Top Free Things to Do in Paris

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Top Free Things to Do in Paris

Paris is renowned for its many museums, monuments, and cultural gems. But did you know that you can visit many of these places for zero euros? When planning your budget for a stay in Paris, consider some of these fun and out-of-the-box locations that are entirely free to visit. 

Museums 

Paris welcomes millions of visitors to its museums every year. While classics include the Louvre, Musée dOrsay, and Musée de lOrangerie, there are several museums that offer free admission year-round. If youre in the mood to visit one of the more popular museums but dont want to pay full price, many museums are free for everyone on the first Sunday of each month, while others are always free for students and/or people under 26 years old. 

Le Musée Carnavalet

Dive into Paris’s rich history from neolithic times to the modern day at the Musée Carnavalet, the oldest museum in Paris. You can easily spend hours exploring the architecture and artifacts of the past and learning how Paris has become the city it is today — and fuel up on some delicious French food afterwards in the neighboring Marais area. Note that visiting the museum’s permanent collection is free, but temporary exhibitions are not.

Address: 23 rue de Sévigné, 3rd arrondissement

Carnavalet Museum. Photo: Jill Amari

Le Musée de la Pharmacie

Near the Parc Monceau is Paris’s most secret museum dedicated to all things medicine: tools, ingredients, and more, from the 16th to 20th centuries. For those curious enough to find this “hidden” museum, you’re in luck — it’s completely free!

Address: 4-6 avenue Ruysdaël (hidden beyond the corridor), 8th arrondissement

Quai de la Photo

For a quiet and serene place to relax, check out Quai de la Photo, located on a barge along the Seine in the 13th arrondissement. The photography exhibition and group tours are always free, and if you’re looking to level up your trip, you can reserve a private boat ride along the Seine that leaves straight from Quai de la Photo. This unique museum also boasts a bookstore and a restaurant with classic French dishes and becomes a nightclub on the weekends.

Address: 9 port de la Gare, 13th arrondissement

Outdoor Activities

Fancy an outdoor adventure? Beat the crowds and explore these lesser-known locations that offer an escape from the city. But be sure to check their opening and closing times before your adventure! 

Arboretum de Paris 

For those with some extra time on their hands, the Arboretum de Paris is a lovely escape from the city. Located at the edge of the Bois de Vincennes on the eastern edge of Paris, the Arboretum takes you through a lush forest that showcases different types of trees and biodiverse areas, with informational placards. Spend the day exploring the woods and return to the city center in half an hour taking the RER A.

Address: 50 route de la Pyramide, 12th arrondissement

La Coulée Verte 

Also known as the Promenade Plantée, la Coulée Verte René-Dumont is a green path extending from the Opéra Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes and Château de Vincennes. Built upon a discontinued elevated railway, the Coulée Verte takes you above the city streets for a green escape and amazing views. For 4.5 km (3 miles), you can enjoy tunnels of art, ponds, public gardens, and workout parks — all for free!

Address: There are several entrances along the path. The main entrance is on rue Édouard Lartet, 12th arrondissement

Parc André Citroën

Nestled along the Seine in the 15th arrondissement, the Parc André Citroën is a relaxing escape from the bustle of city life. While taking a leisurely walk or going for a jog, enjoy the bamboo forest, beautiful water features, and grassy areas perfect for a picnic. You can also follow the path next to the park along the Seine all the way to major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Place de la Concorde. 

Address: 2 rue Cauchy, 15th arrondissement

Hot air balloon rides in the Parc André Citroën. Photo: Variraptor / Wikimedia commons

Outdoor gyms

For the athletes among us, you can enjoy a free workout in the great outdoors. The city of Paris has set up outdoor calisthenics areas all over the city, open year-round and to the public. While they can get busy and aren’t the best during bad weather, they are certainly worth it for the amount of money you can save! My personal favorite is the running park and calisthenics area in the Parc Sportif Suzanne-Lenglen in the 15th arrondissement.

Address: Various locations around the city 

Lead photo credit : The Eiffel Tower seen from the Tour Saint Jacques. Photo: Yann Caradec / Wikimedia commons

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Jill Amari is a writer and environmental activist from Massachusetts, USA, now living in Paris. She has a B.A. in English and is a passionate writer of short stories, poems, songs, blogs and novels. She is currently querying her first YA fantasy/sci-fi novel, and her day jobs include tutoring and freelance writing. After studying in Paris for four months in 2022 and having returned in summer 2023, she has found no end to the inspiring nature of the capital and the charm of French culture. You can follow her journey on Instagram @author.in.the.attic or on her website https://authorintheattic.wordpress.com/.