Some cities like London and New York have enough exceptional free activities to easily fill a week. Other destinations want money from you for something as simple as peeking in the front door (Le Grand Casino in Monte Carlo), sitting down for a few minutes (Las Ramblas in Barcelona), or voiding your bladder (pretty much all of Norway).
a few free attractions that are indisputably superior to others and, in many
cases, completely outshine their un-free neighbours.
The Roof Gardens, London
Located one hundred feet above Kensington High Street, the
Gardens are comprised of three different style: the
Spanish Garden, Tudor Garden and English Woodland. Unfortunately, its
popularity means this freebie is frequently closed for special events.
Street art, Buenos
Argentinean capital is full of streets known for outdoor artistic expression, including
La Boca, Caminito and Calle Lanín. To find the best outdoor street art, follow one
of the self-tour
maps and itineraries from Buenos Aires’ official tourism site.
St Peter’s Basilica, Rome
In addition to being one of the world’s holiest Catholic sites, St Peter’s Basilica has the
largest interior of any Christian church in the world, capable of holding
60,000 people. It contains works by Michelangelo (notably the dome), Raphael
and Bramante among many others.
Bahá’í House of Worship
(aka Lotus Temple), Delhi
in 1986, the Lotus Temple
serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent and is famous for its
award-winning, flowerlike architectural design.
world’s largest museum and research complex
includes 20 free attractions, like the Air and Space Museum, the American
History Museum, the Natural History Museum and the National Zoological Park.
Cathedral of Our Lady of
Paris (aka Notre Dame), Paris
the world’s great landmarks, Notre
Dame took more than 200 years to construct, including its (at the time)
cutting-edge flying buttresses, three spectacular sections of stained glass
windows and a 7,800 pipe organ. Incredibly detailed, free English language
tours run on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 pm and Saturdays at 2:30 pm. Bonus
freebie: if you are in the neighbourhood after 6 pm on Fridays, or on the
first Sunday of the month, cross the river for free entry to the mammoth Louvre Museum.
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
remarkable markets around the world, but few compare in historical significance
and sheer size to Istanbul’s Grand
Bazaar. Opened in 1461, it is one of the largest covered markets in the
world, comprised of more than 58 streets and more than 4,000 shops.
Mosquée Hassan II,
mosque -- and the fifth largest in the world -- has a glass floor, the
world’s tallest minaret and a retractable roof. Non-Muslims may only enter the building
on guided tours, but everyone is free to wander the grounds.
escalator, Hong Kong
outdoor covered escalator is the largest system of its kind in the world.
Opened in 1993, it carries people up the 135m from the Central Business
District to the Mid-Levels residential neighbourhood.
Gateway of India, Mumbai
under the monumental
arch that faces Mumbai Harbour and bask in the chaos of touts and laughing
kids. It is a fitting start to a trip to India.
The article 'Fantastically free attractions around the world' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.