Are you on a budget but still want to take in some of the incredible sights that St. Louis has to offer? You’re in luck! St. Louis is one of the top cities in the country for free attractions. In this article, we’ll cover some of the best:
St. Louis Art Museum
The St. Louis Art Museum is dedicated to showing and educating its collection of art to the public for free. Since 1879, it’s been the center of art for the country showcasing art that spans from six continents, five millennia and over 30,000 works of art. The museum offers free tours led by trained docents. The St. Louis Art Museum is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and is closed on Mondays.
Missouri History Museum
Located in Forest Park, the Missouri History Museum is home to a variety of long-term exhibits like the Mighty Mississippi exhibit as well as short-term, rotating exhibits like the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup Exhibit. They also offer events and educational programs for all ages. Admission is always free! The Museum is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm every day.
St. Louis Science Center
If you are traveling with kids, they will love a trip to the St. Louis Science Center. At the Dig Site, they can dig through the sand to find dinosaur fossils. They will learn about the body in the Human Adventure, and they will get the chance to participate in science demonstrations. Open from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm (Monday-Saturday) and 11:00 am – 5:30 pm on Sunday.
Forest Park St. Louis
St. Louis’ version of Central Park is a must-see. It’s truly the heart and soul of the city, where both locals and visitors come to play. The park is filled with gardens, walking/running trails, biking trails, and so much more. The park is open from 6:00 am to – 10:00 pm every day.
Citygarden Sculpture Park
Located in downtown St. Louis is the Citygarden Sculpture Park that features several sculptures right along the street. This site is completely open to the public for free and is meant to capture and inspire locals and travelers alike.
Lone Elk Park
Lone Elk Park is about a 30-minute drive from downtown St. Louis. This 546-acre preservation for wildlife is home to a variety of animals such as deer, wild turkey, and elk. The preservation is free, but it is important to note that no domestic animals (cats, dogs, etc) are allowed.
Missouri Botanical Gardens
The Missouri Botanical Gardens is a 79-acre, beautifully decorated garden that’s free to the public from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm every day. Visitors can escape the concrete jungle and enjoy the wonders of America’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation.
While there is an admission charge (and a long wait) if you want to go to the top of the world’s tallest monument, you can walk around it and take photos for free! Try heading to different parts of the city to find the best views and camera angles for your Gateway Selfie.
St. Louis Zoo
There are not too many places in the world where you can get up close to Viper Snakes, Red Pandas, Gorillas and Kangaroos, all in one place, for free. The St. Louis Zoo attracts animal lovers from all over the world. Stop by from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm to experience all the incredible wildlife. While this isn’t a totally “free” attraction, there are some free exhibits and others that are very affordable.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
Not only is the church itself an amazing piece of architecture, but it is also home to the world’s largest collection of mosaic art. Self-guided tours are free, but we suggest calling ahead as the church is closed to the public for Mass, funerals, and weddings.
Come for the people watching, stay for the food. Hipsters, families and tourists alike all gather at the Soulard Market. This is a great place to put together a picnic lunch. This is a great low-cost lunch alternative to restaurants, and your food will probably be fresher and tastier. The Soulard Market runs from Wednesday – Saturday and is open from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Music at the Muny
Music at the Muny is an outdoor amphitheater located in the beautiful Forest Park. During the summer, Forest Park is home to many concerts and musical performances. You can check Music at the Muny’s event calendar to check and see who is playing. The top row is always free admission, so if you’d like to see the show at no cost, it’s best to show up early!
The Cahokia Mounds is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city located about 25 minutes from downtown St. Louis. It’s the remains of a once flourishing Native American city. Now, all that lies are the great mounds that paint a small picture of what the area once was. Stop by the site for free today and learn something new.