Friday, November 18, 2011

Free London Attractions

Check out the Lonely Planet site ( for an article listing 20 free attractions in pricey London, England. Many of the city;s top things to see are without price, from the British Museum to the Houses of Parliament, the Victoria and Albert Museum to the older and modern branches of the Tate Museum. All the signs are in English, and the locals speak a language you can sometimes understand.
Seriously, London is a wonderful city to visit, even if you have to save up for a while to afford it. The Lonely Planet story doesn't mention it, but you can spend days at places like the British Museum, not just viewing wonderful exhibits like the Rosetta Stone and the Sutton Hoo treasure (ancient gold relics found in an English farmer's field,) but attending lectures by experts and reading your way through the books in the former Reading Room of the British Library, now housed in this museum. Last time I was there I speed read several of the wonderful books on Arabia written by British explorer Freya Stark. While you're in the Reading Room, you can think of some of your distinguished predecessors in this place, from Chrales Dickens to Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.
I understand that London can be a difficult place in which to live, with traffic problems, exorbitant rents, and all of the usual urban hassles. But for the visitor the city has an enormous amount to offer, and much of it is free. If you can find an inexpensive place to stay, through a package tour or by lodging at a student residence, it can be relatively affordable. The city is a good winter destination, because while it rains frequently it very rarely snows, and other tourists are few in number.



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