Are you planning to visit Paris and are you one of those who love to see as much as possible during their city break, but without spending a fortune for tickets etc? Then keep on reading, because this guide will inspire you with many ideas to eat, drink and to see while staying on a budget! :) This is going to help you to create your own ultimate ‘Parisian Experience’ for your next holiday or city break.
So once you have found your favourite Paris Deal here on my blog, you’re good to go with this guide in your pocket…or on your mobile :)
Paris is a city that has many, many museums and loads of them are for free! Here’s a Gurutastic Tip: keep your eyes peeled on the first Sunday of each month… many museums that usually have to be paid are for free then!
I have listed below the museums that might be interesting for you on your city break, with the days and times for free entrance :)
1. Musee D’Art Moderne De La Ville De Paris – Free permanent collections / Open Tuesday – Sunday
2. Petit Palais, City of Paris Fine Art Museum – Free permanent collections / Open Tuesday – Sunday
3. Musee Carnavalet – Histoire de Paris – Free permanent collections and themed exhibitions / Open Tuesday – Sunday
4. Musee Curie – Free permanent collections – can make donation if wish / Open Wednesday – Saturday
5. Musee national d’art moderne – Centre Pompidou – Free on 1st Sunday of the month, all year round
6. Musee national Picasso – Free on 1st Sunday of the month, all year round
7. Arc de Triomphe – Free on 1st Sunday of the month, from 1st November to 31 March inclusive + Exceptions daily (find out here if you are eligible)
8. Conciergerie – Free on 1st Sunday of the month, from 1st November to 31 March inclusive + Exceptions daily (find out here if you are eligible)
9. Musee du Louvre – Free admission for under 26-year-olds (EU) and teachers
10. Pantheon – Free admission for under 26-year-olds (EU) and teachers
I think the best way to get to know a city is by exploring its local markets. Paris boasts with many markets in almost every neighbourhood. So take the chance and visit as many as possible or as many as you like to :) It’s a beautiful experience strolling along the stalls and discovering antiques, French books, trying on some clothes – even if you’re eyeing not buying, it’s worth the visit alone!
Maybe you’ll end up with a unique souvenir or you tasted some amazing food from local producers! There’s a market to suit every interest like e.g. flea markets, food markets or markets specialised in art.
Below you’ll find a list of my top 5 favourite markets. I have no specific order of preference, because they’re all very good :)
This market is one of Paris’s biggest markets. Here is the best place to get local produce! Twice a week stalls will line Boulevard Richard Lenoir. You will be able to taste local fish, cheeses, meat, vegetables and fresh fruit… mmmh yummy! :)
Brocante des Abbesses
This one is based in the charming location of Montmartre hill. This might be your favourite market as it offers an idyllic atmosphere! Here you will find a small market that is perfect to stroll whilst enjoying a coffee. Meet both locals and tourists and discover a lovely combination of old paintings and jewellery by upcoming designers!
Marche aux Puces de St-Ouen
Don’t miss out to experience it! The biggest flea market in the world will take your breath away. Here the saying ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure‘ is true – as you will find amazing vintage items, clothes, furnitures and books to name just a few! Here is the ideal place to get a thrill and hopefully a good purchase by using your bargaining skills :)
Marche bio des Batignolles
If you’re a foodie like me, then this food market in Paris is one that needs to be checked out! I promise it’s visually and fragrantly beautiful! You will find everything from pates, to fruit, to veg and even fine wines! ;)
Marche aux Timbres
It’s ideal for a quirky market visit as this market is dedicated entirely to stamps! Located on the Champs Elysees you will find millions of stamps from every corner of the world and even old postcards with hand written messages! In France stamp collecting is popular so the market will be busy and filled with all types of people :)
There are events and celebrations taking place in Paris all year round! You will spend time at the banks of the River Seine during the summer, at courtyards of mansions, probably in local parks and gardens and museum halls! Find music, art, open air cinemas and parades that can be experienced for free! During Autumn the city doesn’t stop… it simply prepares for new events for the season :) So, why not plan your trip around the holidays and festivals I will list below? :D
January – (December 31st/January 1st) – New Years Eve/Day
- February – (14th) – Festival of St. Valentine
- March – (early) – Paris Fashion Week
- April – Paris Marathon
- May – (1st) May Day
- June – (21st) – La Fête de la Musique
- July –(14th) _ Bastille Day
- August – (until Mid Aug) Paris Plages
- September – La Villette Jazz Festival
- October – Festival d’Automne
- November – (1st) All Saints’ Day
- December – (24th – 25th) Noël
If you rather prefer to celebrate somewhere else than outside, here’s another gurutastic tip :) Experience Paris’ nightlife at clubs where you can get free access by putting your name on guest lists for special events. You’ll find many of those opportunities on Facebook. Besides that many bars and pubs in Paris don’t have an entrance fee :)
4. Walking Tours
Most of the time you’ll be moving your feet while exploring Paris. So why not combining your way with a free walking tour adding the bonus of a tour guide to it? That’s the way to actually know what you’re looking at :D
I picked my two favourite free walking tours in Paris:
1. City Free Tour
Montmartre walking tour with Chris (You will need to make a reservation)
Highlights: Moulin Rouge, Van Gogh’s house, Moulin de la Galette, Saint Denis, protector of France and first Paris’ bishop, Dalida, Lapin Agile, The last vineyard of Paris, Place du Tertre & Sacre Coeur Basilica
2. Discover Walks Paris
You have the choice of five different walking tours:
Montmartre Tour (Moulin Rouge to Sacre Cœur) 11am Daily
Notre Dame and The Heart of Paris Tour 1pm Daily
Paris Landmarks, Right Bank Tour, 10am Daily
Left Bank Tour, Latin Quarter, 2.30pm Daily
Trendy Marais Tour, 2.30pm Every Day
5. Outdoors / Sightseeing
Like already mentioned, Paris is a wonderful city that is best explored on foot. This is the best way to soak up the atmosphere of the “city of love” and to find romantic sights, traditional and historical buildings and to enjoy the style and charm of Paris. And best about these things: they’re already for free!
Don’t forget to see local attractions like Champs-Elysées which is filled with shops and cafes, leading you to the famous monuments such as Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde.
Home to the Basilique du Sacré Cœur is Montmartre. It’s a bohemian arrondissement which had historically a huge art scene with artists like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh and Salvador Dali to name a few. The area has become touristic, but it still possesses the atmosphere of the local artists and kept its charm. And you can marvel at the art for free :)
Furthermore you get a stunning view over Paris if you walk up the Montmartre hill.
Unfortunately there’s no way to go up the most famous landmark of Paris (except you’re Spiderman :D) – the Eiffel Tower! But you can look at it from underneath for free :)
You see: Paris is a city full of stories, art and atmosphere! Make your own experience and create your own perfect city break in Paris without spending a fortune. I hope I could help you to explore this beautiful city and having a little adventure for free. Let me know what was your favourite free thing to do in Paris :) Or maybe you’ve found anything else that is for free to do, then share it with me below in the comments :)
I love to inspire people and to get inspired by my readers… So, along these lines: enjoy Paris (for free)! :)
Your Holidayguru :)