Best Free Things to Do in Richmond

Richmond, Virginia, is a city known for its rich history, vibrant arts scene, and a wide array of attractions. The good news is that you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy your time in this charming Southern city. Here are some of the best free things to do in Richmond:

Downtown Richmond Virginia

1. Virginia State Capitol

Visit the Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson, and take a free guided tour to learn about the history of this iconic building. You can also explore the beautiful grounds and stroll around the Capitol Square.

2. Hollywood Cemetery

Take a peaceful walk through Hollywood Cemetery, the final resting place of several U.S. Presidents, notable Virginians, and Confederate soldiers. The cemetery is not only historically significant but also offers some of the best views of the James River.

3. Virginia War Memorial

The Virginia War Memorial is a moving tribute to Virginia’s veterans. Explore the memorial’s outdoor elements and enjoy the stunning view of the Richmond skyline from the top of the hill.

4. Maymont

Maymont is a beautiful 100-acre estate that includes a historic mansion, wildlife exhibits, and gorgeous gardens. While there may be a fee for some of the attractions, you can explore the gardens and visit the resident animals in the wildlife center for free.

5. Richmond’s Street Art

Richmond is known for its impressive street art scene. Take a self-guided tour of the city’s murals and graffiti art, which can be found throughout neighborhoods like Scott’s Addition and Jackson Ward.

6. Belle Isle

Belle Isle, located in the James River, is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts. You can access the island for free, and it’s a great place for picnicking, hiking, sunbathing, and enjoying the river. Don’t forget to check out the historic ruins on the island.

7. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

While some exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts may require admission, the museum’s permanent collection, which includes works by famous artists like Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, can be viewed for free.

8. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Although Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden typically charges admission, you can visit for free on certain days and times, usually in the late afternoon. Enjoy the beautiful plant collections, themed gardens, and a treetop walkway.

9. James River Park System

Richmond is fortunate to have the James River running through the city. The James River Park System offers miles of hiking and biking trails, along with access to the river for kayaking, swimming, and fishing.

10. Carytown

Explore Carytown, known as the “Mile of Style.” While shopping and dining are popular activities here, simply wandering the streets and enjoying the unique shops and street performers costs nothing.

11. Hollywood Cemetery

Stroll through the Hollywood Cemetery, the final resting place of James Monroe and many other famous figures. The well-manicured grounds and scenic views of the James River make it a peaceful and reflective destination.

Whether you’re interested in history, the outdoors, or the arts, Richmond offers a wide range of free activities to enjoy. These options provide an excellent way to experience the city without spending a dime.