Ah, good old Paris. Is there a place that personifies romance and love more than the French capital? According to pretty much any romantic film ever, there definitely isn’t. But, while Paris is known for its charm and beauty, it’s also one of the most expensive cities in the world. But worry you not: you can still have a fantastic weekend in Paris, whether you’re on a budget or not! There’s actually a whole sea of cheap places to stay and eat, as well as things to do.
So, why choose to spend your weekend in Paris? Well, you could go there for the architecture alone, and walk on the streets radiating history everywhere you go. It’s also a center for fashion, art, and culture – and let’s not forget about the incredible food! Do you need more reasons? Well, you know what to do (keep reading, that’s what you do)!
Pro Tip: There are lines. Lots of lines. To pretty much everything. If you’re not dying to visit a specific tourist attraction, then you might want to skip it so you won’t spend the whole weekend waiting.
No. Nope. Step away from any hotel-finding website you know of. Hotels can be pretty good, yes, but your wallet and bank account will not agree with you on that. You know what will tickle their fancy, though? Hostels. And I’m willing to bet a dollar or two that it’ll tickle yours, as well.
If you do actually miss the comfort of hotel beds, then JO&JOE (still a hostel!) will pleasantly surprise you with their big and comfy beds. It’s pretty central and has no curfew – not too shabby! Have you seen the Amelie movie (if not, do it straight away because it’s adorable and will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside)? Whatever your answer, there are lovely hostels in Montmartre; Le Village and Le Regent are only two of them.
Also in the area, you’ll find Vintage Paris Gare du Nord, which is warm, cozy and quiet. It’s a vintage boutique hostel, and it even has a gym! Which is free to use. Who doesn’t want to start the day with a good workout? Actually, I’m not sure if I would, not when there’s so much to see, do, smell, and taste!
This is usually our favorite part in any post, but it’s even better this time because Parisians are all about their cuisine, aren’t they! If you’re looking for great coffee, though, The Hood has got you covered. It’s so good. So is the pizza at Veg’Art, and the burgers at Hank Burger. And, it’s all vegan, as well! So are (some of) the crepes and waffles at French Waffle. The French are all about their meat and dairy, but most of the time you can get a vegan baguette if you just ask.
Yeah, cheese might just be the glue that keeps Paris together, so it’s not a very vegan-friendly city in general. But, they’re definitely getting there: at Le Faitout you can get a cheese and charcuterie platter – without any animal products in sight! Pop to VG Patisserie for some pain au chocolat, and at Jay & Joy, you can even get some joie gras! We haven’t heard of vegan snails yet, though
The only thing that makes sense when it comes to getting around in Paris throughout the weekend is getting a visite pass. Choose between 1, 2, 3, or 5 days, and you’ll have access to all the buses, trams, and the metro. Which is the most reliable and convenient way to move through Paris, hands down. The pass is between €12 and €66, depending on your age and what zones you’d want to go to.
As we mentioned in the beginning, there are people. People everywhere. And some of the attractions (Eiffel Tower and Louvre, we’re looking at you) can be over €10, so if you want some sights, you’d be better off checking them out from the outside – or find the free ones! Basilique du Sacré-Coeur is one of them, and so is Notre-Dame (when it reopens, most likely), and Cimitiére du Pére Lachaise, where icons like Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf are buried.
If you want to see all the big ones, like Champs-Elyssées, Arc de Triomphe, Centre Pompidou, you can just hop onto a bus, and it’ll take you past all the sights – just find out which one will take you to where you want to go! When it comes to that famous steel tower, it’s pretty majestic from the ground as well – and if you sit in Parc du Champ de Mars, you’ll have a great view and you can have a picnic. Tres bien.
Even if you don’t want to spend any money actually buying anything, you can still have a window-shopping spree in this beautiful city. Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is full of the most beautiful, fascinating, exquisite antiques – and the prices are even more extravagant, believe it or not! If you’d like to engage in some eye-eating (that’s eating with your eyes, not eating eyes), all sorts of fantastic local produce and gorgeous flowers in Marché d’Aligre might send you into sensory overload. Definitely worth it, though.
Well, it’s all culture, but you can also get fairly cheap theater tickets! There are also museums that won’t break the bank, and you can go see a matinee movie in an old cinema. Is there anything more French? Anyone?
Is that enough reasons to want a little taste of this old yet so modern city? Personally, I can’t wait to stroll along the Seine with a croissant in one hand and a slab of cheese in the other. It’ll be like my very own French movie, but with less luxury and more genuine experiences.