How do you live in Paris or visit without spending your life savings? Living on a super tight budget with a lavish taste, I realized I needed to find a happy medium.In doing so, Google became my new best friend in the search for FREE FUN in Paris. The best part, I ended up discovering more culture through free events around the city then I would have if I did have loads of cash to blow. And for more on these interesting finds in Paris, check out my individual blog postings here.
Paris Weekends is a great resource for those looking to do something different in the city. The site is updated weekly and provides a diverse range of events (many free) happening during the upcoming weekend.
A Walk Over Paris
Promenade Plantée— What used to be an old railroad track has since been transformed into a unique promenade spanning from Place de la Bastille to Bois de Vincennes. The promenade is covered in colorful flowers and full of great stops along the way to rest and view Paris from a different perspective. Don’t forget to make a visit to one of Paris’ sparkling water fountains in Jardin de Reuilly during your walk!!!
Paris By Mouth — Looking for wine, cheese, pastries, all of the above? This site will lead you to all the best foodie sites in every arrondissement de Paris!
Caves Augé offers free wine tastings outdoors at this cozy and very French hot spot. Check the calendar for the next dégustation.
La Dèrniere Goutte also offers free wine tastings. Check their facebook page for updates on the next dégustation.
Note: On the first Sunday of the month, EVERY museum is free admission and open to the public during the designated hours.
A listing of museums that are always FREE admission can be found here along with the links to descriptions and exhibitions for each.
Popular museums in Paris offer free admission under various circumstances. Visit their Web sites listed below to see if you meet the requirements:
- The Louvre is free to individuals under 26 (with ID) on Friday nights from 6-9:45pm.
- Musée d’Orsay
- Centre Pompidou
- 59 Rivoli is free and open Tuesday-Sunday from 1-8pm. 59 Rivoli presents 6 floors of art both finished and in the making from the studios of 30 present artists. A new exhibition is on display every 2 weeks and free concerts can be enjoyed on Saturdays and Sundays from 6pm.
Annual Festivals, Celebrations, and Events
La Fête du Pain one week around the celebration of Saint-Honoré (the patron saint of bakers) day, May 16.
Fête de la Musique June 21
Bastille Day July 14
La Nuit des Musées One evening in May
Jour du Macaron March 20
Jazz Festival June-August
Parc de la Villette Open Air Cinema
Markets and Brocantes
My personal favorite outing in Paris is wandering the many brocantes, or antique garage sales, found all over the city. It also offers a great opportunity to explore new areas outside of the city center. The two links below will guide you to a brocante happening near you!
La French (Not sure if it is still the same deal, but Thursdays used to be free admission and free champagne for the ladies until 11! Check it out!)
Picnic Hot Spots
Grab your baguettes, cheese, and wine (score for no open container laws!) and find a grassy spot at one of many gorgeous parks Paris has to offer. Here are a few of my favorites:
The Eiffel Tower
Jardin du Luxembourg
Along the Seine