- Travel in France
- Where to go
What to see and do
- the connoisseur's guide to France
- COVID-19 information for Paris.
Bars and restaurants will remain closed in France until at least the
end of March. After that, the speed of the hoped-for progressive return
to normal will depend on whether the spread of the virus remains under
control, and on the rate at which the population can be vaccinated. At
a convervative guess, Paris should be largely open again for tourism by
June 2021, though some restrictions and social distancing rules may
stay in place for a good while after that.
Some museums and art
gallerieshave already reopened, but social distancing
rules apply. Whether they remain open in the weeks and months of 2021
depends on whether the covid-19 virus is kept under control.
There are major monuments and
museums in Paris that offer free entry for
everyone every day; there are others that are free for students every
day, and there are others that are free for everyone one Sunday a
addition, there are plenty of other ways, besides visiting museums and
monuments, of enjoying Paris, its ambiance and its life, without
spending more than is needed for a cup of coffee or a beer on a
- Paris for free
Yopu may also like : Paris
on a budget
and our choice of Cheap Paris hotels
are plenty of things to see and do in Paris, without spending a single
- The permanent
collections of museums owned and run by the City of Paris tend to be
free. This may require obtaining a free ticket from the "Accueil" or
ticket office before you can get in. The best free Paris museums are :
Free only on
the first Sunday
of each month:
City of Paris museum of fine arts; a large collection of great master
paintings including Rembrandt, Monet Sisley and many more, plus a fine
collection of artefacts. Located just off the Champs
excellent general collection museum and art gallery.
of the Seine, by Monet, in the Petit Palais
of Paris Museum
of Modern Art,
at the Palais de Tokyo, near the Trocadéro. A large
of late 19th and 20th century art, including works by Picasso, Bonnard,
Bracque, Dérain, Dufy, Modigliani, Rouault, Utrillo and many
devoted to France's great 19th century novelist.
- the museum of the history of Paris
- A fine Paris 16th century private residence with a collection of 18th
century art, sculpture and crafts. Located in the 9th Arondissement.
The Louvre, Musée Rodin, Musée Picasso,
Musée d'Orsay and
for students and anyone under 26
from this, you'll have to pay
free: National museums (such as the
Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, etc.) are free for all persons
under 26 from the European
Union : proof
of identity is required (passport or EU
free: The Louvre is free for all under-26s,
any country in the world, on Friday
evening from 6pm to 9.45 pm.
to get in to the main
monuments and attractions. And unless you want to waste hours of
standing in queues, a skip-the-line visitor pass,
including museums, sights and public transport, is essential.
the Paris City Pass
, which offers
better value than any other pass. Plus, get a
special 5% discount with About-France.com using code aboutfrance
Dame cathedral, the Sacré Coeur de Montmartre, and
The churches themselves are free to visit -
though some parts of them, such as towers or crypts, tend to have an
entry charge. You may still need to queue to enter Notre Dame, as there
is security at the entrance.
de Victor Hugo
6 place des Vosges in the 4th arrondissement. Visit the city
apartment of France's greatest 19th century poet:
located in the 20th Arondissement. One of the most famous cemetries in
the world. Visit the tombs of the great and famous, including Edith
Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Balzac, Jim Morrison (of the Doors),
Duncan, Yves Montand, Alfred de Musset, and hundreds more...
des Plantes botanical
gardens (opposite Gare d'Austerlitz). One of the world's oldest and
largest botanical gardens, open to the public since 1640! There is paid
entry for the "menagerie" section, specialised in the preservation of
endangered species. However the small pandas can be clearly observed
for free from the botanical gardens.
de Lutèce. 49 rue Monge, paris 5.
(Latin Quarter). The Remains of a Roman arena in the heart of Paris.
Sit on the terraces where Romans once watched games and spectacles.
- Note: Never
free: The Eiffel tower. They don't even do discounts ! And
why should they, they already get as many visitors as they can take.
More details on our Eiffel
wander - Paris on
long as the weather is OK, Paris is a great city for wandering through:
and what better way to soak in the atmosphere of a city than to walk
through its old streets, and through its famous sites. And if
you're into running, take a look at Runparis.fr
, which offers free
guided running tours of the French capital
places to walk in Paris
to admire, enjoy the atmosphere, stop off for a coffee or a drink,
visit the free monuments on your route - from the outside or the inside
- and each of these four Paris walks can take a full morning or a full
1. The Paris
Paris flower market, on the Ile de la Cité
the visit to Paris in 2014 by the Queen of Britain,
Paris Flower Market has been renamed "Marché au fleurs reine
Elizabeth II". Located on the Ile de la Cité, near the Pont
Neuf, Paris's famous flower market is a small haven of flowers and
plants, where Parisians have for centuries come to find plants and
flowers to decorate their apartments. With its orchids, exotic flowers,
and many more flowers and more ordinary potted plants, it is a
delightful place to stop off at, in the heart of the city. Continue
this visit with the next walk....
2. The banks
of the Seine.
banks are popular places for a stroll, and les "quais", the
banks of the Seine in
Paris, are among the world's most famous riverside embankments.
of the many Paris "bouquinistes" beside the Seine
from Notre Dame, wander along the banks of the
river either upstream, to the Ile Saint Louis, or downstream to the
pedestrian Pont des Arts bridge, and beyond. Up at road level, the
banks of the Seine are home to hundreds of "bouquinistes"
or second-hand bookstalls. Many still do sell old books;
sell old prints or modern copies of old prints, even old maps and
historic newspapers, others sell postcards and souvenirs. The
bouquinistes are a historic Parisian tradition. On the right bank of
the Ile de la Cité, enjoy the sights and smells of the
historic Paris flower market.
Down near water level, the lower quais, once used
as towpaths, are among the great romantic spots in Paris.
3. The Latin
narrow streets off the left bank of the Seine - that is the left bank
in relation to the flow of the river - are full of small shops, from
classic tourist shops to clothes shops, as well as cafés and
restaurants. There are also arts and craft shops, including antiquarian
booksellers, specialist bookshops, and small art galleries. Walk
through the old streets, enjoy the sights, the curiosities and
mouthwatering smells from the many small restaurants in the little
streets between the Boulevard Saint Germain and the Seine; or look at
books and go window shopping in the stores of the Boulevard Saint
in the Place du Tertre, on Montmartre
it is very touristy, Montmartre
still has plenty of charm and
atmosphere, and by far the best way to see it is on foot. From Anvers
metro station on line 2, walk straight up towards the basilica. There
is a funicular railway up the hill for those who don't like the idea of
climbing the 222 steps to the entrance of the basilica. But the steps
are not hard, and wind up through a garden, with great views over the
rooftops of Paris. At the top, the Sacré Coeur basilica has
largest mosaic in France. Beside the Sacré Coeur, the old
"village" of Montmartre, with its narrow streets and square, throngs
with artists studios, street artists, cafés and restaurants.
Though some of the artists will do you a decent portrait, there are
also many scam artists; if you want to have your portrait done, prefer
the more sedentary artists on the square, la Place du Tertre, who will
sit you down on a
chair, to the mobile artists who accost people in the street. But
portrait or no portrait, Montmartre is worth a visit for the
atmosphere. It's not what it used to be in the olden days, when
Montmartre really was one of the haunts of Parisian artists
Utrillo or Toulouse-Lautrec, but it still has plenty of atmosphere and
Louvre - Champs Elysées - Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe, at l'Etoile - Charles de
the experience of the Louvre from the outside. Wander through the main
courtyard of the Louvre and view the glass pyramid close up. It is more
impressive from the outside than from inside. Then cross the place du
Carroussel, past the Arc de Trimphe du Carroussel, and into the
Tuileries gardens. The Carroussel arch is topped by a
nineteenth-century replica of the Quadriga, or Horses of Saint Marks,
the finest Roman equestian bronze statues, which used to adorn St.
Mark's cathedral in Venice, until they were removed to a museum to
protect them from atmospheric pollution.
gardens are a popular park for Parisians and tourists alike. At the far
end from the Louvre, they give onto the Place de la Concorde, in the
middle of which stands the oldest monument in Paris, the 75 ft. Luxor
obelisk dating from the thirteenth century BC.
the Place de la Concorde, then wander up the Champs Elysées,
most famous street in the world. This magnificent tree-lined boulevard
runs 1900 metres (just over a mile) from the Place de la Concorde to
the Place charles de Gaulle, or Place de l'Etoile, in the middle of
which stands the great Arc de Triomphe, or Triumphal Arch, erected in
the 19th century to commemorate the victories of Napoleon.
Walk up the Champs Elysées on the right side if
to see the most popular shops, including many flagship outlets for
international brands. Wander up on the left of the Champs
Elysées if you prefer less crowds and less shops - though of
course there are shops and restaurants on both sides of the avenue.
Enjoy the Champ de Mars, and admire the Eiffel Tower from below; or
wander in the Jardins du Luxembourg, a very popular park in the Latin
Walking is free ! But if you have a Paris City Pass
or a travel
then you also have free unlimited travel on public transport within
► Free tourist
in other parts of France
Links to main Paris tourist
Notre Dame Cathedral
Arc de Triomphe
the Orsay museum
Seine river boats
the Latin Quarter