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15 things to do for free...anywhere

  • There’s no doubt about it – sightseeing can sometimes be expensive. But that doesn’t mean you have to be bled dry financially to entertain yourself, no matter what the city. The thing is, almost every city has free things to do but first things first download our great mobile-app to get you started and then check out fifteen things that you can do for free pretty much anywhere.

  • 1. Visit museums

    In the UK and Ireland most of the 'big' museums are free all the time. This includes national galleries, modern art museums and more. In many other cities you'll find lots of museums that don't impose an admission charge. Many of those that aren't free all the time have free days or times. The Louvre in Paris for instance - it's free on the first Sunday of every month, while MoMA in New York City is free every 'Target Free Friday' between 4pm and 8pm. So do your research and you're bound to find somewhere where you can soak up a bit of culture without dishing out any cash.

  • 2. Embark on walking tours

    That's right, walking tours that won't cost a cent can be found in numerous cities (if your hostel doesn't offer one, which many do these days). In New York City check out Big Apple Greeters, while Sandeman's New Europe Tours run free tours in Edinburgh, London and Amsterdam to name but a few cities (details of these can be found in our 'How to save money in...' videos). Down under in Sydney I'm Free operating similar tours. So as with the museums, do a bit of research and you'll be guided around a city without spending anything.

  • 3. Eat

    An age-old tradition in Irish pubs on a Friday evening is to pass out free food to the punters. This could be pizza, cocktail sausages, sandwiches and more. In Milan and many other Italian cities, bars dish up all sorts of free nibbles during 'aperitivo' which is around 6pm. All you need to do is buy a drink to avail of the free food. For New York, the people from Gadling.com have put together a list of ten bars that serve free food, while if you're looking for free booze instead of free food, read our blog post on how to get free wine with your meal in Cape Town.

  • 4. See some live music

    So you're in a city, you fancy going out but the prospect of a night in the pub chatting with your friends fails to excite you. There is a solution - go and check out some live music. If you're in Edinburgh 'Whistlebinkies' on South Bridge just off the Royal Mile has free live music most nights. As does the Red Lion on Bleecker St in Greenwich Village in NYC. In London fans of the blues can catch free gigs in 'Ain't Nothin' But The Blues' bar on Kingly St in Soho in the West End, while in Paris 'Le Pompon' on Rue des Petites Ecuries in the 10th Arrondissement is where to go. Folks down under in Melbourne need to check out The Esplanade in St Kilda and if you're in Vancouver, locate the Railway Club on Dunsmuir Street which hosts early gigs now and then.

  • 5. See the landmarks

    Seeing Berlin's Brandenburg Gate won't cost you anything. Neither will a day gazing at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge or Sydney's Opera House. You can stand on Venice's Rialto Bridge all day long, looking down the Grand Canal without dipping into your pockets, while in Istanbul you can take as many pictures of the Blue Mosque as you want without spending anything. The point I'm trying to make is that you can spend a day, maybe two, seeing a city's top sights completely and utterly free.

  • 6. Make new friends

    There are days when you might not want to go traipsing around a city, taking picture after picture on your camera. This is where hostels come in - you can easily amuse yourself in a hostel by simply hanging out, chatting to people and making new friends. If this sounds like how you want to spend a day then check out our recent post on tips for making friends in hostels.

  • 7. Keep fit

    Lazing around hostels and sitting for hours on trains or buses isn't particularly healthy. Neither is pigging out on pizza slices because they're the cheapest thing to eat. This is why excercise should be a pivotal part of your travels. But the thing is, it doesn't have to be boring - you can sightsee and feel like a local at the same time. It's hard to think of a nicer place to go for a brisk walk then Chicago's Lakefront Trail, while in Washington DC what better reward to a run down the Mall and past the Reflecting Pool than the sight of Abraham Lincoln's statue. Nice's Promenade des Anglais is always packed with walkers and joggers, as is the path around Tokyo's Imperial Palace.

  • 8. Visit places of worship

    Regardless of your faith, you can't help but be amazed by some of the buildings constructed to worship one God or another. There are temples all over Asian cities. In Bangkok for instance you could easily spend your day 'temple-hopping'. Likewise in many European cities. Just grab your map, see what the icon for church/temple etc is and go exploring.

  • 9. People watch

    When I go to cities I make sure to have enough time so that I can see the main sights, but also to do nothing else only sit myself on an outside seat in a cafe somewhere and watch the world go by. I've done it in many places, but reckon the best place to do so is Stradun - the main street in Dubrovnik's breathtaking Old Town. Other places where I could do nothing else only imagine people's life stories are Piazza della Signoria in Florence, anywhere in Tokyo's Shibuya neighbourhhood and the promenade on Venice Beach in Los Angeles.

  • 10. Surf the web

    I love many things about hostels. They're cheaper than hotels, they're great for meeting people and they're always in really central locations. Another reason I love them is for the free WiFi. The vast majority of hostels these days have free WiFi. Even if you don't want to sit around the hostel on your laptop or smart phone all day, do a bit of research and you'll find a cafe or bar that offers it too. Once you're equipped with the right hardware, paying to use the internet is a thing of the past.

  • 11. Explore the neighbourhoods

    While rushing to the main sights is an obvious thing to do in a city, there is one thing I don't like about doing it - you're not experiencing the city like the locals do. To do this you need to hang out in the neighbourhoods of the cities they call home. Little India in Singapore is one of the most fascinating neighbourhoods I've ever been to and in Auckland Devonport is like a whole new world. Strolling around Beacon Hill in Boston is such a pleasure, while in Rio de Janeiro you'll be surprised at how calm Ipanema is. The bottom line here is that exploring neighbourhoods means you get to see the real city while saving money at the same time.

  • 12. Laugh a lot without spending a lot

    Just as most cities have venues where you can enjoy live music for free, many also have live comedy gigs at least once a week. In Dublin's Panti Bar, one of the city's best-known gay bars, you can enjoy free comedy each Monday night. In London, one of the most popular free comedy nights is 'Geek Night' on the first Sunday of the month in Soho's comedy club, and in Chicago the Comedy Sportz Theatre hosts regular live comedy.

  • 13. Take pictures at the markets

    If you're into taking pictures then you have to put by some time to visit markets in any city. They offer some of the best photo opportunities. Mercat de la Boqueira in Barcelona has so much going on you don't know where to look, while in Athens Monasteraki Fish Market has fish of all types and sizes dying to be pictured. If you're lucky enough to walk through Marrakech's 'souk', your senses will be treated. The combination of smells, sights and sounds make it truly unique.

  • 14. Laze away down at the beach

    Is there anything more enjoyable than lying in the sun? I find it very challenging to think of anything. Thankfully, many of the world's best-known cities have their own beaches - Chicago, New York, Sydney, Vancouver, Cape Town, Singapore, Naples and Rio de Janeiro all have sandy beaches. Even landlocked Paris has its own makeshift beach during the summer months.

  • 15. Chill out in the park

    If you don't like beaches, or you're somewhere that doesn't have its own beach, then parks are for you. Central Park is arguably the most famous in the world but there are many others. I'm not sure if there's a more entertaining place in the world on a Sunday afternoon than Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Here you can see the famous 'Harajuku girls'. In Toronto's High Park there's not only the park to enjoy for free, but a zoo too. Those of you who are Europe bound and are heading for Munich are in for a treat - in the Bavarian capital's Englischer Garten you can admire the skill of the surfers who surf the river there...

  • Can't wait to begin your adventures with Hostelworld? Remember to download our awesome app on Android and iOS to help make your travels easy

     

    Related Posts:

  • There’s no doubt about it – sightseeing can sometimes be expensive. But that doesn’t mean you have to be bled dry financially to entertain yourself, no matter what the city. The thing is, almost every city has free things to do but first things first download our great mobile-app to get you started and then check out fifteen things that you can do for free pretty much anywhere.

  • 1. Visit museums

    In the UK and Ireland most of the 'big' museums are free all the time. This includes national galleries, modern art museums and more. In many other cities you'll find lots of museums that don't impose an admission charge. Many of those that aren't free all the time have free days or times. The Louvre in Paris for instance - it's free on the first Sunday of every month, while MoMA in New York City is free every 'Target Free Friday' between 4pm and 8pm. So do your research and you're bound to find somewhere where you can soak up a bit of culture without dishing out any cash.

  • 2. Embark on walking tours

    That's right, walking tours that won't cost a cent can be found in numerous cities (if your hostel doesn't offer one, which many do these days). In New York City check out Big Apple Greeters, while Sandeman's New Europe Tours run free tours in Edinburgh, London and Amsterdam to name but a few cities (details of these can be found in our 'How to save money in...' videos). Down under in Sydney I'm Free operating similar tours. So as with the museums, do a bit of research and you'll be guided around a city without spending anything.

  • 3. Eat

    An age-old tradition in Irish pubs on a Friday evening is to pass out free food to the punters. This could be pizza, cocktail sausages, sandwiches and more. In Milan and many other Italian cities, bars dish up all sorts of free nibbles during 'aperitivo' which is around 6pm. All you need to do is buy a drink to avail of the free food. For New York, the people from Gadling.com have put together a list of ten bars that serve free food, while if you're looking for free booze instead of free food, read our blog post on how to get free wine with your meal in Cape Town.

  • 4. See some live music

    So you're in a city, you fancy going out but the prospect of a night in the pub chatting with your friends fails to excite you. There is a solution - go and check out some live music. If you're in Edinburgh 'Whistlebinkies' on South Bridge just off the Royal Mile has free live music most nights. As does the Red Lion on Bleecker St in Greenwich Village in NYC. In London fans of the blues can catch free gigs in 'Ain't Nothin' But The Blues' bar on Kingly St in Soho in the West End, while in Paris 'Le Pompon' on Rue des Petites Ecuries in the 10th Arrondissement is where to go. Folks down under in Melbourne need to check out The Esplanade in St Kilda and if you're in Vancouver, locate the Railway Club on Dunsmuir Street which hosts early gigs now and then.

  • 5. See the landmarks

    Seeing Berlin's Brandenburg Gate won't cost you anything. Neither will a day gazing at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge or Sydney's Opera House. You can stand on Venice's Rialto Bridge all day long, looking down the Grand Canal without dipping into your pockets, while in Istanbul you can take as many pictures of the Blue Mosque as you want without spending anything. The point I'm trying to make is that you can spend a day, maybe two, seeing a city's top sights completely and utterly free.

  • 6. Make new friends

    There are days when you might not want to go traipsing around a city, taking picture after picture on your camera. This is where hostels come in - you can easily amuse yourself in a hostel by simply hanging out, chatting to people and making new friends. If this sounds like how you want to spend a day then check out our recent post on tips for making friends in hostels.

  • 7. Keep fit

    Lazing around hostels and sitting for hours on trains or buses isn't particularly healthy. Neither is pigging out on pizza slices because they're the cheapest thing to eat. This is why excercise should be a pivotal part of your travels. But the thing is, it doesn't have to be boring - you can sightsee and feel like a local at the same time. It's hard to think of a nicer place to go for a brisk walk then Chicago's Lakefront Trail, while in Washington DC what better reward to a run down the Mall and past the Reflecting Pool than the sight of Abraham Lincoln's statue. Nice's Promenade des Anglais is always packed with walkers and joggers, as is the path around Tokyo's Imperial Palace.

  • 8. Visit places of worship

    Regardless of your faith, you can't help but be amazed by some of the buildings constructed to worship one God or another. There are temples all over Asian cities. In Bangkok for instance you could easily spend your day 'temple-hopping'. Likewise in many European cities. Just grab your map, see what the icon for church/temple etc is and go exploring.

  • 9. People watch

    When I go to cities I make sure to have enough time so that I can see the main sights, but also to do nothing else only sit myself on an outside seat in a cafe somewhere and watch the world go by. I've done it in many places, but reckon the best place to do so is Stradun - the main street in Dubrovnik's breathtaking Old Town. Other places where I could do nothing else only imagine people's life stories are Piazza della Signoria in Florence, anywhere in Tokyo's Shibuya neighbourhhood and the promenade on Venice Beach in Los Angeles.

  • 10. Surf the web

    I love many things about hostels. They're cheaper than hotels, they're great for meeting people and they're always in really central locations. Another reason I love them is for the free WiFi. The vast majority of hostels these days have free WiFi. Even if you don't want to sit around the hostel on your laptop or smart phone all day, do a bit of research and you'll find a cafe or bar that offers it too. Once you're equipped with the right hardware, paying to use the internet is a thing of the past.

  • 11. Explore the neighbourhoods

    While rushing to the main sights is an obvious thing to do in a city, there is one thing I don't like about doing it - you're not experiencing the city like the locals do. To do this you need to hang out in the neighbourhoods of the cities they call home. Little India in Singapore is one of the most fascinating neighbourhoods I've ever been to and in Auckland Devonport is like a whole new world. Strolling around Beacon Hill in Boston is such a pleasure, while in Rio de Janeiro you'll be surprised at how calm Ipanema is. The bottom line here is that exploring neighbourhoods means you get to see the real city while saving money at the same time.

  • 12. Laugh a lot without spending a lot

    Just as most cities have venues where you can enjoy live music for free, many also have live comedy gigs at least once a week. In Dublin's Panti Bar, one of the city's best-known gay bars, you can enjoy free comedy each Monday night. In London, one of the most popular free comedy nights is 'Geek Night' on the first Sunday of the month in Soho's comedy club, and in Chicago the Comedy Sportz Theatre hosts regular live comedy.

  • 13. Take pictures at the markets

    If you're into taking pictures then you have to put by some time to visit markets in any city. They offer some of the best photo opportunities. Mercat de la Boqueira in Barcelona has so much going on you don't know where to look, while in Athens Monasteraki Fish Market has fish of all types and sizes dying to be pictured. If you're lucky enough to walk through Marrakech's 'souk', your senses will be treated. The combination of smells, sights and sounds make it truly unique.

  • 14. Laze away down at the beach

    Is there anything more enjoyable than lying in the sun? I find it very challenging to think of anything. Thankfully, many of the world's best-known cities have their own beaches - Chicago, New York, Sydney, Vancouver, Cape Town, Singapore, Naples and Rio de Janeiro all have sandy beaches. Even landlocked Paris has its own makeshift beach during the summer months.

  • 15. Chill out in the park

    If you don't like beaches, or you're somewhere that doesn't have its own beach, then parks are for you. Central Park is arguably the most famous in the world but there are many others. I'm not sure if there's a more entertaining place in the world on a Sunday afternoon than Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Here you can see the famous 'Harajuku girls'. In Toronto's High Park there's not only the park to enjoy for free, but a zoo too. Those of you who are Europe bound and are heading for Munich are in for a treat - in the Bavarian capital's Englischer Garten you can admire the skill of the surfers who surf the river there...

  • Can't wait to begin your adventures with Hostelworld? Remember to download our awesome app on Android and iOS to help make your travels easy

     

    Related Posts:


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