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Save on Sightseeing in Europe

As airfare and hotel prices drop from summer's peak rates, European vacations become more affordable in the fall. But, paying admission at tourist hot spots can shatter a trip budget. I just returned from Madrid, Barcelona and Rome, where admission to most must-sees costs $13-$20 (10€ to15€) per person. Going to three or four destinations a day became expensive quickly. One easy way to save some money -- buy a city pass.

Several European cities offer these tourist cards, which include free transportation on city buses and trains, discounts at museums and restaurants, and -- in some handy cases -- free admission to tourist attractions. Hotels, tobacco shops and tourism information booths sell the passes. Here are some cities and what these cards snag you:

  • London: The London Pass includes free entry to 55 attractions, including the Tower of London and Windsor Castle, plus travelers can skip the ticket lines. There's also an option to buy unlimited public transportation.
  • Barcelona: All major public transportation (more than 1€ per person, per ride), discounts at the major museums and architecture attractions and a guidebook are included in the Barcelona Card.
  • Rome: The Roma Pass comes with entry to two museums or archaeological sites (including the Colosseum/Palatino), reduced prices at all other attractions, free transportation and a detailed map. The Colosseum also has a turnstile specifically for Roma Pass holders, so you'll bypass waiting in line.

Be sure to do the math. These city cards make the most sense if you plan to breeze through several attractions -- while riding public transportation -- in a few days.

And be sure to check out Travelzoo's European vacations and hotels for the latest deals.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Miami
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
See more Tips from
Angela Tablac