Nicknamed "Music City," Nashville is home to a vibrant music scene. With a main focus on country music -- although you can definitely find other genres -- the city is home to a number of free live music venues, arts centers, music-themed museums, music events and musical attractions. Much of the city's music history can still be seen, as well, through historic recording houses and venues.
If you're traveling on a budget, you should check out Nashville's many honky tonks, live music bars that typically don't charge a cover. These are especially easy to find when walking around The District -- an area spanning six blocks on Broadway, Printers Alley and 2nd Avenue -- that is full of honky tonks. Some top venue picks include The Bluebird Cafe, Tootsie's Orchid Lounge and Robert’s Western World.
Additionally, you can save money during your exploration of Nashville's music scene by purchasing a Nashville Music Attraction Discount Pass. The pass allows you to pay one set price for reduced admission into four popular music-themed attractions: The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Historic RCA Studio B, Ryman Auditorium and Wildhorse Saloon. While the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum features gold and silver platinum records and exhibits on iconic country music stars, the 1957-reminiscent Historic RCA Studio B puts you directly in the space where over 35,000 songs were created and music legends like Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, the Everly Brothers, Bobby Bare, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Floyd Cramer recorded. The Ryman Auditorium is home to the Grand Ole Opry -- the longest-running live radio program in the world since 1925 -- and the pass will allow you to tour the venue, watch a short film on Ryman Auditorium’s history, stand on the Grand Ole Opry Stage and even have your photo taken of you “singing.” And at the Wildhorse Saloon, you’ll listen to live country music, alternate genres in between sets, and new selections chosen by local DJs. Bonus: The venue offers free dance lessons each hour. One music attraction in Nashville one should spend a particularly decent amount of time at is the Grand Ole Opry House and Gaylord Opryland Resort. As mentioned above, the Grand Ole Opry is home to the world’s longest-running live radio program, and gives you the chance to see some great acts performed live while being recorded during a show. A tour of the Grand Ole Opry House and Gaylord Opryland Resort can give you a behind-the-scenes-look at the venue. Additionally, you’ll get to stand on the same stage where legendary acts like Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks and Brad Paisley have performed. Afterward, you’ll head next door to the Gaylord Oprayland Resort for a guided tour of the 9-acre (4-hectacre) property and a Delta River Flatboat ride along the hotel’s indoor river. Here, you’ll enjoy a true taste of Southern Hospitality. And for those who want to add a bit of glamour to their Nashville music experience, a Nashville Homes of the Stars Tour is a fun option. On the three-hour excursion, you’ll see the homes of stars who helped shape the local music scene, some of which include Kid Rock, Dolly Parton, Caleb and Jared Followill of the Kings of Leon, Taylor Swift, Jack White, Janis Ian, Kellie Pickler, Martina McBride, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum and more.