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Free things to do in Greenwich: 5 must-do activities

A beautiful borough of London, with views over the capital, you can’t go wrong with a short trip out to Greenwich.  

But London is known for one of the most expensive cities to visit, but it doesn’t have to be when you take advantage of the many free things to do.  

On your trip to London, we don’t want you to break the bank, so check out these free things to do in Greenwich, that will not only provide you with a memorable experience, but one that won’t cost you a penny. 

Explore stunning parks, interactive museums, stand on the Meridian Line, there is something for everyone to enjoy without spending a dime.  

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Free things to do in Greenwich 

Explore Greenwich without breaking the bank, with these top free activities.  

Explore Greenwich Park 

Opening times: Monday to Friday 6am – 9:30pm 

Price: Free 

Greenwich Park is a must-visit destination in London for the most epic views.  

The large expanse of green parkland is one of the largest parks in London, with breathtaking views of the city skyline.  

Not only is this a great place to enjoy a picnic, but it’s great for a family day out.  

The park is also steeped in so much history. It was once an enclosed hunting ground during James I rein and much of the wall remains today.  

Take a stroll to the top of Greenwich Park and explore The Royal Observatory. Not only will you get the most amazing Instagram worthy photo from up here, but you can straddle the western and eastern hemisphere with Meridian Line.  

There’s also plenty of family friendly things to do in Greenwich. Bring your bat and ball or racket, to play cricket on the cricket pitch or tennis on the tennis courts.  

Learn more about herbs in the herb garden or feed the ducks in the duck pond, there’s so much more to discover.  

With its rich history and beautiful surroundings, Greenwich Park is a perfect spot to relax and take in the beauty of London, all for free. 

View from Greenwich Park over London
View from Greenwich Park over London

National Maritime Museum 

Opening times: 10am – 5pm 

Price: Free 

Book tickets: You must book your tickets in advance to prevent delays. You can book your tickets here. 

Sea navigation has played an important role in Greenwich and should be added to your London itinerary.  

Explore the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts, learn about famous explorers and their voyages, as well as the impact of maritime trade on the development of Greenwich.  

The ground floor of the museum is home to ship models. You can’t miss the Miss Britain III, the first boat to exceed 100 mph in salt water.  

The one to look out for is Prince Frederick’s Barge. It can’t be missed with dragons adorning the boat but the regal gold glistens in the museum. The importance of the barge is fit for a king. 

Head to the second floor for a treasure trove of navigation instruments, paintings and interactive exhibits and engaging displays.  

Be taken around the world with explorers, from the polar exploration, to sailing the globe with Christopher Columbus.  

The National Maritime Museum is a great way to spend the day immersing yourself in the history of London, without spending a penny. 

St Fredericks Barge
St Fredericks Barge in British Maritime Museum

Meridian Line 

Opening times: 10am-5pm  

Price: Free 

Meridian Line is where the eastern and western hemisphere meet.  

This unique experience in Greenwich, allows you to straddle the line that divided the world in half, and you can take a photo with one foot on the western hemisphere and the other on the eastern hemisphere.  

It’s a memorable and fun activity that’ll make you feel like you’re at the centre of the world. 

Bev & Shams Adventures straddling the eastern and western hemisphere at Prime Meridian
Bev & Shams Adventures straddling the eastern and western hemisphere at Prime Meridian

Discover Greenwich Market 

Opening times: 10am-5:30pm 

Price: Free

Opened in the 1700s with just 60 stalls, selling the best cut meat, groceries and baked goods. Now, you may not find the best meat, fruit and vegetables but instead arts and crafts, handmade gifts, fashion and jewellery. 

The aroma from the many food stalls, with different cuisines from around the world, will start to make your mouth water. Make sure you’re hungry when you visit.  

Whether you’re looking for a bite to eat, that special gift for someone or just a souvenir, Greenwich Market is the place to visit.  

Enjoy the free events at The O2 

Opening times: Monday to Friday 10am-11pm 

Price: Free

Originally named the Millennium Dome, when it opened its doors on 1st January 2000. Only opened for a year, with exhibitions to celebrate the century.  

Now it is one of the hip places to visit in Greenwich, with food outlets, a cinema, bowling, trampoline park, indoor skydiving and plenty more.  

Whether you’re looking to be entertained, enjoy good food, or watch an event, at The O2, your option of entertainment is endless.  

Looking for a bit of an adventure? Then why not climb The O2. Yes, you will need to factor the cost into your travel budget, but it is worth it just for the experience and views. 

The cost will set you back about £32.00, but something you should add to your bucket list of adventurous things to do in London.  

Queens House 

Opening times: 10am – 5pm 

Price: Free

The Queen’s house was once a Royal residence, but now holds some of the most beautiful art work and some captivating architecture.  

This is the best thing to do in Greenwich for artwork. Portraits of many reigning Monarchs are on display here including the famous Armada portrait of Queen Elizabeth I.  

As you enter the Great Hall be mesmerised by the delicate gold leaf ceiling fresco. The real stand out is the ceiling in Henriette Maria’s bedroom, known as ‘Aurora dispersing the shades of the night’. The artist is unknown, but it is one you can’t miss.  

Another Instagram worthy spot in Greenwich is the Tulip Stairs.  

The staircase is the first self-supporting spiral stairs in Britain.  

For the best angle of the stairs, for your Instagram, is from the bottom looking up. The bright blue railings stand out from the pure white stairs, with the light pouring in from the window at the top. 

Tulip staircase in the Queens House
Tulip staircase in the Queens House

Tips on visiting Greenwich on a budget 

The cost of our trip to Greenwich was about £10.00 for the day for the both of us. The most expensive cost was the food and transport from central London to Greenwich. But £10.00 a day is still an excellent budget for a couple, spending the day in Greenwich. 

Here are some of our tips on how we spent as little as £10.00 a day in Greenwich. 

Take the bus or DLR (Docklands Light Railway)  

Not only will you get the best views, but it’s a far cheaper way of getting to Greenwich from central London.  

You can either use your contactless debit card or tap the Oyster card. 

Take advantage of discounted tickets 

If you are planning to include paid attractions such as the Cutty Sark and The Royal Observatory into your Greenwich Itinerary, then book discounted tickets, as you could save a few £s. 

Each attraction costs £18.00 per adult, but by buying the day pass to the Cutty Sark and the Royal Observatory, the cost per adult is £27.00. Saving you £9.00.  

Always include the cost of paid attractions into your budget, at the planning stage, that way you’ll stay within your set budget.  

You can book the day pass here.  

Pack a picnic 

Eating out in Greenwich can get expensive, especially if you are travelling as a family.  

Save some money, by packing a healthy picnic and relax in Greenwich Park with some of the best views of London.  

What to pack in your picnic? Wholegrain sandwiches or wraps with chicken, eggs or tuna. Refreshing salads, fresh fruit, vegetable sticks and hummus, nuts and seeds and plenty of water. Delicious and nutritious.   

That money you just saved, by packing a picnic, could go towards the price of the paid attractions, or save it for an adventurous activity later in your itinerary.  

You can get more tips on how to travel on a budget here. 

You may also find this helpful when planning your trip and setting a budget. 

London Travel Costs

Conclusion 

Greenwich offers an abundance of free activities and attractions that caters to various interests and ages. 

Our highlights were the views from Greenwich Park overlooking London, that was priceless.  

History buffs and art enthusiasts will love the Queens House and the National Maritime Museum.  

Visitors to Greenwich can enjoy a day filled with memorable experiences without spending a penny.  

So, what are you waiting for? Get out and explore these free things to do in Greenwich. 

Continue your travel planning, with these useful posts

   

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