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I keep hearing from people that traveling is expensive. They can't afford, and they would love to do/go whatever/wherever that they saw in TV/Internet, etc. but they can't.
Not that it's impossible to travel there, but once there it becomes expensive to "experience everything".

Travelling is certainly not for free, but what I've learned is that most of the really interesting things you can do / experience when you travel can be for free or very cheap. Not to say that when things are paid they're not good, but sometimes they just enter on that positive spiral where they get certainly overrated, overpriced and they don't even deliver a real local experience anymore. They become those "iconic" things on the city/place that everyone "must do" to chat with the friends about, but are far from being the best you can do in a place to really experience it.

I know you can look in websites like trip advisor, but those websites are a bit "square" in the way they present the information. I am looking for a more human view on a given place.

So, back to question, is there a resource or a series of resources that given a geographic location, gives the most interesting things you can do for free or nearly for free there?

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Yes that is easy. Geocaching and opencaching. Both are global resources with very interesting locations described as treasure hunts. It is free as long as you bring a hand held GPS device

More resources exits, but there the answer would depend on the graphical locations.

  • In did, that's an intersting tip. – nsn May 23 '14 at 9:40
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+50

I've gotten a lot of value out of Wikivoyage. It's does not specifically list free things but if the article on your destination is comprehensive (chances are it is) the listings usually include tons of free stuff to do.

Googling (ordered from least to most personal) "[location] tourism", "free things to do in [location]", "[location] on a budget", or even "favorite spots in [location]" turns up a surprising amount of information. In general, adding "blog" or sometimes "forum" usually makes search result less corporate and much more personal (unfortunately some have caught up with that). For larger destinations a meta search like "list of [location] blogs" is quite useful.

If you speak another language (not necessarily the destination's) even if only rudimentary try searching in that one too. The results are usually surprisingly different. If you don't speak speak the language of the destination try searching in that language anyway with the help of a dictionary and Google Translate. It's worth it.

Sometimes searching for really specific locations such as city districts or even long streets instead of whole continents gives good results.

I also like looking through photos of a destination to see if anything catches my eye. Flickr is a good source, but Panoramio, 500px, Photobucket, and Instagram are also worth a look. More often than not those photos are made from freely accessible places. Sometimes they even include coordinates somewhere. Apart from those sites, useful search terms are "[location] photo walk", "[location] travel photo", "[location] street photography", and "[location] photo spots". The last one usually finds better views over a city than the obvious search for "best viewing spots in [location]".

Even if it sounds obvious: If you are into a specific thing – let it be architecture, museums, or parks – do a search for just that. I have to admit that I often forget.

Unfortunately, searching explicitly for free things doesn't reveal all information. Many great places are free but this is often so clear that writers don't bother with adding that word specifically. So don't just go Ctrl+F'ing "free" through the search results. For most places I don't think you can get around combing through general listings of interesting places to find the really good free stuff.

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It is very easy to find free things to do in many European cities. Google -free things to do in europe- and you get many sites like these
Number 1
Number 2
Number 3
Numebr 4
These are just random sites for 'all' of Europe, I have not checked them out, even less used them. When you search for one city you will find lists like these but more to the point for the city. Not all cities are guarantied to have such a site but if the city you look for does not have one, look for a bigger area or move to a city or area that has one.

It is not just Europe, I found the same respons for the USA and New York City, South Africa, Cape town, Dubai, Tokyo and in all cases I found several lists.

That is besides those things that are often or always free in big cities, like walking around for sight seeing. In some cities you will find many of the main museums for free, like London and Washington DC.

And maybe the best thing everywhere, sit down and look at the people passing by. It is often even possible to chat with people while doing so.

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