These Europe Attractions Are Cheaper Alternatives to Pricier Activities, Tripadvisor Shares

Hint: Art isn't only in one of the famous museums.

Piazza Santa Maria in the Trastavere area of Rome, Italy. . Photo: REDA&CO/Contributor/ Getty Images

As important as it is to hit the highlights when you take any big trip — heading to the most common, sought-after attractions in a major city definitely comes with a price tag. Choosing alternative experiences not only allows travelers to see a different, or perhaps local, side of a destination, but also save some money in the process.

By taking this approach, travelers can actually maximize the value of their vacations, Tripadvisor shared with Travel + Leisure.

"Experiences are a great way to create cost-effective travel memories while delving into a destination's culture and surroundings in a deeper way," Kate Urquhart, the general manager, experiences at Tripadvisor, told T+L, when talking about the high cost of travel. "Tripadvisor offers many incredible tours, activities and attractions that offer personalized access to unforgettable food, historical sites, exclusive vantage points for nature and wildlife, and so much more."

For example, no trip to Italy is complete without sampling (and over-indulging) in the amazing food. But instead of planning an extravagant five-course meal, which can top $300 per person, Tripadvisor suggests people take a Roman Food Tour in neighborhood of Trastevere. On the tour, travelers can sample everything from antipasti to pizza, gelato, and even wine for only $134 per person.

In Paris, museum visits top most people's vacation bucket lists, but a VIP tour at the Louvre or Musee D'Orsay can mean shelling out $226. Instead, the tour booking site suggests visitors book a Belleville Street Art Tour with an artist for only $33 per person and experience the street art and murals in the City of Lights.

Graffitis and mural painting of Denoyez Street In The Belleville Quarter of Paris. Frédéric Soltan/Contributor/Getty Images

And no visit to London is complete without a stop on the winding Thames River. But instead of paying $159 for a dinner cruise, travelers can book a high-speed rigid inflatable boat and see the same iconic landmarks for just $55 per person.

Domestic trips in the United States are no different. In Oahu, for example, snorkeling is a popular activity (for obvious reasons), but it can also be a pricey one: a private snorkel trip aboard a 46-foot yacht can come in at a whopping $1,956 per group. Instead, Tripadvisor recommends the cost-effective Turtle Canyons Snorkel Excursion from Waikiki, which costs only $85 per person but offers all the same great marine life.

And in Charleston (named the No. 1 city in the U.S. by T+L readers for 10 years in a row), an eco boat cruise is a great and economical way to explore for only $56 per person, compared to the way pricier option of a private cruise, which can cost nearly $500 per group.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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