Traveling to another country can cost a lot of money—flights, hotel rooms, food, and so much more. And when we finally see the expected expenses, the excitement fades. Good thing, there are so many free things to do in Southeast Asia! And we can help ourselves but be excited! Because let’s be honest here, who doesn’t want free things?

So if you’re on a budget or just a sucker for all things free (like us), here are the 12 activities in Southeast Asia that are totally free!


1. Appreciate the Philippine culture at the National Museum

Location: Manila, Philippines

people observing the national museum

Know and appreciate the history and culture of the Philippines through the National Museum. It houses the most important ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological and visual artistry of the Philippines from the prehistoric era to modern times.

2. Join a walking tour in Cebu City

Location: Cebu City, Philippines

people strolling around magellan's cross in cebu

Take a trip in the Queen City of the South, Cebu, located at the central part of the Visayas Island. Itinerary for the walking tour is a must for all tourists because Cebu has several historical sites that will take over your list. On the off chance that you are staying for a couple of days in the city, make sure to look at their occasions and talks that advance the neighborhood’s history. We suggest visiting the famous Magellan’s Cross when in Cebu because aside from being a historic site, you don’t have to pay anything!


3. Enjoy the beauty of nature at the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls

Location: Langkawi Island, Malaysia

greenery surrounds the telaga tujuh waterfalls

This is considered as Langkawi Island’s most wonderful natural attraction. Its name means Seven Wells Waterfalls, referring to a series of seven connected natural pools fed by seven separate waterfalls in Mount Mat Cincang. The beauty of the flora existing here gives the place a magical look.

4. Visit the Penang National Park

Location: Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

hanging bridge at the penang national park

A great day trip while visiting Pulau Pinang is to travel out to the Penang National Park (Taman Negara), located on the north-west corner of the island in Teluk Bahang. The park is easily accessed from George Town or Batu Ferringhi by public transport. Even though Penang National Park is the smallest national park in the world, the area is home to an extraordinarily wide spectrum of tropical plants, animals, and geographical features!

5. Do sightseeing at the Malacca River

Location: Malacca, Malaysia

a boat passing through the colorful village beside the malacca river

One extra charm of historic Malacca is the lovely Malacca River that meanders its way through the heart of the historic district. Walkways line both sides of the river for several km, making it a relaxing place to stroll especially in the morning hour and evening. Along the riverside, you’ll come across potted plants and gardens, benches, several public toilets, a few eating spots, a section of brightly painted cafes and bars which open in evenings. From the sidewalk, you can see small riverboats carry tourists up and down the river and the fee is less than $10! But if you don’t want to spend anything, walking on the streets is also okay! This is one of the best free things to do in Southeast Asia.


6. Interact with the locals in Jodipan Village

Location: Malang, Indonesia

colorful houses in jodipan village

This village is also known as the Colorful Village. There is a lot of interesting activities here aside from its many instagrammable locations. You can also interact directly with the people who live in Jodipan Village, the hospitality of the local residents will give you wonderful memories for your trip.

7. Get splashed by Water Blow Nusa Dua in Bali

Location: Bali, Indonesia

water splashes to the huge stones at water blow nusa dua bali

Nusa Dua Waterblow is located within Bali Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) area, going here will only take 30 minutes travel time from Ngurah Rai Airport. Large waves and large coral reefs are a major attraction in this location. The best time to visit is at sunrise to see the waves swell into the air with the Indian Ocean in the background along with the majestic view of sunrise.

8. Get up close with the Komodo Dragons

Location: Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia

two komodo dragons hugging each other at komodo national park in indonesia

Relieve the Jurassic experience at the Komodo National Park. It is situated in the core of the Indonesian archipelago between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. The park is made out of three primary islands (Rinca, Komodo, and Padar) and several little ones. These volcanic islands are inhabited by a populace of around 5,700 gigantic reptiles!


9. Wander through Gardens by the Bay

Location: Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore

people strolling around the gardens by the bay at night

Gardens by the Bay is an amazing vacation destination in Singapore. It’s like being in a whole new universe when you enter. Entrance to this beautiful park is free and getting a glimpse of the giant SuperTree Grove is simply a Singapore-must. Come at night and enjoy a spectacular sight as the trees light up during the Garden Rhapsody lights show.

10. Enjoy the amazing view at Marina Bay Sands Waterfront Boardwalk

Location: Bayfront Avenue, Singapore

beautiful marina bay sands at night

Singapore’s Marina Bay area is a beauty of nature. The boardwalk gives locals and tourists an up-close view of the bay and is an excellent site for a number of fun and cost-free activities along the bay.

11. Read rare book finds at the Neilson Hays Library

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

This library is a cultural hub and popular destination in Silom that helps tourists and locals unplug from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Go here for a different view of the city and read unique book finds from their wide collection.

12. Lounge in Victoria Peak Gardens

Location: The Peak, Hong Kong

old victorian-style garden in hong kong

When visiting Hong Kong, it is a must to travel up to Victoria Peak or just The Peak. It is an oasis in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong with picturesque views you can’t find anywhere else in the city.

Now, you can definitely visit any Southeast Asian destination on a budget! When you do, let ZEN Rooms take care of your accommodation! Book budget hotels for as low as $10/night at!

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Traveling is always fun and exciting however, it could get pretty costly. But smart travelers like you always find ways to pay less! If you’re searching for free things to do in Southeast Asia, we got you covered!

Believe it or not, there’s a lot of activities you can do which are not only inexpensive but are actually free! We’ve rounded up some of the best free things to do in Southeast Asia that you will definitely enjoy and help you save thousands of bucks!


1. Watch dance performances in Central Market

malaysians performing cultural dance

There’s more to Kuala Lumpur than its temples and skyscrapers! What makes Malaysia truly colorful is its immersive culture as well as talented people. The weekly Cultural Performances at Central Market near Pasar Seni LRT Station are sure to entertain both tourists and locals alike, while increasing appreciation for Malaysia’s history and culture. Not only this is great but watching cultural dance performances is definitely one of the best free things to do in Malaysia.

2. Visit Batu Caves

colorful stairs at batu caves

If you’re wondering where the colorful stairs in Malaysia is, it’s in Batu Caves! And one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur is exploring it! Yes, it’s definitely free! It houses several caves and Hindu shrines. There are three main caves you can check out at Batu Caves: Art Gallery Cave, Museum Cave, and Cathedral cave—the most famous cave. Visitors must climb to some 272 step to reach the peak. The interior of which is decorated with ornate Hindu shrines and features a large opening at the top where the sunlight streams through.

3. Clubbing

Some people spend too much for clubbing but in Malaysia, you can totally enjoy it without paying anything! Oh yes! Free clubbing exists in Malaysia! If you’re a party lover, you’d definitely enjoy this and help you save lots. Talk about free things to do in Malaysia! One bar to enjoy for free is the Club Kyō at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur. Entrance is free before 11:00pm, but the club has a RM40 cover charge, inclusive of one house poured drink, if you visit any later than that.

4. Shopping at Pasar Percuma


a woman shopping in malaysia

Pasar Percuma offers a totally different concept of shopping. You will shop here based on the barter system. Choose any item you want to get and in exchange, give something you own or something you don’t need anymore. No money needed! where you can bring anything, say old clothes, shoes, bags etc and exchange it for another item, no money needed. Everything is free in this market. If this doesn’t excite you we don’t know what will. Don’t miss this as shopping at Pasar Percuma is one of the best free things to do in Kuala Lumpur!


5. Stroll in the parks of Bonifacio Global City

people having fun at a park in bgc

Whoever said that the Philippines is the true face of a third world country hasn’t seen Bonifacio Global City yet. Bask in the beauty of the most modern city in Metro Manila when you explore the parks in BGC! Go jogging, walk your dog, or marvel at street art in Track 30th and Terra 28th. If you’re into football, join other casual athletes for a game or two at Turf BGC. No entrance fee is required. This is definitely among the most fun free things to do in Metro Manila.

6. Visit the National Museum of the Philippines

facade of the national museum of the philippines

If you’re into history and culture, you should check out the National Museum of the Philippines. It is home to Juan Luna’s famous Spoliarium—the Philippines’ largest painting that’s more than four meters high and seven-and-a-half meters wide. The admission here is free! You will enjoy the National Museum because of its art pieces and of course, because it’s one of the best free things to do in Philippines.

7. Check out the only church in Manila that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site

amazing interior of san agustin church

If you’re looking for the best and meaningful free things to do in Philippines, you shouldn’t miss the San Agustin Church. It is the oldest church in the Philippines and the only church which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Manila. Everyone who visited was amazed at the masterpiece painted on its ceilings. One amazing fact to know about San Agustin Church is that the Philippines’ first governor-general, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, is buried there.

8. Have a picnic at Rizal Park

bright sunny day at luneta park

The city of Manila has a lot of parks to visit and one of these is the Rizal Park where the monument of the Philippines’ National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal is located. Jose Rizal was executed here thus, thus the park is considered as one of the most historical places in Manila. If you’re so bothered by the metro’s traffic but doesn’t want to go all otu and spend too much in hotels or restaurants, consider having a picnic at Rizal Park which is one of the best free things to do in Metro Manila.


9. Tour the Kota Tua Jakarta

colorful bikes parkes outside kota tua

Kota Tua means “Old Town” and is home to the remains of Oud Batavia, a walled Dutch settlement in Jakarta. Touring this neighborhood is sure to delight history and culture buffs. Featuring fantastic Dutch architecture, museums, and temples, you can unearth the former glory of Oud Batavia and learn more about Indonesian history. This is absolutely one of the best free things to do in Jakarta.

10. Watch the fountain show at National Monument

colorful fountain show at national monument in indonesia

The Merdeka Square is not only home to the impressive National Monument but also a popular hanging out spot. Every weekend, the square gets even more lively with a spectacular fountain show, complete with dramatic lights and music that you can enjoy for free. Don’t miss watching the fountain show as it is among the best free things to do in Jakarta.

11. Visit the National Gallery

facade of national gallery indonesia

Even if the National Gallery houses many of Indonesia’s most monumental and prestigious artworks, tourists can enter the National Gallery of Indonesia free of charge. The gallery has more than 1,700 items in its collection for everyone to enjoy. If you’re an art lover, this should top your list of the best free things to do in Indonesia.

12. Lounge at Suropati Park

empty park in jakarta

One of the best free things to do in Indonesia is going to Suropati Park. Suropati Park is tucked in the middle of Jakarta’s busy and modern streets, surrounded by elegant buildings of the upscale Menteng residence. The park is full of tall shady trees that will sway as the fresh air blows. It has a mix of nature, urban, and an artistic vibe that fits any personality. You will find doves here that consider this park as their home and you can occasionally see groups or individuals practicing their musical instruments under the trees.


13. Walk in the Southern Ridges in Singapore

aerial shot of tourists walking in southern ridges bridge in singapore

Singapore may arguably be the most artificial and man-made city in Southeast Asia, but if you truly explore it, you’ll find green open spaces that will make you rethink the country’s stereotype. Known as one of the world’s most expensive city, there are also great free things to do in Singapore. The Southern Ridges is a Singaporean park spanning 10 kilometers presenting a wide-angle view of the city. You can take photos of the various plants and animals, have a picnic with friends and family, or observe the different types of birds flying overhead.

14. Stroll around Singapore Botanic Gardens

beautiful walkway in singapore botanic gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is home to over 10,000 species of flora and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. While strolling around the gardens, you might also see three-foot monitor lizards that sometimes bolt across the paths. Visiting the Botanic Gardens is one of the best free things to do in Singapore because you get to enjoy beautiful sightings without paying anything.

While traveling and engaging in free things to do in Southeast Asia, save even more by choosing ZEN Rooms as your accommodation. Whether you end up in Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, or Jakarta, we have different hotel options for you.

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.