Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Sponsored post: Seeing the best of Paris on a budget
Paris is a great destination for a short break from the UK - it's easy and quick to reach and is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Even if you don't have much cash to splash, you can still enjoy all the French capital has to offer.
Here are some top tips on getting the most out of a trip to Paris if you're on a budget.
Go for a walk
Much of Paris's appeal is in its architecture and it'd be a shame to miss out on all the wonderful buildings that line its streets by relying solely on the metro system to shuttle you from one monument to the next.
So, head to a tourist information office - or even ask in your hotel - and pick up a free map of the city. You should be able to navigate your way around the main sights relatively easily on foot - after all, you're not likely to miss the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe!
Don't miss out on Notre Dame Cathedral - the building is astounding and, as it's free to enter, it's worth stepping inside to fully appreciate the architectural design of this place of worship. If you're feeling energetic, climb the 387 steps of its tower for some amazing views of the Parisian skyline.
One of my favourite spots in the city is the Sacre Couer. The best thing about walking to this beautiful church is that you'll be able to explore the winding streets of Montmartre along the way. Once you get there, take a few minutes to soak up the image of the stunning white domes on the steps leading up to the monument.
Climb the Eiffel Tower
If you're desperate to see the views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, the cheapest way to do it is to climb the steps. Buying a ticket that involves a bit of legwork will cost less than half of the fare to jump in the elevator, currently €4.70 (£3.99) as opposed to €8.20 for the lift to the second floor or €13.40 for a ride to the very top.
I actually prefer going up the stairs, as it gives you a chance to really appreciate this massive structure. You'll gradually be able to see more of Paris as you climb and, when you reach the top, you can feel very smug that you've walked up all those stairs, rather than taking the easy option!
A word of advice - take refreshments with you, otherwise you'll be paying a premium if you want to buy a drink or some food from the restaurant at the top!
Visit a museum
If you want to explore the Louvre during your trip, make sure you buy a ticket for one of the days when it has late-night opening (Wednesday or Friday when it's open from 9am to 9.45pm) to make the most of your entrance fee, which is €10 if you only want to see the permanent collections, or €14 for access to these and temporary exhibitions. If, however, you're not so bothered about seeing the Mona Lisa in all its glory, you can always head to one of Paris's galleries offering free entry.
The Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris doesn't charge to browse its permanent collection, although you will have to pay if you want to see any of its temporary exhibitions, while the Centre Georges Pompidou Ateleir Brancusi and Le Plateau - Centre d'art contemporain are both completely free.
Alternatively, you could go for something truly unique, like a visit to the Musee du Parfum, which is dedicated to the art of perfume making; or the Musee National de la Legion d'honneur et des ordres de chevalerie, where you can see all manner of installations relating to the history of French decoration since the time of Louis XI. Both offer free entry all year round.
This post was written on behalf of idealshortbreaks.co.uk, a site offering inspiration and recommendations to help you plan the perfect short break.