Paris can be a rather expensive destination and yet it offers plenty of free sightseeing. Vagabond gives you 10 free activities in Paris.
The best museums for free
Have you always wanted to see the Mona Lisa but the price of admission makes you lose your smile? Don’t be ! Many national museums like the Louvre are open to the public free of charge on the first Sunday of the month from October to March. Other permanent collections of Parisian museums are freely available such as the Petit Palais, the Museum of Modern Art or the House of Victor Hugo. Other museums are completely free throughout the year such as the Curie Museum, the Holocaust Memorial or the National Museum of the Legion of Honor. The full list is available here.
Drink for free in Paris
The city of Paris is home to more than 260 water fountains available throughout the city to quench your thirst for free. There are even 7 that offer sparkling water!
A free cruise on the Seine
If you have always wanted to get on a fly boat, know that the Vedettes de Paris offer a free cruise on the day of your birthday!
Culture for free
Paris, like any capital, is rich in cultural events. Every week, conferences, screenings or other openings make it possible to learn and have fun for free (and sometimes with a glass of champagne and canapés). The site Que faire à Paris lists all these events (in french).
Visit Paris with a Parisian
Do you want to know everything about a particular neighborhood or visit a theme? Guided tours can be expensive, so why not hire a greeter? Greeters are volunteers who can guide you in Paris. Contact them here.
A breath of fresh air?
Paris is not green enough? Yet many parks in Paris offer a breath of fresh air, close to crowded streets. Buttes-Chaumont park, Montsouris park but also the Bois de Boulogne or Vincennes, or the greenhouses of the garden of Auteuil, so many places to relax, jog or lie in the grass in Paris .
No, the A-listers are not only in the movies or the Grévin museum. You may not think about it, but you can meet many of them in the parisian cemeteries! The cemeteries of Paris, particularly those of Père Lachaise and Montparnasse, are the last resting place of French and international celebrities such as Edith Piaf, Maupassant, Serge Gainsbourg, Oscar Wilde and Chopin. You can also admire the magnificent mausoleums and tombs of some of the lesser-known residents.
In some Parisian establishments, you will be offered to eat for any consumption. Tribal Café offers couscous on Fridays and Saturdays and mussels and fries on Wednesdays. You can also eat a couscous at the 3 frères (rue Léon) when ordering a beer at the counter. At L’Olive (rue l’Olive) a French fries tray is offered for the purchase of a pint.
Enjoy alternative places
Paris has many nice places to meet friends without spending money. These hybrid venues welcome showrooms, concerts, stores, activities and some restaurants/cafés. We recommend you to visit the Grands Voisins (rue Denfert-Rochereau), 6B (in Saint-Denis), the MAIF social club (rue de Turenne) or the Recyclerie (boulevard Ornano).
Just wander around
If there is one thing for free, it is to walk in this beautiful city of Paris. Whether in the colorful Rue Crémieux (near Gare de Lyon), the columns of Buren at the Palais Royal or in the cobbled streets of Montmartre, the city of Light is better seen on foot. So take advantage to get lost in its streets, you will discover its most beautiful treasures.