrician position, the impressive dimensions and the great views, but for the Speaker’s Corner. The tradition of this location goes back to 1866, and up until today every Sunday people of all ages, cultures, religions or sexual orientations come here to make their voices heard. Among the most famous personages who gave speeches here are George Orwell, Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin. But this place is merely this astonishing for its past. You don’t have to be an old-school reporter, with a Hunter S. Thompson’ novel in your pocket, as a tribute for the beat generation to love it here. You don’t even have to generally like looking for the specific and unusual in people’s stories. Because the chance is that what you’ll listen to exceeds any possible expectations. And the best thing is that there’s no common point of the people’s discourses whatsoever, no red line at all – this is what’s really amazing – the wide spectrum of problems talked and your chance to listen to the one(s) that fits your interests and values best. Or even give yourself a speech, address the world your problems, fears or appreciations of any kind.
Another specific thing to be seen in London is the change of the guard of the famous Buckingham Palace, taking place every day at 11.30 during summertime and every two days at the same hour during the cold season. The event is a must especially if you’re an enthusiast of high class ceremonies, fast and opulence. Otherwise, it’s just a nice way to spend your morning. Just in front of the Palace Gate, Victoria Statue offers you the best view of the parade, just as long as you’re there a few minutes before the beginning.
And since we’re talking about strategic positions that offer you great views for free, your next destination to walk to could be Primrose Hill. Here you’ll find that this magnificent destination on the North of London gives you the most breathtaking views of the city, while one of the most impressive things all tourists talk about is the London spirit, the fact that anyone would recognize the city from up there and with just a little effort you can even feel its vibe.
The indoor spaces to be visited are a very good offer as well, both during the day and the night. Westminster Abbey is not only the most popular church in the United Kingdom, but a great place to go and listen to gospel music as well. But here’s a trick that you should know: this great spectacle is only cost-less if you go for the ‘evensong’, happening daily after 5 p.m. A great way to listen to high quality gospel music with your £17 in your pocket.
But the English aren’t only serious, controlled, moderate people as stereotypes tell us. And maybe the perfect place to prove your preconceptions wrong are the comedy clubs. Same rule here: yes, some of them not only do have fees but are pretty expensive even for the London people as well. But there are some free spectacles to attend as well. Theater Royal Stratford is a great location in Gerry Reffles Square every Monday night, if what you’re looking for are free comedy shows. On the other hand, if it’s Wednesday you should go to Comedy Café in Rivington St. or The Lower Ground Bar in West End Lane, depending on the side of London you’re having accommodation. All these places have a great reputation, and English humor is truly savory and worth giving a try
But you may not be very interested in comedy, but a tougher guy. And London has places to clear up your mind for free as well. One of them is Nothing Hill Arts Club, but you’ve clearly heard of it. It’s really more comfortable, intimate and hospitable than Dostoevsky’s books describe its Russian imagined homologous. The stage is small, the sofas are comfortable but most of the guests don’t get to try them too much, since they’re mostly busy with dancing and having fun. The place is a must for every young tourist out there, and not only for being very popular, but for the rock bands that concert here. Unfortunately, the programs vary and there are no specific days, but you’ll surely catch at least one free concert if you get to stay in London for more than a couple of days. The East End is the place where all the popular DJs seem to gather and perform, and the Hoxton Pony is the favorite destination of techno and club music fans, so there’s a solution for anyone’s tastes.
London’s festivals aren’t to be missed under any circumstance as well and if you happen to be in town this month a must see is the Ice Sculpting Festival happening this weekend.