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Miriam
Seattle

Paris

Free things to do in Paris?

Going to be in Paris on a pretty tight budget. There has to be so much to do still - what are your favorite fun, inexpensive things to do in Paris? I enjoy it all - outdoors, history, art, etc. Thanks!


19 Answers

top answer by
Haleigh from Paris

Hi Miriam!

The best free things to see in Paris are definitely outdoors. Here are some of my favorites...

1. Talk a walk through Montmartre and enjoy the view over Paris the base of the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur

2. Take a picnic or walk in the Luxembourg Garden on the left bank. 

3. Visit the Porte de Clignancourt flea market , which is an amazing cultural experience just to treasure hunt even if you buy nothing at all!

4. Promenade plantée (Coulée verte) is a great walk on the east side of Paris. 

5. Pick up a bottle of rosé and take it to the Canal Saint Martin to drink along the Canal that most Tourists never see. 


6. Sun tan in the Buttes Chaumont, one of Paris's best parks!

Enjoy the French Capital!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Montmartre (attraction)
  2. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
  3. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  4. Porte de Clignancourt (attraction)
  5. Promenade plantée (Coulée verte) (attraction)
  6. Canal Saint Martin (attraction)
  7. Buttes Chaumont (attraction)
10 thanks


answered by
Elizabeth

While in Paris, you'll want to spend your budget on pastries. So when killing time between carbs, there are many beautiful things to see for free.

One of my favorites was Luxembourg Garden. There are so many things to look at: flowers, architecture, statues, and, of course, other people. Bring a camera or just a book. Relax and enjoy.

Eiffel Tower grounds confirms that yes, you are in Paris. Challenge: Try to get a photo at an angle no other tourist ever has. Good luck! Check it out at night when it sparkles.

And walk along the La Seine River and cross as many bridges as you can. Note the different styles and, of course, check out the locks of love. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  2. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  3. La Seine (attraction)
6 thanks


answered first by
Maria from Dublin

In Paris you don't have to spend a penny to have a great time! Beautiful parks are free. Palais-Royal gardens and Parc des Buttes Chaumont are both lovely places to while away an afternoon. Most of the cathedrals are free to enter (you buy a ticket to climb the tower, usually) See Notre-Dame de Paris and Basilique du Sacre-Coeur Some art galleries are also free - don't miss Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris which has amazing art. If you happen to be in Paris on Oct 3rd you will enjoy Nuit Blanche, when Paris celebrates art. Galleries are free and open all night. There are art trails and amazing light installations. Paris is also a great place for food markets, some of the best are BastilleSaxe and Rue Mouffetard which turns into a huge market on Saturdays. Pick up a bottle of wine and a hunk of brie and have a picnic in a nearby park. Above all Paris is a stunningly beautiful city to walk or run. Stroll along the La Seine at dusk, Quartier Du Marais and Montmartre or visit the Arc de Triomphe at 6.30pm where, each day there is a formal ceremony to light the flame of remembrance for the unknown soldier. Here's a link: http://www.arcdetriompheparis.com/history/the-unknown-soldier 

It's a hugely moving ceremony.



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Palais-Royal (attraction)
  3. Parc des Buttes Chaumont (attraction)
  4. Notre-Dame de Paris (attraction)
  5. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
  6. Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris (attraction)
  7. Bastille (attraction)
  8. Saxe (attraction)
  9. Rue Mouffetard (attraction)
  10. La Seine (attraction)
  11. Quartier Du Marais (attraction)
  12. Montmartre (attraction)
  13. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
6 thanks


answered by
Michelle from Oregon

There are a lot of really fun free and inexpensive things to do during your time in Paris. Save your money and spend it on the delicious French pastries and bread instead of expensive tours and events!

The Notre-Dame de Paris is open daily and is completely free. If you time it right you can take an informative free tour.

While there is a fee for the Louvre museum you can visit the impressive (and beautiful) courtyard for free!

The Arc de Triomphe is another one of those monuments that’s great to go inside and climb, but it’s honestly just as impressive from across the street and is definitely worth visiting.

The Luxembourg Garden are also worth a visit! It’s over 60 acres of beautiful gardens, statues, a pond, footpaths, and outdoor sports facilities. If you’re looking for exercise or relaxation it is well worth the visit!

These are just a few of our budget recommendations from our own trip to Paris. If you want to see our full list of attractions for Paris on a budget - included a self-guided walking tour of many of my favorite sights - check out our blog post about our experiences (we have pictures!): http://intentionaltravelers.com/a-budget-itinerary-in-paris-with-photos/

 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Notre-Dame de Paris (attraction)
  2. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  3. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Orni from Naples, Italy

Paris could be very expensive but is such a fascinating city to visit that if you don't want to spend money you will be able to have an amazing experience as well.

So first of all take a walk around and go to the pedestrian passages. Not far from the The Louvre in the heart of the ancient city, there's Rue Montorgueil the street of ancient French shops. A pictoresque pedestrian area of tradition that streches between the colors and scents of the many stalls of fruits, cheeses, bread, flower and more. 

Second, go to Jardin des Plantes, located in the fifth arrondissement, an area of 28 hectares to be explored.

Third: have a picnic on the Canal Saint Martin during the sunset. 

Fourth: Père Lachaise Cemetery...my favourite place. I suggest you to obtain a map before the entrance...it's really huge! 

And Saint-Ouen flea market, a bit far from the city centre....but very impressive. 

Drink red wine, eat smelly cheeses, and get lost in the amazing streets of Paris. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Louvre (attraction)
  2. Rue Montorgueil (attraction)
  3. Jardin des Plantes (attraction)
  4. Canal Saint Martin (attraction)
  5. Père Lachaise Cemetery (attraction)
  6. Saint-Ouen (city)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Abigail from Paris

Hi Miriam,

There are plenty of FREE things to do in Paris. Here's a small list:

1. A stroll in one of the city's many lovely parks (Luxembourg Garden, Tuileries, etc.) or beautiful areas such as Quartier Du Marais, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Ile Saint-Louis

2. A visit to the Fragonard Perfume Museum:

3. Select museums on the first Sunday of every month. You can find the list here: http://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themed-guides/paris-for-free/free-cultural-outings-in-paris/free-admission-and-good-deals-in-museums-and-monuments-in-paris


Have a great trip!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  2. Tuileries (attraction)
  3. Quartier Du Marais (attraction)
  4. Saint-Germain-des-Prés (neighborhood)
  5. Ile Saint-Louis (attraction)
  6. Fragonard Perfume Museum (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
cao from Paris

Paris has so much things to see. Take a bus, don't take the metro, and see all Paris, get down at the place you like, see it ,take photo, get on bus again and ... I think that is the best and most inexpensive way to discover Paris. Take all bus lines in Paris and enjoy it by taking photo. Have a good trip


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Ben from London

If you love street art/contemporary art, check out Squat 59 Rivoli art squat right in the centre of the city! 

Check out our blog about it here - http://www.everthoughtoftrying.com/is-the-best-art-museum-in-paris-free/


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Squat 59 Rivoli (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Ragan from Nebraska

Miriam, 

we have been in Paris and around France a few times now and are debating on going back, again, when we fly over in October..all the places that everyone has mentioned are indeed stunning! My favorite is the Luxembourg Garden, you can wander around for free all day! And as one traveler noted the patisseries and boulangeris are on every corner, we grab little sandwhiches and treats as we come upon them. Each one has their own specialTy..and there are chain ones also, if you need everyday items find a monoprix..they are similar to a target here..take advantage of the free wifi anywhere and everywhere, a good ole Starbucks is a welcome sight! If you have some euros to spend get a museum pass..for €35 (if I remember right) you can get into most museums, they are all fabulous! Napoleon's Tomb at Musée de l'Armée,  the The Louvre.a stroll along the Avenue des Champs-Elysées and the Tuileries..enjoy and may the weather be lovely! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  2. Musée de l'Armée (attraction)
  3. The Louvre (attraction)
  4. Avenue des Champs-Elysées (attraction)
  5. Tuileries (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Melissa from Massachusetts

I second the churches and parks comments!  The Notre-Dame de Paris is positively spectacular and won't cost a dime. And strolling through the Luxembourg Garden and the Tuileries are a great way to spend some time. I also second a prior comment about the Musée Carnavalet - a great museum about the history of Paris, and totally free!

If you decide you're looking to actually spend some money, I can't recommend highly enough the Paris Museum Pass - it's about 40 euros if I remember properly, and grants you admission to many of the top museums and cultural sites in Paris for that one price, including the The Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Musée PicassoSainte-Chapelle, the towers of Notre-Dame, Château De Versailles if you feel like a quick trip out of the city....it's really a spectacular deal.  You also get to skip the lines :)


Enjoy!!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Notre-Dame de Paris (attraction)
  2. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  3. Tuileries (attraction)
  4. Musée Carnavalet (attraction)
  5. The Louvre (attraction)
  6. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  7. Musée Picasso (attraction)
  8. Sainte-Chapelle (attraction)
  9. Château De Versailles (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Carlos from Mexico City, Mexico

I loved to rent a bicycle and ride around the whole city, although it is not free but is it very inexpensive. Download the app Velib and it will show you all the bike stations in Paris. I usually started at Champ de Mars to then visit Luxembourg Garden, enjoy the view to then go to Notre-Dame de Paris, from there I would go all the way to Champs-Élysées and in the way visit a couple bridges along the river, to then return to Champ de Mars to see the Eiffel Tower at night. Keep in mind you'll need strong legs and a most day to do this.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)
  2. Champ de Mars (attraction)
  3. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  4. Notre-Dame de Paris (attraction)
  5. Champs-Élysées (neighborhood)
  6. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Sylvia from Paris

The city run museums are free. My favorites are the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris Musée Carnavalet and Le Petit Palais


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris (attraction)
  2. Musée Carnavalet (attraction)
  3. Le Petit Palais (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Edna from Paris

My favorite thing to do in Paris is to PICNIC! It's fun and extremely cost-effective. These are my favorite spots:

1. Eiffel Tower , obviously

2. Ile Saint-Louis , I live here and love picnicking along the Seine, especially at dusk!

3. Parc des Buttes Chaumont a bit more local and on top of a hill, so you can see over Paris

4. Montmartre , especially the grassy hill in front of the steps of the Sacre Coeur

5. Parc Monceau a smaller gem in the 17eme

6. Tuileries , maybe I'm just a right bank girl but I prefer these gardens next to the Louvre far more than the Luxembourg Garden on the other side of the river


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. Ile Saint-Louis (attraction)
  3. Parc des Buttes Chaumont (attraction)
  4. Montmartre (attraction)
  5. Parc Monceau (attraction)
  6. Tuileries (attraction)
  7. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Sandrine from Auvergne

Hi Miriam,

Walk around, that's the best way to explore the city and it won't cost you that much (Paris is an expensive city)

Walk along the Seine river, from Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame Cathedral, then explore the center and the "Quartier Du Marais" district, then you can walk from there to Bastille, and walk up near the Canal St Martin, reach République then Grands Boulevards, and from there explore the covered walk (passage couvert), near Bourse district, and beside Musée Grévin.

and from there walk to Opéra (beautiful building, and then Palais Royal garden, the Louvres Museum, the Tuileries...

if you survive after so much walking you can even walk up from Place de la Concorde up to the Champs Elysées again :)

Also, if you want to reach some history, you can walk around the "Père Lachaise" cimetery : there are plenty of famous people buried there

of course, you HAVE to get in Notre-Dame to have a look at it  too :)



Have fun !


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. Notre Dame Cathedral (attraction)
  3. Quartier Du Marais (attraction)
  4. Bourse (attraction)
  5. Musée Grévin (attraction)
  6. Opéra (attraction)
  7. Place de la Concorde (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Alexa from Marlboro, New Jersey

Walk around! A great way to get a nice feel for a city is tojust walk around!

The Musée d'Orsay is free after a certain time.The Notre-Dame de Paris is free. Some museums are free on the first Sunday of every month.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  2. Notre-Dame de Paris (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Ashley from Calgary

The churches and parks are free, you could easily fill your days strolling through parks and looking at churches!


1 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Ismael from Miami

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
  2. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  3. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  4. The Louvre (attraction)
  5. Notre-Dame de Paris (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Lara from Perrysburg

One of my favorite free activities in Paris is to walk from le Jardin des Tuileries eastward to la Pyramide du Louvre and the musee (The Louvre), particularly just before dusk.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Jardin des Tuileries (attraction)
  2. The Louvre (attraction)


answered by
Steve

Not free, but very cheap. Buy a café crème on an outside terrace and enjoy Paris pass by for an afternoon. 





Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Paris (city)




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