10 Free Things to Do Anywhere in the World

10 Free Things to Do Anywhere in the World

Travelling on a tight budget? Go for one of these activities that won’t cost you anything
Alexander & VictoriaHi! We're Alex & Victoria - a digital nomad couple from Copenhagen escaping 9-5 to chase adventures in our beautiful world. Learn more about us here.
Are you travelling on a tight budget?

Do you wanna save your hard earned money for delicious food?

Perhaps you just like to do free things?

If the answer is yes, this guide is for you.

While it’s not completely free to travel it doesn’t have to be as expensive as most people think.

In fact, almost every destination has some great free things to do.

We have compiled a list of 10 activities you can find countless places in the world – at no charge.

Hopefully, you’ll get inspired for your own trip!

1. Visit a museum

Many cities are making an effort to make history and culture accessible to all.

All over the world, you can find museums that are free to visit. Even famous museums such as The Louvre in Paris and MoMA in New York have free entrance on certain days of the month.

If you have a valid student ID or you’re 26 years old or younger, there are even more museums you can visit for free.

We’re huge fans of museums – especially for those rainy days.

The Natural History Museum in London
The Natural History Museum in London is free to visit.

2. Go on a hike

Put on your hiking boots and pack a bag with water and snacks.

While most (big and famous) national parks usually have an entrance fee, you can often find several off-the-beaten-track hiking routes that don’t cost a thing.

It’s a great way to explore new places plus it will most likely include great views and bring you closer to nature. What’s not to like?

Table Mountain seen from Lion's Head
There are several great hiking routes in Cape Town. This is Table Mountain seen from Lion’s Head.

3. Relax on the beach

Aaaah… It’s such a nice feeling to spend the day by the beach sunbathing and swimming.

At least Victoria loves this. Alexander may get a bit restless sometimes and go for a run instead.

Nonetheless, it’s completely free!

Bring a book or download a podcast and voilá – your entertainment is free too.

Even in some cities like Los Angeles, Paris or Barcelona you can find beaches to visit and if it’s too cold for a dip in the water, a walk back and forth is great for both body and soul.

South Beach in Miami
South Beach in Miami is one of the most popular beaches in the US and a great place to soak in the Florida sun.

4. Visit a place of worship

Churches, temples, mosques and synagogues are amazing free opportunities to explore a city and gain insight into the culture.

Regardless of whether you are religious or not, these buildings are often spectacular works of art.

In Europe, there are still countless impressive churches and cathedrals, while in most parts of Asia you’ll find the most beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples.

Some of the most memorable places of worship we have visited have been the Blue Mosque of Istanbul, St. Peter’s Basilica of Rome, Notre Dame in Paris, Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Grand Palace of Bangkok, and a small, very special Mexican church called Iglesia de San Juan.

St. Peter's Basilica
Entering the grand St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is free. But get there as early as possible to beat the crowds.
The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar
The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar.

5. Enjoy architecture and art

Apart from the places of worship many destinations usually have areas known for either extraordinary architecture, beautiful statues or public art.

Take your time to admire modern skyscrapers, ancient houses, historic landmarks or detailed water fountains.

Some cities might even have streets with art exhibitions or street art.

For example, you can enjoy more than 1,000 meters of art on the Berlin Wall at the “outdoor gallery” East Side Gallery, and in Georgetown, Malaysia there are numerous alleys with cool and interactive street art.

Georgetown in Malaysia
Georgetown in Malaysia is well known for its interactive street art – like this installation where Alex joins in on the swing.

6. Chill out in a park

Do as the locals and use the public gardens or parks.

Take a walk hand in hand with your partner or find a nice spot for a picnic and enjoy the flowers.

In some parks, there may even be free concerts, performances or special events occasionally.

A few of our favourite city parks are Central Park in New York, Villa Borghese in Rome and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

Do you have a favourite? Let us know in the comments! We are always curious to learn about new green places.

Singapore Botanic Garden
There are several scenic spots in Singapore’s Botanic Garden where you can relax and enjoy the greenery.

7. Visit a market

Almost everywhere in the world, you can find both classic and alternative markets.

And most of the time they are free to visit – at least if you refrain from buying anything!

Whether it’s a flea marketfood marketfish market or night market, you will often come across new and different sounds, smells and maybe even people.

It’s a great way to stimulate your senses.

We were completely impressed by the Grand Bazaar Market in Istanbul; a covered marketplace consisting of more than 4,000 small shops. And when we are in Asia we usually visit a lot of street markets – Alex is always excited to try the local food.

Grand Bazaar of Istanbul
It’s easy to get lost in the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.
Lamps in the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.

8. Listen to an audio tour

Have you ever joined a “free” walking tour? If yes, you’ll know that the reason we put free in quotation marks is because you’re always expected to tip the guide afterwards (which is totally the right thing to do but makes the whole thing not free).

And while that’s perfectly fine, we just wanted to tell you about something even cheaper: free guided audio tours!

Type in “free walking tour audio” or “free guided tour audio” + “city name” on Google and you will most likely get some great options.

This way, you’ll get to know the city better at your own pace (and skip stuff that bores you).

Amsterdam canal
Plug in your earphones and listen to a guided sightseeing – for example in Amsterdam, a cosy city filled with historical details that you might otherwise miss.

9. People watching

We are not talking about stalking here!

And while this may not count as an activity, it can be fascinating to watch people pass by. Especially if you’re from a completely different culture.

You can do this walking, sitting on a bench in a park or while drinking coffee at a café (we know that’s not free, but it’s delicious).

Take the time to relax and let your mind wander.

Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo
Watching the traffic lights switch from red to green is a mesmerizing experience at the famed Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo.

10. Watch the sunset

There’s a quote from writer Cheryl Strayed (who’s also portrayed in the movie Wild) saying: “There is a sunrise and a sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”

It may sound like a cliché, but there’s just something special about watching the sunset.

Every time we prioritize it, we feel blessed.

Whether it’s from a viewpoint in a big city or with our bare feet in the sand, it’s an absolutely magical experience.

It is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy our beautiful world.

Ko Lanta, Thailand sunset
One of the many beautiful sunsets in Ko Lanta, Thailand.
Thank you for reading to the end!

What are your favourite free things to do when you travel? We would love to hear from you in the comments.

New experiences don't have to be expensive! We have compiled a list of 10 free activities you can find worldwide.
New experiences don't have to be expensive! We have compiled a list of 10 free activities you can find worldwide.
New experiences don't have to be expensive! We have compiled a list of 10 free activities you can find worldwide.

3 thoughts on “10 Free Things to Do Anywhere in the World

  1. Why travel at all. Costly and time ( time is money ) consuming. Be a boy-scout and hike in your favourite places in your own country. Wear a face- mast, observe safe- distancing and go out and about. Pandemic or not. To do this, however, you must start young and acquire diy habits. I have !

  2. I love people watching! An unexpected interesting people watching experience happened on my recent trip to Qatar when I went to the bathroom and waited on line watching women by the mirror fixing their hijabs, washing faces, washing feet in dedicated basins, some resting with their shoes off in a resting area, and they didn’t worry about covering their faces because there were only women there and standing next to them felt more personal that seeing them on the streets.

    • While not often an item on a travel “to-do” list, actually just observing a public space in a foreign place can be one of the most interesting experiences. It definitely sounds like you got a sneak-peek into a part of Qatar not every visitor will have. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Comment