Paris! City of Lights! Can anyone tire of the French capital, a city that serves up the best food (subjective but still), arts, culture, fashion and history like no other European capital can? Shrug off the idea that it’s too expensive, it’s not! These are just some of the many free things to do around Paris.
Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
Palatial and white standing at the top of the hill, this church star attraction in Montmartre. The church’s interior is decked out in gold mosaic tiles, awe-inspiring stained glass and some of the world’s heaviest bells. Visits inside are free however there is a charge for going down to the crypt and climbing up to the dome.
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Free modern art! If you visit anything more than the Louvre, stop by this museum to get a more comprehensive view of French art. You’ll find it just steps from the Alma-Marceau station.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Speaking of crypts, is it creepy that one of Paris’ most popular city sights in a cemetery? It happens to be the final resting place of a lot of famous people from pop culture like Jim Morrison to classic faces like Proust and Balzac.
Cathédrale de Notre Dame
This church is by epitome of gothic architecture, decked out with gargoyles and flying buttresses, the Notre Dame Cathedral is an icon of Paris and also France. You can enter for free, to the delight of the hundreds that visit daily. Mind the queue and get there early.
- Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen - quaint souvenirs are to be found here in this antique and flea market. While there are many high-priced items, you can always find a trinket for cheap.
- Marché d’Aligre - this is where your appetite is finally fêted with the finest produce France has to offer: cheese, artisan cured meats, fresh flowers, fruits, wines, veg and fresh baked goods.
If it’s foodie delights you’re after, check out “Paris, according to Rachel Khoo” for her tips on where to eat and where to shop in the French capital.
A patch of grass
Paris is fantastic for parks, squares, river-side spots to sit down and enjoy a slice of shade and a peaceful afternoon. For a real wilderness (and a workout to get to the top) head to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. For a peaceful green where even the likes of Monet used to relax and paint, head to Parc Monceau. For a brief break at the water’s edge, the Canal St-Martin (pictured above) is perfect, as seen in Amélie.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Paris? Any other free tips to share?