Free Things to Do in Paris
There’s no denying that Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world, especially at the moment with the Euro being so strong. But there are also a lot of things you can do here for completely free. So don't be put off by the cost, check out my list of the 5 best free things to do in Paris and start planning a break to the 'City of Lights' today.
1. Walk along the Canal Saint-Martin
Once you head out of République metro station, within a couples of minutes you’ll be on the canal’s towpath. The Canal Saint-Martin makes for a delightful wander (weather permitting) thanks to its quaint iron-footbridges, tree-shaded quays and quirky barges. The streets surrounding the waterway are packed full of chic boutiques, bars and brasseries which deserve a visit, even if you are just window-shopping! The canal is almost 3 miles long so be sure to wear some comfortable shoes and be prepared to see the authentic Paris.
2. Spend some time amongst the funky sculptures outside the Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou is designed in a post-modernist, high-tech architectural style so it does not have the appearance of your typical culture and leisure centre. Scrap the pricey entrance costs and appreciate this marvel from the outside; besides, its courtyard is essentially a free modern-art museum as it features a mini sculpture park. Remember to stay alert though as pickpockets are very common in these tourist hotspots.
3. Pass an hour people-watching in Le Jardin du Luxembourg
Think of the Luxembourg Gardens as the Central Park of Paris. Effortlessly stylish Parisian women reading a journal on a bench to young children guiding their motor boats across the garden’s pond, this green paradise really does feature all walks of the city’s life.
4. Climb the steps of Montmartre to admire the view from Sacré Coeur
If you can make your way up the 300 steps to the basilica, this is the spot to capture the perfect cityscape photo with its views of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and thousands of typically Parisian townhouses. Entrance into Sacré Coeur is also free so be sure to appreciate the serenity of the silence in the chapel – although you may be lucky enough to be there whilst their angelic choir is performing. Stay vigilant with your money here though, as Montmartre is a common spot for conmen trying to scam you with their street-performer tricks.
5. After sunset, arrive at Trocadéro metro station 10 minutes before the hour
A two-minute walk from this metro station is the ultimate position to view the Eiffel Tower’s sparkling lights (which can be seen on the hour, every hour once the sun has set until 1am). These illuminations are something that must not be missed and truly epitomise the magic of Paris.
Happy travelling! Be sure to check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Travel Aware advice if you’re planning a getaway to the City of Lights!
By Charlotte Day