You probably know Paris as the City of Lights, or perhaps as the City of Love. But, on a less official note, it’s also known as the City of Expensive Outings. Exclusive restaurants, attractions with high entrance fees, and world-class hotels can all put a serious strain on your budget, and some travelers skip the trip altogether because they think it would be too costly. Luckily, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy the city at little to no cost. Yes, you read that right–Paris is full of fun activities that will cost you next to nothing! Interested in getting the inside scoop on these Paris freebies? Oui, s’il vous plaît!

1) Jardin du Luxembourg

Beautiful flowers and trees are complemented by a large collection of statues and fountains at this centuries-old park. As you wander around, keep an eye open for the original model of the Statue of Liberty.

2) Basilique du Sacré-Cœur

It’s not uncommon to see hundreds of people lounging in the shady lawns or on the steps leading up to this picturesque church. And while you’ll have to pay to climb to the tower or visit the crypt, you can easily get some gorgeous pictures of the building itself from ground level.

3) Canal Saint-Martin

A stroll along this scenic canal will give you a chance to unwind after lots of sightseeing during your Parisian vacation. Watch the boats meander by, go window shopping, and enjoy the slower-paced rhythm along the water.

Montmartre [Photo Credit: Serge Melki, CC BY 2.0]

Montmartre [Photo Credit: Serge Melki, CC BY 2.0]

4) Montmartre

Known for its Bohemian feel, the highlight of any visit to Montmartre is the chance to view all the beautiful artwork set out. Paintings and drawings are displayed for sale and you can watch artists at work, sketching passers by and the scenery around them.

5) Parc de la Villette

While you can visit this park for free at any time, the best time to go is on movie night during the summer. The park is also home to an excellent science museum and an IMAX movie theater.

6) La Promenade Plantée

This attraction is an old railway line transformed into a pedestrian-only walkway around–and often above–the city. What a lovely idea! Strap on your walking shoes and embark on the 4.5km journey to see some less tourist-centric spots in the city and get a peek into the lives of the locals.

Rue Mouffetard [Photo Credit: Flickr User besopha, CC BY 2.0]

Rue Mouffetard [Photo Credit: Flickr User besopha, CC BY-SA 2.0]

7) Rue Mouffetard

In all fairness, you’re likely to spend some money while visiting this charming street lined with gourmet shops and bakeries. Go on a Saturday, when the street is transformed into a giant market, to stock up on fresh produce for the remainder of your trip.

8) Parc du Champ de Mars

It’s practically mandated that you check out the Eiffel Tower while vacationing in Paris, but a visit inside will cost you. Grabbing a spot on the well-manicured grounds at the base of the monument, however, won’t cost a thing. The tower is illuminated by 20,000 lights for 5-10 minutes of each hour, so be sure to time your visit accordingly.

9) Institut Curie

Not yet an expert on radioactivity or the discovery of radium and polonium? Learn about the incredible work done by esteemed physicist and chemist Marie Curie at this free museum. Not only will you learn about the work that led to the development of x-rays and earned this remarkable woman two Nobel Prizes, but you’ll also get to see her scientific instruments and other equipment in a recreated lab.

Albert Gleizes Painting "LesBaigneuses" 1912, [Public Domain]

Albert Gleizes Painting “Les Baigneuses” 1912, on display at Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris [Public Domain]

10) Musée d’art Moderne de La Ville de Paris

There is no entrance fee to visit the permanent collection at the Paris Museum of Modern Art, which is home to sculptures, oversized paintings, and dramatic architecture. The collection is divided into two sections–the history section and the contemporary section–which means there’s something for every type of art fan.

There’s one area of your budget that you will not want to forget when it comes to planning a trip to Paris, and that’s the language lessons you’ll need to take in advance. Don’t make the mistake of showing up without knowing a word of French. Contact us today and we’ll get you started right away.