Even with the dollar gaining strength, visiting London can still be expensive for Americans. But this capital city is no less an easy and memorable trip. While we certainly recommend popular paid attractions like the London Eye and London Aquarium for first-timers, there are also plenty of free things to do for hours so that a trip here wont cost a fortune. With multi-generational travel on the rise and London being a popular extended vacation perfect for those school breaks heres an affordable guide to the city for all ages.
1. A Treasure Trove of Free Museums
Many London museums are free of charge. If the National Portrait Gallery feels stuffy, try the Egyptian mummies, Viking swords, and Celtic Jewelry at the British Museum. Thats also the home of the famed Rosetta Stone and other priceless artifacts representing multitudes of cultures from across human history. Plus, free gallery backpacks for kids, available on weekends and school breaks, plus special tours and events designed specifically to engage younger museum-goers. Love all things science? Make sure to get a peek at the dinosaur skeletons in The Natural History Museum and spend hours learning and playing at the interactive Science Museum both free as well.
2. Whimsical Window-Shopping
Truly connect with your inner child (and let the grandkids roam happily) at Hamleys, the worlds oldest and largest toy store. This amazing seven-story building showcases seemingly every toy imaginable and is of course free to visit. William Hamley opened his first toyshop in 1760 and it became a London landmark soon after. Its current location at 188-196 Regent Street (since 1881) has been bombed five times during the Blitz, but the helmet-wearing staff reopened every time and helped keep the British spirits high.
This post originally appeared on the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog.