Skint? Saving? Or just really stingy? We've compiled the best free things to do in London for those of you who want to explore the capital for nothing. Yes, London is expensive. Yes, a burger will set you back a pretty penny, but there's also a lot of fun to be had in London for absolutely nothing. You can check out some world-famous institutions, the wonders of London museums or some of this week's best new art all for absolutely nada. There's also a wide range of free London nightlife and penny-saving entertainment going on with no admission fee, it's all here and it's all completely free. So leave your cash in the attic and go get exploring the best free things to do in London. The only thing you'll be short of is free time.
Free things to do in London this week
The best free days out in London
Our favourite free venues in London
Popular with well-heeled local residents, this classy destination is smartly furnished in a restrained grey-brown palette. The menu is much more flamboyant, although dishes are seasoned with classic spice blends. Deep-fried soft-shell crab, coated in a ground rice and sesame-seed batter, was outstanding for its crisp crust that yielded to reveal the sweet flesh below. We were also taken by a heap of juicy shrimps tossed in raunchy red chilli and tamarind masala – with a garlicky flatbread obligingly soaking up the juices. Mains were not in the same league. Tangy goan fish curry, although studded with sizeable scallops and juicy prawns, was let down by a heavy onion-ginger sauce that overwhelmed the seafood. Sri Lankan chicken curry – spiked with ginger, dried chillies and fried onion masala – made a much better impression with its toasted coriander spicing and tender strips of softened gourd. The Painted Heron’s left-field signature dish of strawberry curry has become an annual summer spectacle: strawberry juice, reduced, seasoned with toasted cumin and lime juice and studded with squishy berries; it was as delectable as it was wacky. Service seriously needs to spruce itself up if it’s to match the fabulous cooking.