Traveling can be expensive but visiting modern architecture isn’t always as expensive as you may think. Here are a few ways to visit architecture on a budget.This is Prada by Herzog & de Meuron Architekten in Tokyo in 2008. As long as you don’t shop this architecture is free.
1. MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
Lots of great new Modern Architecture are Museums and Art galleries which typically have high admission prices which can get pretty expensive particularly in cities that are full of them. However, many museums and gallery’s have days/evenings that are free or by donation, look for this before your trip. If you are not there that particular day of the month or it is not available you can often see the majority of the interior with just general admission rather than paying a premium for the special exhibits. If you are interested in the exhibit as well the architecture it is really is a two for one deal in my opinion. To save a bit of money I would recommend eating before or after because the museum cafe can be a bit pricey.
2. GO SHOPPING
There is a lot of modern architecture that are shopping malls / flagship stores / religious venues / libraries and so forth and are free! I found many of the buildings I wanted to see in Tokyo were the stores, expensive ones such as the Prada store so I didn’t spend any money and I got to see a tone of great modern architecture for free.
If you are really strapped for cash prioritize the architecture on your “must see” list (see blog: 5 Tips for Visiting Architecture) so you know which building’s are worth splurging on. the projects lower on the list can be admired from the outside and the lobby, not quiet the same but will give you a sense of the design and building materials.
4. MAKE IT PART OF THE EXPERIENCE
Some modern architecture such as theatre’s and performance venues are not open to public without a tour, these tours vary but generally can be 60min to 90min. instead of taking the tour try to buy tickets for a show some venues sell tickets cheap on the day of which may cost a bit more than the day tour but you will get hours of entertainment and see the architecture as it was meant to be. I like to try to do this for each city I visit, they are often more memorable than the day tour.
If you are a student, particularly architecture student, always ask if there are student admission prices even if it is not posted. when I was an architecture student I carried a letter from my school stating I was traveling for school and some architectural venues let me in for free, that was sometime ago but it is worth a try. Seniors should also ask for discounted rates. if you are visiting a project that is by donation don’t skip out on the donation. The buildings often need this money to operate and maintain the building and we want to help preserve these architectural works for future generations.
Visit architectureGROUPIE.com a Modern and Travel Guide
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