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Sightseeing On A Budget

Sightseeing On A Budget

When it comes to sightseeing while travelling the costs can start to add up if you are not careful. The price some places charge for rather basic displays can be exorbitant, to say the least. While some places may be must visit spots in certain places that can also be great ways to save some money. But it might take a little research and planning to maximise your time and your money.

Tours Including Attractions

While this might not be the cheapest way to see some places, it can be a great bundle option. In many cities, I will often look to take a city tour so I can see where everything is and get a feel for the city. In some cases, you can find there might be some tours that include entrance to particular sights.

A great example of this was when I visited Vancouver, Canada. I booked a city tour and at the time I did not even think about it but found it also included entrance to the Vancouver Lookout Tower. It was something that I would have wanted to do anyway, but having it included in the tour saved me $17.50.

Stanley Park from Vancouver Lookout

The View from Vancouver Lookout

The inclusions came up again when I visited the city of Amsterdam. I booked a number of tours here and they almost all included access to one or more attractions. However, in this case, the tours helped me to get to these attractions that I wanted to visit, and were not as easily accessible. So the savings can happen in both directions

Sightseeing Value Cards

In many different cities, there are cards or admission packs available for multiple attractions. These can vary a lot between cities but I have found many of them to be a great value. The first one that I ever used was the See Melbourne Card when I visited Melbourne in 2010. The name of the card has changed to iVenture Card, but the potential for savings is still there. These sort of cards can be a great deal, as long as you plan to make the most use of them. I shared a post on this type of card back in 2010 when I travelled to Melbourne you can read more “About The See Melbourne And Beyond Card.” Please note that the card is slightly different now, you can read more on the iVenture Website.

I found other options when I was visiting Seattle & San Francisco with the City Pass. The City Pass is something I used in two different cities but they are available in twelve different cities around North America. Different Cities have different offerings, but you can expect to save some money with the passes. You can find out more about the cities they are in and the offers on the City Pass Website.

Free Entry Days

While you might not find them in every city there are some museums and art galleries that offer free entry days. Some museums and art galleries even offer free access all of the time except for special exhibitions. There have been plenty of places that I have found this to be the case by accident. Places that I have wanted to visit and when I arrive I find something I expected to pay for was indeed free.

Natural History Museum Central Hall

Natural History Museum in London

One place I found this was in London at the Natural History Museum. I needed something to do that was out of the rain and found that this was rather close to where I was. I arrived and looked around for the ticket counter only to find out that it was free to enter. There was a fee for some of the special exhibitions, but there was so much to look at I hardly scratched the surface I think.

While museums and art galleries might not be your thing they are well worth considering as a cheap or free option. You may as well check them out if they are free you might just be surprised what you find interesting.

Visit A Church

Another great place to visit that is often free to take a look are churches. I have been rather surprised at just how nice it can be to wander around some of the beautiful old churches around the world. With the vast majority allowing you to enter and walk around the public areas as you wish.

There are a few considerations to keep in mind when visiting churches though. The first is that you need to consider the people visiting the church for their religious purposes. Often this means that you need to be quite and show respect to other visitors, as you do not know their purpose for being there. Another consideration is that it is best you visit at times that do not coincide with services in the church. Also, another consideration is if you are taking photos many churches ask that you do not use flash.

While churches are for the most part free to enter, there are some that do charge a fee to visit. However, I found many churches I have visited through Europe, North America and Australia have no charged. But often when there is a charge it is for something a little more special than just walking inside. I have paid at St Stephen’s in Vienna to visit the crypt and ascend the two towers. I also paid at a church in Iceland to visit the top of the spire.

Vienna - St Stephens Cathedral Northern View

View from St Stephens Cathedral

Take A Walk

The number of times that I have discovered great places to check out just by taking a walk around a city. Sightseeing does not always have to be about going out and paying to see something. Most cities have parks and squares, monuments and statues, gardens and beaches. If you go looking in just about any city you will find somewhere to walk and something to see.

You will find that some cities you might have to walk a lot further than others. But I have heard that walking can be good for your health. So maybe give it a try and see what you can discover by taking a walk in the city that you are visiting. Below is a spot I took a walk recently when I was visiting Caloundra in Queensland, Australia. The walk cost me nothing and I got to see some beautiful scenery and found a number of memorials along the way to read about.

Shelly Beach & Caloundra - Kings Beach Boardwalk

Explore & Discover

The key when it comes to sightseeing on a budget is just getting out there and exploring. Unless you get out and explore you never know what you might discover. There is a lot out there to see, so go and make the most of it. While it might take a little research sometimes to find the best offers, you can find that it can be very worthwhile.

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