30 Free Things to Do in Paris

seine-river-paris-france-dunheger travel blog


The City of Love is one of the most expensive destinations you can visit, but with a little extra research done in advance, budget travelers can still find plenty to do. Add any of these activities to your itinerary to cut down costs in gay Paris.

1. Visit on the first Sunday of the month for free admission to the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou.

2. Explore the city’s churches from world-renowned landmarks like Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame to smaller sites like the St.-Pierre de Montmartre.

3. Snag a photo of at the base of the Eiffel Tower.

paris-notre dame, dunheger travel blog
Notre Dame Cathedral

4. Browse a flea market like Tartes Kluger or the Marche aux Puces St. Ouen.

5. Picnic at Place des Vosges or Jardin du Luxembourg.

6. Join a free walking tour given by the Paris Greeters

7. Enjoy one of the most famous walks in the world as you people watch along Les Champs Elysees.

8. Camp out in Parc de la Villette during July and August for a free open-air movie.

9. Take a free cooking class from the Federation Francaise de Cuisine.

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Paris, France, Dunheger Travel Blog
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Flickr © Phil Beard

10. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, a scenic retreat complete with a waterfall.

11. Stray to more off-the-beaten-path museums like the Musee d’Art Moderne, the Musee Carnavalet, and the Musee National du Moyen Age.

12. Reserve a seat at one of Galeries Lafayette’s Friday afternoon fashion shows.

13. Pay a visit to celebrity memorials. Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and Chopin all have their resting places in Pere Lachaise, while the Cemetiere Montparnasse is the final home of Simone de Beauvoir, Samuel Beckett, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

14. Wander through aisles of ripe produce and freshly baked bread at the Marche d’Aligre.

15. Check out Roman ruins at the Arene de Lutece.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France, Dunheger Travel Blog
Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Flickr © emile lombard

16. Tour one of France’s oldest perfumeries at the Musee Fragonard.

17. Explore the lively, multicultural neighborhood of Belleville and its vibrant street art.

18. Keep your eyes peeled for spontaneous summertime dance parties on the Quai Saint-Bernard.

19. Sample complimentary wine and cheese at Le Derniere Goutte’s free 5pm Friday tastings.

20. Take a jog down the Berges de Seine.

21. Get close to history at the house where Victor Hugo penned Les Miserables, or the former lab of Marie Curie.

Bellville, Paris, France, Dunheger travel Blog
Bellville, Flickr © Céline

22. Get down to local jazz at 7 Lezards each Monday night.

23. Get a great view of the city from Le Pantheon’s cupola or from the steps of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.

24. Watch local artists at work in Montmartre’s Place de Tertre.

25. Channel your inner Amelie by skipping stones across the Canal St-Martin.

26. Book a guided visit of the Hotel de Ville, the largest City Hall in Europe.

27. Relive your college days with a walk around the Sorbonne and the surrounding Latin Quarter.

La Promenade Plantee, Paris, France, Dunheger Travel Blog
La Promenade Plantee, Flickr © Class V

28. Cool off during the summer months at Paris Plages, which transforms the banks of the Seine with sand, deck chairs, and ice cream vendors.

29. Travel through time on the streets of Le Marais, a well-preserved neighborhood dating back to the Middle Ages.

30. Take a stroll above the city on La Promenade Plantee, an elevated walkway stretching across the 12th arrondisement.

31. Take a bottle of wine to the Square du Vert Galant for some evening boat watching.