Having a British passport is something I’ve always taken for granted but it’s only since meeting people from other parts of the world that I’ve realised it’s actually a pretty valuable item to hold. For one, free movement of people means it’s incredibly easy to holiday in dozens of countries without the need for a visa and even while visiting European countries, having an EU passport can allow you access to a whole lot of discounts and free tourist attractions, some of which I’m about to share with you.
This post was originally written before there was even a whisper about the EU referendum and so, as you can imagine, I’m pretty miffed that the UK is supposedly leaving the EU in 2020. I’m still hoping that this horrendous decision will be reversed but in the meantime, any Brits reading this should take advantage of the awesome benefits and free tourist attractions you can visit with an EU passport while we can!
I first discovered how EU passport holders can access many of the most famous tourist destinations for free in Paris. For citizens under 26, it’s completely free to enter the Arc de Triomphe, Saint-Chapelle, The Louvre and Chateau de Versailles among many other attractions. Plus, while Notre Dame is free to enter for all, you can get up the towers for free too where there would usually be a charge! This is by far the best city I have found for young person / EU citizen discounts and for that reason alone, I’d recommend a trip to Paris while you can still take advantage of the free tourist attractions.
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Moving south to Spain, from October to March it’s completely free for EU citizens to enter the Royal Palace Madrid between 3pm and 6pm on Monday to Thursday – and the same between 6pm and 8pm from April until September.
Fancy a break to Eastern Europe? The absolutely beautiful city of Budapest allows all EU citizens to visit Parliament (Orszaghaz) free of charge! As the top rated attraction in Budapest on Tripadvisor, this seems like a stop on your itinerary not to be missed.
Ah, Italy. As well as your spectacular food, the culture really is something else. I visited the beautiful Renaissance city of Florence with Coniki and state owned museums including The Uffizi, Accademia, Palazzo Pitti, and Medici chapels offer reduced prices to EU citizens aged 18 to 25 (and free for under 18’s and over 65’s). The same benefits apply in the Civic Museums – such as Palazzo Vecchio and Brancacci chapel.
Onto the Italian capital, Rome also offers reduced rates for many EU citizens. Firstly, the Colosseum offers 18 – 25 year old EU passport holders a reduced ticket price of €7.50 (from €12) while you can enter the Vatican Museums for half price. Note: on the last Sunday of each month, the Vatican Museums are free for everybody! Interested in art? Discounts of up to 50% are offered to 18 – 25 / 26 year olds at the Borghese Gallery, Doria Pamphilj Gallery and Ara Pacis, among many others.
These are just a few of the places where I’ve been able to make savings on sightseeing during my travels. Other ways of getting a good price include booking a couple of tours with one agency – they may be open to giving away a good discount! I use Viator to scope out great options and compare them to the prices when I’m in a specific destination.
If you know of any other free tourist attractions for EU citizens, leave them in the comments below – I’d love to know more!