Last week we spent about 30 hours in Paris and had an absolute blast! We’ve had a fairly expensive time of it recently, what with Paris and a wedding in France and then the big house move, so we didn’t want to spend a fortune whilst in Paris, although we did want to do a lot of things. This could have been awkward but thankfully it’s not that tricky to watch the pennies in Paris. Here are my top tips for visiting Paris on a budget.
Notre Dame from across the river
Walk, walk, walk. The city itself is relatively small and the key sites are often only a fifteen minute walk away – if you plan accordingly! For example when I was there a few weeks ago I did the following route. Caught the metro to the Arc d’ Triomph – walked to Trocadera – paused to appreciate the stunning views of the Eiffel Tower – walked passed the water fountains below the Trocadera – paused under the Eiffel Tower – lounged in the surrounding gardens for a picnic lunch – walked to the Musee de Rodin – walked to the Notre Dame – walked across the bridge to the Lourve. At no point did we walk for longer than twenty minutes (well apart from when I wasn’t in charge of the map and we went the wrong way for ten minutes…) and all it cost us was one metro ticket. Perfect!
The Eiffel Tower from below during our relaxing lunch in the park
Visit the gardens at the Musee de Rodin. For 2€ you can wander the gardens at this museum for as long as you like and wonder at Rodin’s stunning sculptures. Well known works like ‘The Thinker’ are interspersed with lesser known sculptures, all of which are arranged through the gardens, allowing you to meander leisurely past them all. Plus the café does really lovely food too!
Gardens of the Musee de Rodin
Picnics are your friend! There are so many green places in Paris, not to mention beautiful places. So why not make the most of them and stop and sit in one for lunch? Granted if it’s pissing it down with rain it’s not too smart, but otherwise what’s your excuse? Plus you can grab all sorts of scrumptious food from the street vendors, patisseries or supermarkets. I swear all I ate all weekend was French bread, cheese and ham. Oh and croissants of course!
Ignore the Eiffel Tower. Well not completely as it is a stunning structure and definitely has to be seen. What I really mean is that you should go elsewhere to get a stunning view of Paris. Try the Musee D’Orsay or the Arc de Triomph. I think the Arc de Triomph was my favourite but you do have to pay to go up it. But at only 9€ for a 360⁰ view of Paris below I would argue it’s worth every penny.
Get a set of ten tickets for the Metro. If you don’t want to walk everywhere then the Metro is perfect. It’s easy to use, relatively clean and fast. When it comes to buying a ticket make sure you think about how many journeys you’re actually going to need as you can get it a lot cheaper if you’re going to use loads. We went for a book of ten between the two of us and that was just perfect for the three(ish) days we were there and worked out far cheaper than pay as you go or a book of five each.
So there you have it, my top tips for visiting Paris on a budget. Do you have any of your own that I can use next time I go, if so share them below. As I’m definitely going back!
– Fi x