London may be an expensive city to visit and live in but wise visitors can find plenty of tourist attractions that will cost them absolutely nothing. To get you started, here are six different sites that you can enjoy for free while getting a taste of London’s extensive history.
The Old Bailey
Take the time to visit the place where many high-profile criminal trials take place–the Old Bailey. The original courthouse of the Old Bailey was built in 1539 and has held trials against William Joyce, the Yorkshire Ripper, and Oscar Wilde. Galleries available to the public are held Monday through Friday; however, since Old Bailey is now a hot tourist attraction, you may need to put your name on a waiting list.
The Theatre Royal
The Theatre Royal at Stratford East hosts a variety of comedy and musical acts. Every Monday is a comedy night and they offer some type of entertainment for no charge on specified nights of the week. To review their weekly lineup, you can visit their website.
If you are a nature lover, you can surprisingly get your fix in London. The city’s numerous public parks make London an extra special city to visit. Bushy Park is a fantastic public park located on the North side of Hampton Court Palace. This park provides tourists and native Londoners alike with interesting wildlife, beautiful scenery, and a rich history.
Bar Salsa is the ultimate place to receive dancing lessons from an experienced salsa instructor and better yet, Bar Salsa gives beginners a free lesson every Wednesday night. However, proper attire is a must, which means open-toed shoes should be avoided. After you enjoy your free lesson, grab a drink at the bar and relax.
Houses of Parliament
There is nothing more wonderful than having the opportunity to see a body of government at work. And not only are you afforded the chance to witness live debates, but also the stately architecture of the Palace of Westminster. Built in 1402, the Palace of Westminster was originally a residence for British royalty. After the 1834 fire, Westminster was rebuilt and is now home to Big Ben–the well-known clock tower that has become an icon of London.
Tower of London
Although most tourists visit the Tower of London to see the breathtaking jewels and its historic prison, there is a way to see another side of the Tower that many visitors miss out on. Every night at 9:30pm for the past 700 years, the military guard and the Yeoman Warders engage in a nightly ritual of locking the Tower of London’s outer gates and subsequently bringing the keys to the Tower’s Resident Governor. While free, if you want to bear witness to this historic ceremony, be sure to book your tickets in advance.