How do you find them? If you’re looking for free things to do before you arrive at your destination, start by using a search engine like Google or Bing. Here are some search terms to try:
- Free things to do in (city name, country)
- Festivals (city name, country)
- Art council (city name, country)
- Museums (city name, country)
- Sightseeing (city name, country)
Once If you’ve arrived, don’t overlook local tourist information centers that are located near the city center. Yes, much of what they do is funded by tour companies who want your business, but they’ll have brochures, schedules of events, and pricing for everything from luxury packages to free festivals.
One of our favorite ways to find new ideas is to drop into a souvenir shop and go through the postcards. For one thing, gorgeous photos always capture our attention. And postcards often highlight what the city has to offer – especially must-see vistas such as beaches, scenic drives, parks, or temples.
English-speaking waiters and waitresses at local bars and coffee shops are great sources for free or very low cost things to do in almost any city in the world. Ask someone you meet – the clerk behind the counter in the gift shop where you’re browsing postcards, for example – what they’d do if they had a free afternoon and very little money to spend. Chances are, they’ll come up with an idea you won’t find in a guidebook!
On a recent trip to New Zealand, a co-worker happened on a street market in Christchurch, and a balloon festival in Waikato – both free. And on the way from our last dive trip, we found a wonderful free musical festival in San Juan — a blanket, a bottle of wine, some bread, and great music under the beautiful open sky. THAT’S an adventure nearly everyone can enjoy!
Live Adventurously is a premium provider of SCUBA diving vacations and advice on travel, adventure & the adventure lifestyle. We provide our guests and friends the experiences and knowledge to live an extraordinary life through adventure.
Photo credit: Market Day in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, New Zealand; Night Glow at the New Zealand Balloon Festival. Both photos ©2009, D. Holland; used with permission, all rights reserved.