20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN PARIS, FRANCE

free things to do in Paris

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.

Things to know before you go to Paris

Free things to do in Paris

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 a lot of the famous building. However, you can still visit the neighbourhood and see the impressive architecture outside of the building. 

Canal St-Martins

 

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.

free things to do in Paris

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.

free things to do in Paris

Sacre Coeur

 

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 Montemartre.

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.

Be sure to check out the best discounted museums and attractions in Paris!

Macaroons in Paris, Best European Destinations for food

Free food

 

Paris have introduced more and more affordable eating options but why not head to a bar that offer 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.

Musée Carnavalet 

 

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.

free things to do in Paris

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.

Sainte-Chapelle 

 

A stunning church with gorgeous towering stained glass windows; worth a visit and completely free.

free things to do in Paris

La Madeline

 

A Roman Catholic Church, designed as a temple to glorify Napoleon’s army. The church is still used for services as well as weddings, funerals and even a restaurant.

free things to do in Paris

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.

free things to do in Paris
free things to do in Paris

Jardin des Plantes

 

A botanic garden near Metro Jussieu, offers free enter to the park but charges extra for entrance to its zoo.

Eglise St-Sulpice

 

An enormous 17th-century church 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.

Le Marais

 

Head to the Marais district to browse vintage shops, visit the Jewish Quarter or follow the trail of Louise XIV.

free things to do in Paris
free things to do in Paris

Parc Monceau

 

A smaller park full of statues of French gets such as musician Chopin and writer Guy De Maupassant.

La Villette

 

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.

free things to do in Paris

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 permits, 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. 

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free things to do in Paris

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17 Comments

  1. What a brilliant useful post! Paris is so expensive that this list will come in handy! I particularly love the idea of free cooking lessons but I may have to brush up upon my french skills!

  2. I never get tired of reading posts abut Paris. It’s my favorite city in the world and even though I’ve been there 4 times now, I always discover something new to do or see. The free cooking classes is an amazing discovery! I had no idea about them, and when I’ll go to Paris again (and I am sure I will), it will be something I’ll look for!

  3. These are wonderful suggestions! I’ve been already but didn’t do these free things you suggested – which means I’ll have to go back!

  4. Great list! I spotted quite a few things that I still need to visit. Didn’t know they were free, especially the Jardins Du Luxembourg. The last time, we reached there when they were closing. You’ve added the Pere Lachaise Cemetary, Parc Des Buttes-Chaumont, and Eglise St Sulpice on my list for next time. Going to keep this list handy. Thanks for posting. 🙂

  5. So happy I came across this blog post – we’ll be there on a tight budget at the end of this year so I couldn’t have asked for better tips! Especially intrigued by the free food offered at bars – Say What!? Will have to try that for sure!

  6. I’m always looking for free things to do when I visit expensive cities. Love the idea of a cooking class!

  7. I love free stuff! Just to add to your list, a lot of museums in Paris are free on the first Sunday of the month.

  8. Awesome list and since I am headed there in a few weeks the timing couldn’t be better.

  9. Yess! I think learning to cook in France would be so much fun. But also free food is always great too!

  10. I do love posts about free things to do in cities. Especially for the tourist stuff you can be charged an arm and a leg that´s why I really like posts of what you can do for free. I do like the idea of getting free food while you drink. That´s definitely a benefit for both. People end up spending more on drinks because they have food in between. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Free food!!! Yessss love Paris and these tips are so useful! Place des Vosges and picnic in front of the Eiffel are great suggestions

  12. These are great tips! We managed to see and do several things on your list while we were in Paris, too. We travel as a family three, so we are always looking for free things to do to stay under budget!

  13. Wish I had read this before my last trip, free food in Paris!?! that would have been a real saver! Such a lovely list, i now have new goals for the next time I am in paris! 🙂


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