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Top Tips For A Cheap Yet Memorable Trip To Paris

Top Tips For A Cheap Yet Memorable Trip To Paris

I instantly fell in love with Paris the moment I first got there. My first time going was a romantic surprise booked by my boyfriend for my 21st; I found myself quickly booking a second trip to Paris not long after I got back. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world (from what I’ve seen so far), and what’s also great – it doesn’t even have to raid your bank. For anyone thinking of going, here are some tips I learnt and recommend.

1. Look into coach/bus transport there and back.

I’ve seen the prices for flights and the Eurostar train service there – they don’t look all that pretty. Especially when coach services such as National Express do return tickets for around £30! Pick up is usually from London, (you’ll be able to visit Duty Free on the way) and it’ll get to France via the loading service on an underground train before dropping you off right in Paris.

The only downfall is that the journey time is around 8 hours long, give or take traffic congestion. But as a student, I, nor my purse, couldn’t care less!

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Top Tips For A Cheap Yet Memorable Trip To Paris

2. Consider using AirBnB.

My first trip to Paris was simultaneously my first time using AirBnB and I haven’t stopped using it since. I can’t begin to imagine how expensive some of the hotels might be, especially near the centre of Paris. Both of my trips to Paris with AirBnB cost around £30 per night, and this cost is for the property rather than per person, so if you’re going to split, it’s even better!

You’d expect that for a price so cheap that the accommodation wouldn’t be appealing at all, but I’ve always had brilliant experiences. Each property I’ve stayed in has always been spotless, well decorated and come with a bedroom, lounge area, kitchen space and utensils, bathroom etc. The host of the accommodation is also great for giving help and advice regarding your trip too.

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There’s plenty of choice on the website and location wise it has always been convenient – usually 1 short metro journey away from the city centre.

Top Tips For A Cheap Yet Memorable Trip To Paris

3. Make a list of the attractions and places you’d like to visit prior to the trip.

There’s an abundance of things to see and do in Paris – we always struggled to fit everything in! If you’re a little unsure on where to visit, here are some of my favourites:

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Palace of Versailles

This is probably the furthest away from the centre, but rest assured, only a train journey around 30 minutes. It’s definitely an attraction that you’ll need at least half a day if you’re going to make the most of it. The Palace is huge and full of information and interesting interactions; the gardens are stunning too so make sure you leave enough time in your schedule to have a wander around.

Price: Free if you’re under 25 and hold a European passport.

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The Louvre

Even if you’re not a massive art fan (I’m not!) it’s one of those places you’ve just got to visit. The building itself is an example of some of the finest architecture. Inside, you’ll find days and days worth of pieces to see, so don’t expect to actually get through it all in the time you have.

You must make sure to see the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace – which stand as the museum’s most famous pieces.

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Price: Free if you’re under 25 and hold a European passport.

Arc de Triomphe

This monument pays tribute to all soldiers who lost their lives during World War One. As you climb up the building, you’ll find multiple floors that provide insightful information about victims and conditions, alongside touching tributes.

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At the top, there’s an open air plan where you’ll get an amazing view of Champs-Elysées (TIP: go at night time to experience where Paris gets its famous ‘City of Lights’ reputation from).

Price: Free if you’re under 25 and hold a European passport.

Eiffel Tower

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Of course! In my experience, it’s more beautiful in person than on any photograph. Be sure to see it at the hour too, as it sparkles for a couple of minutes. If you’re not afraid of heights, definitely make a trip of it to the top.

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Price: For under 25’s, there’s a discounted rate of 12.70€ for the two lifts to the top, or if you want to save a little extra, you can climb up a little way using the stairs and then pay 9.70€

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Top Tips For A Cheap Yet Memorable Trip To Paris

4. Plan out your day according to the locations of the attractions.

This is going to save you time and money. Many attractions are within walking distance of each other if you plan your schedule the right way. For example, I took a metro to the location of the Louvre, and within walking distance of that was Pont Neuf, Saint Chappelles and Notre Dame. In the centre, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées and Eiffel Tower were close together too.

Top Tips For A Cheap Yet Memorable Trip To Paris

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5. Try out Le New York restaurant right opposite the Eiffel Tower.

I couldn’t recommend this restaurant enough. Generally, I was trying to keep the costs down by cooking food in the AirBnB property. However, I will always make at least one trip to this restaurant whenever I visit the city. Its location is perfect – within 10 minutes walk of the Eiffel Tower. Sit outside or next to a window and you’ve got the most stunning view of it.

The staff are friendly and speak good English, while the food is always amazing quality. If you’re a fan of onion soup, you need to try it here! What’s even better? The prices are exceptionally reasonable, especially when you consider its location – on average a meal is around 15€.

Top Tips For A Cheap Yet Memorable Trip To Paris

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6. Make an effort to learn some French.

Not everyone in France can speak good English. Some French may even find it rude if you make no attempt whatsoever to learn small phrases of the language. Learning and utilising simple phrases such as Bonjour, Au Revoir, Merci, Je Voudrais… etc. will definitely go a long way.

In particular, try brushing up on direction phrases in French. You’ll probably be using trains and the metro a lot on your trip and not every place and instruction is sign posted in English – which will make your life rather difficult if you don’t know any of the language! It’s also useful learning ways of asking other people for directions in French, or to help you with ticket machines.

Top Tips For A Cheap Yet Memorable Trip To Paris

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What are your tips for a trip to Paris? Tell us in the comments!

Featured image source: www.pinterest.com