London can seem overwhelming for tourists as it has so many attractions and landmarks to explore. Unfortunately some of the city’s top sites are also seriously overcrowded, including Buckingham Palace.
However, there are plenty of free hidden gems where tourists will find more space to breathe. From secret gardens to Roman ruins, there’s so many chances to get off the beaten track.
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While all these hidden attractions are free to enter, tourists can save on some more expensive days out by booking tickets online rather than on the door.
Express.co.uk went on the hunt for some of the city’s best secret spots.
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London’s Roman Amphitheatre
Tucked away beneath the Guildhall Art Gallery, London’s Roman Amphitheatre is such a hidden gem, many Londoners don’t even know about it. Used for wild animal fights, gladiator combats and public executions, the amphitheatre was the centre of Roman life in Londinium.
While it’s not fully intact today, tourists can check out the ruins and learn more about the city’s Roman history.
A tourist ‘TeamWard’ wrote on Tripadvisor: “A visit to London’s Roman Amphitheatre starts in the courtyard outside to see the tiles on the floor depicting how large the place was originally. Wander inside and view the well preserved remains. Well worth a visit and it’s free.”
To make a day out of it, why not visit the London Mithraeum, the site of a Roman Temple to Mithras? The attraction is free but tourists should book a ticket ahead as it’s popular.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 10:30am-4pm
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A popular destination for Londoners, the Barbican’s brutalist and green conservatory remains off the beaten track to many holidaymakers. The Conservatory is the city’s second biggest and unlike the one at Kew Gardens, tourists won’t have to pay to visit.
The Barbican Conservatory has around 1,500 species of plants and trees and there are even terrapins in the water.
In September, the Barbican Conservatory will host an exhibition by Indian sculptor Ranjani Shettar, with special late night openings.
While tourists will have to pay to explore some of the Barbican’s attractions, there’s often a free art exhibition onsite.
Opening hours: Closed until September 10 when the exhibition will open.
Open on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Book a free ticket in advance.
Buy a digital Railcard online with Trainline and store it directly in the Trainline app, so you can use it right away to get 1/3 off eligible journeys for a whole year.
London’s one of Europe’s main cultural capitals and from the Tate Modern to the National Gallery, there’s plenty of free art galleries to explore.
If the queues at the National are off putting, why not visit the Wallace Collection, a free gallery with one of the world’s best collections of 18th century art? The building is also spectacular and the cafe is one of London’s most beautiful.
Tourists who do want to see some of the Tate’s collection will usually find the Tate Britain is much quieter than the Tate Modern.
Opening hours: Everyday between 10am-5pm
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