Top Free/Cheap Things to do in Paris

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(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 of getting 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Best Cafes to Try in Paris

Over the past year or so, the coffee culture in Paris has grown immensely. More and more cafes have been opened all around Paris. For coffee addicts like me, it is great to have plenty of options as to where to go. Not only do these cafe’s have great coffee, but awesome food too!

Here is a list of my favourite cafes in Paris.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! x

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lily of the Valley (photo above)
Tea room + Cakes
12 rue Dupetit Thouars // Metro Stop: Line 3 Temple

Holybelly
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Coffee
19 Rue Lucien Sampaix // Metro Stop: Line 5 Jaques Bonsergent

Merci Used Book Cafe
Brunch and Lunch
111 boulevard Beaumarchais // Metro Stop: Line 8 Saint Sébastien Froissart

Claus
Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch
14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau // Metro Stop: Line 1 Louvre Rivolli

La Cafeotheque
Coffee and Cakes
52 Rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville // Metro Stop: Line 1 Hotel de Ville or Line 7 Pont Marie

The Broken Arm
Lunch, Cakes and Coffee
12 rue Perrée // Metro Stop: Line 3 Temple

Folks and Sparrows
Lunch, Cakes and Coffee
14 Rue Saint-Sébastien // Metro Stop: Line 8 Saint Sébastien Froissart

Boot
Coffee
19 Rue du Pont aux Choux // Metro Stop: Line 8 Saint Sébastien Froissart

Café Kitsuné
Coffee
51 Galerie de Montpensier // Metro Stop: Line 1 Palais Royal – Musee du Louvre

Odette
Choux a la creme
77 Rue Galande // Metro Stop: Line 3 Saint-Michel, RER B Saint-Michel Notre Dame

Cafe de Flore
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner
172 boulevard Saint Germain // Metro Stop: Line 4 Saint Germain des Pres

Pouchkine
Cakes and Pastries
155 avenue de Boulevard Saint-Germain // Metro Stop: Line 4 Saint Germain des Pres
2 rue des Francs Bourgeois // Metro Stop: Line 1 Saint-Paul
64, boulevard Haussmann // Metro Stop: RER A, Line 3, Line 9 Havre – Caumartin

Carrette
Hot Chocolate, Pastries, Lunch and Dinner
4 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre // Metro Stop: Line 9, Line 6 Trocadero

10 Belles
Coffee and Cakes
10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles // Metro Stop: Line 5 Jaques Bonsergent, Line 2 Colonel Fabien, Line 11 Goncourt

Coutume
Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Coffee
47 Rue de Babylone // Metro Stop: Line 13 Saint-Francois-Xavier, Line 10, Line 12 Sevres – Babylone

Telescope
Coffee and Cakes
5 Rue Villedo // Metro Stop: Line 7, Line 14 Pyramids

Lomi
Lunch, Cakes/Pastries and Coffee 
3 ter Rue Marcadet // Metro Stop: Line 4, Line 12 Marcadet – Poissonniers, Line 12 Marx Dormoy

Matamata
Coffee and Cakes
58 Rue d’Argout // Metro Stop: Line 3 Sentier

5 Packing Tips For A Year Overseas

  1. Make a packing list
    This is one of the most important rules when it comes to packing your bags for that big OE your about to embark on. Not only can you tick it off to make sure your items are in your bag, it helps not to forget the important things like a toothbrush and underwear!
    I tend to either write up a list on my computer then print it off, or I use the iPhone app ‘Packing Pro’ – it’s been a major help in actually reminding me things I need to take or do, and you can check things off when you have placed it in your bag.
  2. Packing Cubes
    My saving grace – these are a recent discovery to me, but man do they make a difference in my packing. If your like me, after one minute of looking through your suitcase, it soon looks like a bomb as hit your bag and your clothing is everywhere. Packing Cubes are the ultimate travel organisers because they help you maximise the space in your bag so you can fit all your belongings in an organised and efficient way using minimal space.
  3. Facing Reality
    You know that dress you’ve had in your closet for almost 5 years now? the top that has been your favourite since you were 15 years old and you just can’t bring yourself to throw it away? It’s time to face reality, because these ‘precious’ items we have had since we can remember, wont be making it into your suitcase.
  4. 3 Month Rule
    If you haven’t worn it for more than three months, you most likely wont wear it while your away.
  5. If you can get it at your destination, don’t take it with you
    When it comes to things like toiletries, or your favourite shampoo and nail polish, you can most likely purchase the same items at your travel destination – this will save you loads of space and take off a few kilos from that heavy suitcase.