Paris, like London and Tokyo, has a bad reputation for being expensive. And so it is, to live there. But a cheap weekend break should be within reach – with the help of the following tips:
1 – Research Getting There
Depending on where you live, flying may really not be the best option. Travelling by coach and ferry can be cheaper. Best of all, Eurostar takes you straight to the centre of the city, so you don’t need to pay for airport transfers.
2 – Consider Staying a Little Out of Town
As long as your hotel is within reach of a Metro Station (Check with Google Maps) then you can reach all the Paris highlights from a cheaper hotel base.
3 – Stroll Along the Seine
You can reach most of the attractions that cluster around the Seine riverbank by walking: the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Tuileries, the Museé d’Orsay and the Left Bank. Place de la Concorde sits next to the Jardin des Tuileries and if you’re feeling energetic you can roam all along the Champs-Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe on foot.
Use the metro to reach quirky Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower and the space-age region of La Défense. Metro tickets can be bought in blocks of 10 as carnets (pronounced car-nays.)
4 – Eating Out – Find Somewhere New
France, as you may have heard, loves its food. So it’s hard to go wrong with eating out. Wander along the sidestreets until you find a restaurant with an atmosphere that you love and with locals huddled around its tables. As with most cities, prices fall the futher you travel from the top tourist traps.
5- Think Twice Before Buying Money-Saving Passes
As someone who loves a cheap weekend break, I’ve bought more than my fair share of ‘money-saving’ passes and I’ve hardly ever saved any money with them. Following free tips, like the ones mentioned here, is usually more effective.
6 – Make the Most of Free Attractions
Gazing at the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the steps of the Sacré Coeur, the grounds of the Louvre, Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysées each cost absolutely nothing.
Do you have a favourite way of cutting costs in Paris?
We went to Paris in May 2009 – However hard you try I think it’s going to be expensive but something we did do (combination of 3 and 4 above!)which helped and was really good fun was buy some food and wine in a supermarket/boulangerie and ate/drank by the river. There were quite a few people doing the same on the bridge by the Louvre. Probably not recommended after dark!
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