10 Fun and Free Things to Do in Paris

What’s better than having fun things to do? Having fun free things to do. Welcome to our blog series, 10 Free Things. Today we tackle the city of lights with 10 fun and free things to do in Paris.

1. Visit Notre Dame

The stunning Notre Dame cathedral took over a century to build, and you can check out the intricate architecture and spectacular stained glass without paying a cent. The cathedral also offers regularly scheduled Night Shows, also free of charge. Check the schedule before you go!


2. Get some sun at Paris Plages

When you think of Paris, the beach certainly isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But for four weeks every summer, the banks of the Seine are transformed into sandy stretches complete with lounge chairs, volleyball nets, cabanas, and ice cream carts.


3. Picnic at Le Champ de Mars

While traveling to the top of the Eiffel Tower comes with a pretty hefty price tag (and a long wait in line), it’s absolutely free to visit the grounds. Grab a baguette and some brie from le marché and picnic on the grass. Arrive at sundown to catch the light show!


4. Take a break at Le Jardin des Tuileries

The Tuileries Garden was created by Queen Catherine de Medicis in 1564, but wasn’t opened to the public until over a century later. Today, native Parisians and visitors alike gather by the garden’s ponds and sculptures to picnic and relax. If you’re visiting between June and August, be sure to stop by the Fête des Tuileries for rides, treats, and family-friendly fun.


5. Take advantage of free museum days

On the first Sunday of every month, major museums like the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay offer totally free admission. The lines may be a little longer, but it’s an unbeatable deal.


6. Stroll along la Promenade Plantée

Chances are, you’ve heard of New York City’s High Line. But did you know that it was inspired by Paris’s Promenade Plantée? This elevated garden is an extensive green belt that follows the old Vincennes railway line, and you can stroll along while looking down to the city below for free.


7. Get a bird’s eye view from Sacré-Coeur

Sacré-Coeur (Sacred Heart) sits atop a giant hill in the Montmartre district of Paris. The view from its steps is incomparable (especially at sunset) and chances are that whenever you visit, you’ll hear live music from a local singer or musician.


8. Saunter down L’avenue des Champs-Èlysées

For a truly Parisian walk, nothing beats strolling down the Champs-Èlysées. You’ll see bars, restaurants, historic landmarks, and, of course, do some wonderful window shopping (Cartier and Louis Vuitton, anyone?) You’ll also bump into the Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais, and Place de la Concorde. Not a bad walk!


9. Take a free walking tour

Sandeman’s New Europe offers a free, two-hour walking tour that cover’s Paris’s history from Napoleon to La Belle Époque. If you’re lucky, your tour guides might share their tips on the best nightlife, too!


10. Wander Around Le Marais

It would be entirely possible to spend your entire visit to Paris in the Marais district and never run out of things to explore. From historic churches to unique shops to Jewish delis (Le Marais is home to one of Paris’s largest Jewish communities), you’d do well to save at least a day or two to wander the streets of this incredible neighborhood.

Previously: 10 Free Things in Los Angeles

4 Comments on “10 Fun and Free Things to Do in Paris

  1. I’ve been living in Paris for thirty years and I’d never heard of the promenade plantee before. another good free outing in Paris is to take the public buses and see places like the Louvre, Luxembourg Gardens, the Marais, La Bastille etc from the comfort of a nice bus ( ok so it’s not totally free but if you buy a transport pass it feels free). Two I could highly are the bus numbers: 21 and 29 from the Gare Saint Lazare.

  2. Thanks for these tips. I’ll refer to this list when I travel with my husband and my two adult daughters on our “Dakar to Loire” family trip to Senegal and France at the end of May! Five days in Dakar, five days in Paris, then four days biking in the Loire Valley, then one night near Mt. St. Michel, one night near Normandy in Bayeaux and maybe a stop in Rouen before we return the rental car and fly home. Vive le Afrique! Vive le France!

  3. Pingback: 10 Fun and Free Things to do in Sydney | Home Exchange Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *