Ten free and cheap things to do in Austin

I was in Austin for a few short days last week on a business trip and was blown away by all the cool free stuff there was to do. I can’t wait to take Caleb back in the future and spend more time exploring this quirky capitol.

Visit the University of Texas-Austin Campus

Harry Ranson Center—be sure to check out their Gutenberg Bible—free


Blanton Museum of Art—free on Thursdays
LBJ Presidential Library
Astronomy Viewings at RLM Hall and Painter Hall—free


Boardwalk Trail on Lady Bird Lake for great views of the skyline
Hike to Twin Falls along the Barton Creek Greenbelt
River Place Nature Trail
Bull Creek

Walking tour of downtown—Downtown is very walkable and you can cover a lot of ground in a few short hours. I enjoyed strolling along Congress Ave through the 2nd Street Station and past the infamous 6th Street bars. There are free historical tours you can take as well.


Listen to live music—Austin is also the live music capital of the world so a trip isn’t completely without visiting one of the many live music venues. The website do512.com has plenty of free live music listings.

Eat street food—Austin is a mecca for food trucks and they are everywhere you look.

Watch the bats under Congress Avenue Bridge at dusk and see the peacocks at Mayfield Park.

Explore Austin’s art, murals and mosaics.

View the graffiti art at the HOPE Outdoor Gallery
Greetings from Austin Postcard at S. 1st & Annie

Exhibit at the Blanton Art Museum-free on Thursdays!

Get in a free workout

Sign up for FRESH Friday to get one free class at over 40 participating venues
Plethora of free running and bike clubs and yoga classes across the city. See full list here.

Swim for free in one of Austin’s 27 free pools

Barton Springs Pool—free from 5-8 a.m. and 9-10 p.m

Hang out in Zilker Park, home to the Austin City Limits Music Festival

Nearby Austin Nature & Science Center is free

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