There’s more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower and its Louvre. Both are certainly must-sees, but if you’re short on cash, you may still live like a Parisian for some time with dignity and class. Here are 5 free things to do in Paris in the fall that aren’t any less fun than your typical costly outings.
1. Pass under Arc de Triomphe
More famous with tourists than locals, a walk under Arc de Triomph is how you literally make a wish come true. According to some, wishing for something while passing under the Arc works like magic (which is worth the try; especially when you know it’s for free)! And if you happen to have €12 on you, you could climb to the top of the monument to see the twelve avenues that make a star all around the arc. The whole thing should take you an hour top. Click here, to purchase your ticket beforehand.If you wish to extend your outing, and you’re up for a nice stroll, you can walk down the Champs Elysees like a true Parisian. Don’t panic, though! Window shopping would do if you’re running short of money 🙂 And always remember it’s all about the experience. Plus, if you’re visiting the first Sunday of the month, you’ll have free entrance for all Parisian museums!
2. Visit Père Lachaise Cemetery
“A cemetery, seriously?” I hear you saying!
Well, over three million tourists visit Père Lachaise Cemetery every year, so they must have a good reason. Apart from being one of the largest green spaces in Paris with thousands of trees and varied bird species, it’s the resting place of great figures in art, literature, and politics (the liked and not so liked). Edith Piaf, Molière, Baron Haussmann, Marcel Proust, Frédéric Chopin, Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Jean-François Champollion, and more. It might not be your thing, but many like the place and even find it perfect for taking pictures and selfies!
Just know that a stroll down the cemetery in the fall on the crispy golden leaves will uplift your soul and revive your spirit! 🙂
3. Walk along the Seine
The River Seine flows through the heart of Paris granting it life and soul. For many years, novelists, poets, painters, and philosophers knew what a powerful inspiration it is, and now tourists are intuitively drawn to it probably for the same reason. With 32 bridges on the River, you should only stop by the most impressive. Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge where there are a little island and garden worth the visit. Hanging out on a warm sunny day there watching riverboats cruising back and forth is one of the best things you could do in Paris. If you feel like doing some extra walking; however, stick to the right bank’s two-mile-long walkway. Now that it has become a car-free area, you’ll be able to breathe in the Parisian fresh air!
N.B. Don’t forget to take pictures and more importantly check the weather forecast in advance 🙂
4. Attend Nuit Blanche Paris
The “White Night” as it literally translates into English is a sleepless, one-night celebration that takes place on the first Saturday of October in Paris. On that day, the city takes a time-out to appear in a new light! The center of the city is lit by neon lights and art installations. In celebration, private and public art galleries, cultural institutions, and museums are all open till dawn and all are free of charge. Contemporary artists take to the streets giving concerts, music and dance performances, and staged scenes. International and avant-garde artists come from everywhere to showcase their artworks. So, get ready for some good, odd, artsy stuff (something you won’t see every day). However, no need to worry as you may enjoy the festivities on foot, hire a bike, or by public transport which operates non-stop on this special night.
As bizarre as it seems, the big party is often described as shockingly humorous! Best time to get out of the box 🙂
5. Discover the Covered Passages
“Les passages couverts” is where you should head to if you wish to get back in time to the 18th and 19th century-Paris. These are what today’s shopping malls have been like two-hundred years ago. Originally, they provided Parisians with shops, a nice secluded place to dine, and shelter from the rain. Today, the covered passages are glass-roofed shopping galleries with stunning architecture that will absolutely call to you. Hours and hours spent browsing the shops and admiring antiques might make you lose the sense of time so beware 🙂
Galerie Vivienne is the most famous of all; graciously aged, kept in perfect condition, its mosaic corridors and scattered plants give it a posh vibe like no other. The elegance of the passage and its shops have a very soothing effect on its visitors, but don’t feel obliged to spend your money as tourists are known to wander about buying nothing; though you’ll find some adorable secondhand books there!
For accommodation options in Paris, click here.
Now that you’ve saved some bucks and burnt a whole lot of calories, why not sit in a Parisian café, nibble on some French baguette while listening to “La vie en rose”?!