Free tours in Paris, France

What free tours can you take when you visit Paris?

Paris has a lovely selection of free tours. I got to try some of them on my last visit to Paris.

The local tour guides will show you around the city and some of its most famous parts, like the Latin Quarter and Montmartre.

The guides will answer your questions and give you local tips on where to go next, places to eat etc.

What are free tours in Paris?

Walking tours are a fun and easy way to get to know your way around a new place, get familiar with all the famous landmarks, meet other people in the group and learn some history (usually told with plenty of anecdotes).

They also give you the opportunity to ask the guide questions, such as which bars to go to at night or how the public transport works.

I like to ask culture-specific questions and sometimes get into very interesting conversations with guides during the minutes of walking from one stop to the next.

All in all, it’s a great introduction to a new city.

That’s why I always take at least one walking tour in each city, normally on the first or second day of my trip.

Free tours are led by professional guides. On a free tour, you tip the guide at the end as much as you think the tour was worth.

How much you tip depends entirely on your own impression of the guide and the tours, so the guides will make a special effort to engage and entertain you. In other words, you can expect a high-quality tour, even though it’s “free”.

Free guided tours in paris

Scroll down to read about each of these free Paris tours below.

free walking tour of paris

Start your visit with a fun educational experience that will give you a nice overview of the main places to see in Paris.

The tour covers 2,000 years of history, unique Parisian architecture and all the significant landmarks.

Famous places include:

  • The Louvre
  • The Seine River
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • … and many more.

The tour lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes.

free walking tour of montmartre, paris

Montmartre is a charming place in Paris. It’s famous for its bohemian atmosphere, artistic history and cobblestone streets.

You might know it from the movies Amelie and Moulin Rouge.

As you might expect, it’s very popular with tourists.

The free walking tour of Montmartre tells the stories of the artists who created their art in this part of the city, such as Dali, Picasso, Van Gogh, Lautrec and Monet.

The guide will lead you through tiny streets to see ancient churches and the beautiful Sacré-Cœur Basilica, which is also an excellent viewing point.

The tour lasts 2 hours and 45 minutes.

latin quarter free tour, paris

The Latin Quarter in Paris on the left bank of the River Seine is famous for its heritage as the intellectual part of the city because it used to be home to some of its oldest universities.

It attracted famous authors such as James Joyce and Ernest Hemmingway.

Today it’s a very popular and lively area with many bars and bistros.

The Latin Quarter free tour will show you the highlights and teach you about the history and cultural context of this iconic part of Paris.

The tour lasts 2 hours.

paris mysteries & legends free tour

Paris has a dark side too…

This free walking tour explores some fascinating stories and legends about the city and the more macabre aspects of famous places like the Notre Dame Cathedral.

The tour takes you around the city centre in the evening, just before it gets dark.

The tour lasts 2 hours.

fragonard perfume museum free tour, paris

France is well-known for its perfume industry and perfumery has its own museum in Paris that you can visit on a guided tour.

The Fragonard Perfume Museum is housed in a 19th-century perfume factory.

On the tour you’ll learn all about how perfumes are manufactured, the history of perfumery dating back to ancient Egypt and of course smell the perfumes.

The tour lasts between 30 minutes to an hour and runs many times throughout the day. When you book you’ll get an eau de cologne and a scented soap as a gift.

Do you need to book a place on free paris tours?

Paris free walking tour - Eiffel Tower
In a popular destination like Paris, you want to book in advance to reserve a place on any free walking tours in Paris you want to take.

It’s always best to book a place on free tours to guarantee your spot.

Booking is free of course and you’ll get the reservation confirmation sent to your phone. If the tour gets cancelled for some reason, you will get a message to the email address or phone number you enter when you book.

Booking ahead lets the guide know how many people to expect. In big and popular cities like Paris, they would sometimes need to call an extra guide, to keep the group size reasonable (e.g. 15-20 people instead of 40-50 people in one group.

How much should you tip on a free walking tour in paris?

How much you tip depends on how much you think the tour is worth, how much you enjoyed it, how friendly and helpful the guide was and how much you learnt from it.

It’s quite common to tip €10 as a general guideline, but people will tip a lot more for an exceptional tour.

I’ve had a chance to speak to many guides on free tours and they often make their entire living from the tips, so that’s one more thing to take into account when you decide how much to tip.

I think one of the reasons that the model of a free tour is great is that there’s no pressure to give more than you can or want to give.

Normally the guide doesn’t see how much you tip. It differs from one company to another, but often the guide would pass a bag or a hat that you can put your money in. On some tours, you shake the guide’s hand at the end and give them a note.

On a rare occasion, I’ve seen tourists who were on a strict budget and they would let the guide know. The guides always reacted gracefully.

Find out more about free walking tours here.

More free tours

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