Top 40 Cheap Things To Do In A City When Alone and Bored!

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My name is Patrick, I'm originally from Sydney (Australia) but grew up in England (my second home) - and I love exploring cities (and writing about it!)

I work online in marketing, which gives me the opportunity to travel around the world full time.

So while I am away, I keep this blog updated with full travel info. I tend to stay in a city for a few months at a time, to really get to know it - then I write guides on it.

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Top 40 Cheap Things To Do In A City When Alone and Bored!

Are you in a city and not sure what to do? We have made a list of the top 40 cheap (or free) things to do in a city, especially if you are travelling solo! So enjoy!

Explore every backstreet until you don't need a map!
#1: Explore every backstreet until you don't need a map!

Pretend you have one day to see every street in the city. Now go!

#2: Go on a free walking tour

They can be found in almost any large city with lots of tourists. They will entertain you for a couple of hours, you get to see the main hotspots of the city and you will learn a thing or two! Although it is free, you should tip at the end of it!

Check out the museums
#3: Check out the museums

Go and spend a day at the museums! See what the best ones are in the city and check them out.

Find a shop or restaurant that specialises in your home countries cuisine. Try it out, then complain on Facebook to your friends that it tastes nothing like what it should do!
#4: Find a shop or restaurant that specialises in your home countries cuisine. Try it out, then complain on Facebook to your friends that it tastes nothing like what it should do!

British? Find a British Fish and Chip restaurant. Italian? Try and find a nice Pizza place. Check it out, complain silently and tell your friends back home how it doesn't compare!

#5: Not found any other tourists? Go to a hotel bar

Bored and want to find other tourists? Find a hotel with a hotel bar. It'll be expensive, but you will not be the only foreigner there.

#6: Take notice of any other foreigners there

Are you the only foreigner there? Or is this a city with people from all countries of the world?

#7: Go shopping!

Find the local shopping district (or large shopping mall) and go shopping like a local.

#8: Go for a run!

Got your running shoes with you? Wake up early and go for a run. It is a fast way to see the city!

#9: Feed swans, pigeons, and squirrels

If you like animals, get some bread and feed some birds. Or maybe get some nuts to feed squirrels.

#10: Speak to strangers

Obviously be safe, but try chatting to some local strangers. You never know who you will meet.

#11: Get out of the tourist area, see what the locals see...

If you are in a small city with a 'center' where all the tourists go, try going a bit further out. Go where the locals go!

#12: Find the highest vantage point in the city

Find a huge tower, hill or mound and see if you can get a great view of the city from there.

#13: Try a McDonald's! It might be completely different than in your country

It might seem a bit silly, but some McDonald's have almost completely different menus. For example, in the Philippines, you can get a 'McSpaghetti' dish! Check them out!

Visit a temple or church
#14: Visit a temple or church

Churches and other religious places are often quite impressive buildings. Go and check them out!

#15: Explore Nature: Go for a hike

Get out of the city and explore nature! Find some national parks, mountains or other beautiful scenery to spend an afternoon in.

#16: Find a park, read a book in it

If the sun is out, go and relax in a park!

#17: Google 'top things to do in CITYNAME', and work your way through them!

Find a list of the top 10 things to do in the city and do every one of them!

Go and watch the street performers
#18: Go and watch the street performers

Most big cities will have street performers. They might range from a homeless guy with a flute to groups doing full performances. Find them and watch them! Just be careful of pickpocketers.

#19: People watch

Find a nice bench, sit, relax and people watch for a while.

#20: Use Tinder or other dating apps

Fancy being a bit more sociable? Seeing as it is 2018, you could check out Tinder or other dating apps and see if you get a match. Go on a date!

#21: Join a pub crawl in the evening

Like to have a beer or two? Then find an organised pub crawl. If you can't find one, try contacting some hostels - they will often organise pub crawls that you can pay to join.

#22: Get a traditional breakfast

Find out what the local traditional breakfast is and order it in a cafe or restaurant. See if you like it!

#23: Find something on Meetup and join it!

Sites like MeetUp have lots of events organised. Use it!

#24: Use Public Transport

It might seem a bit daunting (or a bit boring!), but some cities have fascinating public transport - such as in Indonesia.

Try a local beer
#25: Try a local beer

(Almost) every country has their own beer specialities. See what they are like there! You might fall in love with it and have a new favourite beer!

#26: Go to a cinema! You will probably be able to find one with English subtitles

See what the local cinemas are showing. You might get lucky and be able to see a film in English (or with English subtitles).

Learn some of the local language, and try it out in shops and pubs
#27: Learn some of the local language, and try it out in shops and pubs

Learn how to say 'please', 'thank you', 'I would like to buy a ...' and other basic phrases. Now go and try to use them!

Find an indoor market
#28: Find an indoor market

Find a traditional indoor market (often they are easier to find on a Sunday). Try some local food, see what the locals get up to!

#29: Facetime/Skype Friends and Family

If you have been travelling for a while, it could be a perfect time to Skype (or Facetime) your friends and family back home.

#30: Try and find an antique store - see what they have in this country

Do you like antique stores (or second-hand stores)? Find one and have a nose!

#31: Hire a bicycle

Hire a bike and go for a ride around town. Some cities are much better suited for this!

#32: Make a lunch from local market stall foods

Go and get some locally produced food, and create a lunch or dinner meal out of it!

#33: Get off the internet! A whole day with no tech!

Try and spend the day exploring the city without using your phone! No GPS, no Facebook, nothing!

#34: Taste the local sweets (candy)

Every country has their own version of what makes a nice sweet (candy). Go and buy some in a shop. They make great gifts too if you can find something weird and tasty!

#35: Spend an afternoon getting some work or studying done

Got some work or studying that needs doing? Find somewhere quiet and spend the day doing it!

#36: Check out the tourist traps and main attractions

Tourist traps are popular for a reason! Go and check them out!

#37: Try the local national liquors, like Rakia, Pálinka, etc

Most countries have a national liquor. Try a shot! But be careful - they can often be very strong (and not tasty!)

#38: Spend the whole day walking! No public transport at all

Use your legs to see the city! Take note of the streets, signs, people, smells and everything else that you pass.

#39: Go to a sports bar and watch the national sport

Most cities have sports bars - go and find one (especially if a bit match is on). See what the atmosphere is like, and enjoy a game!

#40: Go on Couchsurfing and find a meetup

Couchsurfing isn't used just to find a free sofa to sleep on. There are almost always regular large meet ups (or people wanting to meet up in smaller groups) in big cities. Use it to meet other locals and tourists.

Date Posted
April 16th 2017
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About Me

I'm an Australian who has lived in Europe for most of my life. I work online, travelling with my laptop, working online and exploring cities for months at a time.

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