Yes, Europe can be expensive.  It’s a big price airline ticket to get there, and although the dollar/euro valuation is improving, you’re still going to find yourself spending some money.  Planning ahead means you can save a little here and there, adding up to a whole lot of savings.

Consider these Top 10 FREE things to do in Europe this summer (as listed by the European Travel Commission):

  1. Austria:  Innsbruck is offering a free hiking bus program for all guests living in Innsbruck or staying at one of the holiday villages (with a Club Innsbruck Card).  May 30th – October 26th.
  2. Belgium:  What else, but free beer?!  The Haacht Brewery offers free tours and tasting (one low fermentation and one high).  Yummmm, Belgian beer!
  3. England:  London has free admission to the British Museum (additional charge for some special traveling exhibits) and the National Gallery.  A chance to see great art and culture.  (Personal note:  Lots of other UK museums are also free including the National Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, and the National Army Museum.)
  4. Estonia:  Tour the 13th century castle in Narva, Estonia.  The grounds feature concerts and open air shows all summer long.
  5. France:  The Fete de la Musique offers free music events during the summer.  Lots of choices in Paris, and throughout the country.
  6. Germany:  Several museums on Berlin’s Museum Island offer free entry on Thursday after 2 pm, including the Pergamon,the Old Museum, Old National Gallery,Bode Museum,and the New Museum.  Museum Island is a UNESO World Heritage Site.
  7. Hungary:  Energy and daring in the sky are in evidence during the Red Bull Air Race in Budapest.  High speed flying and aerobatics over the Danube, as well a flying beneath the Chain Bridge, keep viewers holding their breath.  August 19-20th.
  8. Ireland:  The Ring of Kerry (in County Kerry) is a mystical Celtic tourist trail starting in Killarney.  Follow it for some of the best scenery in the country, and a visit to many historical attractions.
  9. Norway:  Visiting Oslo’s National Museum of Art, home to Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” won’t cost you a krone.
  10. Switzerland:  Zurich hosts one of the largest techno-parties in the world, with its August Street Parade.  Originally begun as a political demonstration for love, freedom and tolerance, it’s become a giant parade and party.  August 8th.

I know there are a lot of other great FREE things to do in Europe!  So please list your favorites in the comments!

Photo credit: SXC