Paris is a city well-known for all the various activities, monuments, shops and restaurants it offers.
Frankly, the city can quickly become overwhelming and make you spend a lot of money. As a result, we thought it would be a good idea to list the 10 best FREE things to do in Paris.
It will be a great opportunity to take your hand out of your pocket and discover all these little things that Paris provides graciously, without spending a penny !
Let's see what are these 10 free activities that we recommend you to do in Paris.
1. Relax in a Parisian Park
Yes, the first option sounds simple but necessary. Especially, if the weather is fine, we highly recommend you to experience a picnic time in your favorite Parisian park or garden. There are plenty of beautiful gardens and parks where you can see many locals eating lunch or students gathering.
You may find seats or prefer to settle on the grass in places like Luxembourg or Tuileries Garden, Buttes Chaumont or Monceau Parks. Don't forget to grab a nice local wine, some French cheese, sausages and of course a baguette... That is a fine menu!
- Find out about the 10 best parks and gardens in Paris
2. Visit Victor Hugo's House
One of the greatest writers ever lived in one of the most genuine structures of Paris and it is now free to visit ! Being one of readers of Hugo might move you a bit more than the others, but this is interesting for everyone.
Place des Vosges where the house is located, is the oldest planned urban unit of Paris city from the early 17th century. The buildings were meant to be for the royals and aristocrats. Seeing a corner house that was used by a world-famous intellectual makes the visit a curious Paris experience.
3. Walk though the Arcades & Passages of Paris
Paris is a shopping heaven mostly known with its luxurious designer brands. On the other hand, the most authentic way to shop in Paris is by walking through the 19th century arcades connecting the streets of Paris downtown.
You can walk halfway from the Louvre Museum towards Montmartre jumping from one to another. Time will fly and you will enjoy the variety of cute stores in the Palais Royal, Galerie Vivienne and three following passages Panoramas, Jouffroy and Verdeau.
You may find very good souvenirs for your beloved ones while discovering a historical way of shopping in Paris.
4. Visit Ages-Old Churches
The entrance to Sainte-Chapelle and the towers of Notre-Dame de Paris (before the infamous fire of its roof, know more about it in our article about Notre-Dame) were the only two paid visits among the religious sites in Paris. There are still many options that you can follow according to your interest.
For example, if you want to see the one with the best view over the city, you should go to Sacré-Coeur at Montmartre. If you are looking for some medieval version of Paris, you better go to Saint-Germain de Pres or Saint-Denis, where was the royal cemetery back then. In the famous "Quartier Latin", you can stop by at Saint-Etienne du Mont.
The popularity of the Saint-Sulpice Church was raised by a Dan Brown's best-seller "Da Vinci Code". Inside there, there are nice Eugene Delacroix paintings to enjoy for some free classic art.
- Find out about the 12 famous churches in Paris
5. Visit the Curie Museum
Madame Curie is one of the leading scientist figures of human history. Her studies on radiology paved the way for many achievements during the later decades. The institute including her laboratory and office is now a museum to appreciate her life. If you are going to see Quartier Latin, you can easily add this extraordinary story into your program.
6. Visit the Carnavalet Museum
The historic streets of Marais hide one of the best places to feel the old Paris, The Carnavalet Museum. This free of admission museum focuses on the history of Pairs through different artifacts and artwork, from 4,600 BC to present day.
The museum is built in a 100-room former home and show cases many unique and gorgeous pieces of furniture. The decor complements the authentic interior of the home, which features 17th to 20th style designs. It features a spectacular collection of paintings depicting Parisian life in a collection of over 600,000 exhibits.
7. Read a book at Shakespeare & Company
The famous bookstore Shakespeare and Company always feels more than pages and shelves. Several great writers experienced living in Paris and improved themselves during their times here. This special place has served as a home for not only those writers but also many travelers looking for inspiration.
Therefore, this old shop is almost like a sanctuary for international (particularly english) readers. At the very heart of Paris, neighboring the legendary Notre-Dame, this store awaits you with its special atmosphere. Checking a few pages of an interesting book inside is one of the best free breaks in this city.
- Get your Audioguide of Latin Quarter and learn all the details about this place.
8. Go for a stroll at Père Lachaise Cemetery
You might be surprised to see a cemetery listed as a good time activity for free in Paris, but we are talking about the most renowned cemetery of the world. This place has been a cemetery for about two centuries and is filled with public figures including globally famous writers, thinkers and singers.
This is why, any day of the year you can see many fans wandering among the graves looking for their favorite like Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde or Frederic Chopin. During spring days, the cemetery's greenery is fabulous and attracts more visitors than other monuments.
- Get the Audioguide of Père Lachaise Cemetery and discover all the details about the celebrities resting in peace there.
9. Window-shop at the famous Champs-Elysées Boulevard
The most famous piece of our list is the Champs-Elysées Boulevard. This area is mostly known for hundreds of luxury stores aligned on the way. Yet, do not forget about the monuments from Concorde Square and Tuileries Garden at one end and the Napoleon Bonaparte's famous Triumphal Arc at the other end.
There are sculptures and friezes decorating classy civic architecture of Paris. The gardens of Champs-Elysee and Grand Palais are other treats on the way along this 2 kilometer broad avenue. According to the time you have, just make you choices !
- Find out about the 7 best shopping streets in Paris
10. Enjoy the outdoor Sculpture Museum
Located in the 5th Arrondissemnt is an open air sculpture theater, Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air in French. Opened in 1980, this free of admission museum is available all days any time and displays works of art from the second half of the 20th century.
The gardens make for a beautiful setting in which to walk and admire the wide arrangement of works by famous sculptors. In Paris, the most popular museums are filled with ancient and modern classics of sculpture. If you look for an easy option, this one is waiting for you with a good at Seine River and Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Did you enjoy your free hide in Paris ? There are dozens more to discover all around the city. By the way, do you have an idea of what to bring back home from Paris ? We help you figure it out with our list of 11 souvenirs from Paris. You might find some rare ideas !