10 Free things to do in Paris [in 2021]

What to do in the City of Lights for free

Paris isn’t known as a cheap destination. Indeed, it is not. Whether it´s a museum entry or fine dining, you’ll probably leave a bunch of bucks to enjoy the most charming and elegant European capital. Paris’ charming arrondissements full of cafes, gleaming boutiques, museums, and Michelin-starred restaurants make it the most pricey city.

However, Paris is also loaded with things to do that won’t cost a sou (old French coin). So come with us to know Paris without spending tons of cash.

Eiffel Tower surroundings

Eiffel Tower in Paris

The 357-meter tower built for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 is Paris’ main symbol. It’s visited by nearly 7 million people every year and has paid entrance. However, just the tower’s surroundings are a must-do in Paris – and for free. You can have a picnic at the Champ de Mars, walk around Trocadéro or simply watch the tower’s night lights – just as Emily, from the Netflix series, did! Not to say you can take stunning photos as the Eiffel Tower in the background makes the most instagrammable spot in Paris!

Basilique du Sacré Coeur

sacre couer paris

This palatial white marble church crowns the lively Montmartre area in the 18th arrondissement. Its inside is festooned with gold mosaics and transcending glass windows. Get ready to listen to the world’s heaviest bells in churches. Visiting the basilica is free, however, there’s a charge to go to the dome or the sepulcher.

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

free things in paris

Famous for its gothic style, especially its gargoyles, this monumental symbol of Paris is a must-visit for travelers. However, after the tragic fire that destroyed it in 2019, the Notre Dame will not be open for visitors until it’s restored. Even not being open for interior visits, you can appreciate it from the outside, which is also worth doing in Paris. If you are the religious type, you can get a souvenir from the Notre Dame shop.

Free walking tour in Paris

Some say Paris is the most beautiful city in the world. If you’d like to taste it slowly, a walking tour is definitely an excellent way of doing it. Here you have nothing less than 27 free walking tours in Paris. There are walking tours for every type of traveler. You like music? You have a special tour of the music of Paris. You’d like to know more about the Notre Dame? Yes, you have a free tour on that too. You’d simply like a general view of Paris? Sure, there is a free walking tour to show Paris highlights.

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

For a dreamlike perspective of French culture, jump into the collections of Paris’ Museum of Modern Art. From the bolshy cubism of Braque to Matisse’s artists, there’s certainly something to lift your spirits. The museum is at Alma-Marceau, metro line 9.

Atelier Brancusi

Dive into the smooth states of Constantin Brancusi’s sculptures with a free visit to his studio. It’s just in front of Center Pompidou. The Romanian artist, a pioneer to modern art, become famous with acclaimed works like The Kiss, and this Brancusi workshop is a privileged look into his brilliant mind.

Jardin des Tuileries

free things to do in Paris

It´s probably the most beautiful park in Paris. So stick a glamourous cool vibe to your trip by wandering around this garden between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. Track in the dainty strides of Marie-Antoinette and see where Napoléon build his arch while enjoying the Parisian air.

Le Marais

The lively Marais area is heavenly for an unpretentious pretentious Sunday walk. Pursue the tracks of Louis XIV, hit the Jewish quarter, or essentially take a look at cool vintage shops. For many Paris lovers, this is the best arrondissement to stay in Paris. Get there by metro République (line 3 or 11), Hôtel de Ville (line 11), or St-Paul (line 8). And, of course, you can also book a free walking tour around Le Marais here.

59 Rivoli

This previous squat, now a non-profit residence for artists, is located at Rue de Rivoli between the Louvre and Châtelet. 59 Rivoli is a cultural center that houses 30 artists’ studios and people, in general, are welcome into the workshops from Tuesday to Sunday in the afternoon. This is an awesome opportunity to get a look at the Parisian artistic scene, but during the pandemic, it might have restrictions. Check its webpage before passing by.

Petit Palais

free things to do in paris

Built in 1900 for the World’s Fair, the Petit Palais has one of the free lasting art collections in Paris. The amazing collection spans from the antiquity, the Middle Ages, the French and Italian Renaissance and Flemish and Dutch artworks. The French take shows Monet, Renoir, Delacroix, Toulouse-Lautrec and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The Belle Époque building itself is a masterpiece that deserves being enjoyed. You get to the Petit Palais by metro: Champ Elysees – Clemenceau. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10h to 18h.

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