8 Free things to do in Paris for the student traveller

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Exploring Paris on a student budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out. In fact, it is a great way to experience the more simple things in life­, without getting too distracted with the things that money ‘could’ buy. Accommodation and meals are bound to tear into holiday budget, so lighten any money woes with this list of free things to do in Paris.

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1. Pull up a chair in Jardin des Tuileries

A photo posted by @amajinn on

Grab one of the many free deck chairs that are sprinkled across Jardin des Tuileries and relax to a backdrop of fountains, statues and a steady stream of passers by. Situated near the Louvre and backing onto the Seine, this garden is a central place to take a break during a day of Paris exploration.  Grab one of the many free deck chairs that are sprinkled across Jardin des Tuileries and relax to a backdrop of fountains, statues and a steady stream of passers by. Situated near the Louvre and backing onto the Seine, this garden is a central place to take a break during a day of Paris exploration.  

2. Window shop along rue Montaigne

Sunny day in Paris ☀ #paris#céline#célineparis#ruemontaigne A photo posted by Elisa (@kalyaah) on

High-end shopping doesn’t get more luxurious than Paris’s Rue Montaigne. Haute couture’s big players–think: Dior, Gucci, Chanel and Chloé–line this famous street making it one of the city’s most fashionable enclaves. Take away the stress of overspending and window-shop until your heart’s desire.

3. Take in one of the best views of Paris

Watching #Paris wake up from above. #montmarte #mornings #france

A photo posted by Claire Plush (@claire_plush) on

Yes, there’s a great view from the top of the Eiffel Tour and the Arc de Triomphe but if you’re looking for a breathtaking vista without a price tag, this is it. Climb the stairs from Place Saint-Pierre to the viewing platform at the base of the mammoth Sacre Coeur, and take in an impressive panoramic of Paris. For a truly memorable moment, arrive prior to sunrise and watch on as the city is awash with soft pastels and vibrant shades of gold.

4. Escape to the beach

The beach built only for 1 month summer #parisplages #seineriver A photo posted by @kristinjun on

If you’re visiting Europe in summer, then chances are you’ll want to head the beach. Well, do you know you can do just that in Paris? Each year, a section of the riverbank is transformed from an urban walkway to a man-made tropical paradise topped off with beach chairs, truckloads of sand and ice-cream stalls.

5. Pay your respects

Haunting and beautiful at the same time, Cimetière Père Lachaise is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. Stroll down the cobblestone aisles and pay your respects to music and literary greats like Oscar Wilde, Proust, Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf who are all buried here.   

6. Free entry to Paris’s museums

As part of an ongoing cultural initiative, the general admission fees to the majority of Paris’s museums are wiped on the first Sunday of each month. This means you can attend all the art and sculpture hubs you can handle and not pay a cent. Keep in mind, the French are well aware of this freebie day, so turn up before opening hours or risk landing at the back of a very long queue.

7. Watch a fashion show

See the latest trends at a Galeries Lafayette Haussmann fashion show. Photo by Galeries Lafayette.
See the latest trends at a Galeries Lafayette Haussmann fashion show. Photo by Galeries Lafayette.

Put your heeled foot forward and join an intimate affair at a Galeries Lafayette Haussmann fashion show. Held every week on Monday and Friday at 3pm, join the audience for free and watch on as professional models strut down a runway in the season’s latest threads. Bookings must be made in advance.

(Featured image: Fabrizio Sciami/Flickr)

8 Free things to do in Paris for the student traveller was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Claire Plush
Author: Claire Plush (36 posts)

I tell stories because I’m a photographer and a writer, blogging at claireplush.com. The past 9 years have been a hearty mixture of study, travel and new experiences, and have been split between Noosa, Raglan (New Zealand) and more recently, Paris.