Now we all know that when someone comes to visit Paris, the main priority is seeing the spectacular Eiffel Tower. Although the Tower was actually only intended to be built just for the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it has now become a global icon for France and is the most visited paid monument in the World!
After living in Paris for the past year, I have conducted a list of my favourite spots to wondrously gaze at the Eiffel Tower.
TROCADERO // Metro: Trocadero – Line 9 & 6, Take the exit Eiffel Tower
SEINE RIVER CRUISE // Find the boats located along the banks of the Seine – Day and night cruises available
ARC DE TRIOMPHE // Metro: Charles de Gaulle – Etoile – Line 1 & RER A, Take the entrance for the Arc de Triomphe and climb its staircase to the terrace atop the Arc
NOTRE DAME // Metro: St Michel – Line 4 & RER B, Line up on the left side of the Cathedral
TERASSE DU PRINTEMPS // Metro: Auber – RER A or Harve Caumartin – Line 3, Take the escalator of the mall “Printemps” to the top level
TOUR MONTPARNASSE // Metro: Montparnasse Bienvenue – Line 4, 6, 12 & 13, Take the elevator to the top floor for the best view of Paris
CHAMPS DE MARS // Metro: Ecole Militaire – Line 8, Walk around the corner and find yourself at the beautiful gardens located in front of the Eiffel Tower
A few weeks ago I travelled to London for a week to meet my Parents, who had flown over from New Zealand to see me. We were blessed with wonderful weather, and explored what London had to offer.
You can watch what we got up to on my youtube channel here.
One of the most challenging things while travelling abroad is budgeting your money. I for sure am one of those people who live in the moment, and don’t think about the financial consequences afterwards. It is difficult when visiting expensive countries as you come to realise that things cost way more than you expected.
(no.8 Basilique du Sacre Coeur)
But with some experience living in Paris now, I have chosen a few of my Top Free/Cheap Things to do in Paris for you to visit/try;
1. Free Entrance to Museums On the first Sunday of each month, numerous museums offer free entrance such as Le Louvre. There are also many museums that are open for free entry all year round, and some are free if you are under 26. You can find the list of museums here.
2. Bus Tour Instead ofgetting on one of the expensive bus tours that go around Paris, see the city from a public bus, as tickets are just over one euro!
3. Transport Getting from A to B can become expensive. The best way to get around Paris via metro would be to buy your tickets in bulk, saving you money in the long run. Or if its nice weather, you have the option to hire a ‘velib’. Velib is a self service bike system open 24 hours all around Paris. You can hire a bike for the day for just 1.70 Euros or a whole week for only 8 Euros.
4. Order your coffee the right way If you love your coffee with milk, but can’t afford to splurge 4-6 euros on it, order a cafe noisette. It is an expresso with a little bit of milk added to it. It also usually has a bit of a nutty taste to it, hence the name ‘noisette’, meaning hazelnut in French.
5. See the sights from the outside It is no secret that the architecture in Paris is beautiful. Save yourself a few euros by seeing the major sights from the outside.
6. Square du Vert-Galant Located down the steps of Pont Neuf, this is a popular place with the locals to come drink some wine and hang out. The best time to come is at night, where you can see Paris lit up and can watch the boats go by.
7. Le Terrasse du Printemps This is one of my favourite spots to view Paris from above. Make your way into the Department store ‘Printemps’ and take the escalators to the top. There you can walk through the cafe to the other side, where you find a big terrace. The view is magic, as you see the Eiffel Tower, Palais Garnier (Opera), Basilique du Sacre Coeur and much more.
8. Basilique du Sacre Coeur This white marble church is located on the hills of Montmatre in the 18th Arrondissement. It is free entry into the Basilique, and there are also some stairs in front where you can sit and watch some street performances or look over the sky of Paris.
9. Place des Vosges Located in Le Marais, Place des Vosges was built by Henri IV in 1604 and is the oldest square in Paris. Here you can also visit the house of the writer Victor Hugo.
10. Cimetiere Pere Lachaise This is the worlds most visited cemetery. It is the burial site of numerous French authors, musicians, writers and more. The most visited graves are Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Gertrude Stein, and Marcel Proust among many others.
11. Promenade Plantee For a chance to escape the busyness of Paris, make a visit to the Promenade Plantee – A former railway line that was abandoned and then renovated into a linear park.
12. Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle By far one of my favourite things to do in Paris. It truly is a magical moment and can be viewed from many spots in Paris. The best being the Champs de Mars, where you will find yourself surrounded by others, with wine, food, and sometimes music.