While Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, people also say it’s one of the most expensive cities. Trust me, it doesn’t have to be! After living here, checking out the scene, and living a slightly different life than I did in the States (i.e., making less money), I needed to find some ways to really enjoy myself and still keep the lights on.
Here are a few ideas for a day in the city experiencing life like a local and leaving you with change to spare.
START YOUR DAY OFF THE PARISIAN WAY!
It’s hard to resist the smell of fresh bread in the morning! Start your morning off with a proper French breakfast on the go. A butter croissant and coffee.
COST - 3euro
There are tons of museums in Paris that are free on the first Sunday of the month, but if you don’t happen to visit that day, check out one of the museums that are free everyday!
Paris Police Museum - the quiet and virtually unknown museum, housed on the third floor, offers a fascinating display of old police uniforms and weapons that were used to fight crime, as well as evidence from famous criminal and historical events that have taken place in Paris.
Entry – FREE
Fragonard Perfume Museum – magical look at the olfactory arts through an eclectic collection of artifacts and instruments related to perfume formulation, manufacturing, and packaging-- many of these presented in old-world style glass cabinets.
Entry – FREE.
PRO TIP: Free guided tours are also available!
You are really doing yourself a disservice if you come to Paris and don’t drink just a little bit of wine. In the Odeon neighborhood, try La Derniere Goutte for free wine tastings every Saturday. Taste a few wines! You might find a bottle you like that'll go great with your later plans.
SPLURGE A LITTLE ON LUNCH
A great way to eat (and be full) on the cheap is with a visit to one of my fave spots, Cèpe et Figue. You’ll get an option of 2 or 3 courses, appetizer, entrée, and dessert all for one low price. Cèpe et Figue is in the 6th arrondisment, near the Odeon metro.
COST: 15 - 20euro
CREATE YOUR OWN BUS TOUR!
Don’t want to pay for an official bus tour on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus? Then “hop on” a city bus on one of the scenic bus routes through the city. Sit by the window and take pics of all the sites you desire, then hop on google for any additional information. Here are two lines that cover many of the city’s best sites.
Bus 69 – Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Eiffel Tower, Saint-Germain, Bastille, Invalides, Tuilieries
Bus 80 – Sacre Coeur, Place de Clichy, Montmartre Cemetery, Ecole Militaire
BUS Ticket – 1,70euro
THE PERFECT WAY TO END A PARIS DAY
End your perfectly Parisian day with a late picnic on the Seine. There are quite a many spots on the banks of the Seine that are perfect for an evening picnic, but the Quai des Tournelles is the best in my opinion. There are tons of shops in the area where you can quickly go to grab some cheese & a baguette (to pair with the bottle of wine you picked up at La Derniere Goutte during the free wine tasting!) and there’s the view of the back of Notre Dame Cathedral. The non-stop stream of boats coming and going down the Seine is also awesome to watch.
Do you have any tips for a great, but inexpensive time in Paris? We'd love to hear your comments!