How to visit St. Louis, MO, on a budget

My personal travel philosophy is that I’d rather take several cheaper trips, rather than blowing my entire budget on a single five-star holiday. In that spirit, I’m going to share with you my tips on how to visit St. Louis, Missouri, on a budget.

Free or Cheap Things to Do

The good news is that there are plenty of things to see and do around the city for free or for just a few dollars. Many St. Louis museums offer completely free admission, including the Contemporary Art Museum, which is free to visit on Wednesdays and Sundays. The Missouri History Museum, a museum dedicated to the history of the area, is always free but charges fees for some special exhibitions.

Many zoos require you to pay admission, but the 100-year-old Saint Louis Zoo offers free general admission and has an amazing array of birds and animals to see. Of course, if you love to be outdoors as much as I do, then you can check out Forest Park. It’s 500 acres larger than New York’s Central Park, and it’s right in the heart of the city.

One of my favourite free activities in every city is just to take a stroll and see the architecture. It’s well worth a walk to see the Cathedral Basilica. If you have $2 to spare, you can go inside and see the amazing collection of mosaics. You can also take a stroll along the St. Louis Walk of Fame, a miniature version of the famous Hollywood site, where you can see the names of many famous locals from Tennessee Williams to Chuck Berry to Miles Davis.

Image via Flickr by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton

Find Affordable Accommodation

Of course, one of the things that generally takes the biggest chunk out of your budget is accommodations. Luckily, it’s not too hard to find a hotel from as little as $42 a night, or around £32, which leaves funds for important stuff like … food!

Where to Eat On the Cheap

I don’t like to blow too much of my budget on eating out at fancy restaurants, nor do I want to spend a whole trip living off Pot Noodles or cheap hotdogs. However, if you know where to look, it’s easy to get a meal out for under $10. When I’m in the U.S., I usually try to find a good deli, where I can choose from salads, sandwiches, soups, noodles, and even more for as little as $5 or $6 per meal.

Let’s face it. Who doesn’t love a properly stuffed sandwich? There are plenty to be found at the Blues City Deli, which also caters to vegetarians, or Gioia’s Deli, where you can experience more of an Italian-American flavour. Alternatively, fill up on affordable Mediterranean-style food at Tazé, where you can pick up my all-time favourite falafels, mountains of Greek salad, and five kinds of hummus.


Let me know your favourite budget spots in St. Louis in the comments!

3 thoughts on “How to visit St. Louis, MO, on a budget

  1. We went to Vernon’s BBQ which also offers vegan/vegetarian options (smoked tofu) and is super cheap and amazingly tasty. St Louis is known for its BBQ, so this is a great option for people who want to try out the local food and stay within a budget.


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