A long, long time ago, timeshare holidays were about “same place, same time, next year” but oh how things have changed!
The timeshare lifestyle has never been more flexible than it is right now, thanks to innovative initiatives like shorter term ownership, more and more destination choices and sophisticated flexible points-based programmes which not surprisingly are appealing more and more to younger families these days.
If you’re already a timeshare owner and have bought into a points system, chances are you may be thinking about taking a city break soon, or planning a weekend getaway to recharge the batteries this autumn.
GoTimeshare rounds up the best free things to do in some of the world’s most interesting – and expensive – cities.
1. Oslo, Norway
The Norwegian capital may be the most expensive city in Scandinavia, but you can enjoy one of the world’s most breathtaking sights for free. Oslo is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights, and it is possible to see the Aurora Borealis most nights during the winter. Forget paying for a special guide and just gaze up at the night sky and admire the heart-stopping light-show for free.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
Chocoholics will know that Swiss chocolate is among the best in the world. Despite Zurich being one of the priciest cities around, you can visit the Lindt Chocolate Factory for free! Enjoy one of the sweetest experiences imaginable with a tour around the famous factory, then enjoy the delicious, free chocolate samples at the end of the tour.
3. Geneva, Switzerland
Enjoy warm summer evenings or crisp winter days by taking a stroll around one of the most popular and beautiful spots in Switzerland, Lake Geneva. Take a dip in the lake, go for a leisurely stroll or simply admire the view – everything is free! There is even free Wi-Fi, while free bike hire is also available.
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
The beautiful city of Copenhagen has plenty to explore – work your way along picturesque streets, admire the vibrant art, or stroll along the leafy canals winding their way through the city. But if walking isn’t for you, why not explore the city’s bike paths with a free bicycle? The City Bikes scheme in Copenhagen offers free urban bikes to help you whizz around the sites – you’ll need to leave a coin deposit, but you get this back when you return the bike.
5. Stockholm, Sweden
There’s no better way to pass a chilly winter’s afternoon than by enjoying a spot of ice skating in Stockholm. From mid-November until March, you can enjoy free skating at the Kungstradgarden ice rink, with live music often playing in the background.
6. Tokyo, Japan
The bright lights of Tokyo shine down on a city that is always on the go. From the manic crossings and busy shops to the frenetic streets, the people of Tokyo never rest. However, if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, take a trip to the famous – and free – Imperial Palace. Surrounded by ancient moats, the Palace has some spectacular gardens (the cherry blossom at spring time are a sight to behold), while culture vultures will enjoy the chance to see Emperor Hirohito’s collection of kimono and magnificent Japanese paintings.
7. Sydney, Australia
Soak up the sunshine and outdoor lifestyle which Australia is famous for by enjoying the plenty of free outdoor activities which Sydney has to offer. Adrenaline junkies will love the chance to enjoy a free walk across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge – a real hair-raiser!
8. Helsinki, Finland
Pour yourself a glass of gluhwein, sip on a hot chocolate or simply wrap up warm and take a stroll around Helsinki’s three Christmas markets. The city goes all out for Christmas, with strings of lights decorating Helsinki’s buildings, statues and narrow cobbled streets. Snuggle up to your loved one and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
9. Toronto, Canada
Famed for its fresh food and healthy living, Toronto is one of the world’s priciest places to live. But people in the know have some tricks up their sleeve which are free to enjoy – Riverdale Farm is an animal sactuary based in the heart of the city and houses farm animals like pigs, cows, chickens and sheep. Why not make a day of it by bringing a picnic and enjoying the peace and quiet?
Among the shimmering glass towers of Singapore stands the elegant, world-famous Raffles Hotel. One of Singapore’s oldest and grandest hotels, you can take a look for free – just be sure you’re dressed nicely! Visit the bar where James Bond ordered his famous Martini, admire the Singapore Sling cocktails, then sit in the courtyard surrounded by tropical plants.