Are you ready to experience the City of Light in an exciting and unique way? This article guides you through the 10 best eco-friendly things to do in Paris and the top green places to visit, so you can make the most of your weekend getaway or day trip whilst minimising your environmental impact.
Whether it is your first time in Paris or you have been before, I am sure you will have a fantastic time! The French capital is full of wonders and surprises.
From summer days spent lounging along the banks of the Seine, exploring lively flea markets under a sunny French sky or discovering hidden parks tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the busy streets, there is something for everyone here, from solo travellers to family with kids and couples on a romantic escape.
So, join us as we dive into 10 fun and sustainable things to do in Paris! Whether you are a history buff, photo enthusiast or fashion lover, we promise unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime – without harming our planet 🌍
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- Overview: cool green things to do in Paris
- Best places to visit Paris – Map
- 10 fun & eco-friendly things to do in Paris
- 1- Discover the French capital by bike
- 2- Stroll through charming neighbourhoods
- 3- Treat your tastebuds with local cuisine
- 4- Enjoy a long walk along the Seine River
- 5- Stop by fascinating museums & galleries
- 6- Explore emblematic historical monuments
- 7- Spend time relaxing in green parks & gardens
- 8- Immerse yourself in the world of Parisian nightlife
- 9- Go on a shopping spree in the fashion capital
- 10- Take a green boat tour on the Seine River
- What to do in Paris in winter
- Tips for reducing your eco-impact in Paris
- Paris travel planning guide
- Paris, France – FAQ
Overview: cool green things to do in Paris
- Discover the French capital by bike
- Stroll through charming neighbourhoods
- Treat your tastebuds with local cuisine
- Enjoy a long walk along the Seine River
- Stop by fascinating museums & galleries
- Explore emblematic historical monuments
- Spend time relaxing in green parks & gardens
- Immerse yourself in the world of Parisian nightlife
- Go on a shopping spree in the fashion capital
- Take a green boat tour on the Seine River
Looking for a scenic summer road trip? Check out this article: South of France Road Trip: 1-Week Itinerary
Best places to visit Paris – Map
Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.
10 fun & eco-friendly things to do in Paris
From eco-responsible fashion boutiques to electric boat cruises and picturesque cobbled streets, Paris has something for every traveller.
Here are our 10 favourite ways to discover the French capital any time of the year whilst reducing your environmental impact:
1- Discover the French capital by bike
One of the best ways to experience the sights and sounds of Paris is by taking a bike tour around the capital (or with an electric scooter). It is an ideal green way to explore the City of Light and avoid worrying about your carbon emissions in a fun way!
And as you pedal through the narrow cobbled streets, you will be able to take in iconic landmarks and stop by the most famous tourist attractions such as:
- The Eiffel Tower: no visit to Paris is complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower. Take an elevator ride to the top for breathtaking views, and do not miss the sparkling light show that illuminates the tower every evening 👉🏻 book your entrance.
- The Louvre Museum: as one of the largest and most famous museums in the world, the Louvre houses an extensive collection of art and historical artefacts. Marvel at the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and countless other masterpieces 👉🏻 book your entrance.
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame: immerse yourself in the beauty of Gothic architecture at Cathédrale Notre-Dame. Climb to the top for panoramic views of Paris and admire the intricate details of this centuries-old masterpiece 👉🏻 book your tour.
You can also weave through the picturesque backstreets of Paris, marvelling at the colourful street art, historic buildings and charming architecture.
Remember, a bike tour is a great way to get up close and personal with Parisian culture whilst slow travelling and soaking up the local atmosphere.
BIKE TOURS I RECOMMEND
2- Stroll through charming neighbourhoods
Exploring Paris on two wheels is a great way to experience the charm and culture of the city. And for those looking for a slow adventure with a dose of exercise, walking through its many lovely neighbourhoods on foot is just perfect.
Whether you stroll down quaint cobbled streets or through lush parks, there are plenty of things to do and see.
Here are some of the coolest neighbourhoods you will want to check out:
- Montmartre: explore the bohemian charm of Montmartre, where cobbled streets lead to quaint cafés, art studios and the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica. This neighbourhood has inspired countless artists over the years and is one of my favourite areas in Paris! 👉🏻 book your tour.
- Le Marais: a trendy district known for its fashionable boutiques, vintage shops and historic architecture. Lose yourself in this vibrant area and enjoy a lively night out.
- Saint-Germain-des-Prés: a haven for intellectuals and artists throughout history, Saint-Germain-des-Prés offers a mix of bookshops, art galleries and cafés where you can soak in the local atmosphere.
Bonus tips: as you walk around the capital, keep an eye out for creative and colourful street art. From graffiti murals to stencilled walls, Parisian artists have used the streets as their canvas for decades, creating an outdoor gallery full of vibrant colours and bold designs. So you will be sure to see some incredible pieces on your vacation!
3- Treat your tastebuds with local cuisine
Exploring Paris whilst staying mindful of reducing your carbon footprint does not mean you have to miss out on sampling delicious local food. In fact, there is no shortage of eco-friendly cafés and restaurants in the capital where you can enjoy a meal without guilt.
Many places in Paris serve organic food, vegetarian dishes and other sustainable options. So, when you are looking for a place to relax and refuel on your city break, make sure to check out some of its best delights, like:
- Enjoy classic dishes at bistros: treat yourself to delicious cuisine at traditional restaurants and savour the rich flavours that have made French cooking famous worldwide.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth: indulge in tasty pastries and freshly baked bread at local patisseries and bakeries scattered throughout the city. Pains au chocolat, croissants and eclairs are just the beginning.
- Indulge in fresh produce and local flavours: visit lively food markets like Rue Mouffetard Market and Marché des Enfants Rouges to sample fresh produce, cheeses and street food.
Best vegan & vegetarian restaurants in Paris
- Le Potager de Charlotte: this hidden gem serves delicious, locally-sourced healthy dishes in an intimate setting 👉🏻 visit the website.
- Jah Jah By Le Tricycle: this little colourful restaurant is a godsend for vegans looking for traditional food with an exciting twist 👉🏻 visit the website.
- Soya Cantine Bio: this restaurant offers a collection of delicious and healthy vegan dishes made with love and care 👉🏻 visit the website.
Bonus tips: one of the best ways to experience Paris and its unique specialities is to go on a guided food tour! Whether you are a food lover or not, it is a great way to learn more about the local cuisine and taste some delicious dishes.
FOOD TOURS I RECOMMEND
4- Enjoy a long walk along the Seine River
When in Paris, you should absolutely take a leisurely stroll along the Seine – one of the best free things to do in the capital. This iconic river has been at the heart of Paris since Roman times, and its banks are lined with stunning architecture, monuments, parks and more.
As you wander along this picturesque river path, you can admire some of the most symbolic landmarks in Paris, such as Cathédrale Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum.
In addition, you will come across many second-hand booksellers along the banks, known as the Bouquiniste de Paris, where you can buy old books of all kinds – an iconic Parisian experience.
Finally, you will have many opportunities to explore charming backstreets full of unique street art and colourful buildings.
Bonus tips: encounter the magic of Paris during twilight and opt for a sunset walk to witness its transformation into an enchanted wonderland as the lights begin to twinkle, adding an extra layer of romance to the experience – perfect for couples looking for a romantic evening!
5- Stop by fascinating museums & galleries
Paris has long been a haven for art and culture enthusiasts, and several iconic landmarks truly embody the creative spirit of the city.
From world-class museums to grand theatres, the French capital offers an abundance of opportunities to immerse yourself in the world of passion and creativity.
Here are some fascinating museums and galleries you should add to your bucket list (especially great on a rainy day):
- Musée d’Orsay: home to an exceptional collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art, the Orsay Museum showcases works by renowned artists like Monet, Van Gogh and Renoir 👉🏻 book your entrance.
- Centre Pompidou: for contemporary art enthusiasts, Centre Pompidou offers diverse exhibits and installations worth the visit on your city break 👉🏻 book your entrance.
- Opéra Garnier: catch a live performance at the iconic Palais Garnier, where splendid architecture and incredible acoustics enhance the magical atmosphere of the shows 👉🏻 book your entrance.
6- Explore emblematic historical monuments
The City of Light is steeped in history, and some of its most famous landmarks offer a perfect glimpse into the celebrated past of the capital.
From wealthy palaces to magnificent basilicas, these sites are not only architectural marvels but are also significant cultural symbols, all worth the visit.
Whilst exploring the city, pay a visit to emblematic monuments like:
- Palace of Versailles: take a day trip to the stunning Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and explore the splendid gardens and royal interiors 👉🏻 book your entrance.
- Sacré-Cœur Basilica: climb to the top of Montmartre to visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, offering panoramic views of the city that will leave you speechless, especially at sunset.
- Panthéon: discover the final resting place of admired French figures and personalities, including Voltaire, Rousseau and Marie Curie, at the historic Panthéon 👉🏻 book your entrance.
7- Spend time relaxing in green parks & gardens
As you explore the enchanting city of Paris, take some time to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of its green spaces.
Not only do these gardens and parks offer tranquillity and picturesque scenery, but they also support eco-friendly practices, making them perfect stops for travellers looking to slow down and relax, away from the bustle and hustle of the city.
Here are some peaceful green gardens and parks you should not miss:
- Luxembourg Gardens: escape the bustling city and unwind in the serene surroundings of Luxembourg Gardens, featuring beautifully landscaped lawns and picturesque fountains.
- Tuileries Garden: adjacent to the Louvre, the Tuileries Garden offers a perfect spot for a leisurely walk or a peaceful picnic.
- Parc des Buttes-Chaumont: discover a hidden gem in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, a hilly park with a charming lake, bridges and lush greenery.
8- Immerse yourself in the world of Parisian nightlife
If you are a traveller who enjoys nightlife and loves dancing the night away, you have come to the right place! Paris is a city that comes alive after the sun goes down, offering a vibrant night scene that adapts to different preferences.
Here are some lively places you should check out:
- Cabaret shows: immerse yourself in the glitz and glamour of Parisian cabaret at famous venues like Moulin Rouge or Lido.
- Jazz clubs: for music lovers, Paris offers an array of jazz clubs where you can enjoy live performances in a vibrant atmosphere.
- Riverbank parties: experience the dynamic nightlife of Paris by joining the jovial crowds along the Seine River for open-air parties and gatherings.
Bonus tips: whilst enjoying the after-hours entertainment, you can also make eco-conscious choices contributing to a sustainable stay. For example, use public transportation. Paris has an efficient metro system that can get you anywhere at almost anytime.
9- Go on a shopping spree in the fashion capital
Impossible not to mention shopping as one of the best things to do in the fashion capital.
Strolling down the iconic Champs-Élysées avenue promises a memorable experience, with luxury boutiques and flagship stores lining the grand boulevard.
Here are some tips to make your shopping day more eco-responsible:
- Choose quality over quantity: invest in timeless, high-quality pieces that will last longer and reduce the need for frequent replacements, reducing overall waste.
- Sustainable luxury brands: look out for luxury brands that prioritise sustainability, such as those using eco-friendly materials, ethical production practices and fair trade initiatives (check out their website or ask questions).
- Vintage and second-hand luxury: explore vintage shops or consignment stores to find unique pre-loved items, reducing the demand for new production.
Besides the famous Champs-Élysées, you may try other shopping spots like:
- Le Marais: for those looking for unique fashion pieces, Le Marais is a treasure trove of vintage shops and trendy boutiques.
- Rue de Rivoli: this iconic area offers a diverse shopping experience, ranging from high-street fashion to quirky speciality stores.
- La Caserne: an innovative shopping hub and meeting place that raises awareness about sustainable fashion, where you will find workshops, exhibitions, shops and a vegetarian restaurant.
10- Take a green boat tour on the Seine River
A trip to Paris could not be complete without a cruise on the Seine, and what better way to experience the French capital than from an electric boat?
Discover Paris from an unusual perspective by hoping on a diner cruise or private cruise on a totally silent boat moving at a leisurely pace, allowing you to relax and enjoy beautiful views and iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. It is a unique sustainable activity I highly recommend, especially if you are visiting the capital with friends.
Here are some eco-friendly boat cruises you should check out:
- Ducasse sur Seine: you will have the pleasure to savour French cuisine with the feeling of sliding down the Seine thanks to clean and silent electric propulsion 👉🏻 book your tour.
- Green River Cruises: embark on a private cruise in small groups to experience Paris to treat yourself to a moment out of time whilst enjoying a glass of Chardonnay 👉🏻 book your tour.
Planning a trip to the South of France? Check out this article: 20+ Best Places to Visit in The South of France
What to do in Paris in winter
Visiting Paris in winter is a fun and unforgettable experience, especially in December! Here are some extra sustainable activities and eco-friendly things to do if you plan to visit the capital this season:
- Visit the Christmas Markets (Marchés de Noel)
- Have fun at Disneyland Paris (great with kids!)
- Attend a performance at the Palais Garnier
- Treat yourself to a hot chocolate
- Go ice skating on the Eiffel Tower
READ MORE: Where To Stay in Paris: 8 Best Areas (& Hotels).
Shop the printable travel itinerary
Plan your perfect city break & live a unique green experience.
Tips for reducing your eco-impact in Paris
Sustainable travel means exploring the world whilst being aware of your surroundings and having a positive social, environmental and economic impact on the places you visit.
READ MORE: Sustainable Travel Guide to Paris, France
Being a responsible traveller in Paris is possible! Here are some eco-friendly travel tips for reducing your carbon footprint:
- Use the train to reach the capital. Paris is incredibly well-connected by train to the rest of the world, so prioritise travelling this way to lower your carbon impact.
- If you need to take the plane, book direct flights (which require less fuel than indirect flights) and offset your carbon footprint. But, do not use carbon offsetting as a complete solution. Combine it with other sustainable practices, like avoiding single-use plastic on the plane and mindfully packing your suitcase for your green city break.
- Select an eco-friendly accommodation. It is not always easy to determine whether a hotel has eco-conscious practices, but try to look on their website for green credentials and ask questions. You can also use Bookdifferent or Ecobnb to help you decide.
- Once there, use public transport. Paris has an efficient public transportation network that can take you anywhere easily and on a budget. Another way to get around sustainably is on foot. But if walking is too tiring, use the bike! The capital is ideal for cycling around at your own pace.
- Eat at local restaurants that use produce from the area and emphasise organic and sustainability. It will contribute to the local economy and reduce your carbon footprint by supporting restaurants where food does not come from long distances.
- Always respect the local heritage. Treat people and their surroundings with respect. Sustainable travel is not only about the environment but also about the local communities. So, always be respectful, smile and learn a few French words.
More inspiration for your green vacation:
- Best Travel Apps for Exploring Sustainably
- 15 Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Eco-Adventure
- Best Ecotourism Activities Around the World
Eco-friendly gear you might love:
- 10 Best Sustainable Backpacks for Travel & Hiking
- 10 Best Reusable & Eco-Friendly Travel Mugs
- 8 Best Filtered Water Bottles for Travel & Hiking
Check out this page for more inspiration on eco-friendly products & gear.
Paris travel planning guide
Yes, buying insurance is always valuable when travelling abroad. Enjoy your eco-friendly city break in Paris stress-free with one of my favourite providers, Nomad Insurance.
Yes, tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Paris. However, I also recommend travelling with the UltraPress Purifier Bottle, a lightweight filtered water bottle perfect for reducing plastic and staying hydrated.
Yes, renting a car in Paris is easy and is a great way to explore the French countryside freely. I recommend booking yours with Rentalcars.com – they offer a variety of operators for all budgets.
The best way to book your accommodation in Paris is with Booking.com – my favourite platform to compare and reserve places to stay each night, from affordable guesthouses to luxury hotels.
I recommend booking your plane with Skyscanner. It has been my favourite platform for years, as it allows me to book the cheapest flights whilst lowering my carbon emissions.
Paris, France – FAQ
There are many things you should not miss on a holiday in Paris! Here are some top attractions and highlights to add to your bucket list: the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathédral, the Louvre Museum and Montmartre.
I recommend spending at least 3 days in Paris to have enough time to immerse yourself in the unique French atmosphere, see its main landmarks and visit its museums.
The best times to visit Paris are spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) when you can enjoy nice mild weather without too many tourists and lower rates. You can also enjoy a peaceful picnic, stroll along the Seine or pop into iconic cafés without competing for tables!
And you, what is your favourite eco-friendly thing to do in Paris?
Let me know in the comments below!