A Cheap Weekend in Paris

It’s the city of fashion, love, theatre and fine dining. The one where a decently priced hotel room is probably a cupboard, and where a nice room in a good location will cost more than your flight. Dinner for two could set you back your whole day’s budget, and the money spent on evening entertainment, a taxi and a drink could get you a week in Benidorm, half board.

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Never fear! All is not lost for the budget traveller in Paris. Whether you’re coming to the end of a round the world trip or looking for fun in the city of love, we can show you all the tricks. Take our Paris challenge and see how much you have left over at the end!

Friday Night

So you’re in Paris. First things first – you need accommodation for two nights. Of course, there are plenty of budget hotels and hostels around, but once you pay for two nights, plus a key deposit and a bed linen charge, you may be left with nothing!

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Your alternative? Log onto couchsurfing.org  for completely free accommodation in Paris. This simple idea can save you loads – you’ll pick up a locals host, meet up and sleep there completely free! In addition, you’ll be staying in a real Parisian’s apartment, which will show you way more of French life than an expensive excursion.

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Saturday

Ah, Saturday in Paris. Today’s the day to cram in as much free sightseeing as possible, but first things first – you need a good breakfast. Every neighbourhood will have a local bakery where you’ll get your fresh croissants

And we’re off. Take the metro down to the Eiffel Tower (Bir Hakeim) and get yourself a photo of one of the world’s most famous landmarks. From there, a walk on the Seineis in order (you can wave to those who spent €20 ($28 USD) on a pricey boat tour). Stop off at some of the sights along the way – the fabulous Les Invalides (entry to the main building is free) is a good one. Finally, you’re right on track to walk the length of the Champs Elysees towards the Arc de Triomphe, bypassing loads of luxury shops on the way.

ArcdeTriomphe

You’re on a budget, but it’s only fair that you get to sample the real French custom of lunching in a brasserie. It’s also a great way to keep costs down, as the Formules are a lot cheaper at lunch time then at dinner. So hop on the metro down to the Latin Quarterand take your pick from the loads of restaurants there, where €10 ($15 USD) will go a long way.

Wander around this delightful student district after lunch, followed by the obligatory tour of the Notre Dame Cathedral (entry to which is, yes you guessed it, free). You’re nearby the Louvre too, so stroll on over and wander around its vast courtyards. If you’re cheeky, take a picture through the window.

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It’s been a long day and you’re probably hungry. Get yourself to a local supermarket and get a baguette and a cheap bottle of plonk, then it’s onto the metro to Pigalle. Getting off here will allow you a customary picture of the Moulin Rouge before climbing up and up through the charming Montmartre district towards the Sacre Coeur.

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Here, you’ll get the best Parishas to offer – for free! After wandering the streets and looking at the artists, sit on the steps of the Sacre Coeur. Here, young Parisians and locals gather to watch the sun go down over the city, and what a view it is! There’ll likely be guitar players and free entertainment, so eat your sandwich and drink your wine, and enjoy the atmosphere!

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Sunday

A lazy Paris Sunday is in order today. This time, take the time to eat your croissant in a street side café, along with a cup of coffee. Then, get online at a local internet café and check out what museums are offering free opening today. If it’s the first Sunday in the month avoid the Louvre like the plague, because the queues are a nightmare. Try Victor Hugo’s house instead, or the modern art museum, both which are free all the time.

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Grab a baguette and head to one of the pretty parks in Parisfor your lunch – perhaps Jardin de Luxembourg – and take a walk. Before you leave for the airport, try and get to a Sunday market for one last outing in Paris.

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Submitted on: August 22 2011 DMCA.com Protection Status
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