Detroit’s Best Budget-Friendly Attractions

Originally published at Doorsteps.
Photo by Doorsteps.

It can be tough to imagine that it’s possible to spend a day in a busy metropolis like Detroit, without dropping a lot of money. However, not everything costs as much as a Tiger’s game or a dinner at Coach Insignia. In fact, you can have a long, busy day in the city on a small budget or even for free! Here are some of Detroit’s best free and low-cost attractions that you can enjoy when you’re in between paychecks.

Detroit Institute of Arts (Midtown)

Make sure you change your address when you move to Detroit, because any resident of Wayne, Oakland or Macomb County can attend the museum for free. Any adult who doesn’t live in the tri-county areas can visit for $12.50. The DIA has one of the largest art collections in the country, with approximately 65,000 pieces on display, and a collection ranking among the top six museums. Enjoy a latte in the Rivera Court, overlooked by “Detroit Industry, or Man and Machine,” an enormous mural painted by Diego Rivera in 1932. No matter what style of art you prefer, there will be plenty of pieces that catch your eye at the DIA.

Detroit Historical Museum (Midtown)

The Detroit Historical Museum is located just across the street from the DIA in Midtown. Founded by the Detroit Historical Society, this museum is free for anyone to visit. It’s a great way for people who are new to the city to discover some of the rich history that’s made Detroit the city that it is today. Learn about the city’s part in the Underground Railroad to the automobile boom, and even visit the Kid Rock Music Lab and get a look into how much Detroit has contributed to the music world. Before you leave, venture downstairs for a look at the Streets of Old Detroit – cobblestones and all!

Hitsville U.S.A. (NW Goldberg)

You can’t live in Detroit without knowing about Motown! After all, you need to know why there are streets named after Berry Gordy and Marvin Gaye. Hitsville U.S.A. is a museum dedicated to Motown, and is located in a house on West Grand Boulevard that held the first Motown headquarters. People have been able to visit the house since 1985 and music fans from all over the country have stopped by to see the piano played by the Funk Brothers and original records. While general admission costs $15, it’s always free to museum members.

Heidelberg Project (East Detroit)

The Heidelberg Project has been a Detroit staple since 1986 and has become renowned by art lovers all over the world. This outdoor art installation was created by Tyree Guyton and over the years has expanded to multiple blocks in the city’s Black Bottom neighborhood on the east side, with neighbors joining in to help. Consisting of brightly colored houses and lots full of stuffed animals and sculptures, the Heidelberg Project has been through a lot, including multiple arsons in the past few years. Guyton has decided to dismantle the project within the next couple of years, so make sure you see it while you can!

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