San Antonio is one of Texas’ largest cities. Full of history, Mexican culture and outdoor fun, there is plenty to do in San Antonio for those on a budget. Visit some of San Antonio’s most popular attractions like the Alamo and the River Walk or browse the city’s eclectic art museums. No matter if you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast or a foodie, there is a budget-friendly thing to do in San Antonio.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Nearby Hotels)
History buffs on a budget won’t want to miss out on exploring the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. This area is home to four missions that were created by the Spanish in the 1700s to convert Native Americans to Catholicism. The four missions on site are still active Catholic churches. View the historic buildings on the property or even attend a church service here.
McNay Art Museum (Nearby Hotels)
Visit the first modern art museum to open in Texas, the McNay Art Museum. Here visitors can view over 10,000 art pieces from famous artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. Now for visitors on a budget, head to the McNay Art Museum on Thursdays nights and the first Sunday of each month for free admission.
The Alamo (Nearby Hotels)
Is a visit to San Antonio even a real visit without exploring the Alamo? The Alamo is one of San Antonio’s most iconic historic structures. Entrance to the Alamo is free. Many important historical events occurred at the Alamo, therefore the structure represents courage and sacrifice. Even if you aren’t much into the history of the place, the Alamo is still an awesome location to get a great picture.
San Antonio Museum of Art (Nearby Hotels)
A wide variety of art is found at the San Antonio Museum of Art. From Asian art to European pieces to a Latin American collection, there is a piece of art sure to inspire anyone that walks through this museum’s doors. Not only is free admission offered on Tuesday afternoons and Sundays before noon but budget-conscious visitors will also find free classes held here too.
River Walk (Nearby Hotels)
Anyone that visits San Antonio will end up strolling the city’s most visited attraction – the River Walk. Although the River Walk is home to some of San Antonio’s upscale hotels and restaurants, it’s free to simply walk and take in the atmosphere here. View the river boats, come upon live music, or simply soak up the natural scenery in this popular historic area.
Market Square (Nearby Hotels)
San Antonio’s vibe is strongly influenced by Mexican and Hispanic culture. Therefore stroll around downtown’s vibrant Mexican market, referred to as either Market Square or El Mercado. The indoor market is open daily and full of hundreds of vendors selling anything from clothing to handmade goods to Mexican food. Even if it’s not in the budget to shop, this area is still a festive place to soak in the local culture and take some colorful pictures. There may even be free entertainment at the square too.
Brackenridge Park (Nearby Hotels)
One of the most popular parks in the city is Brackenridge Park. This park is where the locals go to jog, picnic and simply relax. One of the coolest places to explore at Brackenridge is the Japanese Tea Garden, where there is a 60-foot waterfall and a pond full of Koi fish. If you are seeking some outdoor fun for free, Brackenridge Park and the Japanese Tea Garden are must-visit spots.
Witte Museum (Nearby Hotels)
After spending some time in Brackenridge Park, walk over to Witte Museum to view Texas art, historic artifacts and other unique science and history exhibits. Now there is an admission charge to enter the Witte Museum unless you visit this San Antonio establishment on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. when admission is free.
Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum (Nearby Hotels)
The Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum is an art complex that is accessible via the River Walk. This unique art complex is a place to not only view great art but also grab a craft beer from Blue Star Brewery. The art here is focused on contemporary art from both established artists and local artists just emerging on the scene. For those interested in learning more about the up-and-coming art scene in San Antonio, the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum is the place to visit.
Take a Bike Ride with BCycle (Nearby Hotels)
San Antonio is home to a bike share program called BCycle. For $12, you can rent a bike for 24 hours. This option is a great way to explore the city without having to waste time walking or pay much in transportation fees. With a bike, you’ll be able to access many of the attractions on this list. There are also BCycle stations found all over the city and even in places listed here like Witte Museum, Brackenridge Park and even the Missions.