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Nuit Blanche (white night) Paris

Free Things to Do in Paris at Night

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Paris is one of the most beautiful city’s in the world, especially at night. In fact, once the street lights come on, it’s absolutely magical.  However, Paris is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. It’s easy to max out your budget during a day of sightseeing, leaving you to ponder how to spend your evenings. Luckily, Paris has a fantastic nightlife scene, with many free activities to enjoy for everyone.  

How To Enjoy a Night Out for Free in Paris

Enjoy the Sights of Paris on a Nighttime Stroll

Notre Dame Paris at Night
Notre Dame Paris at Night

Enjoy the magic of Paris at night on a stroll through the city. Landmarks such as Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and Hôtel de Ville are absolutely dazzling when illuminated. The Paris Grand Boulevards, Le Marais and the Saint-Germain art district are also fantastic places for walking at night. 

Marvel at the Paris Skyline

The best views of Paris at night aren’t from the top of the Eiffel Tower, but from other destinations in the city. Free places to see panoramic views of Paris at night include the Parc de Belleville, the top of Montmartre and the rooftop terrace at Galeries Lafayette.

Take a Moonlit Walk Along the Seine River

The Seine River
The Seine River

When in Paris, be sure to spend some time walking along the Seine River at night. The views from the banks of the river are absolutely spectacular. I suggest starting your walk across from the Eiffel Tower, then making your way along the Seine past the Louvre, the Conciergerie, and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle

The Eiffel Tower and the Paris skyline at Night
The Eiffel Tower and the Paris skyline at Night

Every night in Paris, the Eiffel Tower sparkles in a free light show that can’t be missed. In fact, this dazzling display is so good that many travellers consider it worthy of their Paris bucket list.  The show occurs every hour, on the hour, and is best seen from the Champs de Mars, Trocadéro Square, and rue Saint-Domonique. 

For more intimate views the Eiffel Tower, book a few nights at one of the fantastic hotels in Paris within eyeshot of the Eiffel Tower

Visit the Louvre

The Seine River
The Seine River

Open for free visits on the first Saturday of the month from 6 pm to 9.45 pm, the Louvre Museum is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Paris at night. I consider this the best time to visit as the glass pyramid is illuminated and the crowds have dispersed. 

Catch a Recital

The Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse is a school in Paris that trains musicians, singers, and dancers. Oftentimes, they have free shows at night to showcase their students. While some recitals require tickets, others operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Check their calendar for details. 

Attend a Concert

The organ at Notre Dame Paris
The organ at Notre Dame Paris

In Paris, many churches offer free musical performances on various nights during the week. Notre Dame Cathedral has a concert series every Saturday at 8 pm and l’Église Saint-Merry, l’Église Saint-Roch, l’Église de la Trinité, the Oratoire du Louvre, l’Église Saint-Eustache, and the Église de la Madeleine also offer free concerts throughout the year.

Pay a Visit to the Musée des Arts et Métiers

Every Thursday night from 6 pm – 9:30 pm, the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris is free for visitors. Dedicated to innovation and invention, this museum displays more than 2400 sketches, schematics, and one-of-a-kind inventions.   

Experience Paris during Nuit Blanche

Nuit Blanche (white night) Paris
Nuit Blanche. Image by Yann Caradec [CC BY-SA 2.0 (]

The annual Nuit Blanche (white night) in Paris is one of the most impressive free contemporary art festivals in the world. During this autumn event, visitors are invited to check out the many avant-garde creations at museums, cultural institutions and landmarks around the city. Most exhibits are completely free to visit, and there is also free public transportation which shuttles guests between venues. 

Be Entertained at the Fête de la Musique

For one night each year, Paris comes alive at the free musical festival, the Fête de la Musique. Scheduled every June 21st to mark the summer solstice, this festival draws locals and tourists alike into the streets to watch live performances by both amateur and professional musicians.

Looking for free things to do in Paris that aren’t necessarily at night? Check out the following series of posts:

Free Things to do in Paris for Kids, Free Things to do in Paris Part 1: Parks, Gardens & Outdoors, Part 2: Churches & Cemeteries, Part 3: Culture & History, Part 4: Museums and Part 5: Markets & Shopping.

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