Anyone else getting a bit stir crazy? We certainly are! It’s okay though, not long now until we can hop on jet planes again. But where to go, what to do, and how to travel without going bankrupt? All good questions, a collective answer to which can be found here.
We’ve rounded up 101 amazing things to do and see around the world that won’t break the bank. Of course, you will need to factor in accommodation and in-destination transport, and getting there. We can definitely help with that last one, with our unbeatable airfares for students and young people.
Happy browsing, and happy travelling!
*all prices have been converted into $CAD
1. Soak up the view at Moraine Lake – Alberta, Canada
You’ve probably seen this eye-wateringly beautiful lake a gazillion times on the internet, but trust us, nothing comes close to seeing it in real life.
2. Hike to the tea house at Lake Louise – Alberta, Canada
Equally famous and equally gorgeous, Lake Lousie is also worth a stop. Do the 2-mile hike from its shores up to the Tea House for a rewarding refreshment.
3. Cycle around Stanley Park – Vancouver, Canada
One of the best urban bike rides in the world, a cycle around the coast-hugging edge of Vancouver’s Stanley Park is a must.
4. Visit Toronto Islands – Lake Ontario, Canada
Downtown Toronto is great, but if you want to escape the crowds, hop on a ferry out to Toronto Island in Lake Ontario. The views of the city skyline are superb.
5. Icefields Parkway road trip – Alberta, Canada
Canada was made for road trips, and the Icefields Parkway is the jewel in the crown. The 130-mile road runs through stunningly beautiful mountain scenery, connecting Banff and Jasper national parks.
6. Visit Yosemite National Park – California, US
Sporting some of the world’s most iconic views, Yosemite National Park is one of those places you can’t take a bad photo. Yosemite Valley offers the ultimate view.
Costs: $37.50 (per vehicle)
7. Walk the Freedom Trail – Boston, US
Connecting 16 sites of major historical significance to the history of the US, Boston’s 2.5 mile Freedom Trail makes for a great half day and helps you get your Beantown bearings.
8. Explore the French Quarter – New Orleans, US
The historic heart of New Orleans, this neighbourhood is buzzing with energy and packed with bars, restaurants and live music.
9. Check out the sights of Washington D.C. – US
It’s hard to top Washington D.C. when it comes to cultural sightseeing in the US – check out the White House, Capitol and Lincoln Memorial.
10. Hop aboard the Staten Island Ferry – New York, US
An icon in its own right, the Staten Island Ferry runs 24/7 through New York Harbour, offering incredible views of the city skyline and Statue of Liberty on its 5-mile, 25-minute journey.
11. Swim in a cenote – Cancun, Mexico
These deep, beautiful, azure pools in collapsed caves are absolutely perfect swimming holes, and you can find them dotted all over the place around Cancun.
12. See the sights of Mexico City
Mexico City has a plethora of incredible sights to be seen, many of which are free. The Palace of Fine Arts is a good place to start.
13. Visit the world’s largest salt flat – Potosi, Bolivia
This extraordinary natural wonder feels like an alien planet. Covering over 10,000 square kilometres, it’s all that remains of a now dried-up prehistoric lake.
14. Catch a tan on one of Rio’s beaches – Brazil
Rio has some of the most legendary beaches in the world, and incredible background scenery to match. Favourites include Ipanema and Copacabana.
15. Take a day trip to the Amazon – Manaus, Brazil
Often called the Lungs of the Earth, the Amazon Rainforest covers a mindbogglingly vast area (for now…) and is the most biodiverse region on the planet.
16. Join a walking tour of Buenos Aires – Argentina
The best way to soak up the atmosphere of the Argentine capital is on a walking tour. There are lots of free options, and you’ll see all the main sights.
17. Hike up San Cristobal Hill – Santiago, Chile
Towering above Santiago, the capital of Chile, San Cristobal Hill offers unrivalled views of the city below – time with sunset if you can.
18. Wander round London’s museums – UK
The UK capital boasts some of the world’s finest museums, almost all of which are totally free. The British Museum is a must, as is the Natural History, Science and V&A museums. And don’t forget the National Portrait Gallery. And the Tate Modern. And the National Maritime Museum. We could go on.
19. Hike a long distance trail – UK
For such a small country, the UK has an impressive amount of national parks (all free to enter), covering vast tracts of beautiful wild scenery. Many have designated long distance trails running through, including the South Downs Way, Cumbria Way and Pennine Way.
20. See Avebury’s ancient stone circles – Wiltshire, UK
Forget Stonehenge – impressive but expensive! – and instead head over to its lesser known neighbour, Avebury. You can touch and walk among these ancient monuments, and there’s no charge to do so,
21. Visit Edinburgh Castle – Scotland
This majestic piece of architecture crowns the city of Edinburgh in Scotland and is one of the UK’s top sights.
22. See the Roman baths in Bath – Somerset, UK
Aptly-named Bath in the southwest of England boasts some of the most intact Roman ruins in the world. The bathhouses here are as legendary now as they were 2000 years ago.
24. Wander the cobbles of Montmartre – Paris, France
The impossibly romantic Montmartre district in Paris is perfect for exploring on foot. Don’t miss the gleaming white Sacre Cour, one of Paris’s most beautiful buildings.
25. Picnic in Parc du Champ de Mars – Paris, France
While going up the Eiffel Tower is a little pricey, having a picnic in its surrounding gardens doesn’t cost a thing (well, apart from the food, obviously).
26. Kayak down Verdon du Gorge – France
This stunning gorge in south France is well worth a visit, with the obvious way to experience it in all its glory being to hop in a kayak and paddle down.
27. See the East Side Gallery – Berlin, Germany
Not much now remains of the Berlin Wall, but what does is covered in awesome graffiti, which you can see for free.
28. Romantic Road road trip – Bavaria, Germany
Winding for over 200 miles past pristine villages and castles plucked straight from a fairytale, this route through Bavaria is one of the world’s best road trips.
29. Drink a stein in Munich – Germany
For those who don’t know, a stein is a litre of beer (excellent beer, which Munich is kinda known for) that comes in a giant glass jug, and you should definitely drink one because it’ll make you feel really happy.
30. Get a standing ticket for the opera – Vienna, Austria
Vienna is the high culture capital of Europe and the ideal place to soak a bit of that culture up. You don’t have to take out a loan to see an opera here – just get a last minute standing ticket!
31. Stroll Las Ramblas – Barcelona, Spain
One of Europe’s most iconic streets, Las Ramblas cuts through the heart of Barcelona and is packed with shops, bars and restaurants.
32. Chow down on traditional tapas – Madrid, Spain
You can’t visit the Spanish capital without eating some of the national cuisine. You’ll find tapas bars everywhere – enjoy!
33. Test your nerves at Caminito del Rey – Malaga, Spain
Okay, this is absolutely terrifying, but at least these days there are ropes to prevent you plummeting off the cliff face this epic walking trail winds around.
34. See the sights of Ancient Rome – Italy
The Forum… the Colosseum… the Pantheon… Rome is just bursting at the seams with jaw-droppingly interesting remnants from the mighty empire that made this city its capital. If you weren’t a history buff before, you will be after visiting.
Costs: $50 (Roma Pass, includes transport)
35. Explore the canals of Venice – Italy
The dreamy waterworld of Venice is truly unique. There are no roads, just canals, all surrounded by grand, beautiful architecture. Don’t bother with the gondolas – so expensive! – and just hop on a water taxi. You’ll see all the same stuff but for a fraction of the price.
Costs: $30 (one day travel card)
36. Hike up Mount Vesuvius – Naples, Italy
This iconic volcano towers above the Italian city of Naples and makes for a superb hike. The views from the top are unsurprisingly splendid.
38. Walk round De Wallen at night – Amsterdam, Netherlands
The slightly surreal Red Light district of Amsterdam is one of the top attractions in Europe and makes for a fun – if slightly odd – walk when night falls.
39. Visit Anne Frank’s House – Amsterdam, Netherlands
On a more sombre note, Anne Frank’s House is a must-visit. It tells the story of the teenage holocaust victim and brings home the horrors wrought upon the Jewish people of Europe.
40. Explore Wawel Royal Castle – Krakow, Poland
High up on a hill looking over the gorgeous city of Krakow in Poland, this impressive castle is free to explore, so you totally should!
41. Get a drink (or five) in a ruin bar – Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is famous for what’re known as ‘ruin bars’ – drinking dens created in old decrepit buildings filled with an assortment of random furniture. Sounds naff but trust us, very cool.
42. Soak in Budapest’s thermal baths – Hungary
Budapest is also famous for its natural thermal springs, which have been channelled into a variety of public baths.
43. Stroll around the streets of Dubrovnik – Croatia
Game of Thrones fans will recognise Dubrovnik as the location for Kings Landing – it’s as impressive in real life as it is in the series.
44. See the sights of Ancient Athens – Greece
Along with Rome, Athens boasts some of the most fascinating historic sites in Europe. The Acropolis is a must see and a true bucket list item.
45. Jump off Mostar Bridge – Mostar, Bosnia
This absurdly scenic bridge, towering 20 metres above a turquoise river below, is a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike to jump from. You’ll need to pay one of the local divers to show you how to jump safely.
46. Get lost in the souks of Marrakech – Morocco
Fizzing with exoticism, Marrakech in Morocco is best known for its souks – a maze of markets and alleyways. Put the map away and allow yourself to get lost – it’s all part of the fun!
47. Stare in wonder at the Pyramids of Giza – Cairo, Egypt
The last remaining wonder of the ancient world, the Pyramids of Giza are an ultimate bucket list site.
48. Enjoy the view from Table Mountain – Cape Town, South Africa
Towering above the city of Cape Town in South Africa, Table Mountain is a big but very climbable (or walkable) rise. There is a cable car if you don’t fancy doing it on foot!
49. Garden Route road trip – Western Cape, South Africa
Stretching along the southeastern coast of South Africa, the Garden Route covers an area famous for superb scenery and amazing wildlife, and makes for a brilliant road trip.
50. Explore the Old City of Jerusalem
The centre of the Holy Land, Jerusalem has a history dating back thousands of years and is full of amazing historic sites, like the Dome of the Rock, Western Wall and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
51. Explore the ancient ruins of Petra – Jordan
Everyone’s seen Petra in pictures – it’s hard to avoid it – but nothing compares to seeing it in real life. A truly incredible historic sight.
52. Walk around Dubai’s Old Town – UAE
Dubai is famous the world over for its futuristic cityscape, but it’s good fun to see where it all began, by having a wander around the Old Town.
53. Enjoy the Burj Khalifa Fountain Show – Dubai, UAE
The fountains at the foot of the world’s tallest building put on a great show several times a day, shooting up every half hour from 6pm onwards.
54. Visit the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE
This gleaming white marble mosque, located in Abu Dhabi, a few miles south of Dubai, is the largest in the United Arab Emirates and free to visit.
56. Visit the Forbidden City – Beijing, China
Now very much the permitted city, this once-enclave for China’s emperors is one of the highlights of Beijing and well worth the small entry fee.
57. See the Terracotta Army – Xi’an, China
One of the most amazing historic sites in the world, the Terracotta Army depicts thousands of soldiers from China’s first dynasty.
58. Enjoy the Symphony of Lights – Hong Kong, China
Free to watch every evening, this dazzling light show illuminates the iconic Hong Kong harbour in all its glory.
59. Soak up culture at the Shanghai Museum – China
One of the cultural highlights of Shanghai, this museum features incredible relics and artwork dating back thousands of years.
60. Explore the Imperial Palace, Tokyo
One of the cultural highlights of Tokyo, the Imperial Palace is well worth a half day (or full day if you have time!).
61. Feel the energy of Toyosu Market – Tokyo, Japan
This gigantic fish market has become famous for its early morning buzz, when fishermen returning with the night’s catch sell their wares to the best bidders.
62. Explore the temples of Kyoto – Japan
The tranquil city of Tokyo – formerly the capital of Japan – is full of beautiful temples, many of which are free to visit.
63. Visit Bukchon Hanok Village – Seoul, South Korea
This traditional South Korean village makes for an interesting contrast from the futuristic metropolis of Seoul.
64. Watch the sunset from Bukhansan – Seoul, South Korea
Located on the northern outskirts of Seoul, Bukhansan is a three-peak mountain that makes for a great respite from the buzz of the city.
65. Be wowed at Taroko Gorge – Taiwan
Taiwan is full of amazing scenery, and possibly the best of the lot is Taroko Gorge in the national park of the same name.
66. See the Taj Mahal – Agra, India
Often described as the world’s most beautiful building (and frankly, it’s hard to argue with that), the Taj Mahal is an icon of India and a mesmerising sight to see.
67. Visit the Amber Fort – Rajasthan, India
This majestic fortress looms above the town of Amer, not far from the larger city of Jaipur, and is one of the architectural highlights of India.
68. Walk under the Gateway of India – Mumbai, India
An icon of Mumbai, and indeed India, this gigantic arch is a tourist magnet but well worth a visit – walk under and get the obligatory selfie.
69. Stroll down Marine Drive at sunset – Mumbai, India
This stretch of promenade in Mumbai makes for a perfect stroll at sunset, and is packed with bars and restaurants.
70. Laze around on a beach in Goa – India
Goa in southern India is famous for its tropical beaches. If you start in the north of the country, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how tranquil the south is in comparison.
71. Check out Durbar Square – Kathmandu, Nepal
Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 2015, many of the iconic pagodas in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square still stand, and others are being repaired. A must see.
72. Climb up to Sigiriya Fortress – Sri Lanka
Situated atop a stunning natural monolith, this commanding fortress is one of the top sights in Sri Lanka.
SOUTH EAST ASIA
74. Go island-hopping in Thailand
Thailand has hundreds of paradise islands dotted about its southern shores, and like the rest of the country, they’re super affordable to visit and explore. Favourites include Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Phi Phi.
Costs: $10 (appx for a four hour ferry journey)
75. Grab some street food on Khao San Road – Bangkok, Thailand
It seems like every city in the world now offers street food, but Bangkok is where it all started. Grab some pad thai on Khao San Road. Delish.
76. Visit the Grand Palace – Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok’s top attraction is a sight to behold, and is the official residence of the Thai monarchy.
77. Party under the full moon – Koh Phangan, Thailand
The legendary Full Moon Parties on the island of Koh Phangan are going as strong as ever. Probably the best rave you’ll ever go to.
78. Order a local beer on Backpacker Street – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Nestled in the heart of the frenetic chaos of Ho Chi Minh City, Backpacker Street has become the hub for budget travellers, and is packed with bars and restaurants.
79. Walk the streets of Hoi An – Vietnam
This beautiful, ancient city halfway up the coast of Vietnam is great to explore on foot.
80. Visit the Temple of Literature – Hanoi. Vietnam
The home of Vietnam’s first national university, the Temple of Literature, in the northern city of Hanoi, dates back almost 1000 years.
81. Take a day trip to Halong Bay – Vietnam
The limestone karsts of Halong Bay look otherworldly and the only way to get amidst them is by boat – day trips are affordable and great fun.
82. Step back in time at Angkor Wat – Siem Reap, Cambodia
The stupendously well preserved Angkor Wat temple complex is one of the most fascinating historic sites in the world.
83. Escape the crowds and visit Bamboo Island – Cambodia
Thailand usually gets all the attention when it comes to paradise islands in South East Asia but Cambodia has a few up its sleeve too – check out Bamboo Island for a nice respite.
Costs: $8 (ferry from coast)
85. Cross the sky bridge at Petronas Towers – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Featured in numerous action movies, the iconic Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, connected by a skybridge, are a must-see if in Malaysia’s capital.
86. Descend into the Batu Caves – Gombak, Malaysia
These atmospheric caves make for a brilliant day trip from Kuala Lumpur.
87. Visit the Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore’s Botanic Gardens have been maturing for over 100 years and are among the best in the world.
88. Enjoy the views from SkyPark Observation Deck – Singapore
Atop the world-famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel building, this observation deck gives unrivalled views of the city.
89. Enjoy beaches on the Gili Islands – Indonesia
Paradise islands await in the form of the Gilis – these splodges of heaven are a must-visit on any Indonesia itinerary.
90. Visit the Chocolate Hills – Bohol, Philippines
These iconic hills are well worth a day trip, for the pictures alone.
91. Snap the perfect picture at the Banaue Rice Terraces – Philippines
The Philippines are full of amazing sights and the views of the Banaue Rice Terraces are truly world class.
AUSTRALIA & SOUTH PACIFIC
92. Walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge – Australia
Walking OVER the bridge costs a fair bit, but walking ACROSS it is completely free. The views are basically the same. Who would ever know?
93. Enjoy free fireworks at Darling Harbour – Sydney, Australia
Every Saturday between May and October you can enjoy a free firework display at Sydney’s Darling Harbour.
94. Check out world-class street art in Melbourne – Australia
The back alleys and side streets of Melbourne have become a canvas for some truly epic street art. While not technically legal, the graffiti is very much tolerated.
95. Take a road trip in the Outback – Australia
Nowhere beats the Ozzie Outback for a road trip. If you’ve got time and funds, try to drive out to the Red Centre and see Uluru.
96. Say Hi to the tame dolphins at Monkey Mia – Western Australia
Bottlenose dolphins have been swimming up to the beach at Monkey Mia in Western Australia since the 70s – it’s amazing to see them so close up.
97. Woosh down the Rere Rockslide – Gisborne, New Zealand
Pure, unbridled fun, you could spend days on this natural waterslide and not get tired. Bring a body board.
98. Hike the Tongariro Crossing – North Island, New Zealand
New Zealand is full of world-class hiking trails and this one-day option is a favourite. You’ll cross an active volcano and enjoy incredible views.
99. Gaze at the Milky Way – Canterbury, New Zealand
New Zealand is great for stargazing and one of the best places in the country to stare at the heavens is the Canterbury region – an official Dark Skies Reserve.
100. Chase waterfalls in Fiordland National Park – South Island, New Zealand
In a country known for epic scenery, Fiordland National Park is arguably the most beautiful of the lot. Ignore the advice of TLC and go chasing waterfalls.
101. Visit a traditional village in Fiji
Fiji is known for its glorious white sand beaches but it’s also worth heading inland a bit too, to check out one of the authentic, traditional villages that dot the islands.
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