Stephanie Parrott, Online Columnist, shares her top tips on how to plan a weekend break to Paris… without breaking the bank….
With the Easter holidays rapidly approaching, dreams of getting out of the windy and rainy UK are being stifled by constant lack of funds as a student. Finding a loophole and going on a fab (cheap) get-away is something we all need and we’ve discovered a way for it to be possible… and in the beautiful Paris! All it takes is a few simple steps and soon you’ll be living the high life, wondering around the Louvre, nibbling on snails…
- Plan your transport
When travelling to Paris comes the big question of whether to travel by plane or by train… but thanks to the Eurostar, this answer is made very clear for us. Instead of travelling all the way to the airport, to then have to check in two hours early and wait, you can arrive at Kings Cross St Pancras half an hour before your departure time. The train seats, not just in first class, are big and very comfy and a short three hours later, you’ll arrive right in the center of Paris, no commute needed. You can even get a return train ticket as cheap as £60 if you are super organized and book in advance.
- Be clever with the tourist attractions
The best thing to do when arriving in Paris is to decide which tourist attractions are a must and which are worth it. Obviously everyone goes to Paris hoping to see the magnificent Eiffel Tower in all its glory standing against a clear blue sky, (and that doesn’t cost anything!!) but is it really worth queuing for a couple of hours and paying a huge sum to go up the Eiffel Tower to then see the beautiful city of Paris from above, without it’s iconic landmark in the picture? Why not travel across the city to the equally as famous Arc de Triomphe and go up that for free. That way you can see the expanding Paris city, with the beautiful Eiffel Tower standing tall right in the center of your picture. Also make sure that you stop by the Eiffel tower at night where it is lit up by twinkling lights that sparkle every hour…
- Walk around the 6th arondisement
It costs nothing to wander around the beautiful Parisian streets but it is absolutely beautiful, especially in the 6th arondisement where the architecture is spectacular and typically Parisian. Moreove the Latin Quarter has absolutely delicious food, for a cheaper price than your typical touristic cafes on the Champs Elysses.
- Visit the Shakespeare & Company book shop
Wonder down to Saint Germain, where hidden amongst the bustling cafes is the Shakepeare & Co. book shop, a maze and secret wonder stacked from floor to ceiling with book, books and more books. Spend the afternoon getting lost in the world of literature, of every genre, style and type… and they’re all in English! The rooms are filled with glass floors, hidden nooks, and huge plush armchairs to sink into with a good book. The Shakespeare & Company bookshop is not a place to miss and is so popular there is usually a queue down the street just to get in!
- Eat a crêpe at the Jardin des Tuileries
There is no chance that you can leave Paris without having tasted the amazingly delicious Parisian crepes, and why not enjoy it in the beautiful gardens of Tuleries. You can relax in the scenic landscapes of Paris, relax on the grass, or stroll around the gardens, all while engorging yourself on absolute deliciousness. Once you’ve tasted one you’ll never be able to stop… Trust me, by the time you leave Paris you’ll be sick of them!
- Visit Montmartre
Montmartre is another amazing quarter of Paris, always buzzing with people and full of life, such a fun place to enjoy your day and it’s all free of charge! The streets are filled with artists who sing and dance or performance groups acting out funny mimes and sketches and they are all actually extremely talented. You can also get the famous Parisian portraits done here, get yourself painted in cartoon with a French beret and mustache, or sketched posing under the Eiffel Tower, you name it, they can do it, especially in Montmartre!
Stephanie Parrott, Online Columnistbookmark me