Traveling to Paris on a budget? We share the best free things to do in Paris France, so you can plan a trip without spending too much.
Paris is a city of beauty and love but it is a city of expensive hotels, expensive meals and expensive attractions. But here are some of the best free things to do in Paris! Don’t forget to check out these 5 best party hostels in Paris and pack the perfect Paris outfit for your trip.
Free things to do in Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral
One of the most visited attractions in Paris, Notre Dame is free to enter although it does cost if you wish to climb the towers. This is one of the oldest and grandest cathedrals in the world, known for its incredible stained glass windows. Although you currently can’t go inside the cathedral after the 2019 fire destroyed a lot of the famous building. However, you can still visit the neighbourhood and see the impressive architecture outside of the building.
A trendy area near not the edge of the river, Canal St-Martin is a picture of Old Paris with its beautiful houses and boutique restaurants. Take a stroll around this area to relax and take in ‘chic Paris’.
Champ de Mars
A lift up the Eiffel Tower can be expensive whilst the queue can eat into your day. Champ De Mars is an expansive lawn expanding from the base of the Tower, that offers arguably the best photo points of the Eiffel Tower. Get plenty of photos to fill that travel album on this beautiful lawn or, for a cheap alternative to a romantic restaurant, why not pick up a bottle of wine, some bread, and cheese and enjoy an evening watching the Eiffel Tower light up and twinkle above you.
Learn to cook
We love to cook but courses around the world (especially in Europe) can be so expensive! The Fédération Française de Cuisine offer hour-long cooking courses in various green markets and fairs around Paris. Lessons are in French but anyone can sign up and follow along.
This is another popular attraction that is free to enter and admire the stained-glass windows and gorgeous interior, although climbing into the dome or exploring the crypt does cost extra but was closed for security reasons at the time of writing. You can also enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the top of the steps of Montmartre.
Paris’ Museum of Modern Art
Ok so you may not be able to find the Mona Lisa here but the Museum of Modern Art is free to visit and displays some interesting paintings and sculptures.
Paris has introduced more and more affordable eating options but why not head to a bar that offers free food whilst you drink. Le Bouillon Belge, Les Trois Freres, Le Penty, Tribal Cafe, Le Syndicat, La Cordonnerie, Le Grenier, Le Culture Rapide, and Lockwood all offer free food on selected evenings throughout the week.
Learn about Paris’ History at the Musee Carnvalat which is free to enter, although you can donate €5 to support the museum. The museum shares information about the history of Paris and can be found within two mansions, offering impressive architecture.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Home to the final resting place of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, George Bizet and Chopin, the cemetery is worth exploring whilst in the city and is free to enter.
A stunning church with gorgeous towering stained glass windows; is worth a visit and completely free.
A Roman Catholic Church, was designed as a temple to glorify Napoleon’s army. The church is still used for services as well as weddings, funerals, and even has a restaurant.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Covering 23 hectares and situated among the Luxembourg Palace, Jardin Du Luxembourg is a stunning garden, ideal for a morning stroll. There are many beautiful parks in Paris to explore, so spend some time and save money by including these in your Paris itinerary.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Escape the city and visit one of the biggest free spaces in Paris. The views of the city are stunning and the park is home to waterfalls, caves and a suspended bridge.
Jardin des Plantes
A botanic garden near Metro Jussieu offers free entrance to the park but charges extra for entrance to its zoo.
An enormous 17th-century church was made popular from its appearance in the Da Vinci Code movie. Admission is free, with its obelisk, asymmetrical towers, and Visconti’s 19th-century fountain, all worth a visit.
Head to the Marais district to browse vintage shops, visit the Jewish Quarter or follow the trail of Louise XIV.
A smaller park full of statues of French gets such as musician Chopin and writer Guy De Maupassant.
A park and museum complex home to the Science Museum (Cites des Sciences), an IMAX theatre, Le TARMAC (music venue), exhibit hall, small theatre, outdoor movie theatre and even an equestrian enter. Explore the park and enjoy the attractions available.
Watch a free movie
During the summer months, head to La Peniche Cinema found in the Parc de La Villette for a free movie or concert held every Friday and Saturday.
Place Des Vosges
Located in the Marais District. the Place Des Vosges is the oldest planned square in Paris and consists of two stunning pavilions as well as a municipal museum that was the home of Victor Hugo; author of Les Miserables.
Paris has an insane number of things to do with its world-beating museums, beautiful buildings, great food scene, and loads of fun, quirky experiences. If money and time permit, we’d recommend spending a few months here to take in everything this city has to offer instead of a quick, rushed trip. Don’t fret about finding a place to stay in Paris, there are plenty of affordable apartment rentals in the city.
Have you visited any of these places or know of anything else in Paris that is free?! Share your experiences, ideas, and questions in the comments below.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.