Thursday, 18 September 2014

Visiting Paris, France on a Budget

When we were younger, we travelled to France a lot. We stayed in the South of France with my Mum and Step Dad and my Dad took us camping to Berny Riviere with a trip to Disneyland Paris thrown in for good measure.

Last October we went to Disneyland Paris and had a great time with the kids. It would have been nice to get in to Paris itself and visit some of the famous attractions but we just didn't have time. We'd definitely like to go at some point, but with a big holiday next year, we would have to do it on a strict budget. Thankfully, Hotel Direct have some fantastic deals for booking a trip to visit Paris and there are some amazing attractions and places you can visit in France without spending a lot of money.

The main thing we'd love to see in Paris would be the Eiffel Tower. We could actually see the Eiffel Tower from our bus when we were leaving the airport and heading to Disneyland and it looked impressive even though it was pretty faraway. Up close, I imagine it to be pretty breathtaking and the views from the top must be spectacular. 

If anything rivals the Eiffel Tower as the symbol of Paris, the Arc de Triomphe would be it. This is the magnificent 1836 monument to Napoleon's 1805 victory at Austerlitz and it stands in the centre of the Étoile roundabout. There is a viewing platform some 280 steps up the arch where you can see dozens of avenues through the city centre. 

If you happen to be travelling to Paris this month, it's worth looking in to some of the free events and attractions. Heritage Days fall this weekend (19th and 20th September) and that means hundreds of museums and monuments will allow free access to the public. Usually you have to pay to enter so it's well worth taking advantage of this or planning your trip around this annual event. Places like Presidential Palace (Palais de l'Elysée), Senate Building (Palais du Luxembourg) and City Hall (Hôtel de Ville) are just a few of the places that you could visit.

Also in September, you can visit the Festival of Gardens. Gardens are a year round draw in Paris however, on 26th and 27th September, you can visit for free and enjoy plenty of outdoor live music including Jazz and Classical, whilst taking in some of the beautiful scenery. 

Another exciting thing that happens in Paris, which I'd never heard of, is on the first Sunday of the month, museums offer the public entry free of charge. This includes The Orsay (Musée d'Orsay), The Centre Pompidou and, a trip to Paris wouldn't be complete without a visit to this one, The Louvre. This is the world's largest and most visited museum. There are over 35000 pieces of art and artifacts in The Louvre including Egyptians, Romans and, of course, The Mona Lisa. 

With so many free events and attractions, it definitely looks like a visit to Paris, France can be done on a budget. Of course, if you are in Paris, meeting Mickey Mouse himself is a must!

Have you ever been to Paris or any other area of France? What do you recommend seeing or doing?

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