Spend a (cheap) day in the garden

Shoestring-budget travelers are always looking for a cheap way to see the sights around a city. Sometimes entrance fees, tour prices, or other activities can be a little deep for our pockets (especially when you’re trying to find food and a bed for under $25 a day). It can be difficult to find city sights that don’t cost much – or have really long lines. But as I discovered in Australia and New Zealand, most major cities have botanical gardens – which are not only beautiful places to stroll around, but most often are free to the public.

Taking a day from your busy travel agenda to walk around the grounds of a botanical garden is not only a fabulous way to relax, but you can also learn about the native plants, flowers, and trees of that region. Some gardens, like the San Francisco Botanical Garden and Capetown’s Kirstenbosch National Garden offer free guided walking tours.

You might be surprised at the kind of things you can find wandering around gardens. At Malaysia’s Penang Botanic Gardens (or “Monkey Park”) you’ll see lots of rhesus monkeys as well as plants, and at Buenos Aires’ Botanical Gardens don’t be surprised by to see whiskers among the flowers, since cats have long made the gardens their home. At Sydney’s Royal Botanic and Domain, you might stumble upon the historical “Speaker’s Corner” – I did and found myself suddenly in the midst of soap-box speeches and spoken word poetry.

To check out all these different kinds of gardens, head over to Virtualtourist.com where you can browse a whole array of photos and comments about specific botanical gardens (or botanic gardens).

Posted by | Comments (1)  | March 28, 2007
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

One Response to “Spend a (cheap) day in the garden”

  1. Pam Says:

    This is swell. And I’d like to add one to the list – we had a terrific time at the playground at Schonnbrunn Palace in Vienna. You do have to pay a little to get in, but there’s a hedge maze and the coolest playground toys I’ve ever seen. I’m sure it’s fun for kids, but we were all well out of gradeschool – um – high school – um – college – and some of us were retired. It’s really really really fun on a sunny day.