Your flight is booked, your accommodation organized, and now you’re looking at how to make your budget stretch that little bit further in the romantic capital of the world. While in Paris, there is so much to eat, drink, see, and do, with most of that costing a fair bit of money. If you’re feeling like you want to step back, enjoy some of finer things in life, it does not need to break the bank. See our five low-cost things to do while in one of the most majestic cities in the world.
5. Walking up the Eiffel Tower
Where: Parc du Champ de Mars
Cost: €5 per person
A lift up to the third floor in the iconic centerpiece of Paris can bust your budget, nevermind having to wait in the queues for a ticket, and for the lift, then squeeze in the packed elevator. If you’re in reasonably good shape, fancy tackling a few steps, you can climb up the stairs to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. The queue for the tickets is much much shorter, there are no queues to climb, and you can take your time and enjoy the magnificent views while getting some exercise. I even believe that the views from the second floor are better than the third, it’s more interesting and you have a better view of the Parisian architecture.
4. Jardin des Tuileries
Where: Close to the Louvre
Cost: Free (only the cost of what you bring)
After a morning of marching around museums, grab yourself a warm baguette, some of the tasty cheese, and a bottle of fine wine, and head over to the Jardin des Tuileries for an afternoon picnic. A historic park set between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, you will feel like you have gone back in time in these elegant surroundings. For the history buffs, you can follow in the footsteps of Marie-Antoinette, and see where Napoléon built his triumphal arch. The Jardin has been in its current state since the 17th Century, and now forms part of the Banks of the Seine Unesco World Heritage Site.
3. Cimetière du Père Lachaise
Where: Père Lachaise Metro Station
Paris is home to the resting place of many of history’s most famous people, and the Cimetière du Père Lachaise is the world’s most-visited cemetery. The 44-hectare site holds more than 65,000 tombs from the rich and famous. Whether you love the Irish poet, Oscar Wilde or you want to see the highly graffitied, yet remarkable tomb of Jim Morrison (The Doors), pick up a cemetery map at the entrance and you can spend hours marveling at the wonderful and extravagant tombs. Go over and look at the Mur des Fédérés (Wall of the Federalists), it is where on a gloomy night in May 1871, the remaining Communard insurgents fought an overnight battle. In the morning, close to 150 were rounded up, placed against this plain wall and shot, being buried in a mass grave where they fell.
2. Catacombes de Paris
Where: Denfert-Rochereau Metro Station
Cost: €30 for Adults, €5 for Teenagers (with an audioguide)
Thrill seekers of all ages will get a kick out of venturing into the underground labyrinth of disused quarries, which now house the remains of over six million people. With around 100 steps down, and then back up again, it is not suitable for those with a nervous disposition, or any health issues. That being said, bone lined walls, millions of skulls, and an eerie aura will be sure to give you the chills and something to talk about. You may need to wait in a queue to enter as it is a very popular attraction, with only 200 people allowed down in the catacombs at any time. If you are trying to find the entrance, it is hidden behind some trees, you can easily walk past it if you are not paying attention.
1. The Louvre
Where: Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre Metro Station
Cost: €17 General Admission, Free for under-18’s and under 26’s from EEA.
A visit to Paris would not be complete without going to one of the most visited Museums in the world. You will have a battle fighting with other onlookers to see the most famous painting housed in this renovated palace, The Mona Lisa. The building itself was once a fortress, built in the 12th Century, it then became a Palace, and following the French Revolution, it was transformed into a museum. Not only is the artwork something to feast your eyes upon, the building itself is a beautiful piece of Parisian architecture.
Experience One or Experience All for a Low Price
If you really wanted to, Paris has an abundance of low-cost and free things to do, that you could easily spend two or three days here without spending a single Euro on sight-seeing. Although, if you are visiting Paris, make sure you factor in the cost of what you want to do, as it really is an amazing city.