As I scurry to search for destinations for a week-long family vacation next year, I keep finding that Paris is expensive.
Seriously, who has got the extra money to see all of the amazing sights when the plane tickets alone can easily cost $1000 each?
Luckily for us (and you!) there are plenty of iconic things to see and do- all for free, I might add!
So if you’re trying to save your money for the amazing food in France rather than tickets for events, here are some classic things to do in Paris for free!
1. Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle
The Eiffel Tower is basically the most iconic symbol of Paris. While going up in the tower isn’t free, it is free to view the tower from the ground. There are plenty of great viewing spots all over the city!
Also, maybe this is common knowledge, but until visiting Paris myself, I had no idea that the tower actually sparkles. After dark, there’s a gorgeous light show that happens for 5 minutes every hour, making for a magnificent sight!
2. Take a peek inside the Notre Dame cathedral
Notre Dame is arguably one of the most famous Gothic churches in all of Europe. Sitting just a few miles away from the Eiffel Tower, this is another sight that can’t be missed.
Not only is the outside architecture beautiful, the interior will give you a nice moment of peace in a bustling city.
3. Take a stroll along the Seine
If you can’t afford to take a cruise along the river, that’s okay! You can still enjoy the views from the banks of the river, which makes for a great place to have a picnic or take a walk!
4. Visit the Louvre (for free!)
The Louvre is one of the largest and most famous museums in the world, so it’s pretty hard to believe that you can get in for free, right? That’s what I thought, too, until I heard that many of the museums in Paris are free to enter on the first Sunday on every month.
To get in the Louvre for free, you just have to visit on the first Sunday of the month between October 1st and March 31st.
I know that this may not be the time you’ll be visiting, so here here is a list of other musuems (such as Musée d’Orsay) that are free throughout the year (some of which are free every day!)
5. Plan a picnic at the Champ de Mars
Possibly one of the most romantic things to do in the City of Love is to plan a nice picnic at the Champ de Mars.
If you’re traveling with your significant other, you’ll feel like you’re in one of those romance movies. With amazing food and a gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower, I don’t think it gets better than that!
6. View inside Sacré-Coeur
This one is not as well-known as Notre Dame (maybe because of a certain Disney movie;) ) but regardless, this is still a gorgeous church.
Honestly, I think Sacré-Coeur was my favorite part of Paris! Not only is the view from the top of hill amazing, inside is just so peaceful and serene. I can’t believe it’s all completely free!
7. Walk beneath Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe is another one of those classic sites to see in Paris. If you’ve got the time, it’s well worth a visit underneath the Arc to admire it up close. Just watch out for all the traffic driving around the arc!
8. Have a photo shoot at Trocadéro Square
This is a perfect viewing spot of the Eiffel Tower, so lots of people will take photos from here.
Pro tip: if you can get there early enough, there’s usually not many people there and you can get some great photos (with nobody photo bombing!)
Remember how earlier I said the Eiffel Tower sparkles after dark? This is where we watched the light show from, and it was fantastic! People passed out glow-sticks and it was really fun. It does get a little crowded sometimes though!
9. Enjoy the view from the Printemps Rooftop Terrace
The Printemps rooftop terrace is another classic viewing spot for the Eiffel Tower.
Take the elevator to the top floor of Printemps, and then be blown away by the view. You’ll feel like you’re in the heart of the city, making it a great view for all of Paris!
10. Check out Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge is known for the 2001 film, but it is also a cabaret in Paris!
And, okay, so the tickets to see Moulin Rouge are probably crazy expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a photo in front of the building anyway!
And there you have it! Everything on this list is totally free, so if you’re wanting to save some money in the City of Light but still want to have a great time, you should definitely try some of these!
If you’ve been to Paris before, how many of these things have you done? Which one is your favorite?