Top 9 things to do in Paris for free (and are actually worth your time)

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Looking for the best things to do in Paris, France?

Paris is a notoriously expensive city, and many of the popular activities cost money… a lot of money.

Luckily, there are plenty of free and worthwhile things to do in the city.

I used to live in Paris and recently returned for a month's stay. Always looking for the best free things to do in Paris.

women in pariswomen in paris

Many of the lists of free things to do in Paris that I saw online included items like “walking the Champs-Elysées” and “visiting the Latin Quarter.” And while these areas are great to see, I don't consider walking down certain streets or walking through neighborhoods as a real “must do.”

Below you'll find the best museums, churches, parks and other free attractions in Paris.

Hint: Don't make this common mistake in Paris while traveling.

1. Carnavalette Museum

Carnavalet Museum ParisCarnavalet Museum Paris

Musee Carnavalet is one of my favorite museums in Paris. Best of all, it's always completely free.

Housed in two adjacent mansions in the charming Marais district, this museum specializes in the history of Paris from ancient times to the present day.

Hint: After visiting this free museum, take a 5-minute walk to the elegant Place des Vosges Park.

Here you can visit Victor Hugo's house, where the famous French writer lived for many years. This is also a free museum (it's fairly small, so it doesn't take much time).

2. Museum is free on the first Sunday

Exterior of the Louvre Museum in Paris, FranceExterior of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France

Most museums in Paris offer free admission on the first Sunday of each month. If you time it right, you'll have the chance to visit famous museums such as the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay, which usually have a hefty entrance fee.

Please note that free tickets for the first Sunday fill up, so you must reserve your tickets in advance.

Hint: If you don't have the timing while traveling, check out the Petit Palais and the Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris, two great museums that are always free and worth a visit.

3. Sacre Coeur

Sacred Heart of ParisSacred Heart of Paris

Sacre Coeur is one of the most iconic churches in Paris. Located on the top of a hill in the Montmartre district, the front of the church offers some of the best views of Paris.

However, many visitors do not know that it is actually free to enter the church.

Unlike some other historic churches in Paris, Sacre Coeur does not charge an entrance fee. Anyone can enter, but if you want to climb the approximately 300 steps to the top of the dome. Intention You have to pay 7 euros.

4. Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette rooftopGaleries Lafayette rooftop

Galeries Lafayette is one of the most famous department stores in Paris. There is also a great observation deck that is free and offers great views of the city skyline.

If you want a free view of the Eiffel Tower, this is my top recommendation.

Hint: The department store itself is very beautiful, and you can reserve a free time slot for the “Glass Walk'' where you can walk under the stunning domed ceiling.

5. Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Pere Lachaise cemeteryPere Lachaise cemetery

Another of my favorite things to do for free in Paris is visiting the Père Lachaise cemetery. Located in the 20th arrondissement, it's off the beaten path for many tourists, but it's well worth a visit.

First of all, it's a beautiful cemetery, usually with a park-like atmosphere and shady trees all around. It's a great place to take a walk and avoid the crowds.

It is also the final resting place of many famous people from around the world, including Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin and Marcel Proust.

6. Luxembourg Gardens

Couple sitting in the Luxembourg GardensCouple sitting in the Luxembourg Gardens

Many tourists head to the Jardin des Tuileries, a beautiful public garden near the Louvre, but I personally prefer the Jardin du Luxembourg, which is less crowded and less touristy.

This is another wonderful garden located between the 5th and 6th arrondissements. On nice days, the park is full of Parisians lounging on green chairs and soaking up the sun.

It's the perfect place for a picnic lunch or simply a stroll while enjoying views of the beautiful gardens and Luxembourg Palace.

Tips: Another free garden you can visit in Paris is the Botanical Garden. This beautiful botanical garden is located in the Latin Quarter, about 1 mile from the Luxembourg Gardens.

7. Free walking tour

street of montmartrestreet of montmartre

If you're looking for free things to do in Paris, why not try one of our free walking tours?

Free walking tours are not completely free as tour guides receive tips, but they are priced to pay what you can. You can use websites such as GuruWalk to find free walking tours in Paris.

These are perfect for first-time visitors who want an introduction to Paris without paying for expensive tours.

If you're looking for something a little less conventional, you can also find unique tours that explore specific neighborhoods or specific eras of history in detail.

8. Center Pompidou

View from Center Pompidou in ParisView from Center Pompidou in Paris

The Center Pompidou is a modern art museum in Paris, and although it's unfortunately not free (except on the first Sunday of every month), you can see the city for free.

Enter the Center Pompidou and take the glass escalator up to the top of the building.

These escalators offer spectacular views of the city, including Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, as you ascend to the top.

9. Covered walkway

Galeries Vivienne covered walkway in ParisGaleries Vivienne covered walkway in Paris

Finally, one of the best things to do for free in Paris is to visit the city's covered walkways. Many tourists don't know about these, but they are unique hidden gems worth checking out.

There are about 20 of these passageways in the city, but the most are concentrated in the 1st and 2nd arrondissements. There are cafes and nice little shops tucked away in the walkways.

Must-visit places include Galeries Vero Doda, Galeries Vivienne, and Passages des Panoramas.

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The opinions expressed here are those of the author alone and not of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any organization included in the post.

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