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How To Spend A Weekend in Paris Without Going Broke

By clodagh

March 18, 2019 at 4:46pm

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Ah, Paris. The city of love, lust and macaroons.

Many people are under the impression that Paris is an expensive city to visit, and that's not necessarily true.

While there are areas that, should you want to or have the money to, you can easily splash out on, spending a few days in this magical city on a budget is actually very easy.

Take heed of our tips and you and your bank account can thank us later.

1. Choose your airport carefully

Ryanair fly to Paris quite regularly and they're not too expensive either, but they only fly to Beauvais, which is a good bit out of the city.

A return shuttle bus ticket will set you back around €20, and around an hour and a half will be spent getting back into the city.

French people also having a saying that 'Beauvais rhymes with mauvais' (meaning bad) so make of that what you will.

Totally worth it if you get a cheap deal but make sure to factor in the added transport cost and time.

2. Buy the right Metro ticket

Trying to understand the public transport in Paris can be a bit tricky, even if you speak the language.

They do check tickets, especially if you are leaving the city centre, so make sure you buy the right one. Otherwise, you could be charged €30 because you tried to visit Versailles Palace on a city-centre metro ticket (guilty).

A standard metro ticket costs less than €2 and will give you access to metros, trams or buses - but the same ticket cannot be used for different forms of transport.

3. Keep your ID with you

There are loads of museums and sites to see in Paris that are free if you're under 25 and an EU citizen. If you don't fit in that bracket, lots of musuems offer free entry on certain days of the month, like the first Sunday or towards the evening on a Thursday and Friday.

These are just some of the museums that are free if you're under 25 and an EU citizen:

And there's some that are free all the time ...

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4. Get your pics for free

So many iconic Paris landmarks are easy to visit for free.

The Luxembourg Gardens, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs Elysées, the Sorbonne University, Moulin Rouge - all completely open to walk up to and snap away to your heart's content.

5. Don't listen to the street sellers

Honestly, around the bigger tourist sites there are usually 10-12 people selling their wares. You will get shouted at but unless you're really prepared to haggle and purchase something, stay away because they will not leave you alone.

6. BYOB

France has pretty lax laws when it comes to drinking in public, as you can tell from the groups of people drinking under the Eiffel Tower.

But, going back to my previous point, don't buy from the guys selling there as it's a major rip-off. Alcohol in France is cheap enough anyway, so head to your nearest Carrefour for your bottle of bubbly.

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7. DIY

No, I don't just love abbreviations. If dining on the Seine is something you have your heart set on (or going to the top of the Eiffel Tower is something you have  to do) but it's working out too pricey, there are so many other options.

Bring a picnic along the Seine, there's so many gorgeous spots to sit and drink.

To get amazing views of the city, consider climbing the ridiculous amount of steps up the Sacre-Coeur or Arc de Triomphe. Both breathtaking.

8. Stay away from the centre

The transport in Paris is seriously a godsend. This means that you don't have to stay right in the heart of the city where prices are ridiculous. Don't be afraid to look for other areas of the city to stay in, even if it means a 20-minute tram ride.

9. Visit the Latin Quarter

A must-see and one of my favourite areas. It's near Notre Dame, the Shakespeare & Company Bookshop and there's also a huge choice of restaurants, all with seriously cheap menus.

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10. Eat and drink to your heart's content

The best way (and one of the cheapest too) is to experience Paris ias the locals do; sit, eat and drink.

It's certainly an enjoyable way to spend a few days away, just go from bar to restaurant if you're feeling flush, or from bench to bench if you want a change from drinking cans on the barge.

Glasses of wine are usually around the €5 mark, and you can get a good bottle for the same price in the supermarket.

Bon appetit.

If we've left anything out, let us know in the comments!

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