After my last whiny post about why I thought Paris was a bitch, I thought I’d be a bit more constructive and focus on what’s cheap or free to enjoy in Paris. Coming to a city like Paris with the intention of staying low budget may sound counter-intuitive. But in reality, how you travel is a choice. If you need to spend money and consume to be happy, then this post is not for you. (But send me an email because I have something to sell you.)
1. Sleep Around
The Paris Couchsurfing community is actually the largest city group in the world. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have the most available couches though. Parisians may just be addicted to signing up for social networking sites. However, with a bit of luck you should be able to find a couch. And if you are traveling in a group, you may find apartments on 9flats and Airbnb cheaper than the hostels.
2. Use The Town Bike
I can’t go on enough about how brilliant the Velib bicycle-sharing system is. Nothing makes you feel like you’re in Paris like being almost run over by crazy traffic down narrow Parisian streets. 8 euros a week also makes it the cheapest way to get around after walking. Walking is fun too because it’s a beautiful city. If you’re going to take the Metro often, buy 10 for 12 euros – also very reasonable and extensive.
3. Become A Street Walker
Without a doubt, Paris is gorgeous. And what better way to enjoy a city than by just walking. Besides with accessibly of up to 400 cheeses, you may need it. The best thing is you don’t even have to enter a museum to see art, it’s everywhere from classical to street art. The free walking tours in Paris are also definitely worth doing, to get an additional insight to each landmark.
4. Cook Me Some Eggs
The single best thing you can do for yourself (while traveling anywhere except maybe countries which are dirt cheap) is to cook your own food. Even if it’s cheap to eat out, it’s good practise to cook at least some of the time. It’s healthier to cook your own food, it’s an essential skill to have, it’s a great social activity and it saves you a lot of money. I always find cooking with people one of my favourite activities. And at least you don’t have the awkwardness of poring over a bill at the end with people who don’t know how to do elementary arithmetic.
5. Get Drunk & Disorderly
This is probably one of the most underrated privileges in Paris. You can drink in public (except on bridges apparently). During the summer you will see hordes of young people with little picnics along the canals, enjoying bottles of wine. It’d be almost romantic if not for the lingering smell of urine from near the bridges (Yeah, you may want to also avoid sitting close to bridges). Anyway why would you want to sit inside a pub and pay more when you could be outside enjoying Paris drunk?
Viva la budget traveler! Do you have any other budget tips for Paris?