The Best Budget-Friendly Activities for Every Type of Traveller 

From the beaches of Valencia to the mountains of Colorado, make the most of your holiday budget with these low-cost activities in many of the world's bucket-list destinations

While border restrictions continue to relax around the world – making travel more accessible than it’s been in years – soaring costs of living might make travellers a bit hesitant to book. However, there are plenty of budget-friendly and affordable activities across the world to keep travellers’ budgets under control. From the beaches of Valencia to the mountains of Colorado, make the most of your holiday budget with these low-cost activities in many of the world’s bucket-list destinations.

Experience the sights of Slovenia 

For travellers looking to see the sights of Slovenia in record time, the Ljubljana Card allows free admission to over 20 attractions. See impressive contemporary art displays at The Museum of Contemporary Art or experience the highest altitude spa in Slovenia, located in the heart of Tuhinj Valley, Terme Snovik. Card holders also receive free travel on public transport, or a four-hour bicycle hire so travellers can squeeze in as many activities as possible. Not to mention the guided city tour, funicular ride to the castle or tourist boat cruise on Ljubljanica river – all boasting once-in-a-lifetime views of the romantic, historical city.

Explore the outdoors in Colorado 

Filled with beautiful open spaces, natural landmarks and distinctive wildlife, Colorado is an amazing place to explore on a budget. Whether it’s wildlife watching in Estes Park or hiking in Maroon Bells, where the Rocky Mountains meet the peaks. The work of mother nature makes sure no view is ever the same; watch the sunset from the Garden of the Gods or rock climb in Rifle Mountain Park, all for no cost at all. Travellers who don’t mind spending a little money can venture to Rocky Mountains National Park which spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains and forests at a cost of £25 per car.

See the skyline in Seattle 

The scenic skyline alone is enough reason to visit Seattle and there are so many locations to experience it at different angles, for free. A historic landmark and one of the city’s most unique attractions, Gas Works Park features spectacular views of South Lake Union, which can be seen via kayak or on land. Featured in the iconic movie, 10 Things I Hate About You, other amenities of Gas Works Park include a sundial, the kite flying hill and large play area. Featuring a beautiful backdrop of Elliot Bay, the Space Needle, downtown’s skyscrapers and on a clear day, Mount Rainier, Kerry Park in the Upper Queen Anne area is the perfect location for skyline seekers and photographers alike.

Soak up sun and culture in Valencia

Valencia is the perfect destination for budget travellers, with low-cost food and accommodation compared to other cities in Spain and Europe. Soak up the sun at one of Valencia’s many incredible beaches – such as Playa de la Malvarrosa – or in the meandering nine kilometre stretch of garden, the Turia Gardens. For culture, many of the city’s museums are completely free, including the Fine Arts Museum – which contains works by Goya and Velazquez – the Bullfighting Museum and the Museum of Prehistory. Many others, like the Fallas Museum and the Valencian History Museum, are free on Sundays.

Pittsburgh public art walking tours

Experience why Pittsburgh is one of the best art destinations in the US by venturing on a walking tour in the city’s downtown area. Tour four different downtown destinations to witness the spectacular public art, including the abstract sculpture in Mello Square, the eyeball-shaped benches in Katz Plaza and the unusual typography on the Convention Center. Not only this, travellers who are eager to learn can continue to the Oakland neighbourhood which was distinguished in the 1890s as a cultural centre with grand buildings and broad avenues. Today, it remains a hub for culture, education and medicine,with 26 works of public art and beautiful architecture.

Spot the abundance of wildlife in SLO CAL

One of the free natural wonders in San Luis Obispo County, California (SLO CAL) is the abundance of wildlife which can be viewed at various coastal locations throughout the year. Friendly sea otters take their home at Morro Bay, enjoying the calm protected waters around Morro Rock. Vibrant orange and black monarch butterflies can be seen between October and February at Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove, and up in San Simeon, wild elephant seals can be spotted on the beach year-round. Gray, Blue and Humpback whales, as well as dolphins, are a common sight in the area.

Hit the beach in San Diego, California

With over 70 miles of coastline to explore, beaches are one of San Diego’s star attractions. Black’s Beach is popular with experienced surfers whilst Pacific Beach is a great spot for young adults, with its many restaurants and bars nearby. Families looking for a laid back vibe can head to Coronado Beach, set against the backdrop of the Hotel del Coronado, whilst travellers in search of rocky reefs and secluded coves will find that La Jolla has everything they could want and more. Pack a picnic and spend endless days enjoying San Diego’s sun, sea and sand.

Go hiking in Greater Palm Springs

With nine cities surrounded by four mountain ranges, see the wild side of Greater Palm Springs and get out into nature for little cost. Comprising three canyons which are the ancestral home to the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Indian Canyons give an insight into the indigenous past of Greater Palm Springs. Home to native flora and fauna and thousands of palm trees, visitors can spend hours in the canyons hiking, relaxing under a palm or soaking in the waterfalls. The Indian Canyons are a stone’s throw outside of Cathedral City and cost £10 for adult entry.

Cycle along Florida’s Paradise Coast

Florida’s Paradise Coast stretches from Naples down to Marco Island and the Everglades and incorporates many scenic trails and bike-friendly pathways. There are several bike hire outlets in the area, with rentals and drop-off services from as little as £20 a day – perfect for visitors to venture out without the need of a car. Naples has several bike lanes and cycling trails that lead from shopping streets to the beach, while Marco Island’s coast offers trails through mangrove forests and green preserves. For a further challenge, cycle down to the Everglades and venture through the Big Cypress National Preserve, a natural wonder. Florida’s Paradise Coast

Set sights on stunning scenes in Yosemite Mariposa 

There is no better way to get up close and experience Yosemite than by setting out on foot and exploring some of the great trails. Plan a full day hike to see some of Yosemite’s world class waterfalls up close and discover some of the best views on the planet at Glacier Point, Tunnel View, or Vernal Fall for a low price.  Entrance into the park is just £25 in high season (April-October) and £20 in the low season for one vehicle for seven days.

Explore the Old Sacramento State Historic Park

Exploring the Old Sacramento State Historic Park is perfect for travellers looking for the best things to do in Sacramento for free. This 28-acre National Historic Landmark is the entire area of the 1850s downtown district and is the main tourist destination of Sacramento with historical buildings including the B.F. Hastings Building, the Big Four Building, and Eagle Theatre. There are several free museums on site, including the California Automobile Museum, the Sacramento History Museum and the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum. Take a brochure of the Sacramento Visitors’ Guide at the Old Sacramento Visitors Centre and check out the Walking Tours section to explore at your own pace.

West Hollywood on a budget 

West Hollywood offers plenty to do for those travelling on a budget. The city’s cheap (or free) activities include everything from relaxing in the park to hiking along scenic trails, scouting out locations from favourite movies and TV shows, and exploring the city’s liveliest boulevards. West Hollywood’s parks are peaceful havens that provide a chance to get away from the stresses of city life, and thanks to Southern California’s temperate climate, they stay sunny and green all year round. Top picks include; West Hollywood Park – a green space complete with basketball, tennis courts and a public pool, Kings Road Park – a well-shaded area with plenty of benches and fountains and Plummer Park – home to a farmer’s market on Mondays.

Tuolumne Adventure Trolley 

If you find yourself in Yosemite’s Tuolumne County on a summer Saturday, then see the sights on the Tuolumne Adventure Trolley – a free ride that serves Historic Downtown Sonora, Columbia State Historic Park, Historic Downtown Jamestown, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park and East Sonora. The service runs from 8:30 AM to 10 PM every Saturday from May to September. The Trolley has stops at many hotels and attractions and visitors can hop on and off as they please.