Discover the Heart of Paris Without Breaking the Budget
Booked in for a stay in one of the Paris hostels? There are plenty of ways to explore the city on a budget. Here are just a few ideas.
If you've booked in for a stay in one of the excellent Paris hostels, you already know one of the city's most important secrets: you don’t need to scrimp and save for a lifetime in order to visit.
For many people, a holiday in the French capital means the ultimate in luxury and glamour, with a steep bill to match. In some ways it's true – Paris is indeed one of the most expensive cities in the world. Many people think it's almost an out of reach destination, but the Paris hostels are full of people who know exactly how to enjoy one of the world's most wonderful cities on a budget.
Here are some great ways to save money in the City of Love.
Walk, Walk, Walk
The best low-cost (free, actually) activity in one of the most expensive cities in the world is even good for you - walking! Beyond the doors of those Paris hostels there are countless attractions and activities to enjoy, and discovering them on foot is the very best way to do it.
So, where do you start? Unless you’re the type that likes to have everything mapped out and planned to the last second, the best way to explore is simply allow your feet to go wherever they may take you. Begin with a stroll along the River Seine and just see where you end up – wherever it is, you won’t be disappointed.
Take to the Heights
In terms of getting on top of the world there is, of course, the requisite lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but you can also take the lift up to the 56th floor viewing deck of the Montparnasse Tower. The views are stunning and you'll be able to see the Eiffel Tower as part of the skyline rather than looking over the city from it.
You can also visit two of the city's iconic department stores for wonderful citywide views. Le Printemps has a wonderful café on a rooftop viewing deck, offering amazing 360-degree views of the city, from Montmartre to the Eiffel Tower. Galeries Lafayette also has a rooftop terrace with a similar citywide view, but the experience is very different. You'll see people relaxing on sofas on Astroturf, as well as an American hotdog stand! The two stores are very close to one another, so you'll be able to compare views and choose your favourite.
For the most classic views over the city, Montmartre is a wonderful quirky neighbourhood, catering more to the creative types. It was once renowned as the artists’ quarter, and was home to many famous names including Lautrec and Picasso. Today, Place du Tertre plays host to the contemporary artists of the city, plying their trade in portraits for the tourists.
Parc du Champs de Mars is a great place to view the Eiffel Tower from below. It's a perfect place for a picnic. You can also visit the Luxembourg Gardens outside the Senate.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Looking for a dream travel experience? Jason H. Cunningham works for Hostelling International, a company with more than 4,000 hostels worldwide. For the best Paris hostels or anywhere else, join our global community and say hi to the world. From quality, affordable accommodation and backpacker tips, to meaningful volunteer opportunities and enriching our eco footprint, we are the world’s local hostelling hub.