Things to Do in Nashville TN: 14 Affordable Activities in Music City

Nashville oozes musical history, culture, and Southern charm around every corner. But you don't need to break the bank to experience everything this city has to offer.

Follow along as we list some of the cheap things to do in Nashville.

Beyond the glitzy Broadway honky-tonks, there is a symphony of cheap things to do for music lovers, foodies, history buffs, and families alike. You’ll find scenic parks with live music, vibrant farmers markets, and fascinating historic sites that offer a glimpse into Nashville’s storied past.

Tour magnificent estates like Belmont Mansion, then explore Civil War history at Fort Negley. And visit the Country Music Hall of Fame without spending a fortune.

There are many ways to discover Nashville’s dynamic personality with cash left in your pocket. Read on to see how to save money while enjoying everything from local markets and shops to museums and city landmarks on your next Music City getaway!

Belmont Mansion

Built in the 19th century as a summer retreat for one of Nashville’s wealthiest couples, Belmont Mansion now serves as a museum on the Belmont University campus. This gorgeous Italian-style villa and its grounds include:

  • elaborate gardens,
  • an art gallery,
  • bowling alley,
  • and even a private zoo.

Today, visitors can take guided tours of the mansion and its magnificent antebellum architecture daily. Tours run every half hour, with the last one departing at 3:30 pm.

At just $15 a ticket, touring opulent Belmont Mansion makes for a budget-friendly glimpse into the lifestyles of The South’s elite. The romantic vibe of the villa also makes it one of the best cheap things to do in Nashville for couples.

Psssst… interested in learning how you can save even more on your Belmont Mansion tickets? Check out our Belmont Mansion Ultimate Guide. It’s loaded with helpful tips and tricks to keep your budget in check!

exterior view of Belmont Mansion and Nashville Historic House Museum on a sunny day in Nashville, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: Belmont Mansion via Facebook

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

Commemorating Tennessee’s 1996 Bicentennial Celebration, Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park offers visitors an immersive look at the state’s history. Spanning 11 acres, the park features a 200-foot map of Tennessee, WWII Memorial, 95-bell carillon, Pathway of History, and fountains representing the state’s rivers.

Visitors can also stroll the Walkway of Counties, which has 11 planters showcasing native plant species from regions across Tennessee. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or just curious, don’t forget to drop by the Bicentennial Capitol Mall, one of the city’s state parks, during your Nashville trip.

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

A trip to The Hermitage in Nashville provides the opportunity to explore the historic home of President Andrew Jackson for an affordable price. The $20 entrance fee grants you access to the stunning 1,120-acre grounds.

Which feature lush gardens, preserved architecture, and educational exhibits detailing life in early 19th century America. Guests can tour Jackson’s mansion and tomb, then walk the landscape at their own pace, taking in the sights and sounds of this National Historic Landmark.

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Afterwards, sample some local varietals grown right on the property at Natchez Hills Winery which offers discounted wine tastings. With so much to discover for such a reasonable rate, it’s easy to see why The Hermitage is considered one of the best cheap things to do in Tennessee.

Front of colonial style white home with large green trees and a green lawn surrounding itNashville Music City Circuit

Getting around Nashville can really take a bite out of your wallet. Between rideshares, parking, and other transportation costs, seeing all the best sites in downtown Nashville can leave your bank account empty.

Fortunately, the city offers a free solution to this travelers’ dilemma – the Nashville Music City Circuit bus! Making stops at world-famous Lower Broadway, the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame.

And more iconic Nashville locales, this miracle on wheels brings the best of the city to you…for zero dollars. The Music City Circuit runs from 6:30 am to 11 pm on weekdays and from 11 am to 11 pm on weekends.

Onboard tourist guides will point out noteworthy spots and share fun Music City history along the route too. So leave the parking headaches and online tickets at home, and see Music City the easy, breezy, and free way!

The State Capitol Building

Visiting the Tennessee State Capitol Building is a must for a cost-effective and enjoyable experience in Nashville. Built in 1859, this historic government structure survived the Civil War and holds the tales of many political debates.

Related Post: Madame Tussauds Nashville Coupons – Guide to Discounts & Reviews

The Capitol offer free guided tours for you to marvel at the ornate interior, and discover the tombs of President James K. Polk and his wife in the western courtyard. With free weekend parking nearby, this attraction offers insight at no cost.

After your Capitol visit, try an iRide Nashville Downtown Segway Tour for a unique downtown experience. Cruise past renowned destinations like the:

  • Country Music Hall of Fame,
  • Johnny Cash Museum,
  • Lower Broadway’s entertainment district,
  • Ascend Amphitheater,
  • and many more!

With skilled guides and a Segway lesson, this two-and-a-half-hour guided tour promises a memorable Music City sightseeing experience. You won’t want to miss it!

exterior view of the capitol building on a sunny day in Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Take a free tour of the Tennessee State Capitol building.

Nashville Farmers Market & Flea Market

As one of the oldest farmers markets in the United States, the Nashville Farmers Market has been a staple of Tennessee food and culture since its founding in the early 1800s. Spanning over 10 acres with indoor and outdoor vendor spaces.

This lively market is now open year-round, overflowing with fresh-picked produce, artisanal goods, global cuisine, and down-home Southern hospitality. The international food hall is a must-visit with authentic ethnic eats.

Wander through over 150 locally owned shops and stalls offering seasonal fruits and veggies, fresh-baked breads, fragrant flowers, handcrafted items, and much more. As one of the city’s top things to do in Nashville, the historic Nashville Farmers Market & Flea Market promises a feast for the senses.

close up of cherry tomatoes at farmers marketMusic City Walk of Fame

The Music City Walk of Fame on Nashville’s iconic Music Mile celebrates the heart and soul of Tennessee’s musical heritage. The singers, songwriters, producers, and industry professionals who built Music City into the capital of country music worldwide.

This tribute display along Demonbreun Street immortalizes legends like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, and more with colorful sidewalk plaques. The best part? Taking a stroll down the Walk of Fame to discover your favorite music icons is completely free and open to the public 24/7!

Related Post: Plan a Trip to Nashville on a Budget: Have Fun Without Breaking the Bank

You can dance along the musical notes of the piano keys footing, pose for photos by Elvis Presley’s plaque. And walk in the footsteps of country superstars – all while enjoying the sights and sounds of downtown Nashville.

Snap some pics and celebrate the musical magic that makes Nashville proudly known worldwide as Music City! It’s one of the most fun cheap things to do in Nashville for music lovers of all ages.

The Parthenon

Standing majestically in Nashville’s beloved Centennial Park, The Parthenon and its towering, 42-foot recreation of the goddess Athena are full scale replicas of the original ancient structures in Athens, Greece.

Constructed for the 1897 Centennial Exposition celebrating Nashville’s 100th birthday. This full scale replica boasts direct casts of the Acropolis’ original 5th century BC sculptures and intricate architectural details.

Also housed inside is a permanent collection of 63 classic American paintings, as well as rotating art exhibits and shows. The Parthenon is open daily except Mondays for just $4-6 – an absolute steal to witness such exquisite craftsmanship and world-famous art so close to home.

After exploring The Parthenon’s many wonders, continue your Music City adventures aboard the Old Town Trolley Nashville for a fully-narrated hop on, hop off tour. From the iconic sites of Broadway to the trendy shops and restaurants in the Gulch, the Old Town Trolley brings Nashville’s rhythm to life on this can’t-miss city sightseeing tour.

exterior view of grey stone at The Parthenon on a sunny day in Nashville, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: Sightseers’ Delight via Facebook

Tennessee State Museum

Looking to get your Tennessee history fix but don’t want to spend a dime? The Tennessee State Museum is dedicated to preserving Tennessee’s history through its permanent and rotating exhibitions.

Related Post: Free Things to Do in Nashville TN – 16 Can’t Miss Activities

You can nerd out for hours, wandering through their massive collection of over 70,000 artifacts. We’re talking early Native American tools, psychedelic 60’s furniture, centuries-old maps, and even a creepy room filled with taxidermy!

So if you wanna act like a kid again and see some totally rad memorabilia for zero dollars, this museum is the perfect place to be. It’s one of those free things to do in Nashville that’s totally worth checking out!

Fort Negley

Considered the largest inland ffort built during the Civil War era, Fort Negley stands today as a towering testament to Nashville’s complex and tumultuous past. Built in 1862 under Union occupation, this imposing stone fortress once protected the city center.

And railroads while representing the trauma of warfare and division that scarred both the nation and Music City. Now a historical park, visitors can explore Fort Negley and its legacy of conflict and reconstruction.

Interactive exhibits and short films unpack critical historical events while paved walking paths with educational panels guide you through the sprawling grounds. Stroll atop the grassy earthworks and marvel at the 360-degree views of Nashville’s skyline.

The site allows leashed pets and is also walking distance from Lower Broadway’s famed honky tonks and bars. With free admission and such a pivotal role in Tennessee’s storied history, Fort Negley is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and affordable things to discover in the city.

What's left of a old stone wall at Fort Negley with an American flag flying behind it.
Photo Credit: The “Friends Of Fort Negley” via Facebook

Belle Meade Historic Site Winery

Step back in time and tantalize your taste buds with a visit to Belle Meade Historic Site Winery. This antebellum Nashville mansion turned winery promises history, architecture, lush nature, and of course, delicious vino – all for an incredibly affordable starting price of $15.

With reasonable rates, charming pastoral scenery, and award-winning wines from Southern grapes, Belle Meade Winery secures its rank amongst the can’t-miss inexpensive things to do in Nashville. Immerse yourself in Music City charm, history, and hospitality – with a glass of red or white in hand!

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Dive into the legendary music scene of Nashville by exploring iconic venues like the Grand Ole Opry House and the Johnny Cash Museum. To deepen your passion for music, make your next stop the renowned Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Step into a remarkable gallery that pays homage to the exceptional talents of history’s finest musicians. As you wander through exhibits honoring celebrated singers like Bill Anderson, Western Edge, and Dick Curless, you’ll find yourself immersed in the rich tapestry of Nashville’s musical legacy.

This iconic destination not only honors legendary artists but also provides an immersive experience. With its vibrant exhibits and interactive displays, it allows you to connect with the roots and evolution of country music.

exterior of Country Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennesse, USA
photo credit: Downtown Nashville via Facebook

12 South and East Nashville

12 South is a charming neighborhood renowned for its wallet-friendly boutiques, affordable eateries, and vibrant street art. Although small, this lively business district is very walkable, making it easy to check out multiple shops and eateries in one afternoon.

Related Post: Things to Do with Kids in Nashville: Top 13 Fun Activities

In between your retail therapy, fuel up at one of 12 South’s famous gourmet fast casual restaurants. There are also great coffee shops and the legendary Las Paletas gourmet popsicle shop to feed a sweet tooth on a budget.

You can also check out free live entertainment any night of the week at venue’s along 12 South’s popular strip. While nightlife may be low-key, the abundance of affordable shopping and Instagram-worthy spots makes 12 South an ideal, cost-effective destination.

Discover The Music City with These Cheap Things to Do in Nashville

Exploring the soul of Nashville doesn’t have to strain your budget. Luckily, there are numerous affordable and even free activities that allow you to fully immerse yourself in Nashville’s vibrant culture and entertainment.

Having a blast in Music City doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. Now armed with the top cheap things to do in Nashville, the only question is: where will your adventure kick off?

The variety of cheap things to do here means no one has to miss out on experiencing Nashville’s dynamic personality. So, why wait? Book your tickets through Tripster today!

With these affordable gems ready for your encore, you’ll be dancing in the streets of Nashville for pennies a day!

Tell Us, What Other Best Things to Do in Nashville Cheap Did We Miss?

What other attractions in Nashville TN would you add to our list? Share with us in the comments below!

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Written by Archie Villaflores

Over the years, he has won numerous national contests for news and editorial writing, but he has recently discovered that his true passion...

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