How to Find Free Attractions When You Travel
So you’ve managed to get together the cash to travel to your dream destination. The problem is, once you’re there, it’s a constant balancing game of getting the most out of your time there while sticking to your budget.
Luckily for you, not only are there plenty of free or heavily discounted options available, but these attractions often offer the most fun and authentic of experiences. Here’s where to get started.
If there’s a museum or exhibition of some kind that you want to check out, find out if they offer any free nights. Many museums offer free public entry for one night during the week. If you have a student or military ID, bring it along during your trip and see where it’s accepted for free or reduced admission.
Another free place to visit is a public library. This may sound boring but when you’re talking about somewhere like the [Boston Public Library], where you can see a Gutenberg Bible, collections of rare art, and palace-style architecture, free admission sounds pretty good.
You’ll need to get around somehow, so take advantage of the all-inclusive metro card that many cities now offer. Pay a set amount for public transportation over a designated period of time, and then enjoy FREE admission to many attractions, landmarks and sights.
The [Roma Pass] is a card that offers you transport and two museums free of charge, as well as reductions for all other museums and major events. Other examples include the [Go Chicago Card] (free & unlimited admission to all attractions), the London Pass (free entry to over 55 top London attractions & tours), and the [Lisboa Card] (free or discounted entrance to more than 80 Lisbon museums, sights, & tours), just to name a few. Seriously - just google the city metro and see what the options are.
**Parks & Plazas**
Outdoor spaces like public parks and downtown plazas are almost always free and perfect for taking in the culture while getting in some down time.
Think about it: you can pick up some bread and cheap wine and picnic by the Eiffel Tower; or spend an hour or two snapping photos by Rome’s famous [Trevi Fountain]. Or maybe just enjoy some freshly squeezed juice in Cusco’s Plaza de Armas. Around London you can spot some of [Banksy’s street art], and in downtown Buenos Aires you can catch a free tango performance. There are plenty of possibilities wherever you go.
**See Where Your Legs Take You**
Walk - just walk. Wander through different neighborhoods, and really look at the architecture, the roads, and the people. One of my favorite memories from my trip to Cartagena, Colombia was strolling through the Old City and admiring the beautiful rainbow of Spanish-style townhouses. These side trips are where you’ll get your favorite pictures.
And for some destinations, wandering is an absolute must. It’s said that you haven’t really seen Venice until you’ve gotten lost within the chaotic city grid. Stay safe, but don’t be afraid to step outside the tourist zone and discover something new.
Festivals, parades, and farmers’ markets are ripe with activity and local culture and you can wander around and soak it all in without having to pay for a thing. Markets are weekly, if not daily in some places, and with some planning you can easily match your trip up with a big festival or event going on while you’re there.
You can also ask around or check local entertainment guides for other events like live music or movie screenings in parks, poetry readings, art walks, and more.
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by Anglo Brampton Travel