Top 10 Free Attractions and Activities in Atlanta

Atlanta, a city bursting with culture, history, and an array of activities, offers a treasure trove of experiences that don’t require you to open your wallet. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this guide to the top 10 free attractions and activities in Atlanta will help you explore the city’s vibrant scenes without spending a dime. From lush parks to captivating art exhibits, get ready to enrich your days with these cost-free adventures.

Key Takeaways

  • Centennial Olympic Park provides a historic and recreational space that celebrates the legacy of the 1996 Olympics.
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site offers a profound look into the life and legacy of the civil rights leader.
  • The Atlanta BeltLine is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring trails, street art, and family-friendly activities.
  • Art lovers can indulge in contemporary works at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and enjoy free admission days at The High Museum of Art.
  • Historic sites like Oakland Cemetery and educational spots like the Fernbank Science Center enrich visitors with Atlanta’s history and scientific wonders.

1. Centennial Olympic Park

1. Centennial Olympic Park

Nestled in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park is a testament to the city’s rich Olympic history and a beacon of community gatherings. This sprawling urban oasis offers a peaceful retreat with its lush lawns, mesmerizing Fountain of Rings, and an array of free concerts and events throughout the year.

Centennial Olympic Park is not just a sight to behold; it’s a hub for activities that cater to all ages. Here’s a quick glimpse of what you can enjoy:

  • Relaxing strolls along the scenic walkways
  • Picnics on the expansive green spaces
  • Interactive play at the Fountain of Rings
  • Seasonal events and festivals

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the park provides a perfect backdrop for making memories without spending a dime. It’s a cornerstone of Atlanta’s free attractions, embodying the spirit of community and celebration.

2. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

2. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site offers a profound glimpse into the life and legacy of one of America’s most influential civil rights leaders. Visitors can explore Dr. King’s childhood home, the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where he co-pastored, and The King Center, where his and Coretta Scott King’s tombs lie.

Free to the public, the site not only educates but also inspires action towards justice. Here’s what you can expect during your visit:

  • A journey through the preserved rooms of Dr. King’s birth home.
  • Reflective moments at the Eternal Flame symbolizing the ongoing fight for equality.
  • Engaging exhibits at the Visitor Center detailing the civil rights movement.

Embrace the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history and reflect on the powerful messages of peace and equality that resonate to this day.

Remember to check for special events and programs, especially during Black History Month, which may include ranger-led tours, film screenings, and educational workshops.

3. Atlanta BeltLine

3. Atlanta BeltLine

The Atlanta BeltLine is a vibrant urban redevelopment project that has transformed the city’s landscape. Grab your bikes and head to this looping trail for an adventure that combines art, nature, and community. You’ll encounter spectacular street art and a variety of family-friendly restaurants along the way.

  • Explore the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail for a mix of green space and urban scenery.
  • Visit the Westside Trail to discover emerging neighborhoods and public art installations.

The BeltLine is more than just a trail; it’s a living, breathing part of Atlanta that offers a unique experience with every visit.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the BeltLine provides a free and accessible way to enjoy Atlanta’s outdoors. Don’t miss out on a fantastic day in the city, especially if you’re looking to find what makes Atlanta special.

4. Piedmont Park

4. Piedmont Park

Nestled in the heart of Atlanta, Piedmont Park offers a verdant escape with its sprawling lawns and picturesque views. This urban oasis is a hub for outdoor activities, cultural events, and leisurely strolls. Whether you’re looking to participate in a festival or simply enjoy a picnic, the park’s 200 acres are open to the public daily, providing a free resource to all Atlantans.

Upcoming events at Piedmont Park include the Atlanta Film Festival from April 25 to May 5, 2024, and the Atlanta Wine & Jazz Festival on May 4, 2024. For those who appreciate the arts, the Chastain Park Arts Festival on May 11-12, 2024, is not to be missed. Each event brings its own unique flavor to the park, making it a lively destination throughout the year.

Adjacent to the park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must-visit attraction. With its enchanting exhibitions and regular events, it’s a perfect complement to a day spent at Piedmont Park.

Remember to check the Piedmont Park Conservancy website for any alerts and closures before planning your visit. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder Piedmont Park is considered one of Atlanta’s premier free attractions.

5. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

5. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is a vibrant hub for art enthusiasts and families alike. With free admission, it’s an accessible way to explore the dynamic world of contemporary art. The center showcases a diverse range of exhibitions, featuring both local and international artists.

One of the center’s highlights is Contemporary Kids, a free and interactive family-friendly program. It introduces children to contemporary art and artists through hands-on activities. This initiative not only fosters creativity but also makes art approachable for the younger audience.

The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is not just a gallery; it’s a space where the community can engage with art in a meaningful way.

Whether you’re an art aficionado or just looking for a unique way to spend an afternoon, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center offers an enriching experience for all visitors.

6. Krog Street Tunnel

6. Krog Street Tunnel

The Krog Street Tunnel is a kaleidoscope of vibrant street art and a testament to Atlanta’s creative spirit. Discover a constantly evolving canvas where local artists showcase their talents. This tunnel connects the neighborhoods of Cabbagetown and Inman Park, making it not just a passage, but a destination in itself.

  • Take a leisurely walk and admire the ever-changing murals.
  • Capture unique photos against the colorful backdrop.
  • Experience the pulse of the city’s urban art scene.

The Krog Street Tunnel is more than just a thoroughfare; it’s a living gallery that reflects the heart of Atlanta’s art community.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, the Krog Street Tunnel is a must-visit. It’s a place where the city’s history and present come together in a vivid display of creativity and expression.

7. Historic Oakland Cemetery

7. Historic Oakland Cemetery

Step into the past at the Historic Oakland Cemetery, where Atlanta’s history comes alive amidst ancient oaks and magnolias. This garden cemetery, founded in 1850, is the final resting place for many of Atlanta’s settlers, builders, and most noted citizens.

Explore the art and architecture that spans more than a century, with stunning mausoleums, sculptures, and the famed Oakland Bell Tower. The cemetery is not only a place for reflection but also a venue for various events throughout the year.

  • Guided tours offer insights into the historical significance of the site.
  • Self-guided walking tours allow for a personal experience at your own pace.
  • Special events, like the Halloween tours, add a unique twist to the cemetery’s ambiance.

While visiting, take a moment to enjoy the peaceful gardens and reflect on the stories of those who shaped Atlanta.

Remember, the cemetery is an active green space where locals jog and walk their dogs, making it a vibrant part of the community. It’s a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and best of all, it’s free to the public.

8. Atlanta Monetary Museum

8. Atlanta Monetary Museum

Dive into the fascinating world of money at the Atlanta Monetary Museum. Here, you can explore the history of currency and get an up-close look at the Federal Reserve’s role in the U.S. economy. Discover interactive exhibits that explain the lifecycle of money and the process of monetary policy.

  • Learn about the history of money and banking.
  • See rare coins and currency from around the world.
  • Understand the Federal Reserve’s functions.

The museum offers a unique educational experience that’s both informative and engaging for visitors of all ages. It’s a perfect spot for anyone interested in finance or history.

The Atlanta Monetary Museum is a treasure trove of knowledge where you can turn a regular day into an enriching adventure.

9. Fernbank Science Center

9. Fernbank Science Center

The Fernbank Science Center is a gem for families and science enthusiasts alike. With free admission, it’s an accessible way to explore the wonders of science and nature. The center boasts a range of exhibits and activities that cater to all ages.

  • The Planetarium offers captivating shows that take you on a journey through the cosmos.
  • Live Animals provide an up-close experience with nature’s diverse creatures.
  • The Apollo 6 Capsule is a must-see for space history buffs.
  • The Observatory opens a window to the stars, making it a perfect spot for aspiring astronomers.

The Fernbank Science Center is not just a place to learn; it’s a place to experience the thrill of discovery and the joy of learning.

Whether you’re interested in a fun family outing or looking to indulge your curiosity, the Fernbank Science Center has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on their cool events and special presentations that make science come alive!

10. The High Museum of Art Free Admission Days

10. The High Museum of Art Free Admission Days

Art enthusiasts and families alike can enjoy the rich cultural experience offered by the High Museum of Art without spending a dime on the Second Sunday of each month. Explore a diverse collection of art that spans from classic to contemporary, all for free.

Free admission days are perfect for a leisurely stroll through the museum’s galleries, and they even cater to the youngest of art lovers with Toddler Tuesdays, designed to spark creativity in children aged fifteen months to three years through engaging themes and activities.

Remember to mark your calendar and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of art.

For those planning a visit, here’s a quick rundown of the free admission times:

  • Second Sunday of each month
  • Toddler Tuesdays for young children

Be sure to check out the High Museum’s website for more details and any updates on their free admission days.


Atlanta truly offers a wealth of experiences that don’t require you to open your wallet. From the vibrant street art along the Atlanta BeltLine to the rich history and culture on display at various free exhibits, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, these top 10 free attractions and activities are a fantastic way to explore the city’s charm without spending a dime. So, grab your friends and family, and start making unforgettable memories in Atlanta’s bustling neighborhoods, lush parks, and dynamic public spaces. And remember, for more details on these attractions and many more, be sure to check out their websites and never miss a chance to experience Atlanta on the cheap!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some free attractions to visit in Atlanta?

You can visit Centennial Olympic Park, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, the Atlanta BeltLine, Piedmont Park, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Krog Street Tunnel, Historic Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta Monetary Museum, and on certain days, the High Museum of Art offers free admission.

Are there any family-friendly activities in Atlanta that are free?

Yes, the Atlanta BeltLine is a great place for families, offering spectacular street art and family-friendly restaurants. Additionally, there are many free events in Atlanta such as neighborhood festivals, farmers’ markets, and live music events.

Where can I find information about free events in Atlanta?

You can find information about free and cheap events in Atlanta on local websites, newsletters, and community boards that list neighborhood festivals, markets, and other activities. Make sure to check event details as some may require pre-registration.

Can I enjoy art in Atlanta without spending money?

Absolutely! The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center offers free contemporary art exhibits, and there are often photography and art exhibits in various galleries and museums around the city that are free to the public.

Are there any free outdoor concerts in Atlanta?

Yes, there are free outdoor concerts like Sunday Funkday with live music at The Works on the westside of Atlanta. Keep an eye out for local event schedules to catch these performances.

How can I stay updated on free and cheap things to do in Atlanta?

To stay updated, you can subscribe to local newsletters, follow community event pages on social media, and regularly check websites dedicated to Atlanta’s events and attractions.

Is there a place to experience free sports or recreational activities in Atlanta?

Yes, there are opportunities such as ‘Try Hockey for Free Day’ for kids, and you can also enjoy biking along the Atlanta BeltLine. Additionally, some parks may offer free ranger-led walks and events.

Are there any special free activities during Black History Month in Atlanta?

During Black History Month, you can find free events such as movie screenings, like ‘Soul’ at the Covington Library, and planetarium presentations that celebrate and educate on Black history.

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