Did you know you can enjoy a memorable trip to San Antonio on a budget? We sure did! From low-cost indoor activities that keep you cool to outdoor events at every turn that will have you appreciating the city's walkability, there’s plenty to put on your schedule for the ultimate budget-friendly trip!

There is no need to compromise on the fun with this list of cost-efficient and free things to do in San Antonio before the end of Summer!

 

Free World Heritage Adventures

@visitsanantonio Happy Earth Day and #NationalParkWeek ☀️🌳 Did you know we have our very own National Park!? San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is a National Park Service site and the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Texas! On your next visit make sure to stop by: ✨The Alamo ✨Mission Concepcion ✨Mission San Jose ✨Mission San Juan ✨Mission Espada Click the link in our bio to learn more and our blog on ways to celebrate Earth Day in the Alamo City year round. #VisitSanAntonio #sanantoniotexas #fyp #park #nationalpark #missions #sanantoniotx ♬ Sky Aesthetic - Sound Viral 01

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Did you know that San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is free to visit? There are no admission fees and you can even catch free guided walks with a National Park Ranger daily at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. (except the first Wednesday of each month). Park Ranger-led tours begin at the Visitor Center at Mission San José and last roughly 45 minutes. They are also wheelchair accessible and run through paved roads. 

Did you miss your chance for a ranger-led tour? Park Rangers can be found throughout the day at Mission San José, where they give impromptu talks and demonstrations of skills. If you see a ranger on your visit, don't be afraid to stop and ask questions!

 

The Alamo

Along with the San Antonio Missions, the Alamo is part of Texas' first and only UNESCO World Heritage Site!  Though the Alamo does offer tour upgrades and add-ons for additional fees, you can still visit for free with a timed entry ticket. There is much to see at the Alamo and it is only getting better! This area is currently undergoing a transformation to improve and preserve the Alamo's legacy and enhance the experience of visitors for years to come, but don't let that deter you from visiting! The Alamo is still open for touring. 

 

Free Museum Adventures

Did you know you can explore many of San Antonio's museums and art galleries without breaking the bank? While many of our museums already have affordable admission rates, some offer discounted or free entry on select days! Take advantage of these opportunities to immerse yourself in the rich arts and culture of San Antonio at little to no cost:
 

  • San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum (SAAACAM)—Learn about the stories and heroes that shaped San Antonio's past, present, and future. SAAACAM preserves and shares the cultural heritage of African Americans in the San Antonio region and offers incredible events, like the Black History Film Series, which is also free to attend. 
     
  • Ruby City — Discover contemporary art by local and international artists! Ruby City is free and open to the public. See over 1,400 art pieces, ranging from paintings to sculptures, photography, and more. 
     
  • The Carver Gallery—Located at the Carver Community Cultural Center, the Carver Gallery offers free admission and exhibits paintings, photography, sculptures, and more by local and regional artists. On view now through August 2, 2024, you can find works by artist Cody Vance, including abstract stone structures. 
     
  • Contemporary at Blue Star — Speaking of contemporary art, a visit to Contemporary at Blue Star is free to the public though donations are welcome. Be sure to catch Xicanx: Dreamers + Changemakers | Soñadores + creadores del cambio, an exhibit on Mexican-American dreamers and changemakers, on view now through October 6, 2024. 
     
  • McNay Art Museum — Visit the first museum of modern art in Texas - for free! Visitors can enjoy free general admission every Thursday from 4-9 p.m., courtesy of H-E-B, and the first Sunday of every month from Noon to 5 p.m., courtesy of the Dickson Allen Foundation.

DoSeum exterior building lit up at night
 

  • The DoSeum — The first Monday of each month, the DoSeum offers Free Family Nights. Though free, visitors must register in advance. It's the perfect time to view their current exhibit, Dogs! A Science Tail where children are invited to learn more about our canine friends.
     
  • Mexican Cultural Institute —  Explore over 50 years of Mexican art for free! The Mexican Cultural Institute is located in Hemisfair and is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
     
  • Culture Commons Gallery — Culture Commons Gallery is a 1,500 sq. ft. gallery space with exhibits that encourage creativity and support the city's local culture. Admission is free and you can catch their current exhibit, Resilient and Responsive: Artists and the Environment, on view now through January 17, 2025!
     
  • Artpace — You'll need to wait until July 5 to visit this one as they are temporarily closed for renovations, but once it has reopened, Artpace is a must-visit! With regional, national, and international artists participating in exhibits, there are many pieces to view. Free to visit, but be sure to check out Camouflage: Blaze Orange by artist Justin Korver on view July 11 - November 30, 2024. 

    Gallery wall with loteria artwork on walls
     
  • Centro de Artes Gallery — In the heart of Historic Market Square, you'll find this free gem that celebrates art reflecting the Latino experience in the United States. Currently on display through July 21, 2024, you'll find Millennial Lotería: The LatinXperience by Guest Artists: Mike Alfaro & Gerardo Guillén as well as Permanencia Voluntaria by Guest Artist: Efedefroy (Froy Padilla Aragón)
     
  • Bihl Haus Arts — Bihl Haus Arts is free, and no reservations are needed. Bihl Haus Arts celebrates diverse visual and cultural artists in the San Antonio community and is committed to creating community through the arts. 

 

Free Outdoor Adventures

Confluence Park

Confluence Park is a San Antonio River Foundation project promoting environmental education with many stunning features, including sculptures and outdoor seating areas. 

Confluence Park is open seven days a week from sunrise to 11 p.m. Make the most of your visit and take the free one-hour self-guided tour!

 

Japanese Tea Garden

Explore the ponds, waterfalls, and lush gardens of San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden. With free admission, this budget-friendly activity has been a San Antonio staple for over 100 years.

The entrance to the garden is stunning, designed with a moon gate created by renowned Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriguez. There are also shaded walkways, ponds filled with Koi fish, stone bridges, floral displays, and a large 60-foot waterfall, making the garden a must-see when traveling to San Antonio on a budget.

 

Outdoor Strolls

San Antonio is filled with outdoor gems that are free to explore! Take a walk through the River Walk Public Art Garden, or stroll the Museum Reach of the River Walk, San Pedro Creek Culture Park, and more!

This Week's Free Events to Check Out

Brain Battle Trivia Jul 23

Brain Battle Trivia

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Brain Battle Trivia Tuesdays! Pack your brain, grab your friends and join us for a…

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Discover the vast history, arts, and outdoor adventures San Antonio offers on any budget. Whether you’re just looking for a few extra activities to add to the list or planning your trip with your pocketbook in mind, a San Antonio adventure is a must.

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