Everyone says that traveling is expensive. And yes, it can be. BUT, if you’re smart about it, it can also be very inexpensive. There will always be free things to do in any part of the world. For example, probably the most photographed and visited place in the world is free. The Eiffel Tower. It’s not free to go up, but it certainly is free to look at from any other angle of the city. Here’s just some standard ideas on what most cities will provide for free.
5. Botanical Gardens, Parks & Beaches
Central Park is one of the most famous tourist attractions in one of the biggest cities in the world and it’s FREE! You can find a free park or garden in every city I guarantee it. Australia is one of the best places to go for its abundance of free parks and beaches. You will never pay a cent for any of the amazing beaches they have to offer. Pictured above is a small park in St Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne and all along the St Kilda shore you will find free parks and beaches. The High Line in New York City is also a fabulous new addition (above right) and is a public park built on an old elevated railroad.
4. Museums, buildings and monuments
Sure a lot of them charge a fee, but there are a great number of museums across the world that are FREE, or if not free everyday, they will have special days when it will be free. Usually they do these on quiet days such as Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so plan accordingly. Washington, D.C is the best place to go for free attraction heaven. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex with 19 museums and galleries, a zoo and 9 research centers. Then there are all of the famous monuments and famous buildings such as the White House (above left) which are all free. And other famous buildings? Big Ben, The Colosseum, Hollywood Sign etc? All free (well to see from the outside).
3. Markets & Fairs/ Festivals
Find out what kind of local markets are on or if a special event is in town. I was lucky enough to be in San Fransisco when an amazing food festival was on (above left). You don’t have to buy anything when going to a market, I just love checking out unique hand made crafts and trying new foods (cause you have to eat dinner anyway right?). The Winter Wonderland in London over Christmas was one of the most enjoyable experiences and it was FREE (okay, well I may have splurged on some mulled wine).
Find a soup kitchen, help out at an animal shelter, get involved in a fundraising event in the area or volunteer at a farm. Get involved in a completely new experience that will not only save you money, but give back. You also will meet local people and learn a lot about yourself along the way.
I believe the best way to experience a new city is to really get amongst it and see everything you can. Walk around, meet local people, walk past local houses, eat local foods, discover hidden streets with amazing artworks and just explore by foot. You never know what you’re missing when you zoom past in a car or on a train.