Blessed with an incredible cultural scene, the City Different is home to an array of activities, restaurants, and historic sites. Sometimes, it can be a bit pricey here, but there are also plenty of opportunities to find free things to do in Santa Fe! Check out our list below for a collection of highlights that won’t break the bank.
For more things to do and places to see, request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide.
The Top 7 Free Things to Do in Santa Fe
1. Visit the State Capitol Building
The New Mexico State Capitol Building might not be on the top of most people’s lists for must-sees, but it’s one of the top free things to do in Santa Fe. Known as “the Roundhouse” for its unique shape, it is the only round capitol building in the country. The exterior may look plain, but once you step inside, an opulent and gorgeous interior awaits you! The capitol building is open for self-guided tours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also take tours on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Memorial Day through the last Saturday in August. El Farolito is a short five-minute walk from the building.
2. Take a Self-Guided Tour of Bandelier National Monument
Taking a self-guided tour of Bandelier National Monument is one of the best free things to do in Santa Fe. This beautiful sight is less than an hour west of Santa Fe and is home to over 33,000 acres of canyons and mesas. Communities of the Ancestral Pueblo people once called these canyons home, and some of their ancient ruins are still on display. A visit to this amazing monument is a must for history buffs wanting a look into the 12th-century American Southwest.
3. Go For a Hike
There are dozens of hiking trails that wind through the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and hillsides overlooking the City Different. Hiking is a fantast free thing to do in Santa Fe that provides another unique look at our incredible land. Here are some of our favorite hiking trails:
- Atalaya Mountain Trail
- La Tierra Trails
- Arroyo De Los Chamisos Trail
- Santa Fe Rail Trail
- Dale Ball Trails
- Arroyo Hondo Open Space Trail
- Rio En Medio Trailhead
- Chamisa Trailhead
4. Enjoy a Walk on Canyon Road – free galleries, outdoor sculptures, historic structures
Canyon Road is home to an incredible collection of art galleries, outdoor sculptures, and historic structures. Exploring these art galleries is one of the best free things to do in Santa Fe for art lovers. Here are some of our favorite galleries to check out during your trip:
Take a look at the full list of Canyon Road Galleries!
5. Explore the Farmers Market (Saturdays-every weekend and Tuesdays-summer)
No matter what time you visit the City Different, you need to explore the Farmers Market. This free event in Santa Fe takes place every Saturday throughout the entire year, as well as Tuesdays during the summer season. Peruse stalls filled with fruits, veggies, flowers, spices, and other locally sourced products. The Farmers Market is also less than a 10-minute walk from El Farolito!
6. Soak in the Beautiful New Mexico Landscapes on a Scenic Drive
The stunning natural scenery around the City Different is a sight to behold, and there’s no better way to take it in than on a scenic drive. Fall is the best time to hop in your car and drive along one of the beautiful highways listed below, where you’ll see a variety of landscapes, canyons, and in some area, fall foliage.
7. View Local Art on a Studio Tour – drive around with a map and visit artists in their home
An art studio tour is another fantastic free way to experience Santa Fe’s rich art scene. This allows you to get an up-close and personal look into local artists and their current works while giving them the opportunity to showcase their art styles and processes. These events typically take place in the summer during the last two weekends of June.
El Farolito Bed & Breakfast Inn offers a one-of-a-kind stay here in Santa Fe. Our beautiful Inn features a collection of Southwestern-inspired rooms, with locally made furnishings and artwork. A complimentary breakfast in our dining room is the perfect way to start your day before heading out to see all that our city has to offer! We are also within walking distance of the Plaza, Canyon Road, the Farmers Market, and more!
Start planning your trip today by booking one of our rooms. We look forward to welcoming you to the City Different.