Free things to do in Paris
Known as one of the world’s most romantic cities, Paris can easily be found on anyone’s Bucket List of places to visit. But city life can be expensive so we've put together a list of some of the best things you can do in Paris – for free!
Paris Walking Tour
Sandeman organises an excellent and FREE walking tour of the city of Paris that will take you through the city’s top local attractions. Stroll by the banks of the river Seine, stand in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower or discover the lively Latin Quarter! This tour is perfect to meet up with fellow travellers in Paris and to truly get to know one of the world’s greatest cities. Tours last around 3 hours and leave daily from Place St. Michel at 11am and 1pm.
Le Champ de Mars
Climbing all the way up to the Eiffel Tower can put a strain on your travel budget (especially if you are travelling as a family) and it will take away a big chunk of your time for the day due to the long queues! Of course, if you’ve got the time and the money, it would definitely be worth it to wait and pay for the ticket. However, if you’re travelling on a budget, consider visiting the Champs de Mars – the park that surrounds the Eiffel Tower. You’ll get great views of one of Paris’s landmarks and if you take a stroll at night, you’ll have the best seats of the house to the beautiful sight that is the Eiffel Tower all lit up.
Montmartre and Basilique du Sacré Coeur
The Montmartre district is one of the city’s iconic neighbourhoods that simply can’t be missed. Discover alternative shops, restaurants and cafés where you can indulge in the Parisian’s favourite pastime: people-watching. Walk up the steps to Basilique du Sacré Coeur and get a stunning panoramic view of Paris while you sit in one of the grass areas by the church. The 19th-century basilica is also free to visit, although you will have to pay a charge to explore the dome and crypt.
Jardin du Luxembourg
The second-largest garden in Paris, Jardin du Luxembourg is a true maze of landscaped beauty where you can easily spend a full day enjoying yourself. This 17th-century garden contains hundreds – yes, hundreds! – of beautiful statues, monuments and fountains including the first model of the Statue of Liberty! Close to the city’s popular attractions, this is the perfect spot for any traveller looking to take a break from the bustle of the city and enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
This stunning church was begun by Louis XV and was transformed into a monument by Napoleon, who converted it into a temple and dedicated it to the glory of his army. Later, the temple was converted again into a church by Louis XVIII who dedicated it to Mary Magdalene. Mass is still held daily at the church and important weddings and funerals take place regularly. La Madeleine is a must-see for any traveller enamoured by Neoclassical architecture!
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery is undoubtedly one of Paris’s most haunting places. As the city’s largest cemetery, it houses a host of elaborate tombs of many famous people who either lived or died in Paris including Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison from The Doors, Sandra Bernhardt and many, many more. There are free maps at the entrance to help you discover your way through the cemetery’s intertwining alleys.
This incredible museum is spread over two historic mansions and tells the story of Paris, from its ancient origins to the trendy capital of sophistication that it is today. Stroll through an exquisite host of 100 or so drawing rooms and witness the changing of the times through the interior decor and a collection of memorabilia and artefacts from the different time periods. Best of all: don’t even spend a euro to witness the history of Paris unfolding before you!
Canal St Martin
Perfectly set between République and Gare du Nord, Canal St Martin is the perfect place for a late afternoon stroll. Watch boats chug through the locks and enjoy the stunning views of the tree-lined quaysides. In the end, choose from a variety of cafés or restaurants to grab a quick bite or make your own picnic by the canal.
This picturesque street comes alive on Saturdays when it closes off to host one of the city’s best food markets. This is the spot to hit for foodies as the street will be filled with artisan bakers, cheese shops and gourmet sweet stores. Enjoy it all with wide eyes and a watering mouth or spend a couple of euro to indulge in some of Paris’s best food.
Here's an extra pro tip: on the first Sunday of every month, a number of museums in Paris are actually free to enter! You can visit some of the city’s most famous attractions including the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay for free, saving you money to do more during your stay in Paris.
Looking for more? Read our scoop on Paris.
Similar blog posts
From the UK's most popular travel bloggers
13th September 2021 by Inside the Travel LabHidden gems in Paris: The best secret spots in Paris
Move aside Mona Lisa. Had an eyeful of the Eiffel? Here's our inside guide to the best kept secrets in Paris. Uncover our favourite collection of Paris hidden gems. Embrace modern France with a visit to the art and culture-filled Institut du Monde Arabe and sip mint tea while gazing at Parisian rooftops and the bulk of Notre Dame.For a more (ahem) immersive experience, strip off and head to the Hamman at the Paris Mosque (although not in that order.) Once you've recovered from the vigorous...
1st March 2021 by Inside the Travel LabHow to spend 4 days in Paris
If you're wondering what to do in Paris in 4 days, I've put together the ultimate guide with more than 30 things to see in Paris. Where should we begin? The world class food or the world class architecture? The history that reaches into almost every part of the world or the icons we all grew up with? The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Mona Lisa and Notre Dame?...
24th September 2020 by EmmaAnnouncing the winner of our Eurostar holiday competition
On Thursday 24rd September we drew the winner of our summer Eurostar holiday competition. From the thousands of valid entries received, twenty were chosen at random and placed in a "hat" (our trusty Cabeau travel pillow bag). Watch the video of Stuart drawing the winner in the Facebook video above.A big congratulations to Sophie-Mai Wilde! Her prize is valid for 12 months, so I'm sure she'll make good use of it once the current travel restrictions are lifted. And thank you to all who entered;...
1st March 2021 by Inside the Travel LabYour guide to a weekend in Paris
From London, the Eurostar train service often makes sense as it's fast, efficient and you arrive right in the centre of the city. For places other than London, flying is probably your best bet. Paris receives a huge number of flights daily and has over 40 000 hotel rooms. For this reason, it's often best to use a flight and hotel comparison and booking engine, such as...
29th November 2018 by PommieTravelsTips for visiting the Louvre in Paris
With that unmistakeable glass pyramid, The Louvre is one of the most iconic attractions in Paris. Because of this, it is incredibly popular with tourists, attracting 7.3 million people per year, so you can expect to be fighting your way through the crowds to catch a glimpse of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting. Still it’s worth it, since the museum is home to a huge collection of art works including the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory. Here are my top tips for visiting the...
16th February 2021 by StuartReview: Paris Catacombs
Make no bones about it, they're creepy! Cata-come and visit! I've been to Paris lots of times and ticked off all the major tourist attractions. So on recent visits I've been starting to look at slightly more obscure or out-of-the-way things to do. I'd wanted to go to the Catacombs in Paris for quite some time, having seen a few photos online. I took the photo attached to this blog during my visit and I'm sure you'll understand my sense of macabre interest in seeing the place for...
23rd August 2018 by JohnEurostar review: Standard class from Ebbsfleet to Paris
I’ve only travelled on the Eurostar once before. On that occasion, I travelled to Paris and back on a Standard Premier ticket. Eurostar offer three classes of travel; Standard, Standard Premier and Business Premier. They’re kind of equivalent to Economy, Economy Plus and Business class on a flight. At the time of booking the previous trip, Standard Premier was on offer and so the upgrade was an absolute no-brainer. This time around, I thought I’d check out the regular Standard class, to...