Discount Diva has already unearthed a plethora of savings for you—when to go, where to go, how to get there, and how to stay there. Now, the question on everyone’s mind is how to save money on sightseeing once you’re there. Don’t worry; I’ve got your back.
Before booking travel, it’s always wise to check out what’s going on in your destination during your time there. Certain events can cause prices to spike dramatically and may even hamper your plans. Think Carnival in Rio de Janeiro or Carnevale in Venice. Now, you might be going for exactly these events, but if you’re not, you may want to choose a different time to visit.
On the flipside, and depending on the event, this might also be a way to really get to know the people and the culture and can provide a memorable, low-cost trip. Be on the lookout for free festivals in your desired location and enrich your overall experience. When Jeff and I visited the small, medieval town of Sozopol, Bulgaria, they had an open arts festival happening. It brought craftsmen, musicians, and all the locals out for the weekend, and it really wasn’t too crowded.
Hone in on the free stuff. Most guidebooks will tell you the latest pricing for this sight or that sight. Target the freebies. Outdoor monuments are all yours, of course. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods, I can tell you that most of Washington, DC’s 19 Smithsonian Museums offer entries at no expense.
A lot of national parks are open and, for those that aren’t, there are periodic fee-free days. The Louvre offers free entry on the first Sunday of every month in the off-season. On our upcoming trip to Copenhagen, for example, I’m actually really looking forward to visiting Freetown Christiania, an autonomous hippie commune. Just Google “free stuff to do” in City X and have at it. The possibilities are endless. Save your money for dining and transportation.
City & Museum Passes
Checked off all your no-cost sights? Opt for city or museum passes. Make sure you do the math, though—if you don’t visit enough places, you may not actually save money. CityPASS offers discounted rates to a number of top sights in a variety of cities.
The passes might initially seem pricey, but wait until you pay for all those entrance fees individually; you’ll wish you’d bought one. Paris, and a number of other European cities, offer Museum Passes. You can order these online beforehand or you can purchase them when you get there and avoid shipping costs. Some of them you can even purchase right at the airport.
Just a few more savings ideas from your Discount Diva. Test them out, and save some money on sightseeing. Have more? Please post away in the comments section.