Who doesn’t like free things?!
Here is my selection of 40 free activities to do in Paris. You can enjoy the capital without spending a cent!
1. The “Colonnes de Buren”
This work of art by Daniel Buren is very well known in Paris. Located in the 1st district, tourists love taking photos for Instagram at this location!
2. Paris Plage
Paris Plage takes place in summer along the Seine. Deckchairs are installed as well as fine sand, perfect for relaxing in the capital!
3. Fnac Festival
Fnac Festival is a free music festival which takes place in July in front of the town hall. Very popular with locals, it gets really crowded!
- Read my article on the Best music festivals in Paris!
4. Luxembourg statues
The Luxembourg garden shelters 106 statues! Take a walk in the park and have fun recognizing them with this complete list!
5. Canal St Martin
I love to walk along the St Martin canal. Less touristy than the Seine, it’s located in the 10th and 11th districts.
6. Buttes Chaumont Park
Parisians flock to the Buttes Chaumonts park as soon as the sun appears! Perfect place for a picnic with friends or a nature walk.
7. Covered Passages
Paris has a lot of covered passages, some better known than others. Drawn in the middle of the buildings, they house art galleries, shops and restaurants. Just for the architecture, these places are not to be missed in Paris! My favourites are “Passages des Panoramas”, “Galerie Vivienne” and “Passage Choiseul.
8. Fete de la Musique (“Music Party”)
The “Fete de la Musique” takes place every June 21st in Paris. Locals gather in the streets to celebrate music with free concerts and performances!
9. View of the Eiffel Tower
You can find a lot of magnificent views of the Eiffel Tower, but my favorite ones are from the terrace of the Pompidou center, at the Champ de mars and from the Sacré coeur.
10. City Lights at night
Admire the “city of lights” at night, from one of the city’s many bridges or from the Seine riverside. Magic!
The Pantheon is free to visit on the first Sunday of each month! It’s also free all the time for European citizens from 18 to 25 years old.
12. Seine River
There are so many ways to enjoy the Seine: walk on the riverside, take a boat cruise or cross the famous bridges over it!
The food, art and clothing markets are a good way to discover the Parisian culture! There is something for everyone; if you are interested, check out this list of the best markets in Paris!
14. Champ de Mars
Surrounding the Eiffel Tower, the Champ de Mars is one of the biggest green spaces in Paris. Relax, picnic and walk in this beautiful park.
15. Sacré Coeur
Visiting the Sacré Coeur basilica is free! Visit this emblematic monument of Paris and enjoy a magnificent view of the city.
16. Père Lachaise cemetery
The cemetery of Père Lachaise shelters famous personalities such as Edith Piaf, Chopin, Alfred de Musset and Oscar Wilde. It’s the largest cemetery in Paris and one of the most famous in the world.
17. Discover the unique neighbourhoods
The districts of Paris are unique, they each have their characters and their stories. Walk the hidden streets of Montmartre, count all the crepes shops at St Michel and discover Belleville, the trendy district.
18. Place des Vosges
“Place des Vosges” is the oldest place in Paris. Located in the Marais district, it’s well known because many personalities have lived there!
19. Cremieux street
Cremieux street is famous in Paris for its colourful houses. Located in the 12th arrondissement, you’ll be able to take pretty pictures!
Paris has more than 70 general and specialized libraries. In addition to containing unique and ancient books, the architecture is remarkable. Visit Sorbonne library and Mazarine library if you only have time to discover two!
21. Book sellers along the Seine
The “bouquinistes” of Paris are open-air bookstores of old and second-hand books and photographies. They are an integral part of the Parisian decor and part of the Parisian charm.
22. Free Museums
You may not know it, but Paris has some free museums! Among them: Modern art museum of the city of Paris, Balzac’s house, Carnavalet museum, Victor Hugo’s house and House of romantic life; for their permanent collections.
23. Wall of “Je t’aime”
The wall of “Je t’aime” is a mural artwork located place des Abbesses. Reproducing “I love you” in 250 languages, it’s a must-see when you visit Paris!
24. Louvre 1st Sunday of the month
The Louvre is free every first Sunday of the month! The perfect opportunity to discover the most visited museum in the world.
25. Free cinematography lesson
Did you know that you can attend a free film class at the “Forum des Images” ? It takes place every Friday from 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. : reservations are strongly recommended!
26. Paris Roller
“Paris Roller” is free roller skating every Friday at 9:30 p.m. If you like roller skating, go to Place Raoul Dautry for a walk with a different route each week!
27. Versailles gardens
The gardens of Versailles’s castle are free to access all year round and not to be missed! Admire the architecture and statues of these royal gardens, located 30 minutes from Paris.
28. Justice Palace Free Trial
Attend a free trial at the “Palais de Justice”. Monday to Friday from 9am to 12am and 1.30pm to 6pm. I did it once, and it’s impressive!
29. White Night
The “Nuit Blanche” takes place in October in Paris. This free event takes place across the city’s streets and monuments. You can attend concerts, exhibitions, installations and artistic performances.
30. “La promenade plantée”
The “planted promenade” is a linear park in the 12th arrondissement. It’s both a garden and a very nice pedestrian promenade.
Greeters Paris are volunteer ambassadors who welcome visitors from all over the world. They offer free walks in Paris: the best way to discover Paris like a local!
- Have a look ay my 10 Tips To Enjoy Paris Like A Local article.
32. Free Seine Cruise
If it’s your birthday, you have the right to a free cruise on the Seine! Access is free upon presentation of an identity document.
33. Free cooking lesson
The FFAC (French Federation of Amateur Cuisine) offers a free cooking class with the presence of a chef or an amateur cook! Ten people maximum, and reservations are made on their site.
34. Free walking guided tour
Paris Tourist Office offers thematic routes in the capital, depending on the neighbourhood, the desire to shop or to visit monuments.
Paris City Hall also offers several walking guides to explore the different districts of the city.
35. Old churches
Paris is home to 200 churches. Their history and aesthetics are worth the visit! My favourites: Notre-Dame, Sainte Chapelle, Saint Germain des Prés and Saint-Eustache’s parish.
36. Free Art Galleries
Paris has countless art galleries and many are free to access! There are a lot of galleries by neighbourhood, you can find a complete list here. Not to be missed: ArtConcept, Polka Galerie and Less is More Projects.
37. Parks and gardens
There are 17 parks and 145 gardens in Paris. You have plenty to choose from, when having a green break in the capital! Montsouris Park is one of my favourites. For the gardens, I spent a lot of time in the Luxembourg Gardens and the Tuileries Gardens, both very beautiful and relaxing.
38. Free haircut
You can get a free haircut at the Franck de Roche Académie! Go to their website or call them for a “Relooking coupe de cheveux” coupon. Haircuts are made by students of the Academy.
39. Historic public water fountains
You can drink water for free in Paris at some public fountains. Some are purely decorative but some are as beautiful as they are drinkable. Check out this interactive map to see them all!
40. Just walking in the streets of Paris!
My favourite activity which costs nothing in Paris: walking in the streets! Honestly, some cities around the world are not pleasant to visit on foot. The architecture, the atmosphere and the history of Paris can be enjoyed by simply walking in the streets.
This list of free activities to do in Paris is sure to keep you busy and not spend all of your money while still fully enjoying the capital!