Although this piece was first published in the aftermath of the terror attacks of November 2016, the sentiments expressed below still ring true and it remains a wonderful place to visit. Also, using this guide, you can enjoy some amazing places…for free!
Given last week’s tragic events, it is hard to believe that it has only been a few short weeks since my return from the City of Light. Many might wonder if this is really the moment to visit, an attitude that is hardly surprising in view of the senseless slaughter of innocent civilians in restaurants and at one of the city’s most historic music venues. However, maybe we can show those who would silence us that they cannot win this fight by defying them and their attempts to curtail our freedom.
Although Paris will never be the cheapest city to visit, here is a list of ten of the coolest things to do and see there, and every single one of them is totally free.
Paris For Free
- Lounge in the gardens of Le Palais Royal, just a stone’s throw from the Louvre Museum. Right in the centre of the city, in reality this palace was never royal and was once known as a den of debauchery. Today the quiet gardens house an eclectic art installation based around a converted sewer. Wander around, take a seat and chill.
- The cobblestones of Montmartre tell the story of its past as the home of some of the world’s greatest artists. Walk in the footsteps of Monet, Picasso, Dali and Van Gogh before viewing the city below from the steps in front of Le Sacré Coeur.
- Relax in the famous Jardins du Luxembourg. Take a seat and watch as the city walks past. This is a place where real Parisians come to take a break.
- Wander among the tombstones of Père Lachaise, the dead centre of Paris. Pay your respects to luminaries such as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison and dodge the funeral processions because this is still very much a living cemetery. Tip: get a map beforehand to avoid getting lost in one of the world’s greatest necropolises.
- Visit a literary legend, Shakespeare and Co. The original bookshop was the haunt of greats like Hemingway and Joyce.
- While you’re in the area, you might as well take in a walk along the banks of the Seine. Whether you visit the islands, view the city from the banks of the Seine or stop to splurge on a meal or a cup of coffee, there is plenty to please the eye and your sense of adventure in the oldest area of the city.
- Stop at some of the public parks. Find a bench, take a break and chill. In a city jam-packed with sights it’s good to take a moment to take a break from it all.
- Lock in your love. So, you’ve been lucky enough to find that special person to share this special city, then place your love lock on one of the many bridges.
- Explore the Latin Quarter. A centre of learning and filled with interesting shops, take a few hours to find your favourites.
- Find the coolest Metro station entrance. In a city of art, even the entrances to the Metro stations are worthy of a photo.
Tip: Abbesses and Louvre- Palais Royal are particularly cool.
Most of all, relax and enjoy Paris. Happiness is only a smile away!
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