When most people imagine Paris they think fine dining, luxurious shopping and beautiful artwork. Usually, this translates to spending an amount equal to every paycheck you’ve ever earned. While the city of Paris does in fact have all of these things, it’s easy to experience the Parisian life without breaking the bank. There are plenty of free things to do in Paris, the city of love. What’s not to love about that?
The Eiffel Tower
The most famous sight in all of Paris. While it does cost money to climb up the tower (between 5 to 17 euros depending on the level), it’s free to just sit and enjoy the equally stunning views from the grass. So skip the long lines, grab a baguette and a cheap bottle of wine for a French picnic under the tower! If you have time, be sure to come back to the tower at night to catch the twinkling lights, a truly magical sight.
Arc de Triomphe
Instead of waiting for hours in line to climb the Eiffel Tower, climbing the Arc de Triomphe is a much quicker wait and is free for students with a visa! At the top of the Arc you can see a 360-degree view of the city, just as you would at the Eiffel Tower. But the bonus of this view is that you can actually see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, along with the rest of the beautiful city of Paris.
The most famous avenue in Paris, with picture-perfect French cafes, high-fashion designer stores and 5-star dining, is the epitome of French luxury and lifestyle. You don’t have to drop your entire summer’s paycheck just to enjoy this neighborhood. Stroll up and down the avenue, visit the Laduree macaron shop, or sip an espresso outside a cafe. Take in all the glory of a typical afternoon in Paris.
You can’t take a trip to Paris without paying a visit to the Louvre and saying hello to Mona Lisa. Admission into the museum is usually 15 euros. However, if you are under 25 years old and go on a Friday night after 6pm, or go on the first Sunday of the month during October-March, it’s free entrance! We arrived at 6pm on the dot Friday to take advantage of the free admission, made a beeline straight to the Mona Lisa and then spent the remaining time wandering around the museum before heading to a late dinner. The lines are extra long during the free sessions so get there early, you’ve been warned!
There are also plenty of other museums scattered around Paris with free entrance! Check out: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Musée Cernuschi, Maison de Victor Hugo, and Musee National de la Légion d’honneur et des ordres de chevalerie. On the first Sunday of each month, look out for even more discounts around the city!
Love Lock Bridge
A true example of amour in the city of love! The love lock bridge is the perfect place to bring your partner to symbolize your affection for one another by attaching a signed lock to the bridge. Don’t worry about bringing your own lock or sharpie though, they are sold up and down the block by street vendors!
Missing a boo? Don’t fret! Wander around this picture-perfect area to take in the beauty of the sights with Notre Dame cathedral in the background and dedicate a lock to your besties, or pizza, whatever it is that you love!
Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral
One of the finest examples of gothic architecture in Europe, Notre Dame is a must-see on your list of Paris sights! Entrance into the main area of the cathedral is free. If you would like a tour of the towers and the crypt, there is a fee of 8.50 euros.
The lines can be long, so make sure to get there well before the closing time (6:45pm on weekdays and 7:15pm on Saturday and Sunday).
Pro tip: There is no luggage allowed in the cathedral so be sure to dump any of your bags off at the hostel before your visit.
The Paris Flower Market
Once you’ve finished at the Notre Dame Cathedral, wander around the corner for a stroll through the Paris Flower Market. If you’re lucky enough to be there on a Sunday, you will see that the flower market also opens up into an exotic bird market.
Remember to charge your phone so you can snap the perfect Instagram!
Parc de Buttes-Chaumont
After a full day of touristing, you’ll want to take a load off your feet. Stretch out on a blanket under a tree in the Parc de Buttes-Chaumont for a mid-afternoon nap, Parisian style. Once you’re feeling well-rested, it’s time to check out the main attractions of the park: the grotto and bridges, the lake at the center of the park, and the Temple de la Sibylle.
Between all of these free things to do in Paris and saving your money to eat the delicious croissants, you’re in for a jam-packed time in Paris. No matter the pennies in your pocket, you can see the city in all its glory and beauty! To save even more money, book your flights and hotels with StudentUniverse for cheap student discounts.