The 30 Best Free Things to Do in Paris

The City of Lights is vibrant, beautiful and filled with history and tasty food. Paris, has captivated the hearts of travelers for centuries with its timeless elegance, rich history, and unparalleled beauty. While the allure of iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum is undeniable, the magic of Paris extends far beyond its famous attractions. In this article, we will unveil the 30 Best Free Things to Do in Paris, allowing you to discover hidden gems, embrace the local culture, and create unforgettable memories without breaking the bank.

Best Free Things to Do in Paris

1. Wander Along the Seine River:

Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Seine River, enjoying the picturesque views of iconic bridges, such as Pont Neuf. This free activity offers a unique perspective of the city, especially during sunset.

2. Marvel at Notre-Dame Cathedral:

Visit the awe-inspiring Notre-Dame Cathedral and admire its stunning Gothic architecture. Although access to the towers may require a fee, entry to the cathedral itself is free.

3. Soak in the Serenity of Jardin du Luxembourg:

Escape the bustling city streets and find tranquility in Jardin du Luxembourg. This beautiful public park offers lush greenery, picturesque flowerbeds, and stunning fountains.

4. Discover the Historical Marais District:

Embark on a journey through history in the Marais district. Explore the charming narrow streets, admire the well-preserved medieval architecture, and visit the free-to-enter Musée Carnavalet, which showcases the history of Paris.

5. Visit Père Lachaise Cemetery:

Step into a realm of art and history at Père Lachaise Cemetery, the final resting place of famous figures such as Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Edith Piaf. Strolling through this vast cemetery is a hauntingly beautiful experience.

6. Unwind in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont:

Escape the tourist crowds and venture into Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. This sprawling park offers rolling hills, cliffs, a picturesque lake, and even a temple on top of a hill.

7. Explore the Bustling Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen:

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, one of the largest flea markets in the world. Browse through antique treasures, vintage clothing, and unique collectibles.

8. Admire the Street Art in Belleville:

Take a walk through the vibrant neighborhood of Belleville, known for its lively street art scene. Discover colorful murals, graffiti, and artistic expressions on the walls, showcasing the creativity of local artists.

9. Enjoy a Picnic at Canal Saint-Martin:

Join the locals in their favorite pastime by having a picnic along the banks of Canal Saint-Martin. Watch as boats navigate the locks and bridges, and savor the atmosphere of this trendy neighborhood.

10. Visit the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore:

Literature enthusiasts will find solace in the iconic Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. Lose yourself in the stacks of books, attend literary events, and bask in the cozy ambiance of this legendary establishment.

11. Experience the Montmartre Vibe:

Embark on a free walking tour of Montmartre, the bohemian neighborhood that inspired countless artists. Explore the charming streets, visit the famous Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and soak in the artistic ambiance.

12. Discover Street Performers at Place du Tertre:

Head to Place du Tertre, a lively square in Montmartre, to witness the talent of street artists. Admire painters, sketch artists, and portraitists at work, and even have your own portrait created.

13. Take in the Beauty of Sainte-Chapelle:

Marvel at the breathtaking stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle, located on the Île de la Cité. This architectural masterpiece will leave you in awe, and entry is free for EU citizens under 26 years old.

14. Experience the Vibrant Atmosphere of Le Marais:

Explore the trendy and diverse neighborhood of Le Marais. Stroll through its narrow streets, browse through quirky boutiques, and soak in the lively ambiance of this fashionable district.

15. Discover the Canal Saint-Denis:

Escape the tourist path and discover the lesser-known Canal Saint-Denis. Take a leisurely walk along the canal, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, and watch as boats glide by.

16. Enjoy Free Admission to Museums on First Sundays:

Take advantage of the first Sunday of each month when many of Paris’ major museums offer free admission. This includes popular attractions such as the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou.

17. Wander through the Luxembourg Gardens:

Indulge in the natural beauty of the Luxembourg Gardens, located near the Latin Quarter. This enchanting park offers stunning landscapes, elegant fountains, and plenty of space to relax and people-watch.

18. Relax and People-Watch at Place de la Concorde:

Spend a leisurely afternoon at Place de la Concorde, one of the largest public squares in Paris. Admire the majestic obelisk, soak in the bustling atmosphere, and observe the vibrant tapestry of people passing by.

19. Take a Free Guided Tour of Parisian Churches:

Many churches in Paris offer free guided tours, allowing you to delve into their history, art, and architecture. Saint-Eustache, Saint-Sulpice, and Saint-Germain-des-Prés are just a few examples worth exploring.

20. Attend a Free Concert at Sainte-Chapelle:

Experience the sublime acoustics of Sainte-Chapelle during a free concert. This Gothic gem often hosts classical music performances, providing an ethereal experience within its stunning architectural setting.

21. Explore the Historical Village of Montmartre:

Stroll through the charming village-like streets of Montmartre, away from the tourist crowds. Discover hidden gems, such as vineyards, quaint houses, and secret gardens that offer a glimpse into Paris’ past.

22. Enjoy Free Street Markets:

Peruse the various street markets in Paris, where you can find fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, flowers, and more. Marché Bastille, Marché Monge, and Marché Mouffetard are among the most popular options.

23. Admire the Grandeur of Hôtel de Ville:

Marvel at the impressive Hôtel de Ville, the historic city hall of Paris. Admire its exquisite architecture, join the free guided tours, or attend one of the many events hosted in its grand halls.

24. Witness the Spectacular Fireworks at Bastille Day:

If you happen to be in Paris on July 14th, don’t miss the dazzling fireworks display commemorating Bastille Day. Join the crowds at Champ de Mars or find a spot along the Seine for an unforgettable show.

25. Take a Walk through the Latin Quarter:

Immerse yourself in the lively ambiance of the Latin Quarter. Explore its winding streets, browse through bookshops, and soak in the intellectual atmosphere of this historic neighborhood.

26. Visit the Paris City Hall Library:

Step into the stunning Bibliothèque de l’Hôtel de Ville, the library located within the Paris City Hall. Browse through its extensive collection, which includes books, manuscripts, and historical documents.

27. Witness the Magnificence of the Opéra Garnier:

Marvel at the grandeur of the Opéra Garnier, one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Although attending a performance or a guided tour may require a fee, you can still admire the opulent architecture from outside of the building.

28. Experience the Allure of Place des Vosges:

Relax in the picturesque Place des Vosges, the oldest planned square in Paris. Admire the elegant 17th-century buildings, sit by the fountain, and enjoy a peaceful moment in this enchanting setting.

29. Enjoy the Street Performances of Place de la République:

Visit Place de la République to witness an array of street performers, including musicians, dancers, and acrobats. This vibrant square is a gathering place for artists and offers free entertainment for passersby.

30. Capture the Beauty of Parisian Street Art:

Embark on a self-guided tour to explore the diverse street art scene in Paris. Neighborhoods like Belleville, Oberkampf, and Ménilmontant are known for their vibrant murals and ever-changing urban art.


Paris, with its unparalleled charm and rich cultural heritage, offers a plethora of free experiences that allow visitors to truly immerse themselves in the magic of the city. From strolling along the Seine River to discovering hidden treasures in charming neighborhoods, each of these 30 best free things to do in Paris, invites you to embrace the essence of this amazing city, without spending a dime. So, grab a map, lace up your walking shoes, and let the City of Lights unfold before you, revealing its beauty, history, and endless possibilities.

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