Jungle under a roof of grass

Every now and again, museums open up to the public for free. The Louvre in Paris opens their doors to anyone who’s interested on the first Sunday of the month, the MoMA in New York has their Free Friday Nights and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg lets people in for free on the first Thursday of the month. Plan your visit well and a city will welcome you with open arms and doors.

On my trip to San Francisco the Academy of Sciences had a free entry day. For a penniless student it’s the perfect day to explore. Of course this huge pro comes with a lot of cons. There are a lot of people, both locals and tourists, that feel penniless and seize the opportunity. When I joined the cue I was told there was a 1,5 hour wait. Luckily this turned out to be less than an hour.

The tropical pond in the Academy of Sciences

The tropical pond in the Academy of Sciences

The academy also offered free planetarium shows and I was one of the lucky few to get a ticket. Mind you, I had to wait till 3 o’clock that day to get the next available show. Fortunately it was easy to entertain myself. I love the way this place is set up. There was a miniature rain forest in a glass dome. A walkway took you up and around the exotic plants, trees, the pond and butterflies. Along the way were information signs and exhibitions with animals.

Underneath the rain forest was an aquarium. It was well thought out and from the aquarium you could see the water of the tropical pond. Besides this, there were all sorts of fish and displays that teach you about them. You could put your hand in a hole and feel the shock of the electric eel. One aquarium was so special, it showed the content of a shark’s stomach. You won’t believe what they find in them! That’s how much we pollute our waters.

The design of the building itself was amazing because they’d made a garden of it. I had an amazing day wandering around. I ended it with a film about space. It’s been a while since I was in San Francisco, but if you’re there for a while, consider this museum. It’s good fun for all ages, and very affordable when you come on the free day.


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