- St. Louis offers a range of free activities for budget-conscious travelers, including exploring the St. Louis Zoo and experiencing the Gateway Arch National Park.
- Grant’s Farm provides a unique and free experience combining history, wildlife, and family-friendly fun, including a chance to meet the famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
- Art enthusiasts will be delighted by the St. Louis Art Museum, which offers free access to a vast collection of art spanning centuries and continents.
St. Louis often finds its place on the travel itineraries of budget-conscious tourists and avid explorers searching for cheap places to travel in the United States. These savvy travel enthusiasts are drawn to St. Louis not only for its iconic Gateway Arch but also for the hidden treasures that make the city an enticing destination for those seeking free things to do in the US.
The city is located along the mighty Mississippi River, boasting a wealth of activities and experiences that won’t cost visitors a dime. From cultural excursions to natural wonders, tourists can indulge in a diverse range of memorable adventures without putting a dent in their wallets. Here are several of the best free things to do in St. Louis that really do cost nothing.
Explore The St. Louis Zoo
A Monkey In Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO, USA
This world-class zoo offers a remarkable opportunity to get up close and personal with a diverse array of wildlife. Visitors can marvel at exotic creatures from around the globe, including playful penguins, majestic lions, adorable primates, and colorful tropical birds.
The zoo’s commitment to conservation and education shines through its well-designed exhibits that mimic natural habitats. As one of the city’s most treasured attractions, tourists and animal enthusiasts will be delighted at what this zoo offers.
- Address: 1 Government Dr, St. Louis, MO
- Hours: Daily, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Tour Grant’s Farm
A Turkey In Grant’s Farm, Grant Road, St. Louis, MO, USA
Grant’s Farm offers tourists a unique and free experience that combines history, wildlife, and family-friendly fun. This historic site was once owned by Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States and Civil War hero.
Today, it’s a 281-acre property that houses a menagerie of animals from around the world.
Visitors can embark on a tram ride through the property to see bison, deer, and even exotic animals like kangaroos and zebras up close.
One of the highlights of Grant’s Farm is the Clydesdale Stables, where tourists can meet the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. Besides being free, exploring this farm is one of the best things to do in St. Louis.
- Address: 7385 Grant Rd, St. Louis, MO
- Hours: Grant’s Farm is typically open seasonally, and hours may vary, so it’s advisable to check the official website for current operating hours.
Experience The Gateway Arch National Park
Gateway Arch In St. Louis, Missouri
The Gateway Arch National Park is an iconic symbol of St. Louis and the United States as a whole. Towering at 630 feet, the stainless steel arch is not just a sight to behold; it also offers an enriching free experience for visitors.
Tourists can explore the lovely park grounds, learn about Lewis and Clark’s journey at the Museum of Westward Expansion, and take in stunning views of the Mississippi River from the park’s riverfront trails. The Gateway Arch, a massive St.Louis monument that plays a major role in American History, is truly a sight to behold in person – and it costs nothing to do so.
- Address: Gateway Arch National Park, 11 N 4th St, St. Louis, MO
- Hours: Daily, 5:00 AM –11:00 PM
While exploring the grounds is free, there is an admission fee to ride the tram to the top of the Gateway Arch. Tourists should plan accordingly if they want to experience breathtaking views from the top.
Discover The St. Louis Art Museum
The St. Louis Art Museum on Art Hill in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
One of the top free attractions in St. Louis, art lovers will be enthralled by the St. Louis Art Museum, a cultural gem that offers free access to a vast collection of art spanning centuries and continents. The museum’s galleries house an impressive array of paintings, sculptures, textiles, and decorative arts.
Tourists can admire works by renowned artists like Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso, as well as explore art from diverse cultures, including African, Asian, and Native American pieces. The museum’s stunning architecture and serene setting in Forest Park create an ideal environment for appreciating the beauty of human creativity.
- Address: St. Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis, MO
- Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Closed on Monday; Friday, 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Visit The Cathedral Basilica Of Saint Louis
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis In St. Louis, MO
Stepping inside the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is like entering a breathtaking world of art and spirituality. This awe-inspiring place of worship boasts one of the largest collections of mosaic art in the Western Hemisphere.
Each section of this church has a unique theme, including the Holy Trinity, the story of creation, the history of Catholicism, and the tenets of the Catholic faith. The church also has four great arches at the center of the dome that represent the catholic faith: judgment, sanctification, redemption, and creation.
- Address: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, 4431 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63108
- Hours: Daily, 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tour guides are available between 10 AM and 3 PM. All persons of faith can also attend daily mass that takes place at 7:00 AM, 8:00 AM, and 12:05 PM.
Explore The Laumeier Sculpture Park
Laumeier Sculpture Park In St. Louis, MO
For a unique outdoor art experience, tourists can explore the Laumeier Sculpture Park. This 105-acre expansive open-air museum features over 60 contemporary sculptures set amid rolling hills and lush greenery.
As visitors meander along the park’s trails, they’ll encounter thought-provoking and whimsical sculptures that interact with the natural environment. The park also hosts rotating exhibitions and art programs, making each visit a new and enriching experience.
- Address: Laumeier Sculpture Park, 12580 Rott Rd, St. Louis, MO
- Hours: 7 AM till 30 minutes past sunset
Visit The Missouri History Museum
The Missouri History Museum at The Jefferson Memorial Building in St. Louis, Missouri, USA
History enthusiasts and curious tourists will find a wealth of knowledge and engaging exhibits at the Missouri History Museum. Located in the heart of Forest Park, this museum offers free admission to its captivating displays of the history of St. Louis and the state of Missouri.
Visitors can journey through time, exploring everything from the city’s role in the westward expansion to its contributions during World War II. Interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations make history come alive. This makes this museum a must-visit for those eager to learn about the region’s rich past.
- Address: Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO
- Hours: Daily, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM; Thursday, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
The museum often hosts lectures, workshops, and events related to history and culture. Check their calendar for any interesting programs during your visit.
Explore The St. Louis Public Library
Stairs At St. Louis Public Library – Central Library, St. Louis, United States
Bookworms and knowledge seekers can satisfy their literary cravings at the St. Louis Public Library. Beyond being a repository of books, this library offers a vibrant and welcoming space for visitors. The beautifully designed Central Library is an architectural marvel itself, featuring ornate ceilings, stained-glass windows, and a majestic dome.
While reading or studying, visitors can soak in the grandeur of this historic building. Additionally, the library often hosts events, lectures, and exhibitions, adding an extra layer of cultural enrichment to any visit.
- Address: St. Louis Public Library, 1301 Olive St, St. Louis, MO
- Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.; Friday-Saturday: 1:00 AM to 5 PM; and Sunday: Closed
Take A Walk Or Bike Ride Along The Mississippi River
Aerial View Of Lock and Dam 22, Mississippi River, Hannibal, Missouri.
Nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers will relish the opportunity to take a stroll or bike ride along the picturesque Mississippi River. The riverfront in St. Louis offers a scenic and peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Tourists can enjoy views of the mighty river, watch riverboats pass by, and appreciate the lush greenery of the surrounding parks.
- Address: The Mississippi Riverfront in St. Louis
- Hours: 24/7
Visit The St. Louis Science Center
Saint Louis Science Center Building, MO
Families, budding scientists, and anyone curious about the world will find the St. Louis Science Center an engaging and educational destination. This dynamic science museum offers free admission to its many hands-on exhibits, interactive displays, and live demonstrations.
Visitors can explore topics ranging from space and technology to biology and physics. The museum also houses a planetarium and an OMNIMAX theater, providing additional opportunities for immersive learning and entertainment.
- Address: St. Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Ave, St. Louis, MO
- Hours: Thursday-Monday, 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM; Tuesday & Wednesday, closed
Check the schedule for planetarium shows and OMNIMAX screenings, as they are popular. It’s a good idea to arrive a bit early to secure a perfect spot.