Paris on a shoestring: get more bang for your buck

Visiting Paris doesn’t require a bottomless pit of cash; quite the opposite, you can just as easily do Paris on a budget as you can your own home town – as long as you know the places to go and tricks of the trade. Here, we’ve tried to come up with some of the best things to do and places to go in Paris to get the most out of your money, and even come back with some left over, too. From evening entertainment to retail therapy, there’s plenty to do on a shoestring budget. That’s not including the savings you can make with a Paris Pass too; so combined... the possibilities are endless. Discount Theatre Calling all theatre-goers out there... Paris is the centre of European culture, some may say, so while it’s famed for its art and architecture, it certainly has world-class theatre performaces to boot. Don’t be put off thinking it’ll cost you an arm and a leg because there’s a way around it by cutting costs to make significant savings. If you’re after cheap tickets then the most savvy way of getting a bargain is by choosing your day carefully. For example, Théâtre 13 offers €13 tickets every 13th of the month, or you can head to La Colline every Tuesday for just €20 seats. If you want to save even more money though Théâtre de Montreuil has €12 seats every Tuesday and Thursday, with Le Tarmac leading the race with just €5 tickets on Thursday afternoons. Who doesn’t love a matinee? Second hand Shopping Forget the Champs Elysees for your holiday outfit, you want something that’ll make you smile and save money! Rather than visit the same high street shops as you’ll find at home, or spend your hard earned money on designer goods, indulge in Paris’ second hand scene and riffle through vintage boutiques that supply some of the most best-dressed in Paris. Bric-à-Brac Riquet is one of the most popular shops for vintage fans. Set up originally by an anti-poverty charity, run by unemployed people, now this Saturday market is a honey pot for those in need of a bargain or statement piece. With furniture, books and house accessories it’s great for picking up something retro. Alternatively, Vintage 77 is a great place if you’ve over packed or want a wardrobe re-vamp. Just bring in your old (but clean!) clothes and you might be able to swap them for something they sell. Or if you'd rather keep what you've got, you can find old designer bags for a snip of the price instead. Free Attractions There are a number of free attractions, monuments and museums in Paris – not to mention those included in the Paris Pass. But those free to admire and enjoy as the general, non-paying public include the Notre Dame Cathedral; a stunning gothic cathedral on the Île de la Cité with huge stained glass windows, 10 large bells (check out the most famous, Emmanuel) and two tall towers. Set on the bank of the Seine it’s a perfect location if you’re looking to save some pennies and just take in the sights of Paris. Alternatively, if you’re in the city on the first Sunday of the (any!) month, there are a wealth of national museums in Paris that open up their doors and exhibitions for free. These include the Louvre, Museum of the Middle Ages, Orsay Museum and the Centre Pompidou. Perfect for getting your culture fix without spending a euro cent! Picturesque Parks We always think of Paris for its stunning architecture, monuments and museums, but it’s just its parks and green urban space are less appreciated. Tucked away in pockets of Paris, there are a plethora of parks waiting to be picnicked on. Everyone knows about the Jardin des Tuileries, in front of the Louvre, and while it’s lovely and very Parisian – it’s not very peaceful. Why not instead take your packed lunch to the Parc Montsouris, a bit outside of the centre of Paris, in the southern 14th arrondisement. Montsouris was designed in the style of an English landscaped garden and you can admire a large lake (shaped like a teardrop) as well as a wide range of wildlife and woodland. For something more contemporary, head to the Parc André Citroën, built – you’ve guessed it – on the site of an old Citroën factory. After it closed in 1970, the space was converted into a public park which contains greenhouses with exotic species, various fountains and even a hot air balloon. A great one for the kids! If you like the idea of saving even more money, with The Paris Pass you can make savings from day one. It’s that simple; with a one-off purchase cost, you won’t have to pay a cent more to get into over 60 of Paris’ most popular attractions. The Paris Pass also includes a free travelcard which covers the bus and metro system in zones 1-3, too. Find out more, here.

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