Free is good. Free is nice. Free is ideal.
Knowing this all too well, travel experts Lonely Planet have gone and launched a 300-page book aptly named ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free‘.
We’ve scoured their mammoth 884 suggestions to compile the creme de la creme of museums, cultural landmarks, forests and natural wonders that are worth the (zero) dollars.
MUSEO DEL PRADO
Built in 1785, the Museo Del Prado in Spain‘s Madrid is one of the world’s premier art galleries. There are around 1500 works of art on display at any given time, so it might take a few cracks to take it all in. If Goya, Raphael, Rubens and Velázquez mean anything to your art brain, you’ll be delighted to know it’s free every evening (6-8pm) between Monday and Saturday, and 5-8pm on Sundays.
BRISTOL’S STREET ART
A bit like our gloomy Melbourne town, Bristol in the UK is famous of its street art. Stokes Croft and Nelson Street are the most obvious locations for a healthy dose of graffiti – but if you’re looking for legit ‘street art’, Lonely Planet reckons checking out Dean Lane skatepark in Bedminster or beneath the M32 flyover.
DOLMEN DE MENGA
Provided you aren’t totally sp00ked by ghostly situations, the Dolmen de Menga in Spain is well worth a look-in. It’s a stone burial chamber, 25m long and built 3000 before ya boy Jesus existed. Christ indeed.
When explorers opened up the mound in the 19th century, hundreds of skeletons were found. It’s open 24 hours a day, and it’s 100% free.
Home to the Throne of Zeus, Mount Olympus is stooped in history. A must-visit for those of the thespian persuasion.
The Sikh shrine is a sight to behold any hour of the day, but it’s particularly glittery and beautiful during a warm glowing sunset.
TONGARIROAL PINE CROSSING
It’s popular with Instagrammers, with the hashtag attracting almost 10,000 posts. It’s not hard to see why. Emerald pools and active volcanos make this one-day trail pretty damn special. The weather (and the terrain) can be pretty treacherous, so it’s advised you come prepared for anything. And it’s free, duh.
TOKYO METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT BUILDING
City sunsets. Tokyo‘s got good ones.
Paying to climb atop a skyscraper in any major city is usually pretty spenno, but you can enjoy the 45th floor views of the Metropolitan Government Building for free.
STORM CHASING IN OREGON
Not just a thing of early-2000‘s reality TV shows, storm chasing is a bonafide past time in Oregon, USA. Lonely Planet recommends checking out Bullards Beach during a smack down – but stay in your car and don’t venture out. Shit’s dangerous.
DUNE WALKING IN NAMIBIA
LP calls it one of “Africa’s wildest experiences” and it’s no surprise why. Namibia’s famous soft orange dunes are wide-sweeping and apparently, the special make-up of the sand means they hum as you walk along them.
It’s Europe‘s largest forest, and it’s friggen magnificent. 10,000 unique species of wildlife call these woods home, and you can make that 10,001 since you’re allowed to wild camp there. Gnarly.
We end with a natural treasure right here at home – Josephine Falls. Located 45kms from Queensland‘s Cairns, it’s a hit amongst tourists, and there’s no surprise why. Old mate in the above video is having a riot. You can follow the tropical trails through the rainforest, and when you break from the canopy you can glimpse a sight over the Great Barrier Reef. Yet another reason we need to kick our arses into gear and save that precious wonder before it’s no more.
Source: Lonely Planet.
Photo: Getty / epics.ca.