Inexpensive Entertainment

Paris is a wonderful city with endless opportunities. Visit local museums, explore the historical sights of the city, or delve into Paris’s vibrant night life.

GOING OUT

You can find information about concerts, theater shows, exhibits, and cinema schedules in the L’Officiel des spectacles or the Pariscope, two magazine guides released every Wednesday.

FREE OR INEXPENSIVE CONCERTS

Many bars present concerts of all types for free—you just have to buy a drink. You can check out upcoming concerts on Lylo.

CLUBS

There are “soirées étudiantes” every night. Find out what’s happening where and when with Paris Etudiant. Thursday night is Erasmus night at the Mix Club in Montparnasse. Access is free for foreign students before midnight upon presentation of their foreign ID.

CINEMA

UGC and Gaumont are the two major cinema operators. A ticket costs around six or seven euros on presentation of your student card or Pass Navigo/Carte Imagine-R. These cinemas also propose subscription cards with unlimited access for around 20 euros per month (one-year contract). If you go to a movie with someone who owns a subscription card, you can buy a cheaper ticket (from three to five euros depending on the cinema) both at UGC and Gaumont cinemas.

Smaller cinemas offer cheaper tickets than UGC and Gaumon. For instance, the Filmothèque du Quartier Latin (Metro Odeon or Cluny) sells tickets for four euros if you’re under 20 and the Actions cinemas offer tickets at three euros if you purchase their card (two euros, valid until you turn 26). These cinemas usually present older movies and retrospectives. Check times and programs on AlloCine.

MUSEUMS

Many museums are free for students under 26 (Louvre, Orsay, Rodin, etc) and on the first Sunday of each month.

THEATER

Cut-price ticket kiosks sell tickets at half price on the day of the performance. There are no advance bookings by telephone—you have to buy your tickets at the kiosk. Certain private theaters also offer reductions on the first days of performances with the initiative “Soyez les premiers aux premières” (“Be the first at the premières”), as well as for all young people under 26 years of age.

  • Le Kiosque Montparnasse (on the esplanade, between the Tower and the station)
  • Le Kiosque Madeleine (across Place de la Madeleine)
  • Le Kiosque des Ternes (Place des Ternes)
  • ​Les Kiosques jeunes offer free or very cheap tickets to theater shows for people under 30 years old.

Locations include:

  • Le Marais, 14 rue François Miron, Paris 75004 (Metro Hotel de Ville/Saint Paul)
  • Champ de Mars, 101 quai Branly, Paris 75015 (Metro Bir Hakeim)
  • Goute d'or, Hall du centre musical Fleury Goutte d'Or- Barbara, 1 rue Fleury Paris 75018, (Metro Barbès-Rochechouart)

Other cheaper tickets can be found on BilletReducTickeTac, or PromoTheatre. At the Comédie Française, all people under 28 can watch a play for free on the first Monday of the month.

BALLET AND OPERA

You may reserve ballet/opera tickets online with the Opera de Paris or at Fnac. Additionally, you can purchase the Pass’Jeunes Opera (20€ for the whole season) if you’re under 28. The Opera de Paris is also offering previews of certain performances this season open to people under 28 years old for 10€. Visit zepass.com to buy secondhand tickets to concerts, festivals, and more.

SPORTS

For a guide of locations of sports and activities in Paris, visit OuSeBouger.com. The Paris information website also has a list of free activities. Entrance tickets to public swimming pools are discounted for those under 26 living in Paris: 1.50€ (instead of 2.60€) per entrance and 12.50€ (instead of 21.50 €) for ten entrances. Table tennis tables, basketball courts, and grounds for playing boules are at your disposal in some of Paris’s parks.

EATING OUT

While many Parisian restaurants are expensive, there are a variety of websites dedicated to cheap meals around Paris, and restaurants with student discounts.

SPECIAL DATES

  • 21 June: Fête de la Musique - free concerts in the streets all over France.
  • July/August: Paris Jazz Festival - outdoor concerts at the Parc Floral, 2.50€ for students.
  • End of June: Fête du cinema - buy one cinema ticket; get all your following tickets at 3€.
  • End of June: “Films sous les étoiles” festival - free outdoor movie showings in the Jardins du Domaine National de Saint-Cloud.
  • July/August: Open air cinema festival - free cinema in the Parc de la Villette in the nineteenth arrondissement.
  • Spring: Printemps du cinema - all tickets at 3.50€.
  • Every Saturday in September: 1Max2cine - for people under 27, for each film ticket you buy, you get another one for free.