Discover the Hidden Gem of London – Free Canary Wharf Activities that Won’t Break the Bank

Canary Wharf is a vibrant and bustling district located in the heart of London. As one of the city’s major business and financial centers, it is known for its iconic skyscrapers and stunning waterfront views. But did you know that there are also plenty of free activities to enjoy in Canary Wharf?

From scenic walks along the wharf to browsing through art exhibitions and experiencing live music performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy without spending a penny. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor exploring the area, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the range of free activities on offer.

If you’re a nature enthusiast, take a leisurely stroll along the wharf and enjoy the picturesque views of the River Thames. Marvel at the stunning architecture as you walk along the waterfront and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this vibrant district. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture those Instagram-worthy shots!

Explore the Vibrant Parks

Canary Wharf is not only home to impressive skyscrapers and bustling business establishments, but it also offers a variety of vibrant parks that are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Best of all, these parks are free to explore!

One popular park in Canary Wharf is Jubilee Park, located in the heart of the area. This green space offers a peaceful retreat from the urban environment, with its well-maintained lawns and beautiful flowerbeds. You can take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or simply relax and enjoy the surroundings.

If you’re looking for more than just a peaceful escape, head to Crossrail Place Roof Garden. This unique park is located above the Crossrail station and features an exotic landscape with plants from all around the world. The park also hosts various events and exhibitions, making it a vibrant hub of cultural offerings.

Anther must-visit park is Sir John McDougall Gardens, which offers stunning views of the River Thames and the iconic Canary Wharf skyline. The park is known for its beautifully landscaped gardens, outdoor sculptures, and peaceful atmosphere. It’s a great spot for a quiet walk or to admire the stunning views.

Lastly, don’t miss out on the Mudchute Park and Farm, a hidden gem in Canary Wharf. This large park has a working farm where you can see a variety of animals, including cows, sheep, and horses. There are also nature trails and picnic areas, making it a great place to spend a sunny day with the family.

Whether you’re seeking tranquility or adventure, Canary Wharf’s vibrant parks have something for everyone. Make sure to explore these free outdoor spaces during your visit to experience the natural beauty of the area.

Enjoy Breathtaking River Views

One of the most relaxing and awe-inspiring activities you can enjoy in Canary Wharf is taking in the breathtaking river views. Located on the banks of the River Thames, Canary Wharf offers stunning vistas of the water, including iconic London landmarks such as Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

To fully appreciate the beauty of the river views, you can take a leisurely stroll along the wharf promenade. This pedestrian-friendly area allows you to walk along the water’s edge and take in the sights at your own pace. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax or a picturesque backdrop for a morning jog, the wharf promenade offers it all.

Enjoy a Riverside Picnic

If you’re looking for a unique way to enjoy the river views, why not pack a picnic and head to one of the nearby parks? The area surrounding Canary Wharf is home to several green spaces where you can spread out a blanket and enjoy a meal with a view. Some popular options include Jubilee Park and Westferry Circus Gardens, both of which offer stunning river views.

While you relax and enjoy your picnic, you can watch as boats and barges sail by, soaking in the peaceful atmosphere of the river. It’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and connect with nature.

Take a River Cruise

If you want to truly immerse yourself in the river views, consider taking a river cruise from Canary Wharf. Several cruises depart from this area and offer different routes, allowing you to explore the River Thames and see the city from a fresh perspective.

During the cruise, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of London’s skyline, including famous landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. It’s a fantastic way to see the city from a different angle and capture stunning photos.

In conclusion, enjoying breathtaking river views is a must-do activity in Canary Wharf. Whether you choose to take a leisurely stroll along the wharf promenade, have a riverside picnic, or take a river cruise, you’re sure to be captivated by the beauty of the river and the iconic sights it offers.

Go for a Riverside Walk

If you’re looking for a free and enjoyable activity in Canary Wharf, going for a riverside walk is a great option. The area is surrounded by the beautiful River Thames, offering breathtaking views and a peaceful atmosphere.

You can start your walk at the iconic Canary Wharf Pier and follow the riverside path, taking in the sights of the modern skyscrapers and historic landmarks along the way. The walk is suitable for all fitness levels and is a fantastic way to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

As you stroll along the river, you’ll come across various parks and green spaces, perfect for a picnic or a break. You can also make stops at the numerous benches scattered along the path, allowing you to sit back and take in the stunning surroundings.

Whether you choose to walk during the day or in the evening, the riverside offers a different experience. During the day, you can marvel at the views of the city’s skyline and watch the boats sailing by. In the evening, you can enjoy the peacefulness and the beautifully lit up buildings.

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the scenic views and create lasting memories of your walk. So, put on your walking shoes and explore the riverside area in Canary Wharf for a memorable and cost-free outing.

Visit the Iconic Canary Wharf Pier

One popular attraction in Canary Wharf is the iconic Canary Wharf Pier. Located on the wharf, this pier is a busy transportation hub and a great spot to visit during your time in the area.

From the Canary Wharf Pier, you can take a leisurely boat ride along the River Thames and enjoy stunning views of the city skyline. There are various boat tours available, including those that take you to famous landmarks such as the Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.

How to Get There

The Canary Wharf Pier is easily accessible by public transportation. You can take the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Canary Wharf station and then walk to the pier. Alternatively, there are also several bus stops nearby, making it convenient to reach the pier from different parts of the city.

Things to Do at the Pier

Once you arrive at the Canary Wharf Pier, there are plenty of things to do. You can simply take a stroll along the pier and enjoy the views of the river, or you can grab a snack and relax in one of the nearby cafes.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the River Thames on your own. This is a fun and unique way to experience the area and get a different perspective of Canary Wharf.

Additionally, the pier is also a popular spot for events and festivals throughout the year. Keep an eye out for any upcoming events during your visit, as there may be live music performances or food stalls to enjoy.

Overall, a visit to the iconic Canary Wharf Pier is a must-do when exploring the area. Whether you’re taking a boat tour or simply enjoying the views, this pier offers a unique experience and a chance to see another side of Canary Wharf.

Location Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom
Transportation DLR: Canary Wharf station
Bus: Various nearby stops
Hours 24/7

Marvel at Public Art Installations

If you’re visiting Canary Wharf, make sure to take some time to explore the incredible public art installations that can be found throughout the area. From striking sculptures to interactive installations, there’s something to capture the imagination of every art lover.

One of the most iconic art pieces in Canary Wharf is the “Desire” sculpture by Peter Bierens. This stainless steel sculpture depicts a pair of giant red lips, and is a popular spot for photos and selfies. It’s located in Jubilee Park, and is a great place to relax and take in the vibrant atmosphere of Canary Wharf.

Another must-see art installation is the “Heritage” sculpture by William Pye. This mesmerizing water feature is located in Westferry Circus Park, and consists of a series of stainless steel columns with water cascading down them. It’s a visually stunning piece that adds a touch of elegance to the area.

If you’re interested in interactive art installations, don’t miss the “Kinetic Stabiles” by Lynn Chadwick. These large-scale sculptures are situated in Cabot Square, and are designed to move with the wind. They create a dynamic and ever-changing visual experience, and are sure to captivate visitors of all ages.

With its wide variety of public art installations, Canary Wharf offers a unique and enriching cultural experience for visitors. Whether you’re a fan of modern sculpture, interactive art, or simply enjoy admiring creative works, you’ll find plenty to marvel at in this vibrant area.

Discover the Gardens of Crossrail Place

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from the bustling streets of Canary Wharf, look no further than the Gardens of Crossrail Place. Located in the heart of the wharf, this hidden gem offers a serene oasis of lush greenery and stunning plant displays.

The Gardens of Crossrail Place were created as part of the Crossrail project, which aimed to bring not only new transportation links but also beautiful public spaces to the area. The result is a harmonious fusion of nature and architecture, where visitors can wander through winding paths, relax on benches, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

What sets this garden apart is its unique design, inspired by the historical gardens of Canary Wharf. The central planting beds represent the voyage of plants from around the world to the wharf, showcasing a diverse range of flora. From exotic palm trees to delicate orchids, there is something to catch the eye of every nature lover.

Highlights Opening Hours Contact Information
• The Roof Garden: A remarkable display of plants and flowers on the upper level of Crossrail Place. Monday – Sunday: 6am – 12am Phone: +44 20 7418 2782
• The Floating Greenhouse: A unique glass structure that houses a variety of tropical plants. Email: [email protected]
• The Japanese Zen Garden: A tranquil space featuring traditional Japanese plants and design elements. Address: Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB

Whether you’re a local or a visitor to Canary Wharf, a visit to the Gardens of Crossrail Place is a must. It’s the perfect spot to unwind, connect with nature, and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. So take some time to explore this hidden oasis and discover the beauty within.

Take in the Architecture of the Skyscrapers

When visiting Canary Wharf, one cannot miss the opportunity to admire the impressive architecture of the skyscrapers that dominate the skyline. As one of London’s major financial districts, Canary Wharf boasts a collection of sleek and modern buildings that showcase the city’s architectural prowess.

From the iconic One Canada Square to the distinctive shapes of the Crossrail Place Roof Garden, the variety of architectural styles is truly captivating. Each building tells its own story and contributes to the unique character of Canary Wharf.

One Canada Square

The centerpiece of Canary Wharf is undoubtedly One Canada Square. Standing at 235 meters, this iconic skyscraper was the tallest building in the UK until 2012. Designed by architect César Pelli, its sleek and triangular shape is instantly recognizable. The building’s elegant design and commanding presence make it a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.

Crossrail Place Roof Garden

Designed by Foster + Partners, the Crossrail Place Roof Garden is a stunning oasis nestled amidst the concrete jungle of Canary Wharf. Its unique design combines lush greenery with contemporary architecture, creating a tranquil space where visitors can relax and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the wharf.

Don’t miss: Make sure to take a stroll along the South Dock towards the East Wintergarden. The glass facades and curved structures of these buildings provide a mesmerizing contrast to the surrounding skyscrapers.

Whether you are a fan of modern architecture or simply appreciate impressive structures, taking in the architecture of the skyscrapers in Canary Wharf is a captivating experience. So don’t forget to bring your camera and immerse yourself in the architectural wonders of this vibrant district!

Experience Street Performances

As you wander through the wharf area, you’ll encounter a variety of talented performers showcasing their craft. From musicians playing catchy tunes to mesmerizing dancers and acrobats, the streets of Canary Wharf are transformed into a stage for these remarkable performances.

One of the best things about street performances is that they are completely free to enjoy. So take a break from your day and immerse yourself in the creative energy that permeates this bustling district. Whether it’s a soulful singer, a sensational dance troupe, or a mind-bending magician, you’re bound to be entertained by the incredible talent on display.

Keep an eye out for scheduled performances, as well as impromptu shows that may pop up unexpectedly. And don’t forget to show your appreciation by applauding, supporting, and even tipping these passionate artists who contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of the streets.

So next time you find yourself in Canary Wharf, be sure to experience the joy and excitement of street performances. It’s an unforgettable way to connect with the local culture, enjoy world-class entertainment, and make lasting memories.

Enjoy Outdoor Film Screenings

Canary Wharf offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy outdoor film screenings for free. During the summer months, the wharf hosts a series of outdoor movie nights that showcase a variety of films for all tastes.

These screenings take place in picturesque outdoor locations, providing a unique and enjoyable experience for everyone. With comfortable seating, blankets, and a vibrant atmosphere, it’s the perfect way to spend a warm summer evening.

Whether you’re a film enthusiast or simply looking to unwind and relax, the outdoor film screenings at Canary Wharf are not to be missed. From classic blockbusters to independent films, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Bring your friends and family along, pack a picnic, and settle in for an unforgettable evening under the stars. With the stunning backdrop of Canary Wharf’s iconic architecture, it’s an experience that will leave you wanting more.

Don’t forget to check the schedule of screenings in advance, as they are subject to change. So grab a blanket, grab some popcorn, and head over to Canary Wharf for a free and enjoyable outdoor film screening experience.

Shop at the Canary Wharf Market

When visiting Canary Wharf, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the vibrant and diverse Canary Wharf Market. Located in the heart of the wharf, this market offers a unique shopping experience that won’t cost you a dime.

At the Canary Wharf Market, you’ll find a wide array of stalls and vendors selling everything from clothes and accessories to handmade crafts and artwork. Whether you’re looking for a trendy new outfit or a one-of-a-kind souvenir, this market has something for everyone.

One of the great things about the Canary Wharf Market is that it showcases local talents and independent businesses. Many of the vendors are local artisans and entrepreneurs, passionate about their craft and eager to share their creations with visitors.

As you browse through the market, you’ll have the chance to interact with the vendors and learn more about their products. They’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and provide recommendations based on your preferences.

While the market itself is free to enter, you may find it hard to resist purchasing some of the amazing products on offer. Whether it’s a beautifully crafted piece of jewelry or a unique piece of artwork, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

So, if you’re looking for a unique shopping experience that won’t break the bank, head over to the Canary Wharf Market. It’s the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the stalls and discovering hidden gems.

Remember to bring along some cash or a credit card, as most vendors at the market do not accept electronic payments.

Happy shopping!

Attend Free Fitness Classes

If you’re looking to stay active during your visit to Canary Wharf, you’re in luck. The district offers a range of free fitness classes that cater to all levels of fitness and interests.

From yoga to boot camp-style workouts, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fitness enthusiast, these classes provide a great opportunity to try something new and get your blood pumping.

Yoga in the Park

Enjoy a rejuvenating yoga session in one of Canary Wharf’s beautiful parks. Led by experienced instructors, these outdoor classes allow you to connect with nature while improving strength, flexibility, and mindfulness. Bring your own yoga mat and embrace the serenity of the surroundings.

Boot Camp Challenge

If you’re up for a high-intensity workout, join the Boot Camp Challenge. This intense circuit training class combines strength and cardio exercises to help you build endurance and get into peak physical shape. Led by professional trainers, the class will push you to your limits and leave you feeling accomplished.

It’s recommended to arrive a few minutes early to reserve your spot, as these classes tend to fill up quickly. Wear comfortable workout attire and bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the session.

These free fitness classes not only offer a chance to enhance your physical well-being but also allow you to socialize and meet like-minded individuals. So don’t miss out on this opportunity to stay fit and have fun in Canary Wharf!

Relax at the Riverside Cafés and Bars

When visiting Canary Wharf, take a moment to unwind and soak in the picturesque views of the riverside while enjoying a cup of coffee or a refreshing cocktail at one of the many riverside cafés and bars.

Canary Wharf offers a wide range of options to suit all tastes. Whether you prefer a cosy café tucked away in a quiet corner or a lively bar with live music and a buzzing atmosphere, you’ll find it here.

For a laid-back vibe and stunning views of the River Thames, head to one of the rooftop cafés or bars. Sit back, relax, and watch as the boats pass by while sipping on your favourite drink. It’s the perfect spot to catch up with friends or enjoy some alone time.

If you’re a coffee lover, you’re in for a treat. Many of the cafés in the area serve exceptional coffee made by skilled baristas who are passionate about their craft. From traditional espresso to specialty pour-over brews, you’ll find a perfect cup of coffee to satisfy your caffeine cravings.

For those who enjoy a tipple, Canary Wharf has a great selection of bars serving a wide range of drinks. From classic cocktails to craft beers and fine wines, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to unwind after a long day, you’ll find the perfect spot to raise a glass.

When the weather is nice, take advantage of the outdoor seating options and bask in the sunshine as you enjoy your drink. Many of the cafés and bars have spacious terraces that offer stunning views of the river and the surrounding area. It’s the ideal place to relax and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Canary Wharf.

So, when you’re in Canary Wharf, don’t miss the chance to visit the riverside cafés and bars. Whether you’re in the mood for a coffee, a cocktail, or simply some time to relax and take in the surroundings, you’ll find it all here.

Remember to check the opening hours and any social distancing measures in place before visiting.

Join Free Guided Walking Tours

While many activities in Canary Wharf require an entrance fee, there are also plenty of free options to explore this vibrant area. One of the most popular ways for tourists and locals alike to discover Canary Wharf is through free guided walking tours. These tours offer a unique opportunity to learn about the history, culture, and architecture of this iconic district.

During the tours, knowledgeable guides will take you on a journey through the bustling streets of Canary Wharf, pointing out notable landmarks and sharing interesting facts along the way. You’ll get a chance to admire the impressive skyscrapers, such as One Canada Square, and learn about the development of this modern business district.

Not only will these tours provide you with a better understanding of Canary Wharf, but they are also a great way to meet fellow travelers and locals who share a common interest in exploring the area. It’s a fantastic opportunity to make new friends and exchange travel tips.

To join a free guided walking tour, simply check the schedule of the tour companies operating in Canary Wharf. Usually, these tours run multiple times a day and last for about 1-2 hours. Some companies may require you to book in advance, so it’s advisable to check their website or give them a call beforehand.

Whether you’re interested in architecture, history, or simply want to experience the vibrant atmosphere of Canary Wharf, joining a free guided walking tour is a must-do activity. It’s an affordable way to explore the district and gain a deeper appreciation for this thriving part of London.

So, lace up your walking shoes and get ready to discover the amazing sights and stories of Canary Wharf with a free guided walking tour!

Explore the Museum of London Docklands

If you’re in Canary Wharf and looking for a free activity that offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the area, the Museum of London Docklands is a must-visit. This unique museum is located in one of the old sugar warehouses of West India Quay, and it tells the story of London’s historic docks and their impact on the city and its people.

Exhibitions and Collections

The museum’s exhibitions and collections offer a wealth of information about the historical significance of the London docks. From the transatlantic slave trade and the growth of the British Empire to the industrial revolution and the development of the East End, there is plenty to discover. The museum showcases a mix of artifacts, interactive displays, and audiovisual presentations that bring the history to life.

Highlights of the Museum

Some of the highlights of the Museum of London Docklands include:

Rum and Sugar

A fascinating exhibition that explores the role of sugar and rum in the history of the London docks and the wider trade networks they were a part of.


Step back in time and explore a recreated 19th-century dockside street, complete with shops, taverns, and the stories of the people who lived and worked there.

London, Sugar & Slavery

Discover the dark history of the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on London’s economy and society.

The best part is that admission to the Museum of London Docklands is completely free, making it a fantastic option for visitors on a budget.

Attend Summer Festivals and Events

Canary Wharf offers a diverse range of free summer festivals and events that are perfect for all ages and interests. Whether you’re a music lover, a foodie, or someone who loves exploring different cultures, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Music Festivals

Experience the vibrant music scene in Canary Wharf by attending one of the many free music festivals held throughout the summer. From jazz and classical music to pop and rock, there is a festival to suit every musical taste. Don’t forget to bring a picnic blanket and some snacks to enjoy while you listen to the live performances.

Food Festivals

Indulge in delicious food and drinks at the free food festivals in Canary Wharf. Sample a wide variety of cuisines from around the world, including street food, artisanal treats, and gourmet dishes. You can also learn new cooking techniques and recipes at the cooking demonstrations and workshops held during these festivals.

Cultural Festivals

Immerse yourself in different cultures by attending the free cultural festivals held in Canary Wharf. From celebrating Chinese New Year to experiencing traditional African dance and music, these festivals showcase the rich diversity of the local community. Explore the art exhibitions, workshops, and performances that highlight various traditional and contemporary art forms.

Attending these free summer festivals and events in Canary Wharf is a great way to have fun, discover new interests, and spend quality time with family and friends. Keep an eye out for the event calendars and make sure to mark your calendars for the upcoming festivals and events.

Visit the Greenwich Foot Tunnel

If you are looking for a free and unique activity in Canary Wharf, consider visiting the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. This historical tunnel is a great way to explore the local area while enjoying beautiful views of the River Thames.

The Greenwich Foot Tunnel was opened in 1902 and was originally built to provide a pedestrian crossing between Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs. The tunnel is over 370 meters long and goes underneath the river, offering a unique experience for those who enjoy walking.

Walking through the tunnel allows you to appreciate the impressive engineering and architecture of the time. The tiled walls and vintage lighting fixtures add to the charm of the tunnel, making it a popular spot for photographers and history enthusiasts alike.

How to get there

To visit the Greenwich Foot Tunnel from Canary Wharf, you can take a leisurely walk along the riverfront. The tunnel entrance is located near the Cutty Sark DLR station on the Greenwich side.

Alternatively, you can also take the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) from Canary Wharf to Cutty Sark station and then walk a short distance to the tunnel entrance.

What to do in Greenwich

Once you have explored the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, there are plenty of other attractions to visit in the area. You can explore the historic Greenwich Park, visit the famous Royal Observatory, or take a stroll along the Greenwich Market to sample local artisanal products.

Overall, a visit to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel is a great way to spend a few hours exploring the history and beauty of Canary Wharf and Greenwich.


What are some of the best free activities to do in Canary Wharf?

Some of the best free activities to do in Canary Wharf include visiting the Crossrail Place Roof Garden, exploring the Museum of London Docklands, and taking a walk along the Thames Path.

Is there a park to visit in Canary Wharf?

Yes, there is a beautiful park called Crossrail Place Roof Garden in Canary Wharf. It features exotic plants, a covered walkway, and stunning views of the surrounding skyscrapers.

Can you recommend any cultural activities in Canary Wharf?

Certainly! One cultural activity you can enjoy in Canary Wharf is visiting the Museum of London Docklands. It showcases the history of London’s docks and offers free entry to its exhibitions and galleries.

What is unique about the Crossrail Place Roof Garden?

The Crossrail Place Roof Garden is unique because it is a hidden oasis in the heart of Canary Wharf. It is an elevated garden that features numerous exotic plants, atmospheric lighting, and a striking design. It is the perfect place to relax and escape the bustling city.

Are there any free events or performances in Canary Wharf?

Yes, Canary Wharf often hosts free events and performances throughout the year. These can range from live music concerts to art exhibitions. It’s worth checking the Canary Wharf website or local event listings to see what’s happening when you visit.