Best Free Things to do in Paris | Museums, Gardens & More
Paris, fondly called 'The City of Love' is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, but can often be an expensive destination to visit .Despite this, Paris still has a lot for you to explore in terms of free attractions, ranging from walkways over the city to galleries. Here are 20 of the best free things to do in Paris.
Top 20 Free Things to do in Paris
Considered to be an essential summer meeting destination in north east Paris, Parc de La Villette turns itself into a huge open-air cinema screening, giving a magical theatre experience. The films displayed are in their original version with French subtitles.
211 Av. Jean Jaures, 75019 Paris, France. Find on map.
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Be wise and get a blanket with some comfy cushions or rent out deckchairs online for a comfier set up as you enjoy a great evening watching cinema in the open air.
Watching the lights at the Eiffel tower is a must on your bucket list! Watch the lights sparkle every night, on the hour, every year. The best part is, it is completely free.
Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France. Find on map.
We recommend you grab a seat on the steps at the Sacre-Coeur or in the Parc du Champ de Mar to enjoy the lights and the glorious city.
There are a lot of museums in the city that allow free entry on the first Sunday of the month like the Paris Museum of Modern Art, Galerie Lumiere des Roses, Maison de Victor Hugo, Musée Carnavalet, Musée de la Vie romantique, and many more.
Before you visit any of the free museums in Paris, make sure you look at the timings and try visiting when the crowd is the least to avoid the chaos.
Located on the borders between Saint-Germain-des-Pres and the Latin Quarter, the Jardin du Luxembourg is a blend of French and English styles. Within the grounds sits a breathtaking collection of orchids, a rose garden and an apiary to learn bee-keeping.
75006 Paris, France. Find on map.
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You can enter the Jardin du Luxembourg for free, although you will pay extra for certain activities such as the model-boat rental, children’s playground, tennis and pony rides.
The Cathedral de Notre Dame is Paris’s most famous Gothic church and is simply beautiful both inside and out. One of the most iconic sights in the city, with sculptures and stained glass, it is a sight to behold.
6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl.Jean-Paul ll, 75004 Paris, France. Find on map.
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You can enter the main areas of the church for free between 7:30 am to 7:30 pm in winter and 7 am to 9 pm in summers
Rub shoulders with souls of literary greats like Proust and Balzac, Oscar Wilder, Jim Morrison and more at Paris’ most haunting spots. The tree-lined avenues and calling crows add on to making Pere Lachaise an atmospheric walk in the city.
16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris, France. Find on map.
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Get off at Gambetta station where you will head straight to the back entrance of the cemetery, allowing you to take a relaxing walk downhill instead of uphill after entering Pere Lachaise.
A railroad track with an elevated walkway, offers a great view and allows you to walk through the lush green archways. This 4.5km pathway covers most of the 12th arrondissement and can be joined from Avenue Daumesnil, next to the Bastille metro stop.
La Promenade Plantée, 75012 Paris, France. Find on map.
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It's best to wear comfortable footwear and clothing as you go on a long walk at La Promenade Plantee.
Spend an evening with a bohemian vibe by heading down to the Square du Vert-Galant, on the western tip of the lle de la Cite. Enjoy a cosy environment as you watch boats sail on either side of the island.
15 Pl. du Pont Neuf, 75001 Paris, France. Find on map.
Get a nice bottle of wine with some bites as you to gaze at the sparkling lights that make the city glow.
The flea market puts together close to 2000 second-hand and antique dealers spread over the markets and the surrounding streets. More than 7 million visitors come here for its old furniture, bronzes, records and other objects, perfect for bargain hunters.
Porte de Clignancourt 93400 Saint-Ouen. Find on map.
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Hungry? Explore a few of the 21 restaurants within the area that serve various famous French delicacies that suit your palette.
Since 1867, the Parc de Buttes-Chaumont has been one of the largest public parks in Paris. Inspired by the Italian Temple of Vesta, the most famous feature is the Temple de la Sibylle, 50 meters above the waters of the artificial lake.
1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris, France. Find on map.
You can enjoy hiking and cycling around the paved trails or take a run through the park while you visit an artificial waterfall and the cave system at the place.
A perfect mix of cool, lively and tranquil, the Canal St Martin in Paris is a spot where all the creative minds went when Montmartre got too expensive. Stroll through the streets and find the walls adorned with street art.
Nested between Gare du Nord and Republique, North-eastern Paris, 10th arrondissement. Find on map.
If you wish to grab things for a picnic, there are cheese shops, French and Italian charcuteries, veggie shops that will have your basket bursting.
Discover the ancient origins and learn all about Paris’ history at its recently renovated Musee Carnavalet, where there is no entry charge and allows you to wander through the drawing rooms and reconstructed baroque interests free of cost.
23 Rue de Sevigne, 75003 Paris, France. Find on map.
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If you are opting to travel by metro, the closest stops are Chemin Vert (line 8) and Saint Paul (line 1).
An ideal melting pot of music, art and culture. You can take a stroll down the roads, visit the art galleries and museums and other prominent hubs. Check out the view from the top of Sacre Coeur, a masterpiece of grandeur.
Montmartre, 75018 Paris, France. Find on map.
If you wish for a truly Parisian experience, and if your budget isn’t too strict, try watching the show here and it is worth an experience!
The Champs-Elysees is a popular street lined with luxury boutiques and restaurants where you can spot celebrities shopping and dining. A stroll through these streets is definitely one of the top free things to do while you are in Paris.
Champ-Elysees, 75008 Paris, France. Find on map.
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Fancy shopping? Avoid visiting on a Friday and Saturday and the streets can get highly crowded and most of the shops are closed on Sundays and any public holidays.
Located in the Place de Vosges in the heart of the Marais district, the Maison de Victor Hugo welcomes you into the private home of the well-known French writer, who resided on the 2nd floor and wrote some of his major works.
6 Pl. des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France. Find on map.
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There are various services available at the establishment like gift shops, book store, educational activities, to name a few.
Easily one of the top free things to do in Paris, located opposite of the Seine to the Tower in Pari’s 16th Arrondissement, this raised platform at the end of the gardens, gives a perfect view to the Eiffel Tower.
Place du Trocadero, 75016 Paris, France. Find on map.
Avoid visiting the attraction on a Thursday, Saturday and Sunday as it is considered to be amongst the busiest days of the week.
The Arc de Triomphe is a symbol that honours all those who fought and died for France during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of the generals and French victories inscribed on its inner and outer walls.
Pl.Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France. Find on map.
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Looking at the outside of the attraction is free, but if you wish to enter, you will have to pay a free of €12 to check out of Arc de Triomphe.
The popular UNESCO heritage site is a free spot for long walks or a place to sit and admire the lights against the night sky. You can also admire the bridges across Seine like Alma or Archbishops Bridge, which are popular tourists’ attractions.
Northwest of Dijon, France. Find on map.
Wander through the banks at night and see the 33 of the 37 bridges illuminated that cross the Seine.
Paris is known for a variety of Free Walking Tours with tour volunteers who give you an insight into the beautiful city. Choose an area of an interest, take a highlight tour or take a night time tour based on your requirement.
Their free walking tours are actually pay-what-you-wish tours, where there is no upfront pricing and you can pay what you think the tour was worth for.
This massive park in Paris is perfect to take a stroll in or lounge around for a bit. Located at the base of the Eiffel tower, it offers stunning views of the landmark attraction along with greenery all around.
2 All. Adrienne Lecouvreur, 75007 Paris, France. Find on map.
The open spaces and blooming orchards make it a perfect site for family outings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Free Things to do in Paris
Some of the best free things to do in Paris are: check out the market at Saint Paul, stroll through Canal St Martin, admire the Parisian monuments from the banks of Seine, visit Place des Vosges and more!
Discover the vineyards of Paris, Check out Marché aux Fleurs, Walk around the Jardins des Tuileries.
Stroll up to the Sacre Coeur, Discover the hidden gems of Montmartre, Wander through the streets of Le Marais.
Explore the free museums, Watch a nice movie at Parc de la Villette free open-air cinema, Have an enjoyable picnic at Square du Vert-Galant, Go and see the Eiffel Tower.
Take stroll along the river Seine in the night, watch the twinkling lights of the Eiffel tower to experience the magic of Paris at night.
The entrance is free for all those aged under 18, all year round and for those under 26, on Friday evenings. The entrance is free for everyone on first Saturday of every month between 6 pm and 9:45 pm, and 14th July (Bastille Day)