Trust me, I know that Paris is expensive AF, but I also know that there’s a lot of free things to do in Paris. That’s right. FREE.
So after you’re done spending a fortune on accommodation and a few fancy meals, give your mind and wallet a break with some of these suggestions! Plus, most of them are personal-space friendly or outdoors!
Stroll Around The Louvre Pyramids
While I’d definitely recommend paying to go inside the Louvre at some point (you can’t miss the Mona Lisa, even if she’s really small), I also really love just admiring the outside! The Louvre Pyramids are some of the many famous sites that are also considered free things to do in Paris!
You can hang out on the steps near them, or sit along them, but most people go to take photos or make TikToks. Just a heads up, you cannot bring food or drinks there.
Enjoy Music Near Notre Dame
Although Notre Dame is still under construction (likely for the next two years), you can still look at the front facade of it! There’s a small park just in front of it, and almost always someone playing music. Be sure to give them a tip for their efforts!
Chill at The Pantheon
The Pantheon is one of the most over-looked sites in Paris in my opinion. It’s really stunning to see, and you’ll find that a lot of the college kids hang out in front of it! Feel free to join them as they read, study, or just hang out with friends.
Go See Where Emily in Paris Lives
Here’s a brand new couple of free things to do in Paris; go see where the famous Netflix show “Emily in Paris” was filmed! There’s a few key locations right next to The Pantheon, and they’ve even been added to Google Maps!
You can see “Emily’s apartment”, the Boulangerie Moderne that she goes to for croissants, and most people’s main interest; “Gabriel’s Restaurant”.
Here’s my full free guide of Emily in Paris Filming Locations!
Browse Books at Shakespeare and Company
If books are more your style than Netflix shows, you cannot miss a visit to Shakespeare and Company! This was one of the first American bookstores to open in Paris in the ’20’s, and some of the most famous writers used to frequent there!
It’s also really freaking cute both inside and out. You can browse the many books for sale, or head upstairs to the reading room!
Relax in Luxembourg Gardens
There are tons of free parks in Paris, but Luxembourg Gardens is the largest one! Almost every book, movie, or show about Paris will feature it at some point, and it’s obvious why!
The massive park has several areas to visit, including charming fountains and little shops. There’s also actual lounge chairs, so you can even take a nap if you wanted to!
Walk Along the Seine River
This might seem like a no-brainer, but I can’t rave enough about how fun it actually is to walk a long distance of the Seine River! I started in Le Marais, and walked along the river’s edge all the way to the Eiffel Tower!
Along the way you can see almost all of the most famous sites in Paris, plus a few other surprises like a floating garden park!
Take Photos at Palais Royale
One of my favorite free things to do in Paris, is go to Palais Royale. Its unique art installation is unlike anything I’ve seen in Paris, plus there’s a beautiful park there too.
Palais Royale is also located right next to the Louvre, so you can see both in one day!
Cross the Many Picturesque Bridges
There are so many cute bridges in Paris, that you could spend an entire day trying to see them all! The views from each of them are all different, and some of them are pedestrian-only so there’s typically someone playing music as well!
My favorites are the Pont des Arts with a view of the Ile de la Cite (the island that Notre Dame is on), and Pont Du Alexandre III with its beautiful lamp posts, and view of the Eiffel Tower in the background.
Visit Some of the Free Museums
Great news for museum lovers and lovers of keeping a budget! There are quite a few free museums in Paris! Musée des Beaux-Arts, Musée d’Art Moderne, Musée de l’Aviation, Musée des Arts Asiatiques, and many more!
Many of the famous ones are also free on the first Sunday of each month! You’ll have to wait in a super long line, but if you’re on a budget, you won’t mind
BEST Free things to do in Paris: Do a Free Walking Tour
There are tons of FREE walking tours in Paris! So if you want to see the sites and learn about the country and history, this is your new best friend! This website has a list of over 80 free tours in Paris, in both English and Spanish!
Hang Out Around the Eiffel Tower
For being one of the most iconic sites in the world, it’s pretty cool that seeing the Eiffel Tower is actually free! Of course, it’s not free to go up in it, but who needs to go up when the view of it is so beautiful!
You can hang out on the lawn of Champ de Mars, or take photos from one of the many cobblestone streets that make for the perfect frame of it. There’s also Trocadero across the bridge that offers different viewpoints and areas to relax as well.
Check out my full post on the best photos spots of the Eiffel Tower!
Get Free Samples in Le Marais
I did a self-guided audio tour (for $6 so it’s not free but worth it) of Le Marais where I was living, and they let me in on a fabulous little secret! Many of the little shops offer free samples!
You can sample chocolate for free at Edwart or truffle samples at **
Lounge at Place de Vosges
One of my favorite parks and also free things to do in Paris, is to hang out at Place de Vosages. It’s a former palace, and a really lovely park with beautiful fountains and plenty of benches.
If your budget will allow, grab some cheese, baguettes, and cheap wine from a local grocery store, and spend the day having a picnic there!
Window Shop in Le Marais
Le Marais is also famous for window shopping! It’s seriously a real thing!
This is because the French take their window displays very seriously! So window shopping is almost as luxurious as the actual items for sale!
You can also “window shop” the many beautiful decorations of the restaurants! Plant and floral arrangements are becoming increasingly popular, you could literally spend an entire day trying to find them all!
Get a Free River Cruise on Your Birthday
If you’re going to Paris during your birthday, good news! You can get a free river cruise on your big day! Just contact Vendettes of Paris to arrange it!
Walk Champs de Elysees
If you’re looking for a beautiful street to stroll down, head to Champs de Elysees. It’s a beautiful tree lined street with many fabulous restaurants and shops, and it ends at the Arc de Triomphe.
Take Photos at the Arc de Triomphe
As I mentioned above, once you reach the end of Champs de Elysees, you will then be at the Arc de Triomphe! It’s a stunning structure to see, especially because traffic circles around it!
You can try to capture the swirling traffic from the sidewalks across from it, or you can (carefully) cross the street for a close up.
Take a Long Walk to Montmartre
If you can handle a longer walk with a steep incline, head up to Montmartre. This quaint little town is an easy favorite for most travelers and tourists that visit Paris! It has that nostalgic vibe to it, not to mention, the beautiful Sacre Couere.
You can also do a free walking tour of Montmartre when you get there!
Do Free Self-Guided Tours
If you don’t want to do an in-person group tour, there are plenty of ways that you can do a self-guided tour for free! For example, just write down everything I’ve listed here!
There’s also several free audio tours you can download, and listen to while you walk. This blog has a lot of great free audio guides!
Take Free French Lessons on Apps or do Language Exchanges
If learning French is on your dream to-do list in Paris, I have news for you. The traditional language schools (like the one where Emily meets Alfie on the show) are very expensive.
However, free language learning apps can be just as useful! You can also practice your French with locals who are eager to practice their English as well! To be honest, I found a lot of these on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble! But you can also use an app like Meet Up and participate in organized language exchanges.
Join a Free Meet Up with Travelers and Locals!
Speaking of meeting up with people, that app actually has quite a few free events you can go to! You’ll likely need to buy a drink, but the good news is they’re only a few euros.
I know that meeting up can sound intimidating, but remember that everyone who goes to them is in the same boat! While I only went to one, and found it a bit too male-dominated for me, it was still a lot of fun!
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