Paris is definitely one of my favorite cities in the world. I love the culture, the food, the music, the atmosphere and frankly, the city is just beautiful. My husband treated me to a holiday in Paris last summer and while I had been there before on three other occasions this was my husband’s first time in this magical city so I wanted to be sure to show him all my favorite things about this beautiful place.
Since the currency is considerably more expensive than our little Canadian dollar, we made sure we took advantage of as many things that were either completely free or cost very little so that we could use our money on other things like nice meals or shopping.
The great thing about Paris is that it is totally a “walkable” city in that you can maneuver it’s many streets and districts with ease. We walked most of this city over the time we were there and opted for the subway for areas that required us to cross large sections so as to save some time.
Here’s some things that you can enjoy for FREE in Paris that are awesome things to do and you can soak in all kinds of Parisian culture:
Stroll the Champs-Élysées
You can start at the Arc de Triomphe and wander your way down this incredible shopping area of Paris. There’s lots to see on this bustling avenue and if shopping isn’t in your budget, you can still browse the window displays. Take your time along this stretch and take in some of the architecture. As you stroll down the street you will pass by the entrance to the Jardin de Champs Elysees and if you stay straight you will lead right into the Place de la Concorde and the Fontaine des Mars. This park area is a beautiful spot that will also lead you into the Jardin de Tuileries which will in turn lead you to the Louvre museum. This walk from the Arc de Triomphe is a great way to spend a few hours and you won’t be disappointed.
One of the things I really enjoyed almost every day, was our stroll along the Seine river via the walkway that ran along the river bank. The gentle flow of the river, the boats sailing by, the setting sun in the evenings, the couples sitting along the water’s edge, and so much more. We walked this area en route to catch our sunset river boat cruise and had time allowed, we would have returned to the river bank another evening with some wine, crackers and cheese and just watched the boats meander along the water.
Jardin de Luxemburg
Despite having been to Paris a few times before this trip, I hadn’t been to this garden and it was an absolute amazing accident that we stumbled upon it after walking to the Pantheon. This garden was so beautiful that we actually visited it more than once, to just sit and enjoy the summer sun and to people watch. This park is free and is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon and with plenty of seating, I bet you won’t want to leave.
We took the train to get to Montmartre since it was a fair jaunt from the city center where we were. (While the train cost a few Euros, walking the area of Montmartre is free and there’s lots to see.) I feel that no trip to Paris is complete without a trip to this area because it’s a spectacular area to explore. The windy cobblestone streets that lead up to the breathtaking Sacre Coeur church are a lot of fun to delve into with the many boutiques, bakeries, ice cream and gift shops, as well as bistros that speckle the many lanes. This area is a haven for art lovers as many of the local artists display their wares and will try to entice you to pose for an on-the-spot portrait sketch. Meander your way to the church itself and enjoy the views from this hilltop. We wandered down the steps and enjoyed some time by the fountain before making our way down the hill to see the Moulin Rouge.
The Eiffel Tower is my favorite spot in the whole city. I’m not sure why, but I love it. You can admire the tower from two really great spots. The first spot is Trocadero which is a great spot for taking photos of the tower and where most instagrammers take their popular pics. There is a small park-like setting here that is a great spot to sit and admire the view. The second spot is the Champ de Mars which is just on the other side of the Eiffel Tower. This area is a huge expanse of land and you will find many people sitting on the grass and enjoying the park. This is a great spot to bring a picnic lunch and just enjoy the nice weather and pass the time people watching.
There are likely countless other things you can do that are free in Paris, but this is a list of my favorite things. This city never disappoints and goes to show that no matter your budget, there are still lots of things to enjoy.