Top Free Things to do in Europe

From London to Amsterdam; Rome to Madrid

London, Paris, Rome, and Amsterdam are definite stops on the student travel trail in Europe, and you need to know what's free in those sometimes expensive spots. Get a list of the top free things to do in Europe, including what's free to do in these European cities, and start saving money. 

  • 01 of 07

    Free Things to Do in Paris

    Pere Lachaise Cemetery
    ••• Bruno De Hogues/Photolibrary/Getty Images

    Paris has a reputation for being an expensive city, but that doesn't mean that your visit has to break the bank. 

    Some of my favorite things to do in the city include: visiting Pere Lachaise cemetery, resting place of notable humans like Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison; checking out the free movies at Parc de la Villette; hitting the Paris beach: yes, there's volleyball-worthy sand on the Seine, and taking advantage of the free Friday night entrance fee at the Louvre: just for those under 26.

  • 02 of 07

    Free Things to Do in London

    Tower Bridge at sunset in London
    ••• Laurie Noble/Stone/Getty Images

    London is my hometown, so I know a thing or two about saving money in the city. Some of my favorite things to do include people watching in Camden; checking out the hipsters and cool markets in Shoreditch and Hackney; snapping photos of the amazing food at Brixton Village; spending time getting lost at the British Museum; and checking out the street performers in Southbank.

    Bonus to your London budgeting: read about the top budget London shopping spots for women, and check out my backpacker London travel guide, too.

     

  • 03 of 07

    50 Free Things to Do in the UK

    Big Ben and a red bus in London
    ••• Sylvain Sonnet/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    Ferne Arfin has found and listicized a fantastic fifty free things to do in the UK, which is much more than just London. Visit the beautiful beaches in Cornwall, check out some Roman ruins, or take in a free concern in many of the country's beautiful parks. 

    See the whole list of fifty free things to do in the UK on Ferne's site...

  • 04 of 07

    Free Things to Do in Rome

    Old red vintage car on the narrow street in Italy
    ••• Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

    James Martin calls Italy home part-time, and though he's no cheapskate, he knows a thing or two about what to see and do in Bella Roma.

    In James's great list of the best spendthrift's sights (scaling the Spanish Steps, forays to the Forum), get a bonus fact: an Italian fellow named Roberto Cercelletta makes USD 180,000 scooping a bit more than three coins from the Trevi Fountain annually.

     

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Free Things to Do in Amsterdam

    Amsterdam Canal View with Bicycles
    ••• Rachel Lewis/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    Yeah, so some (okay, all) of what you've heard that there is to do if you're walking on Amsterdam's wilder side is far from free. There's far more to this lovely city than the smoke and sin that get the notoriety, though, and some of them are even free. 

    Check out the canals that flow through the city, visit the Albert Cuypstraat street market, take a free walking tour of Amsterdam, check out the beautiful displays at the Bloemenmarkt flower market, and take the free ferry to the artist community at NDSM-Werf. 

     

  • 06 of 07

    Best Free Sights to See in Berlin

    Brandenburg Gate at Sunset
    ••• Brandenburg Gate at Sunset. narvikk/E+/Getty Images

    Avant-garde Berlin's a seriously cool city for snapping photos street art scenes, not to mention museums that will challenge your perceptions. Check out some art at Hackescher Markt for free, or stroll to the East Side Gallery, a Berlin Wall section that's become a fantastic gallery of free for all art. Thoughtfully wander the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, or see Berlin's Museum Island, a UNESCO site in the River Spree where you'll find five museums and the Berlin Cathedral.

    Birge Amondson's got more information on the best free sights to see in Berlin.

  • 07 of 07

    Free Things to Do in Madrid

    Madrid at Sunset
    ••• Madrid at Sunset. Sylvain Sonnet/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    Madrid is a great city for saving money while you travel. I lived there for a period of six weeks in 2015 and loved every second I spent in this vibrant city. Even better: I spent just $500 a month while I was there. 

    There are plenty of free activities to keep your busy in Spain's capital city. Madrid's Royal Palace is free to enter on Wednesdays, The Bullfighting Museum is free every day, El Retiro Park is one of my favorite spots to visit, and the Reina Sofia Modern Art Gallery is a must for every visitor to Madrid (free to visit in the evenings.) Read more on the best free things to do in Madrid. 

     

    This article has been edited and updated by Lauren Juliff.