On Saturday, I shared a post about Thierry Millet, the Last Artisanal Umbrella Repairman in Paris, so let the Paris love continue. I have friends who go to Paris and never seem to spend much money! I’ve always wondered how that’s possible because for many, including myself, a Parisian trip means beaucoup bucks! So I put my frugal pride aside and finally asked them about the free things they do in Paris that seem to save them from spending so much money.
1. Take a tour. They told me about Sandemans New Europe. Expats guide you around Paris for free. Tours last about 3 hours.
2. Explore classical museums. Some museums are completely free. Last time my friends were in Paris, the Musee des Arts et Metiers was free every Thursday after 6 PM, and the Europeenne de la Photographie was free Wednesdays after 5 PM. You’ll avoid the busy touristy hours and avoid paying a fee.
3. Watch free movies in the park. If you’re a fan of French films (I am), check out the Open-Air Cinema in Parc de la Villette. They have free monthly films. As the French do, be sure to bring a picnic and some wine!
4. Enjoy the Paris Jazz Festival. During the summer, there’s always live music in the streets of Paris. The annual Jazz Festival runs from June 7- June 26 and is completely free.
5. See the Paris Quartier L’Ete. If you enjoy circus acts, theater performances, and fashion shows, you can see them throughout Paris from July 14 – August 9th. And they are free!
6. Like free samples of food? I don’t know the French words for food samples, but that could be Paris’ nickname. Especially the Rue Mouffetard, where you can walk along the streets and try everything from regional cheese to fresh baked bread.
7. Enjoy a free cooking class. It’s true that people do go to Paris to learn how to cook, and they pay a lot for the experience. But you can also enjoy free, seasonal cooking demonstrations at Marche d’Anvers.
8. Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise. You may think it’s weird, but I like visiting cemeteries when I travel. This cemetery in Paris is a really interesting one, not only because of who’s buried there but also because of the lush landscape. It’s considered a garden cemetery.
9. Cathedral de Notre Dame. It’s one of the most infamous churches in the world and well worth a visit. There’s no entry fee, though you may want to buy a candle to light at the altar.
10. Explore the flea markets. Flea markets are not really my thing but my friends like them. Even if you don’t spend any money, there is plenty to see at the Marché aux Puces St-Ouen. It’s huge!
11. Enjoy a free concert. On Sunday nights, enjoy free classical concerts at the American Church in Paris. The concerts have been going on since the early 1930’s and have become a Parisian tradition.
12. Visit vineyards. October is harvest month, so it’s really fun to explore the vineyards and see the freshly crushed grapes. On the Rue des Saules is a beautiful vineyard, Clos Montmartre with wonderful views of Paris. It’s the last remaining vineyard in Paris.
I hope some of these suggestions from my frugal friends give you some new ideas. Do you have any of your own to add? Let’s grow this list!