We are so fortunate to live in a city full of amazing restaurants, live music, and great shopping but doing all of those things requires money and it can add up quickly when you’re out for the day! We’re lucky there are endless amounts of free things to do in Austin as well, and many of them we can enjoy outdoors in our awesome weather!
From great parks to window shopping on South Congress, Austin is home to many free experiences. Bookmark this guide of free things to do in Austin for the next time you are looking for a good time that’s completely free!
Also known as “dog heaven,” grab your charcuterie board and furry friend to enjoy the spacious greenery that is home to the popular music festival, Austin City Limits. It’s definitely the most known park in Austin. There’s plenty to do at Zilker – picnic, hang out with pups, strum your guitar, practice yoga, play spike ball, and of course, people watch!
🗓 Every Day | 5AM-10PM
There’s absolutely nothing like plunging into the cool water of Barton Springs Pool on a summer day; every Austinite knows that. Enjoy the sunny hill, refreshing spring, and friendly environment year-round. The natural swimming pool charges admission from Austin ISD Spring Break through the end of October. You can find the ticket prices at austintexas.gov/page/pool-fees-rentals.
We personally love going to the free side and hanging out in the springs for a chill summer day just as much as the enclosed area of the paid side!
Be sure to visit one of our favorite swimming holes in Austin. Have you ever participated in the polar plunge? It is definitely on our bucket list!
🗓 Fri – Wed | 5AM-8AM Swim at Your Own Risk; 8AM-10PM Guarded Swim
🗓 Thurs | 5AM-9AM Swim at Your Own Risk; 7PM-10PM Guarded Swim
You will find one of the best views the city has to offer by walking the steps to the top of Mount Bonnell. It’s a really short from the free parking lot at the top of the hill. See some of the most extravagant homes of Austin and the beautiful water of Lake Austin all while taking in the fresh Austin air!
There are many trails within the Greenbelt: each one different yet beautiful. Plan your hike around the gorgeous attractions like Sculpture Falls or Campbell’s Hole. The Barton Creek Greenbelt contains almost 13 miles of trails and beautiful scenery. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and water! 😊
Checking out the bats on the South Congress bridge is definitely a bucket list free thing to do in Austin for those visiting or new to Austin. The best spot to watch the bats take off is in the grassy area under the bridge. Bring a blanket and watch the bats fly out from under the South Congress Bridge to experience true magic. One of our favorite places to enjoy the view is at P6 located at the Line hotel!
🗓 Daily Late March – Early Fall | Arrive Before Sunset
South Congress is an eccentric neighborhood in South Austin and is home to great shops, amazing food, and even cooler people. Although shopping requires money, window shopping on this street is one of the most fun free things to do in Austin! We must warn you though, you will definitely be tempted to buy something.
If you are looking for a more in-depth guide to South Congress read more below!
Need to up your Instagram game? Lucky for you, Austin has plenty of murals for great photo ops for your aesthetic. Read our blog linked below to check out our favorites in Austin. And here’s our current favorite mural!
📍 Austin, Texas
If you’re looking to change up your afternoon or evening? Turn it into a giant game night! Wooldridge Square Park’s Giant Chess is the perfect place to start.
🗓 Sat | 1 PM-4PM
You don’t have to own a boat to experience the lakes of Austin. The Boardwalk Trail on Lady Bird Lake is a great way to get your lake time while also moving your body!
Going all the way from East Austin to Downtown, and even with views of South Congress, you can see a good chunk of Austin done by following this path.
🗓 Every Day | 5AM–12AM
Walking around UT gives you that true Austin feeling, while taking in sights that have been around for decades!
And if you’re a fan of the arts, every Tuesday, Blanton Museum of Art offers FREE tours!
🗓 Tues-Fri & Sun | 10AM-5PM
🗓 Sat | 10AM-8PM
🗓 Mon | CLOSED
Mueller Park is the perfect location in Austin for a picnic in the park. There’s a pavilion overlooking the beautiful pong and lots of geese to watch for a family-friendly day in the park. The also host lots of free events, so take a look to see what’s happening in Mueller before you visit! 😊
🗓 Daily | 5AM-10PM
White Horse is one of the best honky tonk bars in Austin. They offer all kinds of free dance lessons – two step, blues, and swing dancing! Take a look at their schedule to plan your dance lesson.
🗓Tues – Wed | 7PM
🗓Every 1st & 3rd Mon | 7PM
🗓Mon – Sun | 3PM-2AM
Austin is the live music capital of the world, so make sure to jam to some awesome talent if you’re visiting or local! In the summer, ACL hosts a free concert series called Blues on The Green, which is in Zilker Park. Rainey Street usually has live performers at the local bars, although you might be tempted to buy some drinks.
Make sure you’re following us to stay in the know for all of the concerts in Austin!
📍 Austin, Texas
Umlauf Sculpture Garden is a beautiful garden museum that’s a great family-friendly free thing to do in Austin. It’s right near Barton Springs and free for kids 0-12. There’s a small fee for adults.
They also host all kinds of fun events like free yoga and public tours, so check their website before your visit!
🗓 Tues – Fri | 10AM-4PM
🗓 Sat – Sun | 11AM-4PM
🗓 Mon | Closed
Austin is the capitol of Texas, so if you’re visiting or live here you should totally try to make a point of visiting the capitol. Outside of the building, there are beautiful walking paths and areas to sit to have a picnic. Or, step inside and plan a tour to learn some Texas history.
You. can take a self-guided tour or see key areas with a guide. To plan your visit, check the capitol’s website.
🗓 Mon – Fri | 7AM-8PM
🗓 Sat-Sun | 9AM-8PM
If you are looking for more free things to do in Austin be sure to follow us on TikTok to see a new video every week on fun and free things to do in the city!
Looking for more stuff to do in Austin? Check out our Austin City Guide page and start exploring everything ATX has to offer today! To stay on top of the latest updates on new restaurants and events follow us on Instagram and Facebook @StufftoDoinAustin!
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