Travelling the world doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Trust me, I should know. So many people think you need thousands upon thousands of pounds to travel the world, but you really don’t.
Yes, you need some cash, but what you need to take with you is a hard work ethic, some resourcefulness and plenty of knowledge on some free things to do. To help you make the most of your travels, here are 12 free attractions all budget travellers should visit.
1. Golden Temple
Admission is free of charge into the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. That’s great, right? Wait, it gets better, as not only will it not cost you a penny to visit the attraction, but you’ll also receive a free meal. One of the core tenets of the Sikh religion is hospitality, which is why they offer a simple meal of chapattis, rice and vegetable curries to 40,000 pilgrims every day.
2. St Peter’s Basilica
St Peter’s Basilica has the capacity to hold 60,000 people, offering one of the biggest interiors of any Christian church. You can also enter one of the holiest Catholic buildings for free, viewing stunning works by Michelangelo, Bramante and Raphael, plus more. Located in Vatican City, this is one free attractin that’s worth the flight.
3. Rio de Janeiro Beach
Rio de Janeiro offers one of the most beautiful beaches in the world – and it won’t cost you a penny to relax on it. Whether you want to enjoy a spot of sunbathing, play a bit of volleyball or head out for a surf, you won’t have to pay a penny for the pleasure. However, I recommend taking a bit of cash so you can enjoy an ice cold drink in the sun.
4. Grand Bazaar
No marketplace can quite compare to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. Not only is it one of the most exciting bazaars in the world, but it also has a rather historical background, opening in 1461. You can walk through one of the most unusual markets in the world, which is made up of 58 streets and over 4,000 shops – and you don’t have to pay a penny to just soak in the atmosphere of this amazing piece of living history.
Located in Rome, Italy, the Pantheon was originally built as a tempt to all the Gods of Ancient Rome. The building was rebuilt during Hadrian’s reigh, circa 126 AD. It is undoubtedly one of best preserved buildings of Ancient Rome, despite it being in continuous use since the 7th century. Two kings of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as Queen Magherita, are buried in The Pantheon, and it is currently used as a Catholic Church. Whether you are Catholic, love architecture or are interested in history, you have to visit the Pantheon that’s free to enter.
6. Staten Island Ferry
You haven’t experienced the beauty of New York City until you’ve stepped aboard the Staten Island Ferry. You can travel from St George on Staten Island all the way to Whitehall in Lower Manhattan, and it won’t cost you a penny to do so. Not only will you absorb the magnificent landscape of the Big Apple, but you’ll also experience the very first glimpse of America that thousands of settlers did after being processed at Ellis Island.
7. Smithsonian Museum
The Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC is the largest museum in the world, comprising of the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum, Air and Space Museum and the National Zoological Park. You can explore all museums and exhibitions completely free, so it’s ideal for the whole family, travellers, groups of friends or just solo travellers.
8. Another Place
Liverpool might be known for The Beatles, but it offers so many more amazing attractions than just the Fab Four – plenty of them are free, too! One of the best free attractions in the city has to be Another Place by Antony Gormley, which is located on Crosby Beach. One hundred cast iron sculptures are spread out across the beach, at different points, offering a magnificent view, day or night, come rain or shine.
9. Aurora Borealis
Aurora Borealis has to be one of the best free experiences in the world. From late autumn to early spring, you will have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the northern lights in Lapland, Finland. Absorb the unusual colours of nature, and the perfect place to view them has to be on the shores of Lake Inari.
11. Notre Dame de Paris
Travelling the world has gave me an appreciation for architecture. It’s hard not to fall in love with the many beautiful buildings located across the world. One of the most exquisite buildings I’ve ever seen has to be the Notre Dame de Paris, which is a wonderful example of French Gothic architecture. You can view the French cathedral for yourself, which offers beautiful sculptures and stained glass of early Romanesque architecture.
12. The Symphony of Lights
If you dream of seeing aurora borealis, you will not want to miss the Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong, China, either. The skyline is illuminated every night at 8pm from the city’s buildings on the harbour, and there are even fireworks on special occasions such as Chinese New Year. To see the Symphony of Lights in all their glory, I recommend the ferries that cross Victoria Harbour.
12. The Kensington Museums
There is something for everyone at The Kensington Museums in London, which offers a fun day out that won’t cost you a penny. The many museums feature everything from collections by Charles Darwin at the Natural History Museum, whilst you can visit the Science Museum to take a look at the very first stream train sets. You can also take a trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum that showcases 500 years of fashion. All three museums are free to enter and offer an excellent day out for all ages.