Paris Hotels Articles

April 17, 2010

Paris travel guide: Paris on a shoestring

Although normally associated with visions of grandeur and high society, at times of tightly stretched credit cards a trip to Paris doesn’t have to cost the earth. Accommodation Paris is often the biggest stumbling block and choosing an economical yet comfortable option can be really tricky. Paris apartments not only give you the opportunity to ‘live like a Parisian’ but also often work out much more economically than a hotel or guesthouse.

Sights and attractions on a shoestring: For a spectacular view of the city climb up the stairs of the northern tower of Notre Dame cathedral, ogle at the lurid yet strangely appealing gargoyles then take in the spectacular Parisian vista from above. What’s more the cathedral is one of the few major attractions of the city which is free to enter.
Les Tuileries is Catherine de Medici’s magnificent park and most centrally located green space in Paris. This expansive collection of formal gardens, sweeping paths and even one or two galleries connects the Louvre with Place de la Concorde, bordering the Seine. There are various sculptures located sporadically around the gardens and L’Orangerie museum, housing works by Cézanne, Matisse, Renoir, is well worth a visit especially if you are fortunate enough to time your visit with the first Sunday of the month when entry is free.

Eating out every day in Paris can be an expensive affair but a baguette in the park can be equally enjoyable on a fine sunny day. Why not pick up a sublime poulet baguette from the Brioche Dorée boulangerie chain, found all over the city, and take it to the Jardin du Luxembourg (Le Luco). This “people’s park” is frequented by great numbers of students, families and boules-playing retired locals alike, and provides a delightful lunchtime spectacle. Paris’ largest park is also the ideal place for children with an enclosed play area, marionette shows and other attractions to keep them out of trouble.

On a Sunday morning, there is no better pleasure than a meander down the Rue du Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement to the home of Paris’ most famous pedestrianised street and street market. Indulge your senses in the divine flavours and appetizing of stall after stall of cheeses, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables. I challenge you to resist! Depending on the time of the day, this is a great district to treat yourself to a very reasonably priced brunch or lunch in a range of bistros and restaurants from all corners of the globe. Just take your pick!

To save on transport costs, if you are staying in Paris for a week or more it is worth investing in a Carte Orange, a photographic metro pass which allows you unlimited access to city transport for around 16 euros for zones one and two, depending on the location of your Paris apartments. Alternatively one day tickets work out economically if you intend to use the transport system frequently.

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