People think that Paris is an expensive city. I hear so many people say, “You don’t want to spend too many days in Paris, it is too much money.” But it can be affordable. Especially if you follow our list of free things to do in Paris that won't break the bank!
Free Things to do in Paris
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I bet you didn't know there were so many free things to do in Paris. But there are!
Not only are there many things to do in Paris that are free, they are actually some of the most famous sites in the entire city. What we love about Paris is that the architecture and history is so rich and interesting, that you don't have to spend a penny to have a great time there.
There are plenty of Free Things to do in Paris, but sometimes you may want to book a tour, check out these options at Get Your Guide
Here is a list of free things in Paris that we did and that were suggested by our friend Marie Louise and our buddies at Paris Buff. Both live in Paris and they contributed some great ideas for free things to do as well. So you have some local suggestions as well as ideas from these two tourists.
Check out our video of other ideas for Budget Saving Tips and Free things to do in Paris
We've named Paris one of the most romantic places on earth. Check out where else we suggest.
Did you know, If you are under 25 years of age and an EU Citizen, you get into all museums for free!
Free Paris Museums
As we said above, EU citizens under the age of 25 are allowed to go into all Paris museums for free! But if you don't fit into that category, don't worry, the first Sunday of each month offers up many free entries to museums and attractions like the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, quai Branly - Jacques Chirac and the Musée d’Orsay.
Other permanent collections at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Musée de la Vie romantique have free entry all year round. And we have heard that another 14 museums owned and operated by the city of Paris are free every day. We were told to just look for the coat of arms above the door. That's how you'll know if it is free or not.
Explore the famous cemeteries
The Cemeteries of Paris are works of art and are all free to visit.
The Cimetiere du Père Lachaise is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world and is the resting place of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf.
The Cimetiere de Montmartre dates back to 1798 and is the famous resting place of Alexandre Dumas and Edgar Degas. These cemeteries are both free and very interesting.
The Montparnasse cemetery houses the graves of such renowned writers and thinkers as Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Charles Baudelaire, and Julio Cortázar.
Note: Make sure to check out the Catacombs of Paris to compliment your Cemetery tour.
Visit Notre Dame
Entering Notre Dame is free. You can walk around and enjoy its enormous Gothic splendour. It doesn't cost one penny to go inside. But if you want to go up the tower and take a tour of the bells, that is an extra charge. However, Notre Dame is incredible inside and out. There are other amazing view points of Paris where you don't have to pay, so skip the tower tour.
See Basilique du Sacre Coeur
Located in Montmarte, Sacre Coeur is the other famous church of Paris. You get two activities in one for free here. You can enjoy the beauty of Sacre Coeur Basilica both inside and out for free. And you can enjoy an amazing view of Paris from the highest point in the city for free.
Paris City Views
Montmarte is a wonderful hare to simply spend a day for free! There are artists painting in the square and street performers showing off their talents. It's a maze of cafes, galleries and alleyways. You can even grab a beer and just hang out on the steps of Sacre Couer watching the locals and tourists spend time basking in the sun.
Take a free walking tours
Different Companies offer Free City tours meeting in Montmartre and the Latin Quarter. Every day at St. Michel in the Latin Quarter and in Montmartre you can join a free walking tour of Paris. We've taken a couple and always learn a lot from the guides. It's up to you if you want to tip at the end.
Jardin du Luxembourg
This amazing garden in the Montparnasse area is a beautiful place for a picnic. It is filled with sculptures, gardens and greenery. It is a work of art and a wonderful place to spend the afternoon. We even saw a free art display while walking around the garden. In other cities, you'd have a pay to see these beautiful photographs on display. But not in Paris!
Go on a pub crawl
In Montmartre you can join a free pub crawl of the bars in the area. A great way to go where the locals go. Just look up free walking tours in Paris and you'll find many a tour that takes you on a pub crawl. It's also a great way to meet fellow travellers enjoying Paris too. There's nothing better than having company as you explore the city.
Walk along the Champs-Élysées
This is one amazing street filled with fine dining, cafés, shopping and people. It is easy to spend some time window shopping and people watching. Pretend you are a millionaire for a day and go into all the high end stores. Be sure to dress in something sleek so you fit in with all the beautiful Parisian fashions.
Go to every major site and enjoy it from the outside
It took us four visits to Paris before we finally went up the Eiffel Tower, it was three visits before we went into the Louvre. We never felt that we were missing out because the buildings of Paris are so grand, seeing them from the outside is just as exciting as going in.
The Louvre has beautiful gardens outside and its most famous building, the glass pyramid designed by IM Pei, can be viewed for free too. If you are on a budget, you don't have to go inside every attraction, take them in from the outside.
The city of Paris is a work of art. Every building is breathtaking and walking around the city and enjoying the sites like The Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe and the outside of the Louvre is a very fulfilling experience.
You can easily spend two to three days running around Paris seeing all the attractions outside without having to spend one penny on admission fees. I love how the city is set up. You can get close to all the attractions and even inside many of the buildings to get a taste of it. You can then decide what you want to spend your money on. We've gone up theArc De Triomphe and didn't find it worth the wait or the crowds. Take advantage of the free views instead.
Another Free City View
Go to the Pompidou Modern Art Gallery and take the escalators to the rooftop bar without paying for admission to see Paris. Photo Credit. I don't know why we don't have a picture of the building, but luckily there's Wikipedia to help us out.
- If you enjoy classical, baroque, or contemporary jazz music, Paris’s most prestigious music conservatory, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse, offers over 300 student concerts a year, most of which are free.
- Also check out some of the 180 free concerts which Radio France gives a year, mostly orchestral and chamber music, in the Museum of Fine Arts, where tickets are handed out 30 minutes beforehand.
- Listen to classical music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse. They offersover 300 student concerts a year, most of which are free. Radio France also offers 180 free concerts year, mostly orchestral and chamber music, in the Museum of Fine Arts, where tickets are handed out 30 minutes beforehand
Put on some comfortable shoes, and take a camera with you. Along the River Seine, the scene of inspiration of many artists, you can zig-zag back and forth across some of the 37 wood, stone, and metal bridges which span the river within Paris alone, including the Pont Neuf, which dates back to 1607.
You can also see the city from above at the Promenade Plantée, a linear 4.7 km parkway which was once an elevated railway viaduct leading east from the Bastille, and which houses gardens, small parks, and public art on exhibition.
Speaking of toilets, Paris has great public toilets that are free. Just stand outside and wait for a person to come out. The door will close behind them and while it is closed the bathroom will have a complete hose down, sanitizing it for the next person to enter. When the light is green, you’re good to go.
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On Sundays on the Left Bank there is free Dancing to old French music. Watch and learn from the older couples that are dancing their hearts out.
There are many free museums and art galleries in Paris and we have heard that there is free rollerblading and skateboarding that has become very popular in Paris. They close several km of City Blocks for people to merrily roll through the city.
There you have it all the Free things to do in Paris brought to you by Dave and Deb... and friends.