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.

By Steve Larese – Full Story at Shermans Travel | London Gay Travel Resources

This post originally appeared on the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog.

Purple Roofs


We started Purple Roofs in 1999, and we’re still the best place to find small, “family owned” and gay friendly accommodations, with more than 4,800 bed and breakfasts, hotels, vacation rentals and other properties around the world, many of them with full page listings and photographs. Many of our listings ar small mom and mom or pop and pop businesses – places you’ll have a hard time finding anywhere else.

We also list hundreds of gay owned and friendly travel agents and tour operators around the world.

Our Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog lists thousands of gay travel articles, and once a month, we send the latest articles and gay travel events to our mailing list of more than 25,000 people. We also send out our monthly newswire with specials from gay innkeepers worldwide. Join our maillist here.

We also list hundreds of gay travel events – from gay prides to ski weeks to film festivals.

At Purple Roofs, we are gay travel.