The romanticism and glamour of Paris does not often come cheaply particularly if you want to visit during the high season which is much of Spring, Summer, and early Fall. But that doesn’t mean visiting Paris has to be a trip that breaks the bank! There’s actually so much to do in Paris that you can take advantage of for free.
Having visited Paris more than anywhere else in the world, and as the founder of Paris, Perfected – I’ve tried and experienced so much in Paris.
It may take a bit more planning, but there’s a lot of free attractions and ways to enjoy Paris that will allow for your wallet to have a bit of a break. Today I will be sharing what I think are the best free places to visit in Paris. I hope you’ll find this helpful as you plan your trip to Paris!
22 Best Free Places To Visit In Paris
The Grand Magasins
Did you know that the Paris department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette offer some of the best free views of Paris? Both department stores have sweeping views of Paris for free thanks to the rooftops that are open to the public. There’s no entry fee and it is a great way to get 360 degree views of Paris from above.
The Luxembourg Gardens
Paris does green space so well and has a variety of wonderful parks that you can of course enjoy for free. The Luxembourg Gardens is a personal favorite of mine and I love to sit in one of the iconic green chairs and read a book while soaking up the sun and the beautiful floral displays.
The Tuileries Gardens are the former royal gardens to the Louvre palace and are such a special space to walk and sit and enjoy a casual lunch. It also happens to be one of my favorite places to people watch.
The Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay is one of Paris’s most famous and popular museums but did you know it can be visited for free every first Sunday of the month, year-round?
The Louvre is generally on everyone’s list to visit in Paris when going to the city of light for the first time. It’s usually recommended to buy a ticket in advance to ensure less of a wait but if you’re looking to enjoy the museum free of charge, every first Saturday of the month the Louvre is free for everyone from 6pm to 9:45pm. And if you’re visiting in July, the admission is free also on the 14th of July, France’s national Bastille Day holiday.
The Rodin Museum
I absolutely love the building the Rodin museum is housed in as well as enjoying the gardens and the various sculptures it holds. From October 1st until March 31st, the Musée Rodin is free on the first Sunday of the month.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Looking for a real local slice of Paris? Head to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. The Parc des Buttes Chaumont is a public park situated in northeastern Paris in the 19th arrondissement. It is the fifth-largest park in Paris, after the Bois de Vincennes, Bois de Boulogne, Parc de la Villette and the Tuileries Gardens. This park is a lovely spot to picnic or enjoy a sunny stroll.
Also known as the 5th arrondissement, the Latin Quarter in Paris is one of the oldest parts of Paris. It is home to the Sorbonne University, loads of bookshops including the landmarked Shakespeare & Company as well as a lot of cafes and winding streets perfect for strolling.
If you’re a fan of the Netflix show Emily in Paris, you’ll also find several of the filming locations in this arrondissement around Place de l’Estrapade.
And if you’re a fan of Hemingway, you can view the outside of one of his former apartments at 74 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine.
Jardin des Plantes
These botanical gardens in the 5th arrondissement are often overlooked for other parks in Paris but they are beautiful to stroll particularly in the Spring.
To visit the main part of the famed cathedral in Montmartre is free entry. (Though if you want to explore the dome or the crypt you will pay a small entrance fee). I also think hanging out on the steps outside of Sacré Coeur is one of the best free views in Paris.
The Paris Bridges
There’s an innate beauty about Paris’s many bridges and truly something so romantic about strolling them – particularly first thing in the morning and also around sunset. There are 37 bridges in total that span the Seine, connecting the Left Bank to the Right Bank.
Personal favorites of mine include Pont Alexandre III, Pont des Arts, Pont Neuf, Pont Royal and Pont de Bir-Hakeim.
Arc de Triomphe
One of France’s most iconic monuments is entirely free to visit and take photos of from the outside. (There’s a small fee to go up in the Arc). You can get really fun photos from all around the Arc – with the most sought after being from along the famed Champs-Élysées.
The Eiffel Tower at Night
I think enjoying the Eiffel Tower from the Champs de Mars for the evening light show is one of the best, most romantic things you can do in Paris. Starting at sundown the Eiffel Tower sparkles for a few minutes at the top of every hour until 1AM.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise is both Paris’s most visited cemetery and its most sought-after burial ground. Many famous people are buried there including Eugène Delacroix, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and Honoré de Balzac. The list of famous individuals who are buried here includes 40 singers, 40 composers and 75 painters.
The cemetery is in a sprawling park with over 5,000 trees for you to wander amidst while you visit the tombs.
While you could pay to be guided around Paris neighborhoods by a guide, you can also find a variety of resources online that offer up self guided walking tours. It’s a great way to enjoy the city, get to know an arrondissement better and learn some history and fun facts along the way.
Visit the Markets
I adore the Paris markets that pop up all across the city throughout the year to offer up beautiful produce, flowers and other French specialties. Even if you’re not planning to cook when you’re in Paris, I think they are such a delight to peruse and see what the vendors are selling.
Browse Street Art
If you’re a fan of street art, head to the Canal Saint Martin area of Paris in the 10th arrondissement. This neighborhood has changed a lot in the past decade and offers a variety of cool restaurants and shops but also a bustling scene along the canal and loads of street art tucked around the various streets and corners.
I think Montmartre is one of the best neighborhoods to take in for free. There’s so much to see and explore and a fun artist scene as well that makes for some fun people watching.
Do a Night Walk
I always take every opportunity to walk home past the Louvre whenever I am in Paris and along the bridges and Seine. Paris at night is nothing short of magical. I think the Louvre courtyards and pyramids lit up in particular are rather breathtaking and you can take it all in totally free of charge.
Place des Vosges
Place des Vosges is Paris’s oldest planned square and one of the most special corners of Paris in my opinion. You can window shop along it but also it is a lovely place to sit and enjoy the sunshine on a beautiful Paris day. For the little ones there are also sandboxes!
Maison de Victor Hugo
Free to enter, Maison de Victor Hugo is the writer’s former home where he lived for 16 years between 1832–1848. It’s rather small but a beautiful building that boasts special views above Place des Vosges.
Hang by the Seine
Want to feel truly Parisian? Spend a sunny afternoon or an evening at sunset hanging out by the Seine. Parisians treat the banks of the Seine like their own backyards and I love the ritual of catching up with friends or picnicking alongside the riverbanks whenever I am in Paris.
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Looking for more ways to enjoy Paris on a budget? Check out my guide to Budget Friendly Paris.
Are you looking to know more about the French way of life and get insider tips for an upcoming trip to Paris? I would love to work with you! Book a Paris, Perfected plan with me today.
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