Free things to do in Paris are not easy to find in the city, visiting Paris can quickly become an expensive affair, and some of the must-dos in Paris will cost you money. But the budget-conscious travelers can also enjoy Paris by taking advantage of the many free attractions in this city. Find out here what is free in Paris!
1 – Enter Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame Cathedral
The famous cathedral of Paris is always free to enter. However, you will have to pay a fee to climb the tower but not the church. Plus, in general, the queue at the entrance is not very long, which is good news!
2 – Your royal picnic in the Versailles Gardens
The Versailles Gardens
The fabulous and extended gardens of Versailles are free of charge (except on Sunday for the musical fountains), but you will have to pay if you want to visit the castle. Leave the crowd inside the Castle and bring your picnic on the grass.
3 – Stroll along the Seine River
Views from the Seine riversides are free
You will never be charged for a stroll along the famous river, as you can enjoy the views that are always beautiful from a bridge of the Seine. You can also peruse one of the bookseller carts along the riverside on the Left Bank.
4 – Enter the Parks and Gardens in Paris
The Place des Vosges, a must see in the Marais – in the 3rd district
Famous sights like the Garden of the Tuileries, the Luxembourg garden or the Place des Vosges are beautiful and free places to enjoy in Paris. You can also have one of the most beautiful views of Paris for free, in the Belleville Garden.
5 – Enter the Montmartre Sacré-Coeur
After climbing the hill of Montmartre and experiencing the special atmosphere of this neighbourhood, you will arrive at the top near the Sacré-Coeur. The view is one of the best views of the city, and the church entrance is also free!
6 – Experience the spirit of Paris
Paris is a city you can enjoy and experience by strolling in the streets. You will not be charged anything to experience the different atmospheres in Paris. From the Haussmanian buildings on the right banks to the medieval streets of the Marais or the view of every important landmark from the Place de la Concorde, you have a chance to enjoy all these free “must dos”!
7 – the night view on the Eiffel Tower
There is no charge for enjoying a view of one of the world’s most iconic structures. You can also enjoy a picnic in the public green spaces around the tower; cheap eats and a great view which in my opinion, are priceless.
The Parisian all time favorite is to bring wine and cheese in “Champs-de-Mars” the big lawns at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and wait 9.15pm when its dark so you’ll see it sparkling!
8 – Free entrances in Paris Museums
- In Paris, the museums are free every first Sunday of the month. But arrive early to beat the crowds!
- If you are under 26 and from the EU, entrance is always free.
- If you are under 18, it is free for you.
9 – Arts and Sports at Hotel de Ville
Paris’ City Hall is beautiful to look at from the outside, and there is a public area inside with art exhibits that change regularly and that you can visit for free. In addition to that there is always a ice ring in winter and beach volleys fields in summer.
The Hotel de Ville of Paris
10 – Visit Victor Hugo’s house
The writer of Les Mis has a house in the hear t of the Marais, on the most beautiful square of the city (around a great shopping area). You have no reason to miss it. You will enjoy a visit to the famous author’s apartment, you’ll see his manuscripts, letters and drawings.
11 – dive into Paris’ history with Musée Carnavalet
This excellent Paris history museum is always free, and a bonus point about it is the fact that it is housed in an old Parisian mansion in the Marais, a great neighborhood of Paris. If you don’t like going deep in Paris’ history, just enjoy one of the most magnificent garden of Paris.
12 – Chill during summer at Paris Plage
The city turns the banks of the Seine into a beach during the summer, and this is available to the public free of charge. Fun and games, bear and food will be available all day. Visiting Paris is tiring, it’s ok to become a lazy Parisian for a while.
Paris Plage takes place every summer
13 – A Parisian night out during the “Nuit Blanche”
One night a year, museums and galleries in Paris stay open all night and do not charge admission. There is also temporary outdoor parties set up with DJs or live music. This normally happens in early October, but the dates vary.
14 – Parisian churches Free concerts
Many of the churches in Paris regularly host free concerts. It could be organ recitals,blues concerts, or choir rehearsals. If you are interested, you can enquire at the tourist information office to see what is going on while you are in town
15 – Stroll the Paris Flea markets
On Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, you can enjoy walking through Paris’ many outdoor markets. It’s the biggest flea market in the world. Vintage Chanel,
16 – Get the Free WIFI
- Public parks and gardens offer free wifi.
- Find a park with a “zone wifi” sign by the gate.
- Select the “Paris Free” wifi network.
- Open your Internet and Click in “selectionner your pass”.
- Enter your first and last name and email
- Hit enter.
You are in for 2 hours of free internet access.
Find a “Zone Wifi” sign in a park
17 – Ride a Parisian VELIB
The Velib bikes passes go for about €1.7 daily and €8 a week. You’ll find them every where in the city, there is hundreds of stations. So if you’re partying too late for metro and you don’t have a budget for a cab then Velib is the right choice. It’s also perfect to discover the city without using the smelly subway.
If you want to avoid getting additional charges, remember not to use your bike for more than 30 minutes. If you want to have it longer for the same price, put it back in a Velib Station after 25 minutes and then take it again after 2 minutes with your pass.
Enjoy a ride in Paris with a cheap Velib bike
18 – Free tour with Parisian
There’s plenty of free tour of Paris with local guides. Discover Walks of course covers the all city everyday with tours of 90 minutes. See Montmartre, Notre Dame, Left Bank, the Marais or the Secret Paris. Everyday, no bookings are needed. In English.
19 – Walk the Pere Lachaise cemetery
Oscar Wild, Chopin, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf all those great artists and so many more are buried in Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris. It’s a free entrance and an amazing walk to do. This cemetery is museum-like with trees and planted alleys all over. Certainly one of the favorite free things to do of Parisians.
20 – Go to the Paris Food markets
Food markets are everywhere in Paris, every neighborhood has at least 2 or 3 operating twice a week. That helps to cover all of the city all the time. have a quick look to those markets, find the long line and you’ll find the best cheese or delicatessen reseller. Our favorite food markets are Aligre market, Richard Lenoir market, rue de Levi’s market…
21 – Free entrance to Louvre, Orsay or Beaubourg
Every first Sunday of each month all the main museums of Paris will be free of charge. That’s the best kept secret of all Parisians. Then of course the earliest you’ll get there the less crowd you will find.
22 – Become a Parisian
The baptism of all Parisian above 20 years old is to spend a fun Friday summer night at the canal St Martin. There isn’t much to do except doing people watching with your firends while having a picnic. But there isn’t one Parisian that I know who hasn’t spend and enjoy very much this kind of evening.
23 – Free arts and wine
Another Parisian secret. On thursdays, that’s is usually the day private art galleries pick for their opening. Celebrating their new artist is a big deal. You don’t want an empty room on a first day. So you bring people, you attract them with…wine and cheese. So of course everyone looks a bit snobby (you’re looking at contemporary art most of the time). Don’t be impressed, act as if you belong. Go get that free champagne glass and criticize the art just loud enough for people to think you’re a real born and raised Parisian. Good luck.
24 – Learn to play petanque
Petanque or Bocce Ball is a French National sports. It use to be reserved for retired people in the south of France. That’s probably why it became the ultimate hipster sport in Paris. Everyone is playing. Go by the Ourcq Canal in the north of Paris (nice and fun hipster area). There every bar will lend you a set of bocce ball to play outside while you have a drink with your bearded friends.
25 – Go get dancing classes
By the river, every nights, in what we call the Seine arenas groups of dancers will bring a gettho blaster and throw latina music or rock’n roll for and deliver fun and easy dancing classes to everyone who’s looking for one.