Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
San Antonio is a unique Texas city that has a vibrant downtown area. This part of the Lone Star State offers history, cuisine, and culture to travelers and tourists. From the Alamo to the farmers market, you’ll have an unforgettable stay when you explore these 8 best things to do in downtown San Antonio.
YOU'RE ALL SET!
Look out for our newsletters in your inbox soon.
One of the main attractions that draws travelers to San Antonio is the Alamo, a mission-turned-museum that commemorates the Alamo’s history. The Alamo is located in downtown San Antonio, making it a convenient landmark to explore. Learn about the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 through an educated tour guide. This Texas historical site has free admission too. However don’t miss out on the gift shop for an Alamo souvenir.
One of San Antonio’s most popular museums is found in downtown San Antonio. San Antonio Museum of Art features an incredible collection of art, varying from Egyptian artifacts to contemporary pieces. With over 30,000 art objects old and new, this art museum is the perfect way to spend a few hours in downtown San Antonio. This museum also offers a number of art programs for kids and adults as well as hosts traveling exhibits. Therefore you may experience new art every time you visit the San Antonio Museum of Art.
The River Walk is a downtown staple that is a popular hotspot for both locals and tourists alike. Found along the San Antonio River, walking the River Walk is a great way to embrace the soul of San Antonio. Lined with incredible bars and restaurants, you should definitely come to the River Walk hungry. If you don’t feel like walking, take a river taxi to soak in the gorgeous architecture.
Grab a beer and learn about Texas history at the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum. This saloon, which also has a cafe serving Texas barbecue and cuisine, has a rich history as it was first opened in 1881. Now a saloon, two museums, a cafe, gift shop and even an arcade, the Buckhorn has grown into a longtime fixture in downtown San Antonio. With a wide variety of taxidermied wall features and two well-stocked history museums, a visit to this downtown business is far from ordinary.
Liven up your nightlife in San Antonio with a live show at Majestic Theatre in downtown San Antonio. The Majestic Theatre is a historical landmark, as it was built in 1929. This gorgeous theater is San Antonio’s oldest and largest theatre, seating more than 2,000 guests. There are a number of different acts that can be found performing on the stage at the Majestic Theatre. From comedians to broadways plays and musicals, a live performance at the Majestic Theatre is a great way to experience downtown San Antonio.
Found along the River Walk, this San Antonio downtown attraction draws both art lovers and history buffs. Learn all about the American West at the Briscoe Western Art Museum. This art museum is home to nine art galleries, featuring both historical artifacts and iconic Western paintings. From Remington works to an original Chuck Wagon, this museum brings the American West to life. You don’t have to be a cowboy or cowgirl to enjoy the art at Briscoe Western Art Museum.
Visit North America’s biggest Mexican market found right in downtown San Antonio. Known as Market Square, this three-block plaza features specialty shops and restaurants. Artisanal crafts can be found, from embroidered dresses to leather goods. This area often plays host to a number of festivals and events too, so it’s worth checking out no matter what time of year you head to San Antonio.
Found in the Pearl District, which is not necessarily in the center of downtown but on the edge of the action, is an up-and-coming district full of historic buildings, great shops, hotels and restaurants. However, many people flock to the Pearl District for The Pearl Market, a farmers market boasting over 20 different vendors. From local coffee to a gourmet pizza, you’ll want to come hungry when you stroll this San Antonio market.
This urban garden in San Antonio offers a play place for kids and a relaxing environment for adults. Yanaguana Garden is a gorgeous downtown oasis that features unique design elements and artistic flair. This garden is only a small portion of the Hemisfair Park. This area of downtown is part of a massive redevelopment, so the next time you visit Hemisfair park and Yanaguana Garden you may just find a new shop or cafe in the historic homes nearby.
If you’re looking for local art in downtown San Antonio, then head to La Villita. This artist market is found right near the River Walk, so it’s usually a busy spot. However, there is no better place to find folk art. The art here is just as beautiful as the architecture. La Villita Historic Arts Village is actually on the National Register of Historic Places. La Villita is truly an iconic place to experience San Antonio culture.