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Thursday, 8 November 2012

10 FREE ATTRACTIONS U CAN VISIT WHILST IN LONDON

Visiting London is a dream comes true for all travellers. London has its own personal charm and vibrant, with its state of the arts amenities make people really love it here. When we see and hear people travel to London all the time, we might be thinking that some people are so lucky that they have all the money they can get. Little that they know that u don’t need a fortune/to be rich to visit this metropolitan city. Don’t be surprised when you ask your friends how much did they spend to visit the attractions in London and their answer is NONE. That’s right, you don’t need to spend even a penny to visit some of the sights. Many people are not aware that London offers so many free attractions for budget travellers . Therefore, in this article, I will share with you 10 free attractions that I had visited during my budget trips to London.  It is very useful for those who are going to London for the first time and on a shoestring. I'm giving you the nearest tube/underground stations to the attractions but bear in mind that some attractions are within a walking distance.



1. THE CHANGING OF THE GUARDS
A visit to London is incomplete without experiencing the changing of the guards. It is the number one must do when one visits London for the first time. The change is held almost every morning  at 11.30 am and people from all walks of life gather at the Buckingham Palace area as early as 8 am just to watch the scene. I had been there twice. Once during the winter and the other one during the summer.  To witness and experience the most iconic parade of London is a definite must-do while in London. And, on top of it, it's free!
How to get there: Get off the tube at Victoria, Green Park and Hyde Park Corner. If you would prefer to travel to the palace on a bus there are several routes that stop on Buckingham Palace Road - Bus Numbers 11, 211, C1, and C10 .

Around Trafalgar Square
2. TRAFALGAR SQUARE
After watching the changing of the guard, you can just walk along the street and make your way to Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square is another hot yet free tourist destination whilst visiting London. I remember there used to be a lot of pigeons flocking at the square but the last time I visited London, there were only a few birds left. A friend of mine told me that most of the birds have migrated to other countries due to the bird flu epidemic. I don’t know how true is the story.  Anyway, you can capture a lot of stunning and magnificent photos with the statues at Trafalgar Square such as the Landseer lions and Nelson's Column.
How to get there: Get off the underground at Embankment (Circle / District Lines)

Top: Nat Art Gallery. Below: National British Museum

3. MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
If you do your research well, you will notice that London has so many distinctive and diverse museums and galleries to be visited for free. If you are the type of person who likes histories and galleries, now is your opportunity to do what you enjoyed most in London. Of course some attractions solicit donations to maintain the places but that is not compulsory. At Trafalgar Square itself, there is a National Art Gallery that you can visit for free. There are thousands of paintings and sculptures inside the gallery. I, myself is actually not  an art person, but i couldn’t stop admiring all the masterpieces exhibit there. Besides the National Art Gallery, British Museum at Great Russel Street, National Maritime Museum at  Greenwich and Museum of London at Cromwell Road are also among of the free museums in London. There are also a lot of other museums that you can enter with nominal fees such as Royal Air Force Museum, London Canal Museum and Guards Museum, to name a few. However, if you already purchase the London Pass,  these museums are free for you to wander.




4. WESTMINSTER ABBEY 
From Trafalgar Square, you can just walk to Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey is another great attraction to visit whilst in London. It  is usually open to visitors from Monday to Saturday throughout the year. On Sundays and religious holidays such as Easter and Christmas, the Abbey is open for worship only. I never go inside the abbey, just taking photos from the outside only...he..he...
How to get there: St James's Park (District and Circle Lines) and Westminster (Jubilee, District & Circle Lines).




The House  of Parliament: Sorry, I don't have the overall view of the house...he..he...
Actually, I have but i need to locate them somewhere...
5. HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT  & THE BIG BEN@THE CLOCK TOWER   
You don’t need to pay a single penny to take photos outside the parliament house and the Big Ben.  However, if u want to go inside, I think you need to pay GBP16 to tour the building and the running of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Even though you pay to tour inside, photography is not allowed inside the building. So, you might just have to make do with the photos outside...:)
How to get there: Stop at Westminster Tube Station (Jubilee, District & Circle Lines).and walk for about 3 minutes.


6. TOWER BRIDGE
Tower Bridge is always mistaken by people as  London Bridge. One will definitely would not miss the chance to capture photos of this outstanding tower bridge. Capturing photos are free and if I'm not mistaken, there's an exhibition called Tower Bridge Exhibition there (for a fee).  You can walk across Tower Bridge at any time, as it is a public road anyway. When the bridge is lifted, you will notice the  traffic chaos in the immediate vicinity.There are many other attractions within the walking distance of the Tower Bridge.
How to get there: Catch the tube to Tower Hill on the Circle and District lines. You can also go there by boat. 

Some of the parks I've visited.
7. VARIOUS PARKS
There are plenty of free parks to have a picnic in London. You can stroll along the walkways and enjoy the picturesque scenery and the greenery.   While waiting for the changing of the guards, I had a short quick tour of the St. James Park which is just next to the palace. One thing about the parks in London is, they are very well maintained and clean.  Hyde Park and Richmond Park are also among of the popular park to visit in London.




8. MARBLE ARCH
The next free destination would be Marble Arch. What is Marble Arch, actually? It  is a white Carrara marble (with some marble pieces extracted near Seravezza) monument that now stands on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane, and Edgware Road, almost directly opposite Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park in London, England (adapted from Wikipedia online). I can sit here and look at people for hours. I've been here twice and really enjoyed walking (and looking too) here. From here u can walk to Hyde Parks and see all sorts of people giving free talks.
How to get there: Marble Arch underground station (Central Line)

Piccadilly Circus

9. PICCADILLY CIRCUS 
Piccadilly Circus is just a pedestrianized square and public place with lotsa shops and restaurants. What's so special about Piccadally Circus? I myself do not know for sure but it's a must place to go once u're in London. If u wanna buy souvenirs, there are plenty of souvenir shops around here. Another place to look for cheap souvenirs is Oxford Street. Soho, Chinatown, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square are all within walking distance to Piccadilly Circus.
How to get there: Piccadilly Circus tube station, of course!

I'm lazy to scan my Chinatown photo so I use this one courtesy of  Spalt, O. of Wikipedia.
Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chinatown_london.jpg 
10. CHINATOWN
Every city has its own Chinatown and each Chinatown has its own tale. I had visited London Chinatown once when I was there. If you miss the hometown’s food, this is the place to go. Situated at the West End, along and around Gerrard Street off Leicester Square. London Chinatown has everything you need from wanton noodles to dumplings. You can even see a glimpse of durians at London Chinatown. But, of course the price is a big-ticket.  There are a lot of continental shops and restaurants at Chinatown. One thing about Chinatown that I really like is the diversity of people there portrays a variety of culture and traditions from all over the globe. People from all walks of life come to Chinatown with their own stories and perspectives make the panorama at Chinatown looks very colourful and lively.
How to get there: Chinatown is a short walk from Piccadilly Circus (Piccadilly and Bakerloo Lines) 


Personally, I think to cover London best is on foot. It is also advisable that you hop from one tube to the other to get to all the attractions. Do not worry as the public transportation in London is very efficient and user friendly. Buy the Octopus Card for better savings.  Octopus card is basically like our touch n go card where you can use it for the rest of your stay in London . Despite the places I have mentioned above, there are many other free places you can always visit when you are in London . All in all, I hope you have gained some insights of these free places. These are just the basics to get the ball rolling, you can start doing your own research if you are really interested to visit these places. So guys, what are you waiting for? Pack your bag now and head to London..:) 

12 comments:

  1. Wishlist nih! TAPI tatau bile mampu pegi. Sis best, byk tempat dah pegi.

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    1. Insyaallah FM...One day, u mesti akan sampai juga...:)

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  2. Ada cover semua ni..cuma muzium dan chinatown jer tak gi..

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    1. He..he...i've read yr London's journals... best! x pa...nanti leh p lagik...banyak tmpt free lagik yg leh visit kan... i terkilan x sempat ke Greenwich

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    2. sebenarnya masa yang saya ada kat sana tu patutnya sempat ke luar dr London city skit..tapi tak buat cmtu. Kalo nak ke country side pun sempat...hmmm....rugi la rasanya. Tak salah saya guna ferry dari Londonpun boleh sampai Greenwich kan?? ada tgk kt tv satu travel show..nak ke oxford pun dekat..siap boleh naik sampan di satu sungai kecik yang cantik sangat..sayang betul la tak tau !!!

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    3. haah.. Greenwich is just 20 minutes away dr london..he..he..
      Zila, if u happen to visit london again, p oxford, stonehenge,bath,windsor, stratford upon avon (tmpat Shakespeare, kalau minatla), clark's village (shopping wooo), etc etc... sumernye leh buat balik hari... i've been to all those places tp in yr 2001...so, dah naik lupa dah pasal lama sangt ...he..he... kalu x silap, ada satu kompeni nama mega bus yg menawarkan tiket bus ke luar london mcm ke edin, Manchester ke dngn harga serendah 1 pound (limited seat)...

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  3. Tatau bila boleh sampai sini...huwaaaaa!!

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  4. bila ler nak gi lagi... 80% of what you wrote i havent seen. and yet i spent 1 week in London. aiyooo... al-rugis

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    1. Lily, lama tu seminggu...i've been to London a few times but never stay more than 5 days ha..ha.. 5 days tu paling lama dah, dtg beraya p MSD..he..he...

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  5. Salam Farik!!..sooo faar awaaaay...lah!!! kebas lutut Nekcik!!

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    1. ha..ha...haah..flight dkt 12 jam...tido bngn tido bngn..x gak smpai2

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