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How Travelers Can Enjoy "Free for All" Experiences
As they say, "the best things in life are free". And, it's quite often the case with travel - enjoying your trip is not always costly!
Free travel experiences can be just as enjoyable as others, trust me!
The vast majority of people who don't travel frequently, but merely take leisure trips, have the false belief that traveling is an expensive activity.
As I've quite often said, travel is not supposed to be expensive.
The three main things that will consume most of your money are: transportation, accommodation and food. You can "play around" with the rest.
Source: © iStock.com/lzf
Once you've arrived, you'll be able to enjoy a plethora of free things - as explained in this article.
If you're a backpacker or, if you simply have a tight budget, you might already be doing these...
#1 Find a high-situated viewpoint for admiring the skyline
Viewpoints are among my favourites. I always strive to make a list with the best viewpoints of every destination I travel to. And the good thing is - some of these don't cost any money at all.
Examples of skyline viewpoints: streets on the sides of tall hills, mountain- and hilltops, skyscrapers, towers, church tops/roofs and towers, high-rise buildings' upper floors.
#2 Discover local architecture's treasures
Dig beyond the main attractions that every guidebook mentions. Stroll the streets of historic neighbourhoods, look up the latest modern architectural projects...
I can walk for an entire day, photographing and examining the finest details of streets. And it's totally free... I frequently encounter interesting places that most locals don't even know exist.
As an urban explorer, this is what I actually do most of the time - digging for hidden architectural treasures - an adventurous and highly enjoyable activity.
#3 Check out the churches, temples
Churches, temples and other religious sites rarely cost any money to visit.
You will be allowed to enter some of them, but if you're not a Muslim, you shouldn't attempt entering a mosque. Besides very few mosques that are open to the greater public.
Religious buildings are often the most imposing architectural creations. Yet, guidebooks will omit even the most alluring ones. You will have to go out and find them by yourself.
#4 Admire the street art
Very few wander in search for street art. Most of these artworks are hidden from the mainstream and found only in certain areas (generally less-frequented, shadier, even dangerous zones).
Some of the places with the most impressive street art I've found so far include: Valencia, Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante, Lisbon, Budapest.
#5 Visit the local markets
Sometimes the markets themselves constitute attractions: the combination of products, architecture, people's behaviour, smells and sounds...
Beautiful old market halls (such as the ones in Alicante, Madrid, Valencia, Budapest) or, the Muslim world'ssouks (like the ones in Marrakech, Dubai), bazaars (Istanbul), elsewhere the fish markets (Tokyo, Seattle), main historic markets (Kuala Lumpur) and ethnic shopping districts (like the Chinatowns in Kuala Lumpur and San Francisco).
#6 Stroll the streets, dig deeper to observe local life
Do you want to see how the more "ordinary" parts of your destination look like?
Want to know more about how and where local people live?
The residential districts are sometimes "uglier", but they're authentic, different from the shiny hotel-filled (usually cleaner) central areas where the better-maintained main attractions are.
I adore discovering less-conventional, yet interesting attractions in these areas - such as industrial areas with old factories, stark architectural contrast and the mentioned street art, and I even go spotting vehicles, and enjoy "urban moments"...
#7 Walk the beach
The calming therapeutic beach walks I can't leave out of any of my trips, whenever I have the possibility to do so.
I do this for more than just to admire the views... Also to recharge the batteries - looking at the distant blue horizon generates that special sense of freedom and tranquility.
#8 Walk along the river banks
Major settlements have generally developed around major rivers and/or deltas... Shanghai, Amsterdam, Rome, Budapest, Vienna, London were all established along abundant river arteries.
And, many of the attractions are concentrated along or, in the immediate vicinity of the major rivers. Take walks and watch the boats, the bridges, the buildings...
#9 Check out the local parks and contemplate the vegetation
My favourites are the old parks with a certain history and, the ones that are home to bird species and other animals. And, some of these parks even have a few interesting historic buildings in them as well. Even small museums, art galleries.
Some of the notable parks I've visited are: Green Park and Hyde Park in London, Barcelona's Parc de la Ciutadella, the Parque del Buen Retiro in Madrid, Budapest's Városliget, Valencia's Túria Gardens.
#10 Discover the infrastructure's attractions
A profusion of infrastructural attractions are there to see, but if they're not heavily advertised, we tend to overlook them.
Just a few examples: the Shinkansen "bullet trains" in Japan, Helsinki's Central Railway Station, the Buda Castle Tunnel in Budapest, the bridges across the Danube in Budapest, Bangkok Suwarnabhumi Airport with its vast park-like areas, the Monorail in Kuala Lumpur...
The infrastructural attractions include: bridges, vehicles, station buildings, ports, airports...
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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As "Escape Hunter" - the curious incognito traveler with an insatiable drive to explore, I embark on slow and deep travels around
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Guide to my personal travel slang vocabulary, which seasons my content...