Travelling can be an expensive beast, I have been known to send an SOS email home during the last week of a trip asking to “borrow” some money to get me through to the end. So whenever there is an opportunity do something free I am all about that!
Museums and Galleries
Lots of museums that are government run are free to visit in many countries. I couldn’t believe when I was in Washington that all the museums that are part of the Smithsonian are free. Especially when they are so interesting and amazingly curated. And the have gift shops aplenty if you do feel like “donating” something.
Parks and Gardens
Nature is usually free and so rewarding. Whether it’s hiking through foothills or meandering through the botanical gardens being surrounded by greenery is good for the soul. Visiting Central Park in New York is like a breath of fresh air after being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the busy city streets, the endless parade of yellow cabs and soaring sky scrapers. Central Park is huge and has so many hidden treasures to discover like the big Bethesda Fountain or rambling Belvedere Castle.
DIY Public Transport tour
Now I do love a good hop-on hop-off bus tour but let’s be honest, they’re a bit of a rip off. Whilst taking public transport isn’t free it’s only the fraction of the cost of buying a ticket on a tourist bus (I think I paid £40 in London!). So google the public transport map, buy an all day ticket and make your own tour. In San Francisco I did just that, of course I took the trolley a few times (especially handy as I was staying on Powell Street) but towards the evening I jumped on a commuter bus with lots of busy working people and headed out to Golden Gate Park. The communication isn’t always as good on public transport so when the bus stopped in a small residential street and everyone got off I was a bit confused, but the bus driver explained that a connecting bus was sitting right round the corner. The view of the sun setting behind the Golden Gate Bridge was worth the trip and because I hadn’t come with a hoard of others on a tour bus I practically had the place to myself!