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47 Free things to do in Paris

"Suggestion pour une visite de paris"

  • November 2017

reviewed by Olivier from France

47 Free (And Cool) Things To Do In Paris

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Why you will love it?

This is not just another list of free but useless sights and activities. As usual, we have compiled a curated list of 47 free things to do in Paris that are really worth it and that will perfectly suit your needs. All you need to do now is leave the wallet behind and enjoy!

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1. Admire the Eiffel Tower from the Champs de Mars and Trocadéro, especially at night when it is lit. The twinkling lights go on for 5 minutes every hour from sunset to 1am.

2. Enjoy the calm and serenity of Notre Dame Cathedral early in the morning, during the mass. You will have the cathedral pretty much for yourself!

3. Experience the Sacré Cœur Basilica at 10pm, when all is quiet and peaceful. During daytime, don’t forget to climb up the dome of this symbol of Montmartre, perched on top of the hill, for the view.

4. The Louvre Museum: Free every first Sunday of the month between October and March. The lesser crowded “Porte des Lions” entrance will enable you a quicker access to the Mona Lisa, the Venus the Milo and the Winged Victory.

5. Rub shoulders with worldclass art at Musée d’Orsay (Impressionists) and the Centre Georges Pompidou (Modern Art) every first Sunday of the month, all year round, for free. Head there at the end of the day for a more intimate visit.

6. Discover the beauty and grandeur of the Palace of Versailles and its gardens. Entry to the palace is free on the 1st Sunday of the month between November and March. From November to March, the gardens are free every day. From April to October, the gardens are free on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (unless it’s a public holiday).

7. Saint Germain des Prés Church and a stroll in the Saint Germain area: discover one of the oldest churches in Paris (over 1000 years old), then feel the artistic vibe of the area by taking a walk through the lively street of rue de Buci, Place Furstenberg and rue Saint André des Arts.

8. A walk in the charming streets of Montmartre: Highlights include Place du Tertre (the “artists square), Sacré Coeur Basilica, and the small street of this “village within the city.”

9. The Arènes de Lutèce and a stroll in the Latin Quarter: check out the ruins of the 2000 year old gladiator arena, then take a walk in the lively places of interest: Rue Mouffetard, la Place du Panthéon and Rue Saint Séverin.

10. Place des Vosges and a stroll in Le Marais district: The beautiful square is the first one in Paris and Le Marais will delight you with its large mansions, the City Hall and the Jewish Quarter of rue des Rosiers.

11. The perspective on the Louvre, the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe from the Jardins des Tuileries, the historical park located on the Historical Axis.


12. Admire the beauty of the Petit Palais: the iconic fine arts museum facing the Grand Palais, with works by Rembrandt, Rodin, Monet and more!

13. Hunt for mysteries and fun facts inside Saint Sulpice Church, the largest church in Paris where Victor Hugo, author of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, got married.

14. Get upclose and personal with one of the patron saints of Paris, Sainte Geneviève, at Saint Etienne du Mont Church. Its strikingly odd architecture is also quite a sight to see.

15. Relive the history of Paris at the Musée Carnavalet, located in a superb 16th century mansion in the Marais area.

16. Admire the works of Picasso, Matisse or Braque at the  Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, one of the 2 greatest modern arts museums in Paris.

17. Step in the enchanting Medieval era at the Musée de Cluny or the world of Asian arts at the Musée Guimet ,free on the 1st Sunday of the month, all year round.

18. All museums belonging to the City of Paris (Vie Romantique, Cognac Jay, Zadkine, Cernusci, Victor Hugo, Balzac) as well as the Atelier Brancusi are free of charge.

19. Discover Paris' off the beaten path curiosities during the Nuit Blanche, a cultural event held in October. Just follow the designated paths for a night of pure cultural pleasure. 

20. Enter buildings that are generally closed to the public (the president’s residence, City Hall…) during the European Heritage Days,held annually on the 3rd weekend of September.

21. Visit museums (and enjoy their special events) very late at night during the Nuit des Musées, a cultural event held annually on a Saturday in May.

22. Enjoy free organ recitals which take place every Saturday at 8pm in Notre Dame Cathedral.


23. Embrance summer in Paris at Paris Plage, where the banks of the Seine River transform into a beach (sand, deckchairs, and parasols) between mid-July and mid-August.

24. Discover exotic plants and birds at the Serres d’Auteuil, historic greenhouses in the west of Paris. The kids will love it!

25. Have a gliding winter at Paris pop-up ice staking rinks. The most famous one is the ice rink in front of Hôtel de Ville. It is free if you bring your own ice skates.

26. Forget the city and take a step in the countryside at Paris Farm, a real farm set in the heart of the Bois de Vincennes. A unique opportunity to see cows, pigs, goats and rabbits for curious urban kids.

27. Your children will love you for taking them to the Jardin des Dunes et des Vents: a large outdoor children’s playground located in the Parc de la Villette.


28. Gaze at the many boutiques and magnificent art-deco glass dome of the Galeries Lafayette: department store. Don’t forget to take the escalators all the way up to the rooftop for a panoramic view of Paris and the backside of the Opera Garnier.

29. Admire the great view of Paris from the Le Printemps Rooftop. The rooftop patio of this luxurious department store offers one of the best free views on Paris. Its bar is also the perfect place to have a drink.

30. Go hunt for antiquities and other fascinating curiosities at the Flea Market of Saint Ouen, from Saturday to Monday every week.

31. Find the perfect ingredients for a typical French meal at Marché d’Aligre, one of the most famous Parisian food markets. And unlike monuments and museums, the more people there are, the better. So try to get there a little bit before lunch time.

32. Wander through the alleyways of the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest market in Paris. It's also perfect for a weekend brunch.

33. Take a stroll through a beautiful 19th century covered passage way called the Passage des Panoramas. It's one of the busiest covered passages of Paris, filled with restaurants and shops. Stop here for a coffee, a gluten-free meal or some Korean dumplings.

34. Enjoy the beauty and unique intimate ambiance of the Galerie Vivienne, a magnificent and historical covered passage filled with luxurious fashion boutiques, book stores and decoration stores.


35. Enjoy the panoramic view of Paris from the top of Montmartre Hill: Sit down on the stairs in front of the Sacré Coeur Basilica, listen to the live music and why not even open a bottle of wine or champagne!

36. Have a bird's eye view on the Seine and the backside of Notre Dame Cathedral from the terrasse of the Institut du Monde Arabe. Go to the top floor of this modern building in the Latin Quarter, it's free.

37. Kiss on the Pont Alexandre III: the most beautiful bridge of Paris also offers a nice view on the Seine, the Invalides and the Grand Palais.

38. Walk down the Berges de Seine, an expressway turned into a lively pedestrian walkway with bars, activities and events.

39. Spend the most romantic morning at the Buttes Chaumont: its hills, waterfall and viewing point make it the perfect place to feel far away from it all.


40. Admire the magnificent French and English style gardens of the Jardin du Luxembourg , a historical park loved by Parisians.

41. Seak the final resting places of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wild, Edith Piaf and more at the Père Lachaise Cemetery: It is not just a cemetery, it's truly a wonderful open air museum.

42. Walk in the footsteps of Ethan Hawk and July Delpy at the Promenade Plantée and Petite Ceinture: these old train tracks respectively in the 12th and 15th arrondissements have been turned into lush, elevated walking paths and served as decor in the movie Before Sunset.

43. Enjoy the vie from the top of the Parc de Belleville. It's surely one of the best views of Paris you can get from a Parisian park.

44. Celebrate the national day like a Parisian and watch the  July 14 Bastille Day fireworks. These beautiful fireworks are lit from the Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro.

45. Enjoy a good old movie classic between mid-July and mid-August at La Villette Outdoor Movie Theater. Don't forget to bring your wine, cheese and bread, to make it extra special!

46. Pick up your guitar or just watch the bands play in the street during the Fête de la Musique on June 21st. It's outdoors, it's fun and it's free!

47. Discover the wonders of Paris on roller skates with Pari Roller. Strap on your own roller skates or rollerblades and join the mass crowd of rollerbladers as they roll through the streets of Paris. The event is generally every Friday at 10pm. Check the meeting point on their website (

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