World's Best Free Attractions

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
12 of the World's Best Free Attractions

AFP/Getty Images

Like most budget travelers, the word that makes eyebrows leap the highest is 'free'. While the you-get-what-you-pay-for statute makes it uncool to grade, compare or criticize free stuff, certain free attractions are indisputably superior to others and, in many cases, completely outshine their un-free neighbors.

Like most budget travelers, the word that makes eyebrows leap the highest is 'free'. While the you-get-what-you-pay-for statute makes it uncool to grade, compare or criticize free stuff, certain free attractions are indisputably superior to others and, in many cases, completely outshine their un-free neighbors.

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, Monte Carlo), sitting down for a few minutes (Las Ramblas, Barcelona), or voiding your bladder (pretty much all of Norway).

Here's a sampling of some of the world's best free attractions, courtesy of Lonely Planet.

Text by Leif Pettersen, Lonely Planet

13 PHOTOS
World's Best Free Attractions
See Gallery
World's Best Free Attractions (PHOTOS)

Kensington High Street Roof Gardens is comprised of three different gardens, covering 1.5 acres. Unfortunately, its popularity means that it’s frequently closed for special events.

Buenos Aires uniquely has a number of distinctive neighborhoods and streets known for outdoor artistic expression like La Boca, Caminito and Calle Lanín. Buenos Aires’ official tourism site has several downloadable self-tour maps and itineraries.

Parc Güell, Gaudí’s outdoor masterpiece, where the artificial and natural flow seamlessly into each other.

In addition to being one of the planet’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.

One of the world’s great landmarks, Notre Dame took over 200 years to construct, including its (at the time) cutting edge flying buttresses, three spectacular sections of stained glass windows and the unholy 7,800 pipe organ. Wretchedly detailed, free English language tours run on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2pm and Saturdays at 2:30pm.


Bonus freebie: If you’re in the neighborhood after 6pm on Fridays, or on the first Sunday of the month (or you can prove that you’re under 26 years old), slam several Red Bulls, cross the river and avail yourself of the free entry to the mammoth Louvre Museum.

The world's largest museum and research complex, The Smithsonian, offers attractions like the Air and Space Museum, the American History Museum, the Natural History Museum and the National Zoological Park.

Stand under the Gateway of India, Mumbai, the monumental arch that faces Mumbai Harbour and bask in the chaos of touts and laughing kids. A fitting start to a trip to India.

Going on a parliamentary tour is usually free. The U.S. Capitol is no exception – get your West Wing on with a tour of the United State's political nerve center. Be on the lookout for statues of two famous residents per state, plus some of the most stunning, baroque and neoclassical architecture in the nation.

One can find remarkable markets in numerous destinations around the world, but few compare in historical significance and sheer size to Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Opened in 1461, it’s one of the largest covered markets in the world, comprised of over 58 streets and more than 4,000 shops.

Completed in 1986, the Lotus Temple serves as the Mother Temple of the Indian subcontinent and is famous for its award-winning flower-like architectural design.

Morocco’s largest mosque, and the fifth largest in the world, Mosquée Hassan II, Casablanca boasts a glass floor, the world’s tallest minaret and a retractable roof. Non-Muslims may only enter the mosque on guided tours, but everyone is free to wander the grounds.

This 2,625-foot long outdoor covered escalator is the largest system of its kind in the world. Opened in 1993, it carries people up the 135 meters from the Central Business District to the Mid-Levels residential neighborhood.

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION





Read Full Story

From Our Partners