Paris is one of Europe’s most sought after destinations, but it can get expensive to see everything you’ve dreamed of. Regardless of your interest — history, culture, art, architecture, shopping — Paris will regal you with a plethora of sights and hidden gems. In the haste to immerse yourself in the local experience, you might find yourself dipping into your savings. The temptation is great, no arguing with that, but there are ways to see the best of Paris without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips to help you navigate this great city and hunt all its bargains while at it.
Photo by Paola Kervin via Trover.com
1. Save on accommodation and transportation
The beauty of the City of Light is that it has something for everyone. Finding cheap hotels in Paris is relatively easy and it won’t always force you to stay far from the city center. You can get a good deal at hotels near Champs Elysees, in the Opera District, or within walking distance from the Eiffel Tower.
Regardless of where you choose to stay, you’d still have to do quite a bit of travelling within the city to see all the popular tourist spots. Paris public transportation is the way to go to stay on budget. Paris Metro trains and busses are reliable and clean, also quite safe, and a weekly pass will save you even further. To combine the two tips, try booking a hotel that’s close to a Metro station. Le Grand Hotel de Normandie, for example, has five metro lines nearby.
2. Don’t visit a museum, visit more
If you are a museum lover, then you know you’ll fork over the admission fee for quite a few of them while you visit Paris. Plan ahead and get a Paris Museum Pass. You can opt for a two, three, or four-day pass and see sixty of the French capital’s most famous museums, including the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Musee Rodin, D’Orsay, or Centre Pompidou. Some more obscure museums, such as Musée D’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, don’t charge anything at all. Churches and gardens also offer free admission, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch one of the free concerts both types of venues organize.
Photo by At the end of the Rainbow via Trover.com
3. Forget about romantic dinners, do lunch instead
Wining and dining in Paris might sound like the most romantic activity there, but it will cost a lot. If you opt for lunch, even the priciest restaurants will charge you fifty percent less for a fixed menu that includes wine. You might be tempted to sample the finer wine labels while you enjoy your meal, but remember, house wines are absolutely delicious in Paris and you can refine your palate in less expensive areas.
Lunch is a better option than dinner for a restaurant visit, but that does not mean you should skip your evening meal altogether. A fresh baguette with one of the many French cheeses and hams will be just as delicious. Or you can indulge and visit the city’s many bakeries.