top of page
10 Free Places to Visit in Paris

HelloAngeliaAngelia Untung@helloangelia


Paris ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit, but that does not mean that you can’t travel to Paris on a budget! To many people’s surprise, Paris can be done at a lower cost, especially with so many free attractions the city has to offer. Here are 10 of my favorite free places to visit in Paris!

1. Petit Palais


Petit Palais is a free art museum centrally located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris that houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts. The art collection includes pieces by renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Monet, and Delacroix. Not only does it house beautiful art collections, but the building itself is a work of art. The architecture is characterized by grand arches, ornate facades, and intricate details making it a work of art in itself. I had so much fun strolling through the museum, seeing the beautiful paintings, sculptures, and art collections, dating from antiquity to 1920. Petit Palais even has a magnificent courtyard and garden; it is a peaceful haven where visitors can relax and have a drink at their cafe.

2. Montmartre


Montmartre is a large hill in Paris’s northern 18th arrondissement, famous for Bohemian culture and well-known artists, including Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. It is one of the most charming, unique, and colorful areas in Paris with many beautiful attractions to see. There are many charming streets throughout the neighborhood filled with cafes, art studios, and shops. At the top of the hill lies the famous Sacré-Coeur, which offers stunning views over the city’s skyline and landmarks (and the basilica is a work of art itself!). While you do have to purchase a ticket to enter the Sacré-Coeur’s tower, visiting the actual church and its nearby garden, strolling through the colorful streets, and taking in the breathtaking views do cost a dime! I fell in love with this iconic Parisian neighborhood, and Montmartre is definitely worth a visit in Paris!

Paris Your Way By TripMasters

3. Domaine National du Palais-Royal


Richelieu and the childhood home to Louis XIV. It is free to enter and explore and opens from 8am-8:30pm every day. It has a beautiful garden, art galleries, fountains, and courtyards. The Palais-Royal is also home to several cultural institutions, including the Comédie-Française (French national theater) and the Conseil d’État (Council of State). The inner courtyard has the beautiful art installation, Colonnes de Buren, that was created in the 1980s. It is famous for its black and white striped columns, and it is so fun to walk through. There is also the sphere-shaped fountain, Spherades, which is such a unique art piece that you need to check out when visiting Paris. The Palais-Royal is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, boutiques, antique shops, and luxury stores, so there are plenty of options to enjoy a meal or drink or indulge in shopping for fashion, jewelry, and unique finds! It’s also a convenient starting point because it is close to the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries Garden, and the Opéra Garnier.

4. Galeries Lafayette


Galeries Lafayette is one of the most iconic department stores in Paris and is a must-visit for several compelling reasons. For one, it is a fashion lover’s paradise and has an extensive selection of high-end fashion brands, luxury goods, and the latest trends in clothing, accessories, and cosmetics. When you’re hungry after all your shopping, Galeries Lafayette boasts a gourmet food hall called Haussman that offers a wide range of gourmet foods, wines, and delicacies from around the world. Even if you don’t intend to purchase anything, walking through the Galeries Lafayette and seeing the beautiful floors is definitely worth a visit.

Galeries Lafayette also has a rooftop, The Terrace at Galeries Lafayette, where you can see amazing views of Paris for free! You’ll be able to view the 1st and 9th arrondissements of Paris and beautiful monuments like the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré Coeur. This place is especially perfect for watching sunsets after a long day of shopping.


Paris Your Way By TripMasters

5. BnF Library


The Bibliothèque Nationale de France – Richelieu (BNF Richelieu) is one of the main campuses of the National Library of France and is one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve ever been to. Built in 1721, the library has recently gone under 10 years of renovation but has finally reopened this year. Its newly restored room, the Oval Room, holds a large collection with over 20,000 volumes. It is also free to the general public to visit, study, or read at! Just make sure that if you are going to visit be courteous and don’t disturb the people trying to study or read in the library!

6. 59 Rivoli


59 Rivoli is an artist collective and gallery space located in the 1st arrondissement that serves as a hub for contemporary art. It was a former artist squat since 1999 but was legalized by the city in 2006. 59 Rivoli is a place where emerging and established artists come together to create and showcase their work. One of the special aspects of the gallery is that you can meet the artists in person with many resident artists having open studios. This allows you to engage with them, discuss their work, and gain insights into their creative processes. It currently houses 30 artist studios and has many exhibitions to view. 59 Rivoli is open 6 days a week from Tuesday to Sunday from 1pm to 8pm.

If you’re interested in purchasing artwork, many of the pieces on display are available for sale, and this provides a unique opportunity to acquire original art directly from the artist. Whether you are purchasing local art or just visiting, you are supporting emerging and independent artists who likely haven’t had the opportunity to exhibit in traditional galleries or museums.

Paris Your Way By TripMasters

7. National Archives Museum


Tucked away in Le Marais is a beautiful museum, the National Archives Museum. Not many people know about or visit this museum, but it is one of the best free things to do in Paris. The National Archives Museum serves as a valuable resource for anybody interested in French history by housing documents that played a pivotal role in shaping France’s history, including royal edicts, historical manuscripts, and government records. I actually stumbled into this museum by accident as I was on my way somewhere else but was curious about what was inside after seeing the large courtyard leading to the entrance. The National Archives Museum holds French history records, dating from the Merovingian period (AD 476–750) to 1958. Some of the most well-known records include the founding paperwork for Sainte Chapelle, the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and Marie Antoinette’s last letter. The museum has a lot of architectural beauty that can be admired inside the building and outside in their gardens. There is also a great spot to take pictures at the bottom of one of the main staircases where a skeleton tipping its top hat is imprinted on the steps.

8. Carnavalet Museum


Located in Le Marais, the Carnavalet Museum is dedicated to celebrating Paris’ history from its prehistory to the present day. It is also said to be one of the oldest museums in Paris, and the museum finally reopened in 2021 after being renovated for 4 years. My favorite part about the museum is the free admission to its permanent collections! Carnavalet has an abundance of relics, models, and works of art throughout the various years. Exploring through the entirety of the museum takes around 2 hours give or take depending on how quickly you look through each exhibit. Even when compared with museums that charge admission, the Carnavalet is quite large at 3 stories with a restaurant in a large and beautiful courtyard in the center. The courtyard could be a destination in its own right as it makes for a great place to have a peaceful moment. Other great photo spots include the statue of Louis XIV and the white staircase. If you’re not a fan of museums, it even has a beautiful courtyard, garden, and restaurant!

Paris Your Way By TripMasters

9. Trocadero Gardens


One of my favorite places in Paris to view the Eiffel Tower is Trocadéro Gardens. I have fond memories of seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle for the first time at this very spot in 2018. Trocadéro Gardens is free to visit and has numerous fountains, playgrounds, and chairs to relax and enjoy the unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower. The garden is huge at almost 10,000m², but it often gets crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons, on weekends, and popular times like sunset. One thing to be mindful of when visiting Trocadéro Gardens is that it does have an issue with thieves and pickpockets, so be mindful of your belongings when in the area.

10. Luxembourg Gardens


Paris is one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit,

but that doesn't mean you can’t travel there on a budget!

One of the largest and most charming gardens in Paris is the Luxembourg Gardens. It is a popular garden that is known for its calm and relaxing atmosphere. The gardens have beautiful fountains, statues, flowers, gardens, tennis courts, a children’s playground, a merry-go-round, a palace, and chairs to sit and people-watch. This garden has a little bit of everything for all ages, and it is the perfect place to relax in the city. One of the most iconic features of the gardens is the Medici Fountain which is a beautiful fountain surrounded by statues and lush greenery. The garden is centrally located in the 6th arrondissement and makes for a great starting point before exploring other nearby attractions like the Latin Quarter and the Panthéon.

Paris Your Way By TripMasters

HelloAngeliaAngelia Untung@helloangelia

bottom of page