World's Best Free Attractions (PHOTOS)

by Lonely Planet Subscribe to Lonely Planet's posts Posted Jul 7th 2011 07:30 AM



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

Filed Under: Budget, Best Of

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Daniela Garcia

Other destinations want money from you for something as simple as peeking in the front door ...

July 08 2011 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in the fact that you referred to the Lotus Temple as the Mother House of the Indian subcontinent, implying that it is somehow connected to the Hindu faith. It is nothing of the kind!!! In fact, it's only relationship to India is that it happens to have been built there. What it is, is the only Baha'i Temple in India. There are less than a dozen such Temples in the ENTIRE WORLD, so far. The oldest one was built in 1956 in Wilmette, Illinois. Our Temples are open, free of charge, to anyone. To learn more about our Faith and our beautiful architecture (our Temples are not our only structures) go to

July 08 2011 at 3:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i was just there last summer .. at St.Peters , and it was about 8 euro to get in

July 08 2011 at 3:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It is free to enter St. Peter's Basilica itself. There are fees however to enter some of the vatican museums but the Basilica itself it free to enter.

July 08 2011 at 2:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is not a fee to enter the Cathedral of Notre Dame. It is a Catholic Church open to everyone. There is a fee however if one wants to climb the Cathedral tower or listen to an audio tour with headphones but there is no fee to enter.

July 08 2011 at 2:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When we were in Paris last year they wanted $18 to get into Notre Dame. It was anything but free.

July 08 2011 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have been to Italy , and it is not free to see St.Peters Basilica..

July 07 2011 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brooke's comment
Aloha eeehhhhhhh

It is free to go to St. Peter's Basilica, you pay when you go to the Sistine Chapel.

July 08 2011 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

you left out the - Admission to the British Museum in London is free. The Museum is open every day and open late on Thursdays and Fridays.
In New York City...Free Museums in New York City
Whether or not you are a starving artist, you can see art for FREE at museums that are always free, museums that have suggested contributions, and museums that have special free hours. Note: Many museums support themselves on the donations received by visitors; if you can't afford to pay the suggested contribution, a smaller donation can still make a difference.

Free Every Day:

American Numismatic Society
Artists Space
Carnegie Hall/Rose Museum
Dahesh Museum
The Drawing Center
Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Franklin Furnace
Goethe House German Cultural Center
Guggenheim Museum Soho
The Hispanic Society of America
The Municipal Art Society
Museum of American Folk Art
National Museum of the American Indian
New York City Police Museum
Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Taipei Gallery
Whitney Museum at Philip Morris

Museums with only Suggested Contributions

American Museum of Natural History
The Brooklyn Children's Museum
The Brooklyn Museum of Art
The Cloisters
Dia Center for the Arts
Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum
El Museo del Barrio
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Museum of the City of New York
New York City Fire Museum
New-York Historical Society
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
Pierpont Morgan Library
Queens Museum of Art
Seaman's Church Institute
Staten Island Institute of Arts & Sciences

July 07 2011 at 10:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The K High St Gardns have been one of my favorite places for many years. I believe they are now owned by Richard Branson and are too often closed for private events, but what a great site for a small wedding.

July 07 2011 at 9:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Take it all i while you can - time fleets!

July 07 2011 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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