Enjoying Nashville on a small budget is entirely possible, while still enjoying the birthplace of country music. There are so many ways to enjoy this spectacular city without breaking the bank in the process.

    The experiences on our list will give you some unique, affordable, and sometimes even free ways to get the best out of the city. Whether you’re seeking historical landmarks, natural adventures, good eats, or even free transportation in Nashville, we have what you need to know on how to enjoy Nashville with a small budget.


    Ernest Tubb Record Shop

    You say record shop, we say free museum

    Ernest Tubb Record Shop was the first location to have music in Nashville, and accordingly, the building is full of historical music memorabilia. Sift through the expansive collection of vinyl records in search of a hidden gem or take a selfie at one of the many photo-worthy corners of this shop. The best part is, you are not inclined to make a purchase to enjoy all this museum has to offer.

    The friendly staff have a plethora of Nashville history to share with their patrons, and the photos to prove that they have been entertaining the city's legends for a very long time.

    Location: 417 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 615-255-7503


    photo by Bazonka (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Get around using B-Cycle

    Quick and affordable transportation around Nashville

    B-Cycle is Nashville's environmentally friendly approach to public transportation. You will find several stations throughout the city where bicycles are docked, and you simply use your credit card on-site to register your 24-hour membership. The inexpensive membership allows you to take any bike around the city.

    Once you reach your destination, just dock the bike and go about your day. Once you’re ready to ride again, use the code given and choose any bike across the city. The membership fee covers the first hour of every ride, and if you ride any longer, you will be charged an additional fee per 30 minutes over the hour.

    Location: 200 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212, USA


    photo by Michael Rivera (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge

    An architectural masterpiece with the best view in Nashville

    The John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge offers one of the most spectacular views of Music City. You will surround yourself with a new picture-postcard moment with every step you make across the 1-km footpath crossing the Cumberland River. There’s no charge to take the path, and the sunset view is priceless. You’ll see the full panoramic view of the Nashville skyline including the Titan's home stadium.

    The bridge itself is an architectural marvel in its own right, displaying the splendid construction style of the early 20th century ornamented with iron, bolts, and rivets. With a cool river breeze brushing your face, you’ll be delighted that you didn't miss this historic stroll.

    Location: Nashville, TN 37213, USA

    Phone: +1 615-862-8750


    Lane Motor Museum

    A car lover's paradise

    Lane Motor Museum is the only car collection in America that can rival Jay Leno's garage featuring the largest display of European cars in the country. The Museum offers a special discounted price to children under the age of 18 and senior citizens, while children under 5 years old are given free admission. 

    The museum has over 500 cars and motorcycles with 150 or more on display at any given time. You will relive your childhood "hot-wheels" days when you tour through the concept section, where you’ll find propeller-driven, early electric, and even amphibious vehicles – all in immaculate condition.

    Location: 702 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37210, USA

    Open: Thursday–Monday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

    Phone: +1 615-742-7445


    photo by dave_7 (CC BY 2.0) modified


    The Parthenon

    Take a step into ancient Greece

    The Parthenon is an exact replica of the ancient Greek structure and has been mystifying its patrons since the 1800s. Walk through 2,000 years of history as you ascend the entry steps. You’ll find several unique landmarks in the surrounding area, but none quite as breathtaking as the giant statue of Athena that's placed as the Parthenon's centrepiece.

    The entry fee is very affordable, and the museum offers discounts for senior citizens, children and students. This sight is a must-see for any visitor to Nashville.

    Location: 2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm, Friday from 9 am to 10 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 615-862-8431


    Float down the Harpeth River

    Cool off with friends in the fresh river water

    The Harpeth river offers hours of fun and relaxation, and always results in time well spent with friends and family. Once you enter the river from the loading zone, it’s common to see kayaks and canoes, but you’ll enjoy the same benefits at a fraction of the cost. Simply bring a pool float or inner tube along with you and float the river for free.

    With the money saved on rentals, you can buy a 6-pack of your favourite beverage and float in style. We recommend making plans to return to the loading point by arranging a vehicle at your landing area.

    Location: 1007 Cedar Hill Rd, Kingston Springs, TN 37082, USA


    Eat at the food trucks

    No need to dine in when you can dine anywhere

    The rising trend of food trucks in Nashville allows you to get some of the best food on the go, and the prices are noticeably cheaper than brick and mortar restaurants. If you haven't experienced the food trucks in Nashville, then you haven't fulfilled your visit.

    There are too many options to name them all, such as mac n' cheese truck, burgers and barbecue, authentic Mexican tacos, and our personal favourite, "DoughBox Pizza". DoughBox a wood-fired pizza oven inside the food truck, bought directly from Naples, Italy. Britany and Wes have perfected the dough, the cheese, and everything in between to make their family business one of the best meals on wheels in Nashville.

    photo by Infrogmation (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    MTA Music City Circuit

    Comfortable transportation... and absolutely free

    MTA public transportation is Nashville's premier method of getting around the city on a budget. It’s easy to spot the big green buses moving about the city on the ‘blue’ and ‘green’ lines, with popular stops including Music City Circuit, the farmers market, and the Gulch.

    Bus facilities are well maintained, air-conditioned, and absolutely free. The MTA is not only good on your budget, but also good on the environment as the buses are fully electric.

    Location: 400 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN 37219, USA

    Phone: +1 615-862-5950


    photo by Thomas R Machnitzki (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Tennessee State Museum

    Immerse yourself in Tennessee’s rich history

    The Tennessee State Museum expresses the state's history like no other, and there is no fee to enjoy the remarkable collection of artefacts on display. The museum consists of a few rotating galleries with photos of the past, a civil war display with battle flags, uniforms, and weaponry of the time.

    Children will enjoy the hands-on, interactive gallery as well as the digital learning centre. Before you leave, be sure to take a trip through the Tennessee Time Tunnel, depicting the state's early beginnings, and progressing to the present day as you reach the tunnel's end. Overall, this is a great museum for historians, families, and anyone seeking to learn what made Tennessee the great state of today.

    Location: 1000 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville, TN 37208, USA

    Open: Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm, Tuesday–Wednesday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday from 10 am to 8 pm, Friday–Saturday 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 615-741-2692


    photo by TNStateMuseum (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Santa’s Pub

    The Christmas spirit never ends at this funky karaoke dive bar

    Santa’s Pub feels like something from a movie, but we assure you're not dreaming. This is a Christmas-themed, double-wide trailer house, and has been hosting some of the best local talents on their Karaoke stage for years. Grab a few domestic beers at the bar and work up the courage to get on the mic, free of charge.

    The drink prices are unbeatable compared to the inner-city pubs, and the ambience is unmatched. Whether you’re coming for the live music or a cold brew, Santa's Pub is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face, and plenty of cash left in your pocket.

    Location: 2225 Bransford Ave, Nashville, TN 37204, USA

    Open: Daily from 4 pm to 2.30 am

    Phone: +1 615-593-1872

    Colby Murray | Contributing Writer

    Start planning your trip

    Why book with Hotels.com?

    Keep exploring

    Travel alert

    COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

    Check restrictions for your trip.
    Back to top