Known across the globe as the city of love, Paris is also considered to be one of Europe’s more expensive destinations to visit. There’s so much to see and do across the city at a cost, but we’ve discovered some of the best ways to stretch your Euros further with a great selection of free attractions.
Check out our top 10 free things to do in Paris and start planning your own budget friendly visit to the French capital!
Learn something new on the first Sunday of each month
On the first Sunday of each month, some of Paris’ best loved museums and art galleries, including the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou, offer free admission. Generally only applying to permanent exhibitions, the free entry offer is the perfect way to see art and artefacts from across the globe without having to part with a single Euro. Be sure to check the terms and condition of each institution, as some, such as the Louvre, only provide free entry during specific months.
Picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower
One of Paris’ most iconic sights, the Eiffel Tower sits firmly at the top of most visitors’ must-see lists. However, the journey to the tower’s viewing platforms does cost money, regardless of if you’re wanting to take the lift or climb the stairs. Whether you’re visiting during the day or are looking to catch the light show at night, the nearby Champs de Mars offers plenty of great spots for you to lay down a picnic rug, save some Euros and admire one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.
Visit Notre Dame Cathedral
Completed almost 700 years ago, Notre Dame Cathedral has come to be one of Paris’ most iconic buildings. Well known for its intricate architecture, entry to the Medieval cathedral is free of charge all year round, with tours of the cathedral available and special celebrations, such as Christmas and Easter, costing nothing to attend. Whether you’re looking to embrace your religious side, have an interest in history or are simply looking to see the cathedral’s gargoyles in person, there are plenty of great ways to experience one of Paris’ most famous churches
Explore the city’s diverse neighbourhoods
Said to be one of the world’s most walkable cities, there’s so much to see and discover on foot across Paris. Slip on your walking shoes and experience everything from classically Parisian districts through to lively neighbourhoods home to students, international communities and some of the city’s most iconic sights. From a short stroll through to a full day adventure, there’s more than enough to see throughout the city’s streets.
Enjoy some time out in one of Paris’ public parks
Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to unwind, are wanting to soak up some sunshine or are simply looking to experience another side of the city, Paris’ public parks are well worth exploring. Spanning from the manicured gardens of Jardin du Luxembourg and the quiet spaces situated within Jardin Anne Frank through to waterfalls and caves of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, there’s a green space somewhere in the city to suit almost every taste.
Familiarise yourself with the city’s history at Musée Carnavalet
Dedicated to the history of Paris, Musée Carnavalet is the place to head to discover how the city has evolved from prehistoric times through to the present day. Occupying two neighbouring mansions, the museum showcases tens of thousands of fascinating artefacts, ranging from artworks and everyday objects through to street signs and scale models, across more than 100 rooms.
Stroll along the Seine
Winding its way through the heart of Paris and passing by some of the city’s most popular attractions, the banks of the river Seine offers great views and an alternative way to familiarise yourself with the city. The river borders 10 of the city’s 20 arrondissements and there are dozens of bridges to wander across during a stroll along the river bank. Keep an eye out for the book stores that line the river’s edge for a taste of classic Parisian charm.
Stop by Le Mur des Je t’aime
While the love-lock covered Pont des Arts may have once been one of the most romantic spots in Paris, Le Mur des Je t’aime, or the Wall of Love, in Montmartre is another great place to spend time with that special someone. Covering 40㎡ and made up of 612 enamelled tiles, the wall has been decorated with the phrase “I love you” 311 times in 250 different languages and dialects.
Wander along La Promenade Plantée
A predecessor of the High Line in New York, La Promenade Plantée is a scenic elevated parkway that began life as a disused 19th century railway viaduct. Spanning across 4.5km, the carefully planned walkway offers great views of the city and stretches from the Bastille Opera to the eastern limits of the city. The first of its kind in the world, the walkway boasts manicured gardens, shady trees and plenty of great spots to sit down and soak up the sights and sounds of the city.
Pay your respects at Père Lachaise Cemetery
Said to be the world’s most visited cemetery, Père Lachaise Cemetery is the final resting place of a number of notable figures of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Gertrude Stein and Frédéric Chopin. Pay your respects to the famous individuals interned within the cemetery or spend some time taking in the sights of the ornate, and at times eccentric, tombs scattered throughout the graveyard.