Wednesday, August 3, 2011

25 Things you can do in Europe for free

With the tough economy and unstable exchange rates, going for a holiday in Europe does not come cheap. If you are on a tight budget, every discount or freebie is a big help to stretch you travel money. Here are some of the best things to do in Europe for free:

Watch the sunset at Pliazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy

The Piazzale Michelangelo is just a few minutes away from the city center of Florence. The place provides a spectacular view that can be considered as one of the best in Italy. You will also see here one of the fake David’s in Florence. It is great to see this place during the day but it is a different experience when you get there before sunset and watch the sun go down the horizon.

Listen to the choir of Westminster Abbey in London

You need to pay an entry fee if you want to visit the Westminster Abbey. among the most famous landmarks in London, during the day. But if you can wait until around 5:30 pm, you can get in free and just in time for the Eventsong. You will be able to listen to the angelic voices of the choir of Westminster Abbey while being amazed of the beautiful structure of the abbey.

See what’s in the Louvre in Paris

If you are still under 26 years old, then you are in luck since you can visit the museum for free. If you are older but you are a professor or a teacher, then you also get to enter for free. You just need to bring some proof of identification so they can verify your age or that you are part of the academe. If you are not under 26 and you are not a teacher, you can still get in the Louvre for free, you just have to time your visit during a first Sunday when they welcome everyone without having to pay for anything.

Jump of at the Cafe Buja in Dubrovnik

The Cafe Buja or the Hole in the Wall is just a short walk from the main road of the city. Cafe Buja is a popular place to hang out and is famous for having the rocks just beside it where people can jump off. It is up to you how daring you will go. You can take a baby jump or do it from a higher spot, what is important is that you have some good time.

Pass by the Church of Our Lady in Bruges

The church is also known as Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk and is very popular because of its vast collection of priceless artworks. The structure took almost two centuries to be completed. You do not have to pay anything to enter the church and you will be able to see the Madonna and Child of Michelangelo which is actually the only piece by the artist in Italy.

Museum hopping in Madrid, Spain

If you are planning to have a holiday and Spain but you have not listed down the places you want to go, do not forget that the two most popular museums in Madrid are free to the public during the weekend. After 2:30pm on Saturdays, you can get in for free at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. During Sundays, visit the Prado for free.

Walk on the Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest

You can find the Fisherman’s Bastion on the Buda side of the capital of Hungary. It is actually a terrace of Castle Hill. It is a short structure and will only take your around 5 minutes to cross, but we bet you will stay longer since you will see stunning views of the city. You can click away with your camera to preserve the memories of your holiday in Budapest.

Walk around Prague Castle

Walking around the grounds of the Prague Castle is a great way to explore the number one tourist destination in the capital of the Czech Republic. It will be overlooking the River Vlatva and the city. Strolling around the grounds is for free but if you want to go to the Golden Lane and the Cathedral of St. Vitus, you might be asked to pay some fee just like when you want to visit certain parts of the Prague Castle. Be there by noon time and you will be able to see the ceremonies of the changing of the guards.

Climb the Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh

If it is great views in Edinburgh you are looking for, nothing beats the hike up Arthur’s Seat. It is the main peak to conquer at Holyrood Park and can be accessed via the Royal Mile which was once part of a volcano. The climb may take an hour or so depending on how fit you are. If you are not conditioned for such a climb, you can head to Carlton Hill as an alternative where you can also catch some great landscapes.

Watch the Glockenspiel in Munich

Fifteen minutes of entertainment is what the Glockenspiel is all about. You can catch this show daily at around eleven in the morning and noon time at the New Town Hall of Marineplatz. The Glockenspiel is actually part of the local tradition where 32 big figurines do the Cooper’s Dance. It gets pretty crowded at the square since this dance is really a big part if you want to explore the local color of Munich.

Lake Brienz in Interlaken, Switzerland

The Lake Brienz gives you one of the most stunning scenery for frames of Switzerland. The water stretches for about nine miles and has snow-capped mountains as its backdrop. The trip to the country’s cleanest lake is just a few minutes from Interlaken. You can get the trip for free if you have a Visitor’s Card for Interlaken.

Walk around Plaza de Espana in Seville

You can see a lot of beautiful things while strolling around this big open square without having to spend a cent. The Plaza de Espana is surrounded by beautiful structures and you also have some interesting alcoves covered by colorful tiles depicting different cities and towns in Spain. You can also go to the military museum of Seville or just be lazy near the large fountain at the center of the square.

Museum hopping at the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

The Royal Mile has some interesting museums to offer travelers on a budget. You can actually enter them for free and you will learn a lot about the history, arts, and literature of Edinburgh. Some of the top notch places to go to are the Museum of Childhood, Writer’s Museum, and People’s Story.

Walk along Thames in London

You will see some of the best destinations in London without spending a dime when you take a stroll by the Thames. You can start the walk at the Tower Bridge where you can also have a good take of the Tower of London. Some other sites will be the Westminster Bridge, a book market, and the Tate Modern.

Free food in Milan

When you go to the bars in Milan, you can order a drink and you can get a plate of yummy finger food. You have a good range of choices from sausages, nachos, and other local delights. The Aperitivo, or the eating bonanza starts at around six in the evening.. Some of the best bars that offer this include Bar Brera and Le Biciciette.

Visit the East Side Gallery in Berlin

The East Side Gallery is among the most fascinating spots to visit in Berlin. It is free to visit and you get to step literally on a historic spot since it is built on a well preserved section of the Berlin Wall. The wall stretches for around thirteen kilometers and painted with beautiful artworks by renowned international artists.

Check out the Vatican Museum in Rome

If you will have a holiday in Rome and you will be there on a last Sunday of a month, then you are a lucky soul since the top Vatican destination is free. Every year, millions of pilgrims and travelers visit the Vatican Museum and are in awe of the massive collection of artifacts, paintings, sculptures, and other artworks. Of course, you will also be able to see the timeless Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo.

Enjoy traditional music in Galway, Ireland

Sample some of the great sounds of Ireland in Galway which is home to a good number of traditional musicians. Visit some pubs and you know what we are talking about. You will get to hear traditional instruments like the uilleann pipes, bodhrans, and a lot more.

Visit the Belfast Castle

This castle is not among the top destinations and is not located in the center of the metro but still the Belfast Castle is a gem you must see as a traveler. The sandstone structure is surrounded by beautiful grounds, mountain trails, and great view in all directions. Learn about its past and communities around the area at its visitor center.

Enjoy the scenery at the Mirador di San Nicolas in Granada

The Mirador di San Nicolas is a destination that you must not miss if you are going to Granada. Another place to go to is Alhambra to view the great scenery it offers. You can go early and chillax in the surrounding cafes while enjoying the music provided by local entertainers. The sunsets here are amazing and perfect to go with a good blend of coffee or cocktail.

Tomb of the unknown soldier in Warsaw

What’s exciting to see here is the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This place is guarded 24×7 all year round by the elite forces. The shift involves an elaborate military ritual that happens every 1 pm. The tomb is in honor of the soldiers who gave themselves up for Poland during the first World War.

Comic Strip tour around Brussels

Join a guided walk of Brussels so you will not miss this artsy stuff around the city. You just need to visit the tourist office of Brussels and request for an Art Nouveau or the Comic Art walking tour. If you pick the latter, it will take you to see thirty walls around the city which have been trasnformed into a story book.

Be amazed with the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Every night the Eiffel Tower in Paris sparkles during the light show. The show begins at twilight and continues every hour. Each set lasts for around five minutes making 20,000 lights on the tower dance as they go on and off. It is an amazing sight and it is free!
Visit the different churches in the Old Town of Stockholm
Head to Gamla Stan which is part of the Old Town of Stockholm. This place has several old churches which you can visit for free. You will be able to see priceless artworks, artifacts, and stained glass works. Make sure you go to the Tyska Kyrkan which is a German church famous for its collection of more than 100 paintings. Another must not miss is the Storkrykan cathedral which is the oldest church in Stockholm and is popular for the St.George and Dragon statue.
Hike up the Filipappou Hill in Athens, Greece
Less than twenty minutes from the Acropolis, you can negotiate a short climb up the Filopappou Hill that provides a great view of the Parthenon. Get up the hill and you will have the best unobstructed view of Athens. The entrance will cost you nothing plus the climb is not that tiring.