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Best places in Paris for free

We will be in Paris the 1st week in September and know river cruises , museums , the Eiffel tower, Versailles etc. will all cost some amount of money. Any suggestions for the best places to go in Paris that cost nothing?

Posted by
3551 posts

Lotsa gd walks in Paris, along the seine river, in st germain de pres, champs delysee, all nr eiffel tower. Ck the the Deportation mueum nr Notre Dame.
St surplice organ concerts, all the wonderful city parks.

Posted by
6628 posts

Paris parks -- You know the central ones but Promenade Plantee, Butte Chaumont, and the Isle of Jatte painted by Seurat are all interesting to explore too.
and I once did a street art/graffiti walk that was really fun and of course free. You can find the snapshots in my photo journal above and the post on street art has a URL for someone's map of a route. I did this 6 years ago so the art will have changed, but the area is great for this stuff and the map starts at the highest point in Paris and winds downhill.

Posted by
3685 posts

Every day at 18:30, the flame is rekindled at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the base of the Arc de Triomphe. This link tells more about it.

We literally stumbled on it the first time we were in Paris. The traffic around the Arc stops as veterans march to the tomb. Even the underground tunnel is closed for a few minutes. After they get there, you can take the tunnel and come up in the midst of the ceremony. Very moving and rarely mentioned.

Posted by
6487 posts

I second Pere Lachaise cemetery and would add the Montmartre cemetery if you're interested in cemeteries. I loved the Promenade Plantee and Parc Monceau was one of my favorites, very unique. There are many wonderful churches, some with free musical performances (including Notre Dame). I also enjoyed several self guided walking tours, any good guidebook will have these (RS's are wonderful) and there are some books specifically with many different walking tours. I bought this one from Amazon and used it a lot (City Walks Paris - 50 walking tours on individual cards with a map on one side and descriptions on the other side).

For lots of other info I found this website very helpful:

Posted by
8295 posts

The Luxembourg Gardens... my favorite place. Beautiful park, comfortable chairs, bathrooms, cafés, crèpe stands, ice cream, music on weekends, and sitting and watching pétanque (bocce ball) is very fun.

Posted by
4684 posts

If you are at all interested in art, I can strongly recommend the two Paris city art museums which have free admission for other than special temporary exhibitions. Pre-1914 material is at the Petit Palais at the east end of the Champs-Elysees, and more modern material is at the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art near the Pont d'Alma.

Posted by
710 posts

I hesitate to put these on the tables, as they might have changed since last summer, but one of my fav museums was the Carnavalet in Le Marais. There was an optional donation, but the entrance was free. Also the Victor Hugo Museum at the Places des Voges (2 sites for free!).
Not sure how long they run these programs, but Galarie Lafayette offered lots of free activities last summer (I think most ended August 31 though). We went to a fashion show, did wine tasting at Le Cave, and some other random things. All you need is to register, And don't forget the view from the top of Galerie Lafayette is amazing (and free!).

i forgot: some museums are free first Sunday of every month!

Posted by
11450 posts

Did you know many major musuems ( yes, Cluny, Orsay, Rodin, Pomidou etc) are free on first sunday of the month.IF you choose to visit one of them go early as they do get crowded( what with being free) .
I suggest you visit the Armee Museum.. its one of my faves and wont be crowded even on free sunday.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions on things to do that are free. Unfortunately we are only in Paris on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and leave for Avignon on the first Saturday of the month so will miss the first Sunday of the month free museum day.

Posted by
754 posts

We liked Pere Lachaise cemetery....Had to see Jim Morrison.

We loved going to see the smaller Lady Liberty not far from the Eiffel

Walking through Montmartre was awesome.

Walking around the Ile St Louis and then Seeing Notre Dame.

Posted by
2353 posts

Pittsburgh, PA, USA
06/28/16 07:29 AM
627 posts

..., And don't forget the view from the top of Galerie Lafayette is amazing (and free!).
i forgot: some museums are free first Sunday of every month!

It really is! Both. Amazing & free!

Posted by
2466 posts

The Musee Carnavalet will close on October 2, 2016 for a period of 3 years. This will allow the museum to enhance handicapped access, improve security and signage and do a much-needed renovation of the buildings.

Posted by
1804 posts

Check Atlas Obscura and search for their Paris listings. They always have some really interesting places in there that are completely free of charge and off the tourist track.

Posted by
774 posts

The Jardin des Plantes is a lovely park to walk around in. Various open air markets (food markets) are great entertainment. My favorites are the Grenelle market, President Wilson and Saxe-Breteuil. If you google Open air markets Paris, you will find some sites that list the days of the week and times of the markets. Great places to people watch and grab some picnic food. I have been to Paris several times and on my next trip will seek out markets further afield in the city. has a good list.

Interesting streets to roam through Rue Mouffetard, rue Cler, rue Montorgeuil (? spell), have many food shops and restaurants. Great people watching. On Sunday mornings, at the foot of rue Mouffetard, there is dancing and music; I happened upon it when staying near there. I cannot remember the time.

Viewing the Eiffel tower from the ground from different places is free. My favorite view is from the Trocadero at sunset. Walking along the Seine early morning, sunset, and evening (really anytime) is a joy. The bridges are fabulous.

There is free wi-fi in several parks. Try googling Paris for free; some of the blogs I follow have listen some. I am sorry, I cannot find a reference right now. Some churches have free concerts. An app called J'(heart picture) Paris, has a list of free and fairly inexpensive things to do; the app was free.

Enjoy Paris!