Best Free Attractions in Paris
Online Magazine | Tourism Review Online Magazine VII / 2014
Paris is one of the most popular cities in Europe, attracting visitors from all over the globe, especially during the summer. Known as the city of love, the literary paradise and the fashion capital, Paris has several different guises. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, there are breath-taking attractions you can see free of charge, letting you save your money for more important things. The following free attractions are a must-see.
Watch the Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars
If you love seeing the Eiffel Tower during the day, then you'll certainly love it even more at night when it's all lit up. Standing at 324 meters tall, this tower is France's most famous attraction. To get to the top of the tower during the day, you'll need to spend €13.40 on a ticket. Fortunately, you can enjoy the views above freely from Champ de Mars, a free public park, located between the Eiffel Tower and the École Militaire.
So, plan to bring your best wine, blanket, camera, and of course a date, and enjoy the expansive greenery as you wait for the fabulous light show at night. You'll be excited to see the tower sparkling for five minutes every hour till 1am. During the summer, the shows lasts up to 2 am.
Watch Movies at Open Air Cinema
If you love watching movies, then you'll be excited to know that you can do so in Paris for free. Make the most out of your summer evenings, by catching a free open-air cinema at the Parc de la Villette, located in the 19th arrondissement. The programme runs every year from July to August, and normally follows a certain theme.
For instance, this year's theme is "Tous en scène", meaning "Everybody on Stage". Some of the films to expect include, The Killing, Be Kind Rewind and Where the Wild Things Are among others. It's really a fantastic event that will keep you busy during the evening. There is a catch though: you'll be sitting on the grass as you enjoy your favorite film. However, you're free to upgrade to a deck chair if you have the money. It will cost you €7.
Explore the Notre-Dame Cathedral
This is one of the most beautiful and popular cathedrals in the world. The building was started in 1163, and completed at the beginning of the 14th century, over 100 years later. With its huge flying buttresses, beautiful stained glass windows and carved portals, this cathedral is a true example of gothic style which you'll certainly find interesting to see. While inside, be sure to check the various sculptures it has. If you have the strength and motivation, you should consider climbing the towers (422 steps) past the Bourdon bell and carved chimeras for a spectacular view of Paris.
Besides being a major attraction, it's also used for services, state funerals and organ recitals. So, if you're a Catholic, consider going for spiritual nourishment there as well. The cathedral is not just beautiful on the inside; it's exterior is also worth checking out. Around it, there are human statues and full live bands, which always draw the attention of huge crowds.
Visit Popular Museums for Free
While in Paris, you can also take advantage of the city's free first Sundays programme. Every month on the first Sunday, you'll be able to visit the most popular monuments and museums in the city, without spending a cent. The Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre, as well as the Pompidou Centre, are some of the major attractions you should consider visiting.
At the Louvre for instance, you'll be able to see impressive art collections from world's finest artists, such as the incredible Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci. If you choose to go to the Musée d’Orsay art gallery, you'll come across beautiful and intriguing artworks by artists like, Claude Oscar Monet. Over at the Pompidou Centre, expect to see top collections of contemporary and modern European art.
Walk in the Jardin du Luxembourg
After spending the whole day exploring the beauty of Paris, you can find the much needed rest at the Jardin du Luxembourg park for free. Located in the 6th arrondissement, this beautifully landscaped garden has numerous fountains, monuments and statues, including Frédéric Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty, which will keep you entertained. The park is perfect for enjoying a picnic, reading book, or just relaxing as you marvel at its breath-taking surroundings.