In this economy, the word “free” is the most alluring way to bring tourists to a destination. Cognizant of this is the European Travel Commission, which hasn’t wasted any time by coming up with a list of the top ten free things to do and see in Europe.
In Innsbruck (innsbruck.info) from May 30 to October 26, the hiking bus is free for guests with a Club Innsbruck Card staying in Innsbruck or one of the holiday villages— also free is the great hiking program.
Tour the old town of Narva (tourism.narva.ee) and its 13th century castle of the Order of Germanic Knights that faces Russia’s opposing fortress of Ivanogrod, just an arrow’s flight across the river. The easternmost point of the European Union, it’s the east/west duality captured in two stone towers—and a great spot for concerts and open- air shows.
Welcome in summer with the Fête de la Musique: Celebrate the summer solstice with free music and events in Paris and all throughout France (us.franceguide.com).
Berlin Museums Island—Visit the peerless Pergamon, the Old Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum and the New Museum free of charge every Thursday after 2:00 PM—five temples on their own island in the River Spree, covering 6000 years of civilization.
Red Bull Air Race August 19-20— breathtaking aerial speed and acrobatics above the Danube River as the world’s top pilots navigate an obstacle course in the sky in the fastest possible time, including flying beneath the historic Chain Bridge (gotohungary.com).
A giant rave, a demonstration for love, freedom and tolerance, and a fantastic carnival to boot, Zurich’s August Street Parade is the world’s most colorful house and techno party.
Whether London is sunny or foggy, the British Museum never loses its charm, with some of the greatest cultural treasures including the Rosetta Stone. Also free is the National Gallery, brimming with Botticelli, Da Vinci and Monet, and the Victoria and Albert Museum—3,000 years of art, jewelry, photographs, sculpture and fashion (visitlondon.com).
Free Beer (this being Belgium)—Antwerp’s Brewery Haacht (haacht.com) offers a free one-hour guided tour of their sprawling facility and a taste of one low- and one high-fermentation beer.
Economy got you screaming? Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” says it all, and you can see it at Oslo’s National Museum of Art (nationalmuseum.no). Maintain the vibe over drinks in the bar of the Hotel Continental (www.hotel-continental.com), a Leading Hotels of the World property, with several original
Munch pictures on the walls.
Mystical and pristine, the Ring of Kerry (ringofkerrytourism.com) is a natural center for golf, cycling, walking, riding and fishing, and enjoying fine beaches. What’s more, it’s an outdoor museum of Ireland’s ancient heritage, with iron age forts, fascinating ogham stones, old monasteries and a landscape carved by the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.
Source: European Travel Commission