Travel doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think, and even some of the most expensive destinations in the world have some amazing free sites and activities to keep even the tightest of budgets happy.
Paris, city of lovers, artisans, writers and painters alike; a city as famous for its haute couture and glamour as it is for its rich history and bawdy past. Like many major cities in Western Europe, Paris remains a very expensive destination, but there are ways to explore the cafe lined streets and quartiers on a budget, and there are even things you can do for free.
5. The Louvre.
Okay this is a little bit of a cheat as normally there is an entrance fee to see some of the most famous masterpieces and museum pieces in the world, but many visitors don’t realise that the first Sunday of every month it is absolutely free to enter! Enjoy the magnificent Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Venus de Milo, or Aphrodite and the Wedding Feast at Cana all for free, just try to hide your disappointment at the real size of the Mona Lisa when you have elbowed your way through the crowds!
4. Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris.
This cathedral is more than a magnificent example of gothic architecture, it is a bona fide Parisian icon! Literally the heart of Paris, there is a little stone edifice in the square in front of the Cathedral that marks the zero point marker for all French national highways. It is worth a visit to Notre Dame just to see the imposing architecture, but the free entry inside is worth a few hours of your time too, just take your time and explore the magnificent decor.
3. Free entertainment.
If you need a little free entertaining, then Paris certainly has you covered. You can head down to the Showcase at Port des Champs Elysees which has free admission before midnight and has a wide range of musical acts playing nightly, or you can catch any one of the dozens of free entertainers that gather daily at Place de la Concorde or in front of the Pompidou Centre. Or if you are really lucky like I was, you can watch a guy propose to his girlfriend at the top of the Eiffel Tower … and then get turned down!
I shouldn’t have laughed, but it was so brutal it was funny!
2. Pere-Lachaise cemetery.
A cemetery may seem like a strange addition to this list, but the attraction of this cemetery lies not just in some of the intricate and atmospheric headstones, but the luminaries that are buried here, including Pissarro, Proust and even Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison!
1. Le Champ de Mars.
There are plenty of ways to avoid the long queues for the Eiffel Tower, but you really don’t need to buy an expensive ticket to get the best views, some of the best spots to view this famous Parisian monument can be found in the tendered grounds of Le Champ De Mars. Perfect for a romantic stroll or a picnic on a warm day or for viewing the dazzling light show, and it won’t even cost you a penny! With all the money you have saved by following these tips you can even treat yourself to an ice cream or a crepe from one of the many stalls!
If you like street art then you should definitely head down to see the art and architecture of the 13th Arrondissement on the left bank of the Seine, it is not a touristy place at all but you will get a local experience that most tourists never will!
So go and enjoy Paris! Whatever your budget you are bound to have an amazing time.
I hope you are enjoying this ‘free things to do in …’ series, if you have any specific requests then please let me know in the comments section below. If I have been there then I’ll add it to the list!