10 Essential Tips when backpacking through Paris – by Jane Simons

10 Essential Tips when backpacking through Paris

Backpacking is a fun, adventurous, and cheap way to explore the world, and while costs are bound to increase when you make your way through Western Europe and major capital cities such as Paris, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your time, experience the great local culture and sites, and avoid breaking the bank. If you’re backpacking your way to Paris, here are 10 tips that will help ensure you have a great time.

(75) Paris, France - the Seine

1. Hit up some of the free sites

While Paris is home to major tourist trap sites like the Eiffel Tower, there are also amazing sites to visit that won’t cost you a penny. A great example is the iconic Pere Lachaise Cemetery, which features beautifully designed monuments to over a million people, including Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.

(125) Pere Lachaise Graveyard, Paris, France

Pere Lachaise Graveyard

2. Drink away from the main tourist spots

If you want to go out for a few pints or cocktails, stay away from the major tourist areas like the Champs Élysées, where you’ll pay nearly ten Euros for a beer. Even just walking a few blocks off the trodden path will lower your costs.

(43) Georges Pompidou Square

Georges Pompidou Square

3. Create a budget

There are undoubtedly some things you will want to pay to see while you’re in Paris, and whether this is the Louvre, the l’Orangerie, or something else, your best way to ensure you don’t go wild with spending is to select a few places you most want to see and then cut yourself off.

(28) Louvre - Pyramid - Paris, France

Louvre – the Pyramid

4. Go to Cathedrals

Some of Paris’s best art and most of its famous architecture are found in religious sites such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and Sacré Coeur. These are both wonderful, historical places to visit, and they won’t cost you anything to get in.

(115) Sacre Coeur Cathedral, Paris, France

Sacre Coeur Cathedral

5. Make for the parks

Another free option to explore, and a place that all Parisians love to spend their time, are the many parks of Paris, from the Parc des Buttes to the Bois du Boulogne.

(100) Sorbonne University seen from Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, France

Sorbonne University seen from Jardin du Luxembourg

6. Switch to wine

Anyone who knows a thing or two about French culture can tell you that beer is in no way the national beverage—especially not when you consider many of the world’s best wines come out of France. Drinking a beer is not only much more expensive than wine, but if you want to try and experience French culture, un Verre de Vin is the way to go.

7. Make for the bakery

If you want to eat well in Paris without spending Michelin starred prices, then head to a bakery and pick up a baguette. Then make your way to a boucherie and fromagerie for delicious meats and cheeses.

(89) Pont Alexandre III, Paris, France

Pont Alexandre III

8. Pick your hostel wisely

While you can certainly save money by sleeping in one of the less popular arrondissements of Paris, a little extra will put you in the thick of it all, and when you’re in a city, that’s where you want to be.

9. Picnic!

A combination from above suggestions—if you want to enjoy true Parisian living, pack up that bottle of wine and a few snacks and make your way to the park for a picnic.

(65) Musee d'Orsay - clock

Musee d’Orsay

10. Stay away from cabs

As in any major city, there is no real reason to have to take a cab in Paris, even for getting back and forth to the airport. Using public transportation or walking will save you tons of money and is plenty efficient.

Whether you’re there for a couple days or a week , a trip to Paris is sure to be your first of many Paris breaks.

(78) Petit Palais, Paris, France

Petit Palais

Written by: Jane Simons

Jane Simons has been a digital nomad for over 5 years now, travelling on a tiny budget and making friends all around the globe. Her three favourite things in life are waking up in a new country, cooking exotic meals for friends and anticipating a new adventure.

Images by  Moyan Brenn used under the Creative Commons License

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