It’s the most wonderful time of the year…Spring Break is almost here! Okay, so we’re probably at least a few weeks away, but that means there’s still time to get everything in order. From booking plane tickets to making lodging arrangements, there’s a lot that needs to be done. If you’re studying abroad and looking for some new experiences for your spring break in Europe, you have a lot of travel options. It’s certainly cheap to visit countries once you’re over there, but prices can quickly add up. If you’re looking for some cheap things to do that won’t break the bank, I’ve got some great suggestions right here:
The British Museum: Since 1759, this museum has provided patrons with a rich history of culture and artifacts. View the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon Sculptures, and more. The museum frequently adds new exhibits, so you’re sure to see something great any time you go.
Columbia Road Flower Market: You can stop and smell the roses, but you don’t have to buy any. This weekly market operates every Sunday from 8am to 3pm. Take a Sunday stroll and admire all the beautiful flowers without spending anything.
Houses of Parliament: Get a hands on view of history in the making . If you visit when Parliament is in session, you can observe from the House of Common’s Visitor Gallery. If you visit when Parliament is in recess, you can take a guided tour of both chambers. The House of Parliament is also home to Big Ben and the Crown Jewels.
Science Museum: Seven floors to explore, and it’s all free. IMAX films and flight simulators cost extra, but with so much to see and do, you probably won’t even end up spending anything (unless you hit the gift shop, of course). The museum is great for all ages.
Churches: As home to the center of Catholic culture, Italy offers a wide variety of beautiful churches. Even if you are not religious, you can certainly appreciate the art and majesty of these centuries old institutions. From St. Peter’s Basilica to The Pantheon, you’re sure to find plenty to see for free.
Trevi Fountain: You probably recognize this iconic fountain from Roman Holiday or maybe more recently from The Lizzie McGuire Movie. The fountain is free to visit, but you may be inspired to throw a few coins in. You’re supposed to throw three coins in over your left shoulder thrown with your right hand.
Piazzas: Most major cities across the country have a piazza or two. There’s St. Marks in Venice or the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. Often a central meeting place for citizens and tourists alike, these public squares are a great place for people watching or enjoying a small picnic.
The Spanish Steps: Don’t let the name fool you. You can find these famous steps in Rome between the Piazza di Spagna and the base of the Piazza Trinità dei Monti. They are the widest steps in Europe and another great spot for people watching on a sunny afternoon.
Museo de Reina Sofia: This museum usually costs money to visit, but during select times you can visit for free. Don’t miss the chance to see some of the most famous works of Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. Free admission is available on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 7pm until 9pm, Saturday afternoons from 2:30pm and Sunday mornings until 2:30pm.
Madrid Bullfighting Museum: Spain has a long tradition of bullfighting throughout the nation, but in Madrid you can learn a little more. Can’t make it to an actual bullfighting match? Enjoy the next best thing. You can learn Spain’s history of bullfighting and view classic costumes at this museum appropriately located in Ventas Plaza de Toros.
Free Tapas: When in Spain, you have to partake in this Spanish tradition of light food with your drinks. From my understanding, it’s somewhat equivalent to an appetizer. You’ll, of course, have to pay for you drinks, but you will be able to find some free tasty tapas from Barcelona to Granada.
Flamenco Bar: Enjoy enchanting dance performances and great music at a Flamenco bar. It’s free to enter and watch, though you may be tempted to order a drink or two. If you’re in Seville, the guides recommend La Carboneria. It offers live dancing every night of the week.
Walk along the Seine: There’s nothing quite like a light stroll on an afternoon. The Seine is the heart of Paris. Walk across the city’s many bridges or stroll along the canals as you muse to yourself and take it all in.
Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris: This un-ticketed site is perhaps one of Paris’ most visited free locations. You can admire the Gothic architecture and learn about its history as the former center of Catholic Paris. It’s a true masterpiece having lasted since 1163 and inspiring the works of Victor Hugo.
See the City of Lights: Part of the beauty of Paris is just being able to admire it all. When the sun sets and the lights come on, there’s nothing like it. You may have to pay to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower, but it’s free to stand back and admire.
Parks: Paris is filled with parks and gardens for you to visit. While it’s not quite the gardens of Versailles, many parks are just as beautiful. Jardin du Luxembourg features many statues and a beautiful fountain and the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont offers a beautiful waterfall. These are just a few of the many parks throughout the city, so get out and explore.
Trinity College: Walk the grounds of this famous historic college in the heart of Dublin. It costs extra to see tourist attractions like the Book of Kells, but walking through the college is free. The college was founded in 1592, so there’s plenty of history to appreciate.
St. Stephen’s Green: Ireland is known for its bright greenery, and you can experience it firsthand at one of the nation’s largest parks. The park is filled with bright flowers and fun paths to explore. If it’s raining, put on your galoshes and grab an umbrella, and take a quiet walk through the park.
Glasnevin Cemetery: Glasnevin appears in James Joyce’s Ulysses, and for good reason – it’s home to many of Ireland’s famous historic figures. The cemetery is free to visit and even offers three free daily tours at 11:30am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm. Even if you don’t take the tour, it’s fun to wander and explore.
Pub Music: Hit up Temple Bar any evening and chances are you’ll find some great live music and maybe even some dancing. Again, you’ll probably end up buying some drinks, but it’s great cheap entertainment to enjoy.
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