Free exhibitions in the streets of Paris

You don’t need to go to a museum to enjoy art in Paris. Artworks can be admired in practically every district of the capital, and it won’t cost you a cent!

Hopare - Ménilmontant Paris 20 © Hopare/Anna Bochu

One must-see artwork is the strange Igor Stravinsky fountain, created in 1983 by Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely; visitors to the Beaubourg district find it fascinating. The elegant Palais Royal is the setting for Les Deux Plateaux, better known as Buren’s Columns, the famous contemporary sculpture by Daniel Buren. Installed in the majestic courtyard, these 260 striped columns of varying heights are very eye-catching. In northern Paris, couples from around the world go to Place des Abbesses to admire the Le Mur des je t'aime (the I Love You wall) by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito.

In central Paris, art is also displayed on walls. Don’t miss Robert Combas’s fresco La femme est la lumière de l'homme at 3, Rue des Haudriettes in the 3rd arrondissement. There is another fresco, by Pierre Alechinsky, at 38, Rue Descartes in the 5th arrondissement, titled L'Arbre bleu. As for street art, the entire French capital is a canvas for internationally famous artists; turn a street corner and you might well stumble on a photo collage by JR, a poetic stencil by Miss.Tic or a Space Invader mosaic by Invader.
Art can also be glimpsed amid greenery in Paris parks and gardens. At the Jardin des Tuileries, visitors can admire several sculptures by Aristide Maillol. The Parc de la Villette hosts a work by Fabrice Hyber, L'Artère, le jardin des dessins – a sculpture created in memory of AIDS victims. A stone’s throw from the Jardin des Plantes, 40 or so works, including some by famous names, are displayed in the Musée de la sculpture en plein air along the Seine, and can be admired free of cost.

In the suburbs, head for La Défense to browse works by 69 artists including Calder, Miro and César in a vast open-air museum.
To the south of Paris, along the T3 tramway route between the Pont du Garigliano and the Porte d’Ivry, you can see nine works of contemporary art by artists such as Sophie Calle, Claude Lévêque and Christian Boltanski.
Alongside all these works, now an integral part of the Paris streetscape, free temporary exhibitions are regularly held in outdoor locations in various parts of the city: blown-up photographs on the railings of the Jardin du Luxembourg, on the Seine quaysides, and an offsite exhibition in the Jardin des Tuileries during the FIAC International Contemporary Art Fair.

Parc de La Villette - Plein Air

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, 75019

Built on the site of former abattoirs and designed by the architect Bernard Tschumi, the Parc de la Villette is the largest urban......

Jardin des Tuileries

Park, garden, promenade
Place de la Concorde, Paris, 75001

The Tuileries Gardens take their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici......

Fontaine Igor Stravinsky

Place Igor Stravinsky, Paris, 75004

Located next to the Pompidou Centre, the Igor Stravinsky fountain designed by the artists Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle......

Domaine national du Palais Royal

Park, garden, promenade
Place Colette, Paris, 75001

Created by the Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, the Palais Royal and its gardens, just a short walk from the Louvre, housed royal......

Jardin du Luxembourg

Park, garden, promenade
Rue de Médicis - Rue de Vaugirard, Paris, 75006

Situated on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, the Luxembourg Gardens, inspired by the Boboli......

Le mur des je t'aime

Square Jehan Rictus, Paris, 75018

The I Love You Wall, a work of art conceived by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, is a must-see for couples from all over the world......

Musée de la Sculpture en plein air

Quai Saint Bernard - Square Tino Rossi, Paris, 75005

The open-air sculpture museum along the Quai Saint-Bernard between the Pont de Sully and the Pont d’Austerlitz provides a......

Paris La Défense

Street, area of interest
Parvis de la Défense, Paris La Défense, 92400

The district of La Défense, the largest economic center in Europe, covers three communes: Courbevoie, Puteaux and Nanterre. This......