Top things to do in Paris for free

by jamieevans

Taking a look at what you can do around Paris for free to enhance some of those cheap holiday adventures.

One of the most famous cities in Europe, and indeed the world, Paris is synonymous with romance, fine dining, and beautiful architecture. While getting to the city from Britain is fairly easy and inexpensive (especially if you travel via Eurostar), actually having a weekend there can cost and arm and a leg. This is one of the most notoriously pricey capitals of Europe – especially if you have want to eat in decent restaurants and stay in a nice hotel in the centre of town. Fortunately there are also plenty of really interesting things you can do for free to try and lower the cost. Here are a few of them I enjoyed when I went on my most recent trip there…

Six suggestions..


The Louvre

Usually it costs to get into the Louvre, but if you visit on the first Sunday of the month admission is free. The same goes for Bastille Day (July 14th). And between 18:00 – 21:45 on Fridays, under 25’s get in free also. Of course, on these days the queues are massive, so get there early or be prepared to wait.

Pere Lachaise cemetery

Travel up to the 20th arrondissement to visit the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery; a vast, rambling burial ground which is the final resting place of The Doors’ Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and French legend Edith Piaf.

Stroll along the Seine

Many of life’s greatest pleasures cost nothing at all, and a stroll along the stunning banks of the Seine has to rate as one of these. Take in the beauty of the city – especially romantic at night when all lit up. It costs absolutely nothing.

Notre DameNotre Dame Cathedral

One of the most famous landmarks in Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral affords some fantastic views of the city, including a clear line of sight to the Eiffel Tower. It is pretty cool just coming up here to have a look, but on the first Sunday of the month between October and March, you can also climb the 387 steps of the North tower completely free of charge.

Explore on foot

Paris is a huge, diverse city of many different cultures and peoples. One of the best ways to get to know it is to wander around and take in the many vibrant neighbourhoods and take in the sights. Some of the most famous and most fascinating to explore include the Latin Quarter, Montmartre, the Canal St. Martin and St Germaine des Pres.

Jardin du LuxembourgHave a picnic in the Jardin du Luxembourg

If it’s a nice sunny day, a great way to spend an inexpensive few hours is to have a picnic in the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg. Located in the Latin Quarter in the 6th arrondissement, there are numerous 19th century fountains and statues here. What’s more, given the quality of food in French supermarkets, you can rustle up a pretty decent picnic for next to nothing – the perfect way to counterbalance all those expensive meals in Parisian restaurants!


For cheap travel to Paris I'd advise using the Eurostar or alternatively searching for cheap flights as well as getting travel insurance from Insure & Away.

Updated: 10/31/2012, jamieevans
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