10 great cities, 100 fantastic free attractions

10 great cities, 100 fantastic free attractions

If the best things in life are free, here are 100 ways to ensure your travels are outstanding

Ever noticed how things always seem better when you don’t have to pay for them? Seeing the world’s best bits doesn’t have to involve going broke.

Here are 10 of the globe’s greatest city destinations, each with 10 amazing attractions, for free.


1. Big screen opera and recitals at the Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House holds free Monday lunch-time recitals as well as screenings of live opera performances in Trafalgar Square. Contact the box office to find out about the next free events.

Covent Garden www.roh.org.uk +44 (0)20 7304 4000

2. National Portrait Gallery

Ida Kar self-portraitPictures of people you don't know are somehow even more interesting.

A quiet haven of paintings and photos, ranging from Tudor family portraits to modern sketches of pop stars. Where else would you find Henry VIII under the same roof as Germaine Greer?

St Martin's Place; www.npg.org.uk; +44 (0)20 7306 0055

3. Ping-pong and football coaching in London Fields

Bring your own bat and ball and join in the action on London Fields' ping-pong table. Alternatively for the under-14s, turn up between 10.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m. on Saturdays for free football coaching in the park.


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4. Serpentine Gallery

A hub of London's contemporary art scene, the Serpentine Gallery has showcased big names such as Henry Moore, Basquiat, Bridget Riley and Jeff Koons. It continues to give space to innovative and ground-breaking installations and exhibitions by contemporary artists.

Kensington Gardens www.serpentinegallery.org; +44 (0)20 7402 6075

5. The British Museum

British MuseumThe British Museum looks even better than some of its artifacts.

You can while away the hours admiring Egyptian mummies or Coptic pots at one of London's greatest free assets. Don't miss the Sutton Hoo mask, Lindow Man or the Mold Cape.

Stop for lunch (unfortunately not free) in the Great Court and admire Lord Foster's architecture.

Great Russell Street www.britishmuseum.org+44 (0)20 7323 8299

6. Photographers' Gallery

Another refuge from the madding West End crowd, the Photographers' Gallery not only has free entry, but also hosts regular free social evenings and talks. The gallery on Ramillies Street will be closed for refurbishment until Autumn 2011.

16-18 Ramillies St. ; www.photonet.org.uk ;44 (0)845 262 1618

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7. Attend a debate at Parliament

The public galleries in the House of Commons and the House of Lords are open to United Kingdom residents and overseas visitors whenever the houses are sitting, which is Monday to Thursday and occasionally Friday.

Westminster; www.parliament.uk;

8. Changing the guard at Buckingham Palace

changing of the guard, buckingham palaceHer Majesty 7: Bears 0.

The Queen's Guard has stood outside Buckingham Palace ever since 1837 when Queen Victoria first moved in. They perform a ceremonial changeover at 11.30 a.m. every day in May, June and July (alternate days in other months).


9. Museum of London

The exhibitions range from London street photography to archaeology in action, telling the millennia-spanning story of this diverse and constantly evolving city.

150 London Wall; www.museumoflondon.org.uk; +44 (0)20 7001 9844

10. The British Library

The Magna Carta, Shakespeare's First Folio and the original manuscript of "Mrs Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf are on display in the Sir John Ritblat Gallery.

96 Euston Road; www.bl.uk; +44 (0)843 208 1144


11. Central Park Summer Stage

Summer Stage presents acts such as Port-au-Prince rap ensemble RAM, Brazilian DJs Marcelo2, Pitty and DJ Nuts, as well as Yemenite melodies from Yemen Blues. All completely free. Details are on the park's website.

Rumsey Playfield, Central Park, Manhattan; www.summerstage.org; +1 (212) 360 2777

12. Museum of Modern Art

New York museum of modern artIf you can hang it on a wall, it's art.

Target Free Friday Nights allows you free entry to the Moma from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. every Friday (it's free all the time to under-16s). Be warned though, queues can be long.

11 West 53 St.; www.moma.org; +1 (212) 708 9400

13. National Museum of the American Indian

The permanent exhibition showcases some 700 works of Native American art from North and South America, presenting costumes, headdresses, weapons, household objects and sculptures.

Alexander Hamilton United States Custom House, One Bowling Green; www.nmai.si.edu; +1 (212) 514 3700

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14. Grand Central Partnership Walking Tours

Urban historians Justin Ferate and Peter Laskowich take you on this free guided walking tour through Midtown Manhattan. Just turn up at the meeting point at 12.30 p.m. on a Friday.

Meet at the street-level atrium at 120 Park Ave., located at the south-west corner of East 42nd St. and Park Ave. opposite Grand Central Terminal. www.grandcentralpartnership.org; +1 (212) 883 2420

15. Keep fit for free

ZumbaThe best cure for a bagel diet.

There is no excuse for not keeping fit in New York -- BeFitNYC promotes initiatives such as the Free First Mondays, which opens up recreation centers once a month. There are also free classes in yoga, zumba, salsa and aerobics in centers across the city.


16. Brooklyn Academy of Music

The BAM café hosts free shows on select Friday and Saturday nights. The eclectic mix of blues, jazz, rock, R & B and pop is provided by a range of up-and-coming performers.

30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn; www.bam.org; +1 (718) 636 4100

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17. Federal Reserve Bank of New York

This is your chance to get within feet of 10,000 tonnes of gold bars. The Fed offers free tours of its gold vaults, a museum of the history of money, as well as lectures. Booking at least a week in advance is necessary.

Economic Education, 33 Liberty St.; www.newyorkfed.org; +1 (212) 720 6130

18. Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island ferry"Land of the Free" has a whole new meaning now.

Not only are some of the best views of the Statue of Liberty seen from the free Staten Island ferry, but when you get to Staten Island, the Snug Harbour Grounds and Botanical Garden are also free to visit.

Staten Island Ferry: www.siferry.com;
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden: www.snug-harbor.org
; +1 (718) 448 2500

19. African Burial Ground

Discovered in 1991, more than 400 free and enslaved Africans were buried here during the 17th and 18thcenturies. The visitor center and memorial tell the story of the African population of New Amsterdam.

290 Broadway; www.africanburialground.gov; +1 (212) 637 2019

20. Brooklyn Museum

As part of the Target First Saturdays program, Brooklyn Museum hosts free music events from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month. Tickets are available for some performances at the visitors center beforehand (many sell out).

200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn; www.brooklynmuseum.org; +1 (718) 638 5000


21. Aperitivo at Doppiozeroo

While the drinks themselves are not free (€6 for a glass of prosecco), the buffet food in this trendy eatery in Garbatella is both gratis and delicious -- choose from pizza, hot pasta, salads, couscous and vegetables. There is no shame in going back for seconds.

Via Ostiense 68; http://doppiozeroo.com; +39 06 573 019 61

22. St Peter's Basilica

St Peter's BasilicaIt's big, it's clever and it won't cost you a penny.

To get into the biggest church in the world (but not the tallest), all you need to do is queue up and make sure your knees and shoulders are covered. Once inside, you're free to be amazed by Michaelangelo's Pietà and Bernini's baldacchino.

www.saintpetersbasilica.org; www.vatican.va; +39 06 6982

23. Free museums on special occasions

Museums managed by the Municipality of Rome are free to all during culture week (usually in April) and also during the Notte Bianca (a night of culture in several European capitals), as well as on the last Sunday of each month.


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24. Vatican Museums

Free on the last Sunday of each month from 9 a.m.-12.30 p.m., it's worth planning a free trip to see the Sistine Chapel, the Raphael Rooms and statue of Laocoön and his sons.

Viale Vaticano; www.museivaticani.va; +39 06 69884676

25. The Pantheon

Rome PantheonAll the gods, and now you, are welcome.

Commissioned by Agrippa and rebuilt by Hadrian in the second century, the Pantheon is the most influential building in the history of Western architecture, with its ingenious concrete dome and oculus.

Entry is always free, and Angel Tours offer free 30-minute tours at 7 p.m. each day.


26. Walk along the Appia Antica

The Appia Antica Park authorities have devised some itineraries for visiting this historic Roman road and the surrounding park on foot, passing by ancient Roman aqueducts, the tomb of Cecilia Metella and Villa dei Quintili.


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27. Rome's churches

Many of Rome's churches are free to enter (although a donation is always appreciated). Santa Maria del Popolo and San Luigi dei Francesi house masterpieces by Caravaggio, while the mosaics in San Clemente, Santa Cecilia and Santa Maria dell'Orto are simply stunning.

28. Rome's cemeteries

Angel of grief, RomeSometimes eerie, always intriguing.

If you like your tours of Rome cheap but creepy, try visiting the vast Campo Verano cemetery with its city-like streets, or the Protestant Cemetery in Testaccio -- resting place of Keats and Shelley.

Campo Verano, Piazzale del Verano 1; www.sovraintendenzaroma.it

Non-Catholic cemetery, Via Caio Cestio 6; www.protestantcemetery.it

29. Walks through the Forum Area

You'll have to fork out €12 (US$17) for a full-rate ticket into the Roman Forum, Colosseum and Palatine Hill, but via dei Fori Imperiali bisects the Roman Forum and the Imperial Forums with good views of Trajan's Column and the Arch of Septimus Severus.

Carry on round for a walk through Circus Maximus, then back under the Palatine for views of the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum.

30. Crypta Balbi and Castel Sant'Angelo

The cultural group Spazio Libero organises unusual guided tours (in Italian) to some of the more over-looked sites of Rome. While you have to pay for the tour (most are €8-12 (US$11.55-17.30)), entry is free on the last Tuesday of each month to sites such as Crypta Balbi, Castel Sant'Angelo, Palazzo Altemps and Villa d'Este in Tivoli.

Largo Pannonia, 42; www.spazioliberocoop.it (Italian); +39 06 70 45 45 44


31. Bird-watching in Hong Kong Park

This leafy green lung in the heart of Hong Kong is an exotic bird-watcher's paradise. Turn up at 8 a.m. on Wednesdays at the park's artificial lake for a free two-hour bird-watching meeting. You can also take a stroll through the massive walk-through aviary.

19, Cotton Tree Drive, Central; www.lcsd.gov.hk; +852 2521 5041/+852 2521 5059

32. Hong Kong's Cultural Heritage Museums

Heritage museum Hong KongHeritage comes in many shapes and colors.

The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is free on Wednesdays (usually HK$10 (US$1.30), while admission to the Heritage Discovery Centre in Kowloon Park is always free.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin; www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk

Heritage Discovery Centre, Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; www.amo.gov.hk;+852 2208 4400

33. Sik Sik Yuen/Wong Tai Sin Temple

Dedicated to the Great Immortal Wong, this is the place to have your fortune told with a shake of the kau cim sticks. If you're not caught up in predicting your future, visit the nine-dragon wall, the white jade sheep and the rock garden round the back.

Entry is free, but donations are appreciated.

MTR Wong Tai Sin Station Exit B2, Kowloon; www.siksikyuen.org.hk

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34. Tai Chi, Chinese Medicine or Feng Shui Classes

These free classes are organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board as part of the Cultural Kaleidoscope program. Choose from Tai Chi, Feng Shui or learn the ancient secrets of Chinese medicine.

www.discoverhongkong.com; +852 2508 1234

35. Swimming on Tai Long Wan beach

Tai Long Wan beach Hong KongGet there before Starbucks does.

It's hard to imaging Hong Kong before skyscrapers and 7-Eleven. A trip to the pristine Tai Long Wan beach -- also known as Big Wave Bay -- may feel like a trip back in time.

The one-kilometer stretch of white sand cradled by rugged green hills is an antidote to the city and just a one-hour hike from the end of the road in Sai Kung Country Park.


36. Views from the Ritz-Carlton hotel

The Asian tapas and signature cocktails don't come cheap at Ozone, the chic bar on the 118th floor of the newly-opened Ritz-Carlton hotel. But the views across Hong Kong from the world's highest hotel are priceless.

International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon; www.ritzcarlton.com; +852 2263 2263

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37. Hong Kong Museum of Art

Free on Wednesdays, the Museum of Art houses more than 15,000 works of art and runs exhibitions showcasing Chinese prints, antiquities and calligraphy as well as local artists.

10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon; www.lcsd.gov.hk; +852 2721 0116

38. Symphony of Lights

Hong Kong symphony of lightsLights, camera, Facebook.

This fantasia of fireworks and lights in Victoria Harbour at 8 p.m. each evening can be viewed from the Avenue of Stars (English narration on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) or from the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai.

www.tourism.gov.hk; +852 2810 2555

39. Hiking the Pok Fu Lam Family Walk

This gentle walk through natural forests and the Pokfulam Site of Special Scientific Interest is accessible for families -- but there are plenty more free trails to choose from on the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department website, Enjoy Hiking.

All you need is a good pair of boots and a bus pass.


40. Tea drinking

Serving and drinking tea is an institution in Hong Kong -- learn how to do it properly with a free master-class in Chinese tea appreciation, part of the tourist board's Cultural Kaleidoscope program. If that's not enough to stir your interest, go potty at the Museum of Tea Ware.

Chinese tea appreciation classes: Lock Cha Tea Shop, G/F, KS Lo Gallery, Hong Kong Park, Admiralty; www.discoverhongkong.com; +852 2801 7177

Museum of Tea Ware: 10 Cotton Tree Drive, Central; www.lcsd.gov.hk; +852 2869 0690


41. Free art galleries

Get in on Shanghai's thriving contemporary arts scene at the galleries in the Putuo district. M50 is an exhibition space and studio complex open to all.

50 Moganshan Lu, near Aomen Lu; +86 21 6359 3923; http://www.m50.cn

42. Longhua Temple

Longhua templeIf it's good enough for Christian Bale ...

It's not quite free, but the RMB10 (US$1.54) fee for entry is low and includes incense to leave as an offering at this Buddhist temple, which is more than 1,700 years old and featured in the film "Empire of the Sun."

2853 Longhua Road

43. Tai Chi, Kung Fu or Ballroom Dancing on the Bund

Take part in day-to-day Chinese life with a walk along the Bund at dawn or sunset and join in with the group activities: you may find yourself waltzing with a Chinese grandma, or striking a Kung Fu stance alongside a master.

Zhongshan Dong Lu;+86 21 6333 2226

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44. People's Square

The older generation gather in this grand open space and garden to play chess and mahjong, while younger Chinese fly kites. You'll be overlooked by the Jinjiang tower and the Shanghai government headquarters.

There is a RMB 2 (US$0.03) fee for entry to the park.

Huangpu Qu (at Huangpi Lu); +86 21 6372 0626

45. Window Shopping on Dongtai Road

Dongtai roadWhen shopping becomes scary.

Whether you're out to haggle for a bargain or just there to gawp, Dongtai Road market is a jumbled bazar of colorful paper lanterns, reed baskets, fake antiquities and Mao-era artefacts.

Dongtai Road; +86 (0)21 5582 5254

46. Qi Bao Old Street/Qi Bao Lao Jie

For a taste of Shanghai 200 years ago, visit this traditional Chinese street that has escaped redevelopment.

Be warned -- it's often crowded because the restaurants are as renowned as the old architecture. But you must try the tofu and fried rice cakes with red bean paste filling.

Qibao Lao Jie, Qingnian Lu, near Xinzheng Lu

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47. JZ Club

This is one cool Chinese jazz club, where entry to concerts is often free. According to the website the jam sessions regularly “turn the house into a rapturous carnival.”

FuXing West Road 46#,Shanghai 200031; www.jzclub.cn; +86 (0)21 6431 0269

48. Watch the dancers in Fuxing Park

Fuxing parkThe dancefloor is where you make it.

For some greenery in the old French Concession visit Fuxing Park to watch the dancers and artists as well as people practising their Chinese opera-singing early in the morning.

Fuxing Park: Gaolan Lu 2; +86 21 5386 1069

49.Shanghai Museum

One of the city's best museums, with free entry, the Shanghai Museum houses ancient Chinese paintings, calligraphy, bronze sculptures and ceramics.

People's Square, 201 Renmin Avenue; www.shanghaimuseum.net; +86 (021) 6372 5300 132

50. Cité Bourgogne

This small French enclave comes as a colonial surprise amid Shanghai's modern streets. It contains some of the best preserved traditional Shanghaiese shikumen (stone gate) houses in today’s city.

Cité Bourgogne, 287 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Jianguo Xi Lu


51. Royal Botanical Gardens

See specimens collected from Botany Bay in 1770, pre-settlement trees, wildlife including flying foxes and white ibis as well one million preserved plants in the Herbarium. All for free.

Mrs Macquaries Road; www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au; +61 2 9231 8111

52. Manly Scenic Walkway

Manly walkwayNothing to pay, everything to enjoy.

Download a map of this free 10-kilometer coastal and harbor walk from Spring Cove in Manly to the Spit Reserve. Take a dip off some of the white-sand beaches along the way.

www.manlyaustralia.com.au; +61 2 9976 1430

53. Art Gallery of New South Wales

This light and modern space has galleries dedicated to Aboriginal, Asian and Torres Strait Islander art, as well as contemporary art exhibitions. There is sometimes a fee for special exhibitions.

Art Gallery Rd, The Domain; www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au; +61 2 9225 1744

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54. Customs House

Built where the Eora tribe are thought to have first witnessed the landing of the British settlers/convicts on Australian soil, the Customs House is a welcoming area for visitors, including cafés and a scale model of Sydney, viewed through a glass floor.

31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay; www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au; +61 2 9242 8551

55. Harbour Bridge

Sydney harbour bridgeWalking burns calories and saves you cash in Sydney.

Drive across Harbour Bridge, locally known as the coat-hanger, and you'll be charged AUS$3. Walk across and you won't be charged a cent and you'll be able to enjoy some of the best views of Sydney along the way.


56. White Rabbit

One of the world's biggest collections of contemporary (post-2000) Chinese art, White Rabbit's exhibition space has taken over four floors of an ex-knitting factory.

30 Balfour St.,Chippendale; www.whiterabbitcollection.org; +61 (02) 8399 2867

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57. Bicentennial Park

Follow eight kilometers of pathways through the Bicentennial Park (in Sydney Olympic Park) or follow the boardwalk through mangroves and wetland. There are free picnic and barbecue areas as well as bird hides and the Liberty Swing for people with limited mobility.

Corner Showground Road and Herb Elliott Avenue; www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au; +61 2 9714 7888

58. Government House

Sydney government houseAlways nice to snoop around someone else's house.

Designed by Edward Blore, the architect of Buckingham Palace, the State Rooms house a collection of decorative art and furniture by Australian artisans over the past 150 years.

The collection is regularly updated with contemporary pieces. Down the road, the Mint, site of Australia's first coin factory, is also free to visit.

Government House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Macquarie Street; www.hht.net.au/museums; +61 2 9931 5222

59. Paddy's Markets in Haymarket

Paddy's Markets in Haymarket is a Sydney institution that goes back 150 years -- you will find everything from clothes and jewelry to auto parts and hand-made crafts.

Opposite Haymarket Monorail station; www.paddysmarkets.com.au

60. Self-guided historical walking tours

The City of Sydney History Program has put together 10 walking tours that you can download for free. Take the Sydney Heritage Walk or a walk around the red light district at Kings Cross.

The Colony and Community tours are also available in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.



61. Zen Training at the Toshoji International Zen Center

Try a free session of Gyoten-Zazen (meditation), with a 5 a.m. start at the Toshoji International Zen Center or a Zen Training meeting at 6 a.m.

4-5-18 Yutaka-Cho, Shinagawa; http://homepage3.nifty.com/toshoji/; +81 (0)3 3781 4235

62. Tokyo Imperial Palace guided tour

Tokyo Imperial PalaceImperial, majestic and complimentary.

Entrance to the Imperial Palace East Gardens is free. You can also book a free guided tour through the Imperial Household Agency website.

1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 100-8111; sankan.kunaicho.go.jp; +81 (0)3 3231 5509

63. Towering cityscapes

In a city of skyscrapers, there are several vantage points to choose from.

The 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku is the most popular, but you can also get your fix of cityscapes at the 47th floor of the Seiroka Tower (the St Luke's Garden Observatory) or the 30th floor of the Shinjuku NS Building Observatory.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building: 2-8-1 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku

St Luke's Garden Observatory: Seiroka Tower 47/F, 8-1 Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku

Shinjuku NS Building Observatory: 4-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku

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64. Explore the Streets of Shinjuku with a free tour guide

Tokyo Tourism offers the "Streets of Shinjuku and Basement of Department Store" tour free of charge (if you're lucky with free food samples given out in the department store). Or alternatively get a free tour guide all to yourself -- Tokyo Free Guide matches eager travelers with polyglot volunteers.

Tokyo Tour Guide Services; www.tourism.metro.tokyo.jp

Tokyo Free Guide: http://tokyofreeguide.com

65. The sumo experience

Sumo in JapanThey're big, bad and great to watch.

The Sumo Wrestling Museum is free and gives an insight into the heftiest of Japan's national pastimes. For more sumo action visit a sumo stable to watch wrestlers train.

The Sumo Wrestling Museum: 1-3-28 Yoko-ami, Sumida-ku; www.sumo.or.jp/eng/museum;+81 3 3622 0366

66. Tokyo in bloom

No visit to Tokyo in April would be complete without viewing the cherry blossoms. Ueno Park, Yoyogi Park, the Aoyama Cemetery all offer free access.

Ueno Park: Taito-ku. Tokyo

Yoyogi Park: Kamizonocho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku

Aoyama Cemetery: 2-32-2 Minami-Aoyama Minato-ku

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67. A tour of the National Diet of Japan

Nothing to do with sushi, the Diet Building is the seat of Japan's lower and upper houses of parliament ("the Diet"). You can take a free guided tour (in Japanese) of the House of Councillors by filling out a form at reception.

1-7-1 Nagata-cho Chiyoda-ku

68. Cosplayers in action

cosplay in JapanReality and comic fiction blur.

Take a walk around Harajuku district (or the painfully trendy Omotesando strip) to take in the Harajuku kids dressed up in their animé-inspired outfits, their far-fetched or extremely cute costumes.

Yoyogi Park is also a prime cosplayer-observation site.

Near Harajuku Station on the Yamanote Line

69. 'Japanimation' -- the Suginami Animation Museum

This free museum is in an area home to several animation studios. Watch animé archives, see demonstrations of animation creation and admire the galleries of animé artwork.

Suginami Kaikan Hall 3F, 3-29-5 Kamiogi Suginami-ku; www.sam.or.jp/eng.pdf; +81 3 3396 1510 (Japanese only)

70. Free art events

Check the free events listings in Tokyo Art Beat for hundreds of photographic exhibitions, book launches, contemporary art galleries and Japanese design all over Tokyo.



71. Museum of Fine Arts and MALBA

Buenos Aires has a wealth of museums that won't break the bank including the Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes), which is always free, while the Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA), is free for students on Wednesdays.

Several museums and galleries are free on the last Friday of each month between April and November.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes: Ave. Del Libertador 1473; www.mnba.org.ar/index.php; +54 11 5288 9900

MALBA: Ave. Figueroa Alcorta 3415; www.malba.org.ar; +54 11 4808 6500

72. Casa Rosada and Plaza de Mayo

Plaze de mayoWorth checking out, if only because of Eva Peron.

On the grand Plaza de Mayo, this grand pink palace houses the presidential offices and Eva Perón's famous balcony. The Presidential Museum is free on Wednesday and Sunday -- ask at reception for the free guided tours of the Casa Rosada itself.

Yrigoyen 219; www.presidencia.gov.ar; +54 4344 3804

73. Free guided city tours

The company Buenos Aires Free Tour offers two English-language guided walks around the city every day for free, while the BA tourist office also offers free tours.

BA tourist office: www.bue.gob.ar

Buenos Aires Free Tour: www.bafreetour.com/english-home

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74. San Martín Theatre

This theatre offers regular free performances in some of its halls and has exhibition space for photos and art.

Ave. Corrientes 1530; www.teatrosanmartin.com.ar; +81 0800 333 5254

75. Calle Lanin and Caminito

CaminitoThe common theme to these houses? They're all different.

Caminito has long been the most colorful and artistic street in town. Now local artist Marino Santa Maria is transforming the area around Calle Lanin into a kaleidoscopic pattern of swirled mosaics as well. Caminito had better watch out.

76. Ciudad Emergente Music Festival

This free music festival held in June each year since 2008 is breaking boundaries with new acts and bands -- all absolutely free.

www.ciudademergente.gob.ar; +810800 333 7848

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77. Cementerio de la Recoleta

The Recoleta Cemetery is home to the marble tombs of Buenos Aires's rich and powerful, including Eva Perón. Explore the city-like streets and admire the elaborate vaults and statues. Entry free to all.

Junin 1790; www.cementeriorecoleta.com.ar; +54 11 4804 7040

78. Tango

Tango in Buenos AiresIf you're going to tango you may as well do it in Buenos Aires.

Milonga, or outdoor dance/tango performances, often have free entry -- check the Club de Tango website for locations that are gratis. Also watch out for the Buenos Aires Tango Festival.

Club de Tango: www.clubdetango.com.ar

Buenos Aires Tango Festival: www.tangobuenosaires.gob.ar

79. Classical music concerts at Buenos Aires University

Enjoy the free music performances put on several times a month by the University of Buenos Aires.

Ave. Figueroa Alcorta 2263; www.derecho.uba.ar; +54 11 4809 5647

80. Dance away at Roxy Disco

Dancing till dawn is one of the main attractions in Buenos Aires. For free entry to a night of underground music check the Roxy Disco website. Cocoliche and Kika Club also have free deals occasionally (for details check their websites or Facebook pages).

Roxy Disco: Av Casares, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires; www.theroxybsas.com.ar

Kika Club: Honduras 5339, Palermo Soho, www.kikaclub.com.ar; +54 11 4137 5311

Cocoliche: Rivadavia 878, Capital Federal; www.cocoliche.net


81. Mikhail Bulgakov Museum

Moscow doesn't have a wealth of free museums -- but this one is a must for Bulgakov fans. Next door to the author's old apartment, the museum often runs literature readings, lectures and has a cosy café.

10 Bolshaya Sadovaya St. (1/F); moscow.ru/en/guide; +7 (495) 970 0619

82. Contemporary Art Centre Winzavod

winzavod arts centerArt is always better when you get it for free.

This modern center of art studios, galleries and art shops is a window on the contemporary art scene in Russia. Free Wi-Fi at the Zurzum café.

4th Syromyatnicheskiy per 1, Building 6; www.winzavod.com; +7 495 917 4646

83. Russian State Library

The reading rooms of the State Library, in five different buildings, are open to residents and foreigners who register. There is also a Books Museum, regular events and exhibitions.


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84. A Child's View Gallery

Adults as well as kids will enjoy this permanent exhibition of Russian children's artwork. You can also visit arts studios to see computer design, pottery and ceramics-making in action.

Pushkarev Pereulok (Lane), 16; +7 495 607 7350

85. Kolomenskoye

wooden Tsar mansionLots of free things in one, including an old wooden palace.

This museum complex comprises the old villages of Kolomenskoye and Diakovo as well as the ancient Russian Tsar's residence. The museum has a collection of icons, archaeological objects, rare manuscripts and photography.

39 Prospekt Andropova; http://mgomz.com; +7 499 612 5217

86. Lenin's body

Not much comes for free in Moscow, but Lenin's embalmed corpse is one of the attractions you won't have to pay for.

Red Square, Moscow; http://lenin.ru/index_e.htm

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87. Moscow Metro

For the modest price of a sub-way train ticket, you also get to see the splendid subterranean interiors at stations such as Majakovskaya, Novoslobodskaya, Kievskaya, Ploshchad Revolutsii and Arbatskaya.

Moscow Metro official site: http://engl.mosmetro.ru/

GUM MoscowOnce a Soviet embarrassment, GUM is now patronized by the rich and famous.

88. GUM

For a deluxe Moscow window-shopping experience, GUM in Red Square is the ultimate department store for oligarchs. Visit if only to see Vladimir Shukhov's steel and glass domed roof containing more than 20,000 panes of glass.

GUM, Red Square; www.gum.ru/en; +7 (495) 788 4343

89. Moscow Gostiny Dvor

The old Merchant's Court was built between 1789 and 1830 by Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi for Catherine the Great. It has since been divided into offices and shops but its grandiose interior remains impressive.

4 Ilinka St.; www.mosgd.ru/en;+7 (495) 698 12 02

90. Patriarshy Prudiy

Patriarch Ponds is a residential area built around one pond and was once home to Mikhail Bulgakov, who set the opening of his novel "The Master and Margarita" there.

Nearest subway: Mayakovskaya


91. Bab al-Futuh, Bab al-Nasr and Bab Zuwayla

These three majestic 11th-century gates in the old city of Cairo were built during the time of the Fatimid vizier Badr al-Jamali, who ruled Egypt from 1074 to 1094.

Old Cairo

92. Sufi shows at the Wakalat El-Ghouri

Sufi shows CairoHe spins, you get dizzy. Thank god you didn't have to pay.

This cultural institution, once a merchant's trading center, houses diverse art studios and puts on free whirling Sufi dance shows on Wednesday and Saturdays.

Al Hazar, Muhammad 'Abduh Street Il; www.touregypt.net/ghuriwakala.htm

93. El-Arafa, Cairo's Necropolis

This is a sprawling necropolis of tombs dating back to the 7th century, among which many of Cairo's poor (and their animals) now live and work. Some family mausoleums have been converted into accommodation.

At the foot of the Moqattam Hills

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94. Mansheiyet Nasser and the Virgin Mary and St Simon Cathedral

Above the Mansheiyet Nasser (the Zabbalin slum where Coptic Christians make a living by processing rubbish) the breath-taking Virgin Mary and St. Simon Cathedral is an unmissable site in Cairo.

It is part of the Monastery complex of St. Simon, in which seven churches and chapels are built inside caves in the Moqattam Hills.

Mansheiyet Nasser, Eastern Cairo; www.touregypt.net

95. City views from the Citadel

view of CairoGreat views inside, even better outside.

This Islamic hilltop complex was fortified by Saladin in the 12th century and was the seat of Egypt's power for 700 years. Its walls, palaces and mosques provide fantastic views of Cairo.


96. The Aqsunqur (Blue) Mosque

Decorated in aqua-blue majolica, the Blue Mosque dates from the Mamluk period in 1347 and is one of Cairo's most eye-catching mosques. Only Muslim or suitably dressed visitors may be allowed to enter.

Bab el-Wazir Street

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97. Townhouse Gallery

This art center has a program of film, music, theater and visual arts. It claims to be one of the biggest private exhibition spaces in the Middle East.

Hussein El Me'mar Pasha Street, off Mahmoud Basyouni Street; www.thetownhousegallery.com; +20 (0)2 2576 8086

98. Khan el-Khalili Bazaar

Cairo viewsA bazaar that often lives up to its name.

Go to the chaotic and colorful Khan el-Khalili bazar and surrounding markets, but keep an eye out for some of the most impressive Fatimid architecture in the world, such as the Al-Hussein Mosque, the 10th century Bab Zuwayla city gate or the decorated 12th century al-Aqmar Mosque.

Khan el-Khalili bazar off Hussein Square

99. People watching in the city's squares

There is plenty of crowd-gazing to be done from Talaat Harb Square where you can watch people rush by. Take a seat at an outdoor café, order a coffee (not free) and you will have entertainment for hours.

Talaat Harb Square, Talaat Harb Street and Tahrir Square

100. Al-Muallaqah Coptic Church

Also known as the "hanging church," it was built in the 7th century and houses icons dating back to the 8th century.

Shar'a Mari Girgis, Old Cairo