As one of the most glamorous destinations in the world, a city break to Paris may not seem exactly purse-friendly. But if you’re tightening the budget and looking to escape, then don’t cross it off your list just yet – there’s plenty to see and do in the city of love that won’t cost a Euro, from visiting the Love Wall to the cemetery where Jim Morrison was laid to rest. And, if you’ve already booked a timeshare getaway for the upcoming May Bank Holiday weekend, you’ll be wanting to print out this guide!
Here are our top ten best freebies that the City of Love has to offer.
1) Enjoy Free Sundays
If you’re booking a long weekend, then you’ll be able to visit some of Paris’s most popular museums and monuments for free, thanks to the no entrance fee Sundays programme. Wander through the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay, or soak up the culture at lesser known spots such as the Albert-Kahn Musée et Jardins (an homage to gardens around the world) and the Musée de l’Assistance Publique.
2) Head for the Outdoor Cinema
Enjoy a balmy sunny evening by watching a free film at the open-air cinema at the Parc de la Villette. The programme runs during July and August and has a great community atmosphere. If you don’t want to get a numb bum, then you can always upgrade to a deckchair for €7.
3) Stroll Through the Gardens
We could happily while away a whole day at the Jardins du Luxembourg, a sweeping city park which is the garden of the French senate. The park has a beautifully landscaped garden, which is packed with hundreds of statues and monuments, including the first model of the Statue of Liberty by Frédéric Bartholdi.
4) Fall for the Love Wall
When in Paris, it’s hard to escape the romance – and the Love Wall in Montmartre is the perfect place to get a loved-up snap with your other half. The mural features “I Love You” scrawled in hundreds of different languages and was created by Frederic Baron, who began collecting I love yous in 1992 before teaming up with artist Claire Kito to create the mural.
5) Visit the Notre Dame
As one of the most iconic attractions in Paris, the Notre Dame looms over the Île de la Cité in the middle of the Seine. The spectacular gothic building features gargoyles and beautiful stained glass windows, while buskers and live bands draw plenty of crowds in the areas around the cathedral.
6) Explore the Père Lachaise cemetery
Set behind a looming stone entrance, this is the most visited cemetery in the world. Take a peaceful stroll as you look at the impressive rollcall of tombs, including Georges Rodenbach, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison of The Doors.
7) Enjoy the Sculptures
Art and culture lovers should head to the studio of revolutionary sculptor Constantin Brancusi, who died in 1957. The famous artist left his workshop to the state so that tourists can get an impression of the space in which he worked, as well as viewing some of the pieces that helped to redefine modern sculpture.
8) Stroll Through La Promenade Plantee
Opened in the early 90s, the pretty La Promenade Plantee is a tree-lined walkway based on an old elevated railway line. This 4.5km trail is a the perfect way to explore the city, and gives you the perfect chance to nosey into the apartments of the Parisians who overlook it.
9) Take a Late Night Picnic
Enjoy the beauty of Paris by night in true bohemian style by taking a bottle of wine to the park at the Square du Vert-Galant. During the warmer months, you’ll find the park dotted with people relaxing on the grass, watching the boats sail past as twinkling tea lights float downstream on the river.
10) Check out a Fashion Show
It may not quite be Paris Fashion Week, but you can still get a taste for glamour every Friday afternoon at the Galeries Lafayette department store. The shop hosts free shows with professional models strutting the runway wearing the store’s current collections. We recommend contacting the store in advance to get yourself a ticket as demand can be high.