10 free things to do in Paris
Paris, the city of lovers, is not always the cheapest place for a holiday. Travelers of all budgets love Paris, from the luxury travelers who stay in bohemian boutique hotels overlooking Champs Elysees to backpackers on a shoestring come to Paris in search of art, culture and excitement. But the French capital can be hard on your budget, especially if you want to have a few typically Parisian experiences, like drinking a cafe au lait in a pavement cafe, seeing the city from the top of the Tour Eiffel or even just visiting the Louvre. Here are 10 free things to do in Paris for those who don’t want to go broke in the city of light.
1. See a fashion show
Paris is the home of high fashion and many famous designers, so if you want to see some haute couture with your own eyes, go to the Galeries Lafayette on Fridays at 3 PM to be treated to a free weekly fashion show!
2. See the Louvre
Normally, entry to the Louvre costs about 6 euro, but the first Sunday of each month you can get into the iconic museum for free. One day might not be enough to see all that the Louvre has on display, but it’s more than enough to see the important exhibits like Mona Lisa.
3. Picasso, Chagall and others
Visit the permanent exhibition of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, just across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. The collection includes lots of paintings by famous artists like Picasso, Chagall and Matisse, and focuses on various artistic movements from the 20th cand 21st century.
4. Smell the perfume
Fragonard is one of the most famous perfume makers in the world, and one that is steeped in history and tradition. You can take a free tour of the Fragonard Museum on Scribe street and breathe in the aroma of handcrafted perfume and the luxury of the townhouse that houses the museum.
5. Get a bird’s eye view
In some cases you will have to pay for a good view in Paris, but not if you stop at the viewpoint near the Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre. Climb the long flight of stairs to the top, or take the funicular if you’re lazy, it costs as much as a metro ticket.
6. Visit Notre Dame
The famous Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most visited places in Paris, and blessedly free of charge at that. The cathedral is the finest example of French Gothic architecture in the county.
7. Art at Place du Tertre
Montmartre is known to be one of the artist quarters of Paris, and its atmosphere resembles more that of a picturesque boho village than a busy capital. Place du Tertre is the place for aspiring artists to paint and sell the work as souvenirs.
8. Take a walk on the Promenade Plantée
The Promenade Plantée is a narrow, linear park that follows the old Vincennes railway line. The park is one of the few such places on the planet, and a wonderful place for an afternoon stroll.
9. Visit the Musee Curie
If you love science, than pay your homages to Nobel-winning chemist Marie Curie for free at the laboratory where she worked and which remained virtually untouched since her death in 1934.
10. Attend a lecture
Paris is home to some of the oldest and best universities in the world, and while you might not be able to sneak into the Sorbonne, you can attend free lectures and seminars on all sorts of topics at the College de France, an institution established in 1530.