City breaks are all about seeing the sights, enjoying the nightlife and for us girls, shopping. Add in the need to stay in one of the hippest neighbourhoods plus flights and it soon racks up. Your city break is looking like it might cost an arm and a leg. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone had sought out all the free things that you could do whilst you’re there to give your wallet a little bit of a rest?
Well your wishes have been answered! We’ve been working hard looking at some of the world’s top cities plus some of the up-and-coming destinations to find out where you can go and what you can do to get yourself a big slice of action for a very nice price. You can thank us when you get back.
by el grito
Most of the big museums here offer at least a day a month when you can get in for free, but that’s not really what we’re after, since you’re unlikely to plan your trip around one free ticket. The parks, including Central Park are a great source of free entertainment, with walking tours, music concerts and film showings all summer long. If you want to hear some great blues music then get yourself down to BB King Blues Club and Grill on Friday and Saturday nights, or for art and great views of Manhattan to boot you can’t do better than the Socrates Sculpture Park in Brooklyn. New York is well-known for its architecture so taking a wander around the centre of Manhattan is great, but if you want to head inside then seek out some of the beautiful churches such as the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, or the gothic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Both the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre offer free days which can be worth looking out for, but hang around outside the Pompidou Centre if you want to see some great street performaces. For wonderful views of the city, join the nightly party outside Sacré Coeur in Montmartre or head for the Parc des Buttes in Chaumont during the day, it’s one of the Parisians’ best kept secrets. If you want to see inside some of the beautiful churches then you can get into Sacré Coeur on Sunday mornings for choir practise and in the afternoon head to Notre Dame for organ recitals, or you can enter for free all the time. Walking along the left bank is a beautiful way to get to know the city, and in the summer, a beach springs up so you can kick back and relax and watch the Seine slip by.
An up and coming destination that’s been touted by the Lonely Planet as one of 2011s places to visit, Tangier in Morocco boasts an infusion of Spanish and Moroccan cultures and plenty of places to soak up both. Head here for the Jazz Festival to take advantage of all the free concerts, or you can take advantage of more traditional music shows nightly in bars at many of the older hotels. You can’t go to Morocco and not visit a Souk just don’t be tempted to spend all your cash right away. You can get great views across the city and even over the Straits of Gibraltar in the Sultan’s Garden in the Kasbah or head to another grand residence, the Forbes Museum, to enjoy the architecture and the sight of an army of 8000 miniature soldiers! Dar El Makhzen is the former Sultan’s Palace, now an art gallery, boasting amazing architecture and a wonderful art collection. At 10dh entry I can’t claim it’s free but this very small fee is very much worth it.
Spain’s third city has long been the poor little sister to Madrid and Barcelona, but no longer. This quirky destination is gaining in popularity so head here before everyone else catches on! You can get a feel for the place by heading to the super-cool Calle Caballero for some people watching, and if you want to get a little more involved then your next stop should be the City of Arts and Sciences where beautiful architecture and sympathetic landscaping meet. The La Lonja Silk Market and the Mercado Central showcase the older side of the city perfectly and the latter will also provide a great spot to grab a cheap but tasty meal. Alternatively, head for the Jardins del Turia for a playful park guaranteed to get your childlike side interested.
by Dimitry B
Ok, so you don’t need to catch a flight for this one, but with train fares costing an arm and a leg these days you might not be far off. All of London’s major museums are free from the Tate Modern to the Science Museum, the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum and the British Museum. They can get pretty busy, but you can’t really complain at that price! You can also visit the Wallace Collection, just off Oxford Street and the Museum of London, if you want something a little different. Alternatively, you could catch Evensong at 5.30pm every day at Westminster Abbey, or enjoy a pot-luck music show at the National Theatre on the Southbank Monday to Saturday at 5.45pm. If you want a bird’s eye view without paying for the Eye, put in the legwork yourself and climb up Primrose Hill.
Top image by Images_Of_Money