See the World for Less

Every day the news acts as a rain cloud on the parade of the travel addict. But it’s not quite time to save money by not renewing your passport, not if you get your timing right. There are freebies to be had in all the world’s major cities, you just have to be there at the right time, and all that takes is a bit of research – luckily for you it’s already been done.

There’s nothing worse than travelling a long way to see a place and then getting barricaded outside all the best attractions by offensive entry prices. But even some of the most expensive attractions in some of the world’s most expensive cities have their bargains. In Paris the first Sunday of the month sees a magical opening of the doors, sans ticket collectors, to the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Centre Pompidou and the Musée Rodin. Parisian architecture is there to be admired by all at no cost, but for closer inspection there are no greater works than Notre Dame and Sacré Coeur. Both are ancient representations of Parisian style, culture and history and decorated inside with utmost care. In both churches you’re welcome to join mass or just pass through quietly admiring, but again timing is key, if you arrive at the right time you’ll enjoy the uplifting chords of the choir and get a free concert into the bargain as well.

New York’s magical window of fee-free-entry is smaller, at the Museum of Modern Art you won’t be charged for entry after 4PM on Fridays, and it’s open to 8PM… But far more useful for travellers is the insider advice that the entry desk staff at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) will let you pay what you can afford – the advertised ticket price is just a guideline - so if you're feeling particularly poverty stricken you can get into one of the world's premier art museums for a New York dollar.

In BerlinThursday night is all you need to get into the Pergamon Museum, which houses some of the city’s most impressive historical artefacts.

Vienna is a destinations for music lovers, and while there’s no secret cheap solution for tickets to the opera or a recital, there are plenty of wonderful churches and cathedrals where you can hear the great choirs singing the Sunday mass. For another variety of dulcet tones, Amsterdam’sConcertgebouw or Muziektheater will welcome you in for free on rehearsals days: at the MuziektheaterTuesdays, the ConcertgebouwWednesdays.

Tokyo is another notoriously expensive city, but there are still quite a few free attractions, but a lot more to be had for people looking for a free lunch... Or afternoon tea, or breakfast…

If getting the timing right is just too much of a headache, the wonderous British Museum is FREE all day every day.

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