EXPLORE YOUR FAVOURITE DESTINATIONS FOR FREE
“The best things in life are free” – so why not the best travel destinations? Whether you’re planning a beach holiday with kids or jetting away on a romantic city break with your partner, there’s a plethora of to-see and to-do in every destination that won’t cost you a dime! From free walking tours and museum hopping to complimentary wine tastings and music concerts, here’s how you can explore your favourite destinations, for free!
The city of love is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. But if you know the tricks, your date with the French capital can be quite a cheap one. No, we’re not talking about admiring the Eiffel Tower from city rooftops. Beyond that, there’s a lot to explore in Paris, for free!
Our Top Picks:
1. Meet Mona Lisa on the first Sunday of every month when Paris’s top-notch museums including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou and Musée Rodin offer free admission. The city also celebrates Nuit Blanche, where once a year (mostly in October) museums and galleries are accessible all night for free.
2. Experience beach vibes in Paris for 4 weeks during summer, when the banks of the River Seine are transformed into beaches, complete with ankle-deep sand and sun loungers. The area becomes pedestrianised and free to public.
3. Attend a free fashion show each Friday (March-December) at Galeries Lafayette store on Boulevard Haussmann and get a glimpse of the store’s chic fashion collection.
4. Watch a film under the stars at the open-air cinema of Parc de la Villette during summers, or sail toy yachts with your kids at the Jardin du Luxembourg boating pond – the verdant parks and gardens of Paris offer a host of free activities and events.
5. Stroll 10 metres above the ground along the Promenade Plantée, a 4.5km tree-lined walkway on an old railway line in east Paris that gives a spectacular panorama of the city.
From the unwinding on the expansive Central Park to pottering along the much-photographed Brooklyn Bridge – a lot of New York attractions won’t cost you a penny! With an array of free outdoor events, cultural activities, walking tours and concerts, the Big Apple never disappoints.
Our Top Picks:
1. Take selfies with the Lady as you ride the free Staten Island Ferry on the Hudson river. Connecting Lower Manhattan with Staten Island, the ferry passes by the unmissable Statue of Liberty and offers panoramic views of the NYC skyline.
2. Browse through masterpieces by Rembrandt, Picasso or Van Gogh for free every Friday from 4pm to 8pm at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which houses around 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art. Don’t miss Gogh’s Starry Nights!
3. If taking a walk on High Line isn’t enough, enjoy stargazing on this 9-metre high elevated green trail every Tuesday (April-October) at dusk. The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York sets up telescopes at the Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck, 14th Street.
4. Attend free concerts at the Prospect Park Bandshell every Saturday night during summers. The acts include everything from live rock, jazz and classical concerts to dance performances, and even movie screenings.
5. Take free tours of New York’s top-notch breweries and get a chance to sample craft beer. One of Manhattan’s largest microbrewery, Chelsea Brewing Company, offers free tours and complimentary beer. You can also join in free tours of the Brooklyn Brewery on weekends.
Visiting New York on a tight budget? We’ve rounded up more city attractions that won’t break your bank.
Dubai dazzles you with the spectacular Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah or the Dubai Mall. But not everything in the city of superlatives comes with a price tag, there are plenty of sights and activities in Dubai that you can enjoy for free.
Our Top Picks:
1. Enjoy the Dubai Fountains outside the Dubai Mall, where 5 circles of water dance to international and classical Arabic music. This perfectly choreographed light and music show sees the fountains rise up to 450 feet into the air.
2. Marvel at more than 140 species of marine life in Dubai Aquarium through a huge acrylic window near the entrance of the Dubai Mall – absolutely for free!
3. Head to the Jumeirah Beach, which is the perfect place to lounge on golden sands, enjoy watersports or watch glorious sunsets. Take an evening stroll on the JBR Walk, the buzzing boulevard lined with hotels, boutiques and restaurants.
4. Discover Dubai of the 17th century at Bastakiya in Bur Dubai, the city’s oldest residential area. Amble around winding lanes and historic buildings that house interesting museums and galleries such as Dubai Museum and Majlis Gallery.
5. Spot pink flamingos at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary located at the entrance to Dubai Creek. Home to millions of migratory birds and more than 500 species of flora and fauna, this urban oasis won’t cost you a dime to enter.
Not all Dubai attractions are completely free, but there's a plethora of activities that will cost you less than your lunch money! So, what are you waiting for?
Go on a date with Picasso or be a beach bum on the golden sands – Barcelona offers you a host of free activities. The Catalan capital satiates all kinds of holidaymakers from culture vultures, to family travellers and beachcombers all looking for a budget trip.
Our Top Picks:
1. Peruse over 3,800 artworks by Picasso at Museu Picasso that’s free for visitors on the first Sunday of every month. The city’s major museums – including Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and Museu d’Història de Barcelona – also offer free entry one day in a month.
2. Lounge on the golden sandy shores of the Barcelonata Beach, just a 10-minute metro ride from the city. It has a charming promenade dotted with restaurants and bars.
3. Enjoy with your kids at Parc de la Ciutadella that features boating lake, zoo, museum, picnic zones, tropical greenhouse and snack bars. Don’t miss its highlights: a splendid fountain partly designed by Gaudí and the modernist Arc de Triomf.
4. Ramble down Barcelona’s iconic La Ramblas for a taste of the local culture. This 1km-long pedestrian boulevard is lined with historic buildings, cafes, shops and street performers. For hunger pangs, head to La Boqueria market – Barcelona’s most popular food stop.
5. Join walking tours of Barri Gòtic in the old town: saunter along cobbled lanes and admire beautiful Gothic buildings such as the Santa Maria del Pi church. A number of tour operators can also organise free walking tours of the Gothic Quarter.
Fun in Florida doesn’t end at theme parks, there are loads of other attractions too. If you’re looking for more pocket-friendly things to do in the Sunshine State that are as exciting as visiting a theme park, you’re in for a treat!
Our Top Picks:
1. Soak in the magical atmosphere at Disney’s BoardWalk, a waterfront promenade that re-creates a 1930s-style Atlantic coastal village, complete with street entertainers and musicians, arcade games, restaurants, nightclubs and shops.
2. Be a beach bum on the sunny sands at Lummus Park in Miami’s South Beach. This free beachfront park on Ocean Drive features beach volleyball courts, playground, palm-lined grassy stretch and sidewalks for rollerblading or jogging.
3. Pack a picnic basket to Lake Eola Park, where you can potter along the lake, enjoy scenic views of Orlando skyline, or attend free concerts at the amphitheatre. The swan boats (chargeable) are great for paddling in the lake.
4. Stroll amid blooming azaleas, camellias, roses and over 40 plant collections at Harry P. Leu Gardens that offers free admission first Monday of every month (9am-5pm). There’s also a butterfly garden.
5. Take a free tour of Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, finishing off with wine tastings. If you’re a beer aficionado, sign up for free brewery tours (6pm Monday-Saturday) at Orlando Brewing Company, Florida’s only organic brewery.
Teeming with marvellous architecture, cosmopolitan vibes and historic charm, Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities of Europe. If you plan well, there’s plenty of things to see and do in the city that won’t need you to reach for your wallet.
Our Top Picks:
1. Scan the city’s skyline from the 235-metre high Gellért Hill that affords sweeping vista of Buda and Pest, the Danube, Chain Bridge and the Parliament building. At the peak, you’ll find the Citadella, St Gerhard Statue and Liberty Monument.
2. Get free entry inside Budapest’s museums – Museum of Fine Arts, Hungarian National Gallery, Hungarian National Museum and more – on Hungarian national holidays. Many museums also open their doors for free once every month.
3. Enjoy a picnic with family on Margaret Island in the middle of Danube river. This 2.5km verdant park has myriad attractions including shaded walkways, medieval ruins, musical fountain, zoo, swimming complexes and a thermal spa.
4. Go on a pub crawl in ruin bars that are a perfect meld of underground vibe and hipster appeal. Szimpla Kert is a good place to start, but Durer Kert and Instant are also worth visiting.
5. Explore Budapest’s ancient buildings for free every 100th day of the year. As a part of the annual Budapest100 event, many of the city’s historic houses, which are otherwise closed to the public, become accessible for free guided tours.