If you’re interested in having a cheap weekend in Paris, then it pays to know all of the best free things to do. This is where this blog post comes in!
Jump to your destination:
- 10 Free Things To Do in Paris
- 1. Admire the Eiffel Tower light show at night
- 2. Admire artwork in the Louvre
- 3. Climb to the top of Notre Dame
- 4. Listen to windchimes in the Jardin de Tuileries
- 5. Wander through Parc des Buttes Chaumont
- 6. Marvel at the Sacre Coeur
- 7. Walk along the River Seine
- 8. Kiss Oscar Wilde’s grave at Cimetière du Père Lachaise
- 9. Window shop in Avenue des Champs-Élysées
- 10. Photograph the famous Moulin Rouge windmill
10 Free Things To Do in Paris
1. Admire the Eiffel Tower light show at night
Although it costs money to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower, you can revel in the knowledge of being able to see fantastic views of this iconic Parisian landmark completely for free.
Come here during the day and you’ll be delighted at the views of this beautiful and historic tower – so much so that you’ll want to see it from every angle possible.
Come here at night and you will be treated to a stunning light show – you will want to stay here for hours just watching the lights sparkle in the dark. Simply beautiful!
2. Admire artwork in the Louvre
So you weren’t expecting this one to be on the list were you? Paris is an amazing city for soaking in all the art, culture and beauty on offer. And the best bit? They allow you to do this for free on certain days of the year.
From October to March, admission to the Louvre is totally free (for everyone) on the first Sunday of every month. Plus, if you’re fortunate enough to be exploring the city on Bastille Day (July 14th), then you can also gain entry free of charge then.
Right, so now there’s nothing to stop you at all from marvelling at the famous Mona Lisa, the impressive Venus de Milo statue or any of the other amazing works of art this museum has to offer – enjoy!
3. Climb to the top of Notre Dame
If you’re a Disney fan, then I’m pretty sure the movie ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame’ would have had you thinking about visiting this other-worldly Gothic cathedral from an early age. You are likely to be joined by all those who also know that this is yet another iconic landmark in Paris.
And why shouldn’t it be? It really is a wondrous building – from the scary gargoyle guardians to the sonorous chimes of the bell on the hour; this cathedral will transport you back to the era of Disney movies in no time.
Entrance to the main interior of the cathedral is free all year around and I’d certainly encourage you to wander around inside as it is just as impressive as the outside. With the flickering candles, striking chandeliers and huge stained glass windows, you’ll want to glimpse everything at least once.
If you’re also keen on seeing those gargoyles up close and viewing Paris from above, then you can also gain free entry to the towers on the first Sunday of every month between November and March.
It looks like you now have a few reasons to spend Christmas in Paris – you can thank me later.
4. Listen to windchimes in the Jardin de Tuileries
There are plenty of great places to walk throughout Paris. Stroll through Jardin de Tuileries and you will be able to spot the Eiffel Tower in the far distance, see glistening ponds and a charming merry-go-round. Now, take a few moments just to listen.
Can you hear the trees swaying in the gentle breeze drifting from the River Seine? Can you hear the birds tweeting in the sky around you? Can you hear the tinkling of wind chimes drifting across the air towards you?
At the heart of this vast park area, approximately 50 wind chimes have been placed in the ground. This really does make for a beautiful sound within this relaxing park and will captivate you for several moments at least.
5. Wander through Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Who doesn’t love strolling through beautiful parklands and green spaces when visiting cities?
Within the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, you will have the opportunity to glimpse the Paris skyline from a different angle as well as find grottoes, waterfalls and a temple-topped island here.
Although man-made, this park offers so much beauty and is such a relaxing place to wander through, whiling away a few hours and chasing your worries away.
Be prepared to spend a few hours here – you will definitely want to!
6. Marvel at the Sacre Coeur
Dominating the Parisian skyline are the striking dove-white domes of the Sacre Coeur basilica within the Montmartre district. Wherever you are in the city, you will likely be able to see this marvellous building glowing down at you.
With free entry to the building throughout the year, this is certainly a great place to while away a couple of hours.
Even just climbing the steps to the front door will give you even more fabulous views of Paris and have you gazing off into the distance. But once you’re inside, you will be treated to a stunning place of worship and such an overwhelming feeling of pure reverence.
7. Walk along the River Seine
No trip to Paris is complete without a relaxing meander along the River Seine.
With the river winding its way through most of the main parts of the city, it doesn’t necessarily matter where you might decide to walk. But my suggestion would be to opt for the walkway across the river from the Eiffel Tower.
From here, you will be able to continue marvelling at the iconic landmark as well as the glistening river. Might I suggest eating some macarons on your walk for a few euros – you will feel most Parisian whilst doing so.
8. Kiss Oscar Wilde’s grave at Cimetière du Père Lachaise
Anyone with a literary bone in their body has surely heard of the poetic legend that is Oscar Wilde. Even the name itself conjures up reimaginings of ‘The Happy Prince’, ‘The Nightingale’ and of course ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.
Bizarrely, it has now become a Parisian fashion statement to visit this cemetery and kiss his grave. You used to be able to kiss the stonework itself (notice the hundreds of lipstick kisses plastered across it), but now, you will have to settle for a glass cover instead. Mwah!
9. Window shop in Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Many images are brought to mind when thinking about Paris. One of which being the tremendous fashions this city has brought to the world.
Well, then, you can’t possibly refuse to walk the length of Avenue des Champs-Elysees and gaze into the luxurious designer shops and boutiques around you. Who says you actually need to buy anything? Although this may take a tremendous amount of willpower.
Named for the Elysian Fields (‘heaven’ in Greek mythology), this avenue is quite simply a shopaholic’s paradise in Heaven. With so many shops around and with clearly a lot of effort going into the window displays, you will certainly have fun walking this final stretch of the Tour de France.
10. Photograph the famous Moulin Rouge windmill
Crimson. Iconic. Legendary. Evokes passion. These are just a few of the words I could find to describe the famous Moulin Rouge theatre.
Forever immortalised within the Baz Luhrmann film of the same name, this theatre will forever and always be a perfect photographic destination.
Stand back, admire the replica windmill and be transported into a world of fantastical costumes, catchy music and the finest champagne… even if all if this is entirely within your own imagination, whilst standing in the street!