Last Updated on September 20, 2022 by Soumya
Savannah, the beautiful hostess city of south, has tons of amazing things to do. What is interesting is that there are so many affordable and free things to do in Savannah GA that you can easily spend a couple of days here without spending a dime to see any of Savannah’s famed attractions.
In this post, we will talk about 13 free attractions/activities that will easily help you see Savannah on a budget. And this is real free stuff to do in Savannah. Not just things that are free for under 12 years! Don’t believe me? Read this Savannah for free travel guide to find.
- 10 best things to do in Savannah for free.
- Budget accommodation options in and around Savannah, GA.
- How to get around Savannah for free/cheap?
I am telling you visiting Savannah does not have to be super expensive. Read through this Savannah for free travel blog and plan the most memorable yet affordable trip to Savannah Georgia. Let’s get started!
- Best things to do in Savannah GA for free!
- Explore Forsyth Park and its majestic fountain
- Walk through Savannah’s Historic District
- Check out Savannah’s popular public squares for free
- Click many pictures at Jones Street
- Get amazed by the Cathedral of St. John, The Baptist
- Ride the Savannah Belles ferry
- Enjoy views from River Street
- Attend one of Savannah’s many festivals
- Visit Bonaventure Cemetery
- Take a stroll through Colonial Park Cemetery
- Catch a glimpse of the stunning Wormsloe Live Oak Avenue
- Explore Savannah Botanical Gardens for free
- Head to the beach at Tybee Island
- Best budget accommodation in Savannah GA
- Getting around Savannah on a budget
- Savannah Travel Essentials
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Best things to do in Savannah GA for free!
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Explore Forsyth Park and its majestic fountain
A walk in Forsyth Park is what I always do even if I am in Savannah for a day. Forsyth Park never ceases to amaze me. With wide green spaces, massive oak trees, winding nature paths, and a fragrant garden designed especially for the blind, Forsyth Park is a must-have on every Savannah itinerary.
The most iconic of Forsyth Park’s attractions is its majestic fountain that inspires both artists and common man. Modeled after the water fountains of Paris’ Place de la Concorde, this cast-iron fountain is more than 150 years old and extremely beautiful. It is often the preferred spot for romantic photo shoots in Savannah including weddings, proposals, and engagements.
Forsyth Park is a gorgeous place to visit in Savannah for free! If you are here in spring, the park is even prettier with blooms all around. And it plays host to several festivals including the very famous St. Patrick’s Day when the fountain water is dyed all green.
Walk through Savannah’s Historic District
Savannah has a long and intriguing history. And this is amply reflected in the lanes of the Historic District of Savannah. Easily one of the most charming parts of Savannah, the Historic District is filled with museums, churches, mansions, and public squares.
Take a long walk through the cobbled streets of Savannah’s Historic District under moss-covered canopies admiring buildings and monuments that have witnessed 270 years of American history. If you feel like spending a little, you can join one of these trolley tours wherein a guide will give you more details and narrate interesting facts about Savannah.
Check out Savannah’s popular public squares for free
And while you are exploring the historic center, I would urge you to spend time at some of the popular public squares of Savannah. There are 22 of them and they are named after famous people or historical events. Many contain statues, plaques, and memorials and are usually shaded by tall live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss. There’s ample seating space.
Some of these squares, of course, are more famous than the others. Take the case of Chippewa Square which got its big screen moment in the movie “Forrest Gump” as a pretty bus stop. Yet another prominent one is the Monterey Square made famous by the Mercer-Williams House that stands right next to it. Remember the grisly murder of Danny Hansford from the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil? That happened right here! Every square in Savannah has an interesting story to tell!
Click many pictures at Jones Street
Savannah’s Jones Street is one of the prettiest streets in the whole world, if you ask me. It is studded with beautiful Greek Revival houses, manicured gardens, brick-lined sidewalks, and large moss-covered trees.
This place is especially beautiful in spring when azaleas are in full bloom. Even when not, the ivy-covered mansions with their red brick walls and classical mid-century architecture form the perfect backdrop for classic southern photographs. You do not want to forget your camera when you come here.
Jones Street does not usually figure in the bucket list of things to do in Savannah GA. So, you will find it quiet and empty. That makes it the best place to destress and get lost in your own world that is if you are not continuously clicking some gorgeous pictures.
Related: 16 Best things to do in Savannah GA
Get amazed by the Cathedral of St. John, The Baptist
I was pleasantly surprised to discover some really unique churches in Savannah GA. Apart from fine antebellum architecture, Savannah scores high on religious architecture too. One of the prettiest examples of this is the Cathedral of St. John, The Baptist.
Also referred to as the Savannah Cathedral, Basilica of St. John is replete with stained glass windows, tall steeples, terra cotta gargoyles, and Italian marble.
The Great Rose Window directly above the organ is an absolute must-see. And so are the 34 outstanding murals (more than 100 years old) that adorn the cathedral walls.
We highly recommend you to step into the Savannah Cathedral and take a self-guided tour. Not recommended during mass – so, check their calendar before going. While it is free to enter the church, a small donation of $3 is highly recommended.
Ride the Savannah Belles ferry
Did you know that Savannah Georgia has a free transportation system? I did not know either until I found out about the dot Shuttle and Savannah Belles Ferry. While the shuttle connects you with visitor offices, attractions, and parking spaces, the ferry takes a more impressive route. It provides free passage across the Savannah River. You can board the ferry at River St. and go over to the other side called Hutchinson Island.
There isn’t much to do on Hutchinson Island except for the Savannah Convention Center and a golf resort and spa. But I would still take the ferry for the views it offers. Catching some amazing views of downtown Savannah by the Talmadge Memorial Bridge is worth every minute of your time.
Did you know the ferry fleet includes 4 vessels named after 4 iconic women of Savannah – Juliette Gordon Low, Susie King Taylor, Florence Martus, Mary Musgrove. That is why, it is called Savannah Belles Ferry!
Enjoy views from River Street
If you are not the ferry kind of person, you can still enjoy stunning river views from River St. Plus, there is so much more to do here. Open air markets, art galleries, antique shops, wall-in-the-hole restaurants, and amazing food. The best way to experience Savannah for free.
Take a leisurely walk by the riverfront and also dig into a bit of Savannah’s history. Stop by the African-American Monument, the World War II Monument, or the Waving Girl statue. And no one will tell you but River St. is also one of the most haunted areas in Savannah. Many of buildings here were actually holding pens for enslaved labor. There’s no better place than River St. to learn about Savannah’s dichotomous past.
Also read: 13 Most haunted spots in Savannah
Attend one of Savannah’s many festivals
Savannah hosts a number of festivals every year. Many of them do not require admission. Sidewalk Arts Festival (spring), St. Patrick’s Day (March), Children’s Book Festival (November,) and plenty of performances at Savannah Jazz Festival are completely free. Check out Savannah’s events calendar here.
Visit Bonaventure Cemetery
If you have a car, there are several free things to do near Savannah. Visiting Bonaventure Cemetery is an absolutely epic one.
Known to be one of the prettiest cemeteries in the USA, Bonaventure is beautiful, historical, and spooky – all at the same time. It has been operational as a public cemetery for more than 100 years now with many notable people interred here. However, the most famous grave is that of Gracie Watson, a 6-year-old who suddenly died after being photographed in her fine Easter clothes.
Unique architectural elements, attractive marble filigree work, years of history, and canopied tree-lined pathways make Bonaventure an absolute must-visit on every trip to Savannah.
The cemetery is open from 8am – 5pm every day and is free to enter. They even have free guided tours second weekend of every month. Find more information on their official website here.
Take a stroll through Colonial Park Cemetery
I visited this place just before sunset and honestly, it gave me the creeps. Apparently, this is the place in Savannah GA where people have actually felt ghosts. Given the turbulent history of this coastal city, I would not doubt it.
The cemetery is open to public every day between 8am – 8pm in spring and summer and 8am – 5pm in winter. If you are an adventurous, paranormal-seeking soul unlike me, I would suggest you go once it gets a little darker. However, if you don’t want to get spooked, go during the day. The cemetery looks beautiful even in broad daylight.
And while I am at it, let me tell you that you can actually do several ghost tours when in Savannah if you are keen. Here are a couple that my friends highly recommend.
Catch a glimpse of the stunning Wormsloe Live Oak Avenue
The Live Oak Avenue at Wormsloe is yet another Savannah icon like the fountain at Forsyth Park. And it would be a crime not to visit here when in Savannah.
I would highly recommend adding Wormsloe Historic Site to your itinerary if you are in Savannah for a couple of days because the site is a little further away from the historic center. Though if you have a car, you can get here like in 15 minutes. We used Lyft and it was quite cheap.
Wormsloe was once the colonial estate of an immigrant carpenter Noble Jones. It still features the ruins of a tabby and several nature trails. But the most attractive part of Wormsloe is the live oak avenue.
If all you wish to do is catch a glimpse of the stunning oak alley, there is a parking area right at the entrance where you can get down and adore this famous driveway. Get a picture or two for free.
However, I highly recommend paying the $10 and driving down this splendid archway or even better walking through it. Click some of your best pictures under the moss-covered canopy here because this is what you are going to remember for a long time to come.
Explore Savannah Botanical Gardens for free
Want to spend some time with nature? Head to Savannah Botanical Gardens located just minutes away from the historic district. Parking is available on site.
The garden is spread over 10 acres and filled with roses, camellias, and other seasonal blooms. There is a herb garden, a beautiful pond, an amphitheater, a beautiful fountain, several nature trails, and the historic Reinhard House. They have picnic tables too. A great place to enjoy a quiet lunch or spend some quality time with friends and family.
Savannah Botanical Gardens is open to visitors all year round during daylight hours. They are pet friendly. And the best part is access to all public areas in the garden is free. There may be a small charge for groups bigger than 10.
Head to the beach at Tybee Island
Craving some beach time? Don’t worry. Savannah GA takes care of all your beach needs. Just 30 minutes away from the historic district is Tybee Island with wonderful white sand beaches. There are oceanfront beaches as well as river beaches each with their own appeal – take your pick.
While visiting the Tybee beaches is definitely one of the best free things to do in Savannah GA, the fun does not stop there. The island is filled with parks and playgrounds, picnic spots, and nature trails perfect for hiking and biking. Not to forget the gorgeous Tybee Pier and Pavilion which gives you some amazing views at sunset.
Best budget accommodation in Savannah GA
Savannah’s Historic District is the best place to stay when visiting Savannah. However, accommodation in the historic district is also significantly more expensive than if you stay in the midtown or further away. Here are a few budget stay options that caught my eye – both in the historic center and midtown.
- Best Western Premier I-95 Savannah Airport/ Pooler West: Located less than 15km away from the historic center, Best Western Premier I-95 has spacious rooms, comfy beds, and a nice sun terrace. Because of its location right on I-95, it is a preferred stay when visiting Savannah GA. Click here to read more reviews.
Book your stay at Best Western Premier I-95 Savannah Airport here.
- Home2 Suites By Hilton Savannah Airport: Features an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, fitness center and comfortable rooms equipped with kitchenettes and dining areas. Guests love their breakfast and friendly service.
Reserve your stay at Home2 Suites by Hilton Savannah Airport here.
- 5 BR Downtown Savannah GA: Absolutely one of the best picks in downtown Savannah, 5 BR Downtown Savannah GA is located in an old house with beautiful furnishing and art work. The property is charming and spotless and the host is extremely friendly. More reviews here.
Book your stay at 5 BR Downtown Savannah here.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Savannah Downtown/Historic District: This one is located right in the historic district and if you are lucky, you might get a good deal. Guests love their customer service, location, and amazing breakfast. Read more reviews here.
Or click here to book your stay.
Getting around Savannah on a budget
- Walk. Savannah is flat and pleasantly walk-able. You can literally walk to every square, historic home, and restaurant in the historic district. Make sure you carry a good pair of shoes with you.
- If you ever get tired of walking around, catch a CAT (Chatham Area Transit) bus. It is cheap, convenient, and environment-friendly. One way fare is $1.50 and a day pass costs $3.
- You can also ride free on Savannah’s dot shuttle that runs every day of the week. Click here for the map and schedule. And of course, there is the free Savannah Belles Ferry to take you across the river.
- Trolley tours in downtown Savannah GA are usually paid. Though I agree that they are a great way to see the city and learn all about its history if you wish to splurge a little.
- If you have a car, check out all parking details here.
Savannah Travel Essentials
- Use Get Your Guide to find great deals and discounts on tours, attractions, and more across the country. I highly recommend it and use it all the time.
- Get a Savannah Tour Pass if you are planning to see multiple historical homes and/or do several city tours.
- Find the best hotels in Savannah.
- Check out 13 intriguing facts about Savannah Georgia that will take your trip to another level.
- Read the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil or watch the movie to get some serious Savannah wanderlust.
- If you are a foodie like me, you will love this Famous and Secret Food Tour of Savannah.
- Savannah also has a spooky reputation. Travelers have often sighted ghosts and orbs. If you are interested in the paranormal, here is a great tour for you to check out.
- Check out my Savannah travel itineraries – short and compact 1 day and for a long weekend.
- Carry sunscreen and bug spray especially for your trips to the cemeteries.
- Carry a pair of good walking shoes because walking is the best way to explore Savannah’s Historic District.