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The Best Free Things to do in South Bank

January 8th, 2020 | by Ella Stern

The Best Free Things to do in South Bank

We all love free things and South Bank has host of things for you to do throughout the year that will allow you to keep your wallet in your pocket. From exhibitions to skate parks, strolls on the riverside and discovering unique and exciting places - find out what free activities you can enjoy all year round.

  • Imperial War Museum

    The Imperial War Museum London covers war and conflict from the First World War to the present day. A unique collection of objects tell the human stories of lives engulfed in war and show how conflict has shaped the world in which we all live. The IWM has several free permanent exhibitions open all year round.

    IWM London
  • Free Music at Southbank Centre


    There's a whole lot of free music to be enjoyed at at Southbank Centre on Fridays.

    Enjoy free lunchtime music every week in Central Bar in the iconic Royal Festival Hall.

    Plus see the next big thing first at Future Tense, Southbank Centre's free weekly gig featuring an eclectic line-up of international artists selected for being the best in up-and-coming talent from 6pm on Fridays.

    Southbank Centre
  • Explore by foot

    Admire the architecture and view of the river as you stroll through South Bank. Home to national centres for art and culture along with a stunning view of the river, spend the day discovering South Bank on foot. 

  • House of Vans

    Workshops, concert stages, skate and more - inspiring every person who runs or rolls through its doors. Keep an eye out for events that run all year round – all events are free! And roll on over to the House of Vans Skate Park that can be used free of charge. Open Thursday- Sundays.

    Find out more.

    House Of Vans
  • National Theatre Exhibitions

    On top of some of the best theatre that London has to offer, the National Theatre has a series of free exhibitions that take you behind the scenes.

    Currently showing: Costume at the National Theatre 


    National Theatre
  • Make your mark on Leake Street

    Head to the tunnels where graffiti is encouraged. Bring your spray and paint the walls or just admire the art that makes these railway tunnels truly unique.

    Leake Street Arches
  • Explore South Bank’s green spaces

    Grab a book and relax in Bernie Spain gardens which are Nestled in-between Oxo Tower and Gabriel's Wharf. And explore the oasis of green, Jubilee Gardens to take in the riverside view and admire London’s most recognise landmark- The London Eye.

    Jubilee Gardens
  • Oxo Tower Wharf

    Gallery@Oxo is situated in the landmark building on the riverside. The gallery showcases some of the best free photography, contemporary design, architecture and issue-based exhibitions. Take a look to see what’s on now.

    Oxo Tower Wharf
  • Free Films for Families at BFI

    Did you know that BFI Southbank have films just ready and waiting for you to watch – all for free! In our amazing Mediatheque you can sit down in front of a viewing screen and call up many weird and wonderful titles which have been digitised from their archives. You can watch anything from full length feature films to old cinema adverts, TV children’s programmes and documentaries… great fun for young and old alike!

    The Mediatheque is free but booking may be advisable, especially on weekends.

    Find out more

    BFI Southbank
  • HENI Project Space

    The HENI Project Space at Southbank Centre presents a series of free exhibitions throughout the year.

    Currently showing is Nevin Aladag: Fanfare. The exhibition brings together a group of recent artworks that explore sound, rhythm and music. 

    Southbank Centre

Find The Venues

  • 1 - IWM London

    Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ 

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  • 2 - Southbank Centre

    Belvedere Road
    SE1 8XX 

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  • 4 - House Of Vans

    Main entrance
    Arches 228 – 232
    Station Approach Road
    SE1 8SW 

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  • 5 - National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    SE1 9PX 

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  • 6 - Leake Street Arches

    Leake St, Lambeth, London SE1 7NN

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  • 7 - Jubilee Gardens

    Belvedere Rd,
    SE1 8RT

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  • 8 - Oxo Tower Wharf

    The Oxo Tower
    Bargehouse Street
    South Bank
    London SE1 9PH 

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  • 9 - BFI Southbank

    Belvedere Road
    SE1 8XT 

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  • 10 - Southbank Centre

    Belvedere Road
    SE1 8XX 

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