Believe it or not, the must-do St. Louis list includes a fair number of free attractions, the happy residue of a civic ethos that enjoys making cultural and educational opportunities available even to its least privileged citizens. Mind you, these are world-class institutions that are no less wonderful for being free and include the Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Science Center and Missouri History Museum, all denizens of our spectacular urban greenspace, Forest Park. But there's more—let the adventure begin.
One of the top comprehensive art museums in the U.S. features exhibits from nearly every period and national origin, with extensive holdings in pre-Columbian and German art, and an outstanding collection of American art from 1800 to 1945. The museum maintains a full schedule of lectures, tours, films and performances.
Seventy-nine acres of trees, gardens and conservatories, a must-see for any visitor, any time of year. Free tours of the garden at 11 am daily. Garden open 9 am-5 pm daily (open 7 am W and Sa). Admission $12 adults, free children 12 and under, fees for some special exhibits.
One of the top zoos in the U.S. houses more than 16,000 animals, many of them rare and endangered. Admission to the zoo and most exhibits is free. Admission to some ticketed exhibits are free the first hour the zoo is open. Adventure Pass (covers many ticketed attractions) $12.95. Open daily, 9 am-5 pm.
Investigate, explore, and engage with science through fun and interactive learning experiences. Seven hundred-plus interactive experiences, live science demonstrations and special exhibitions, plus the exhibit Grow! that follows food from field to table. Plan to spend at least half a day.
Completed in 1914, the cathedral’s gray granite Romanesque exterior gives way to a breathtaking white and yellow marble Byzantine interior that glows with the largest collection of mosaics under one roof in the world. Open daily, 7 am-5 pm. Museum and shop open M-Sa, 10 am-4 pm; Su, noon-4 pm.
Tours of the world-famous brewery run the gamut from free to $25 (totally worth it). Guests 21 or older may try samples of A-B products. Tour hours: M-Sa, 10 am-4 pm; Su, 11:30 am-4 pm. Reservations requested. Great gift shop. The Biergarten offers more than 15 beers on tap, beer flights, brewmaster tastings and food.