Paris, France. The city of love. The city of light. Everyone has their romantic dream of what Paris is, and for most people, it is all that and more. But Paris comes with a price, especially for Americans. The Euro is strong and everyone in the world flocks to Paris. Paris is a large city, but the central area that pulls at the romantic in you is large enough to wander for a week, but small enough to still feel charming.
Paris on a Budget
It’s easy to spend all of your time in Paris, and even easier to spend all your money. If you’re on a budget, you’ll be severely limited in what you can do in Paris. Still, that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy much of what the city of love has to offer.
Walk. Metro. Bicycle.
Much of Paris is best when seen by foot, alongside the Parisians. It is a walkable city, and when you have to go someplace far, you can take the Metro. If you wish to see another part of the city but you don’t want to walk, then take a bicycle. Velib is a bicycle sharing program where you can sign up for an affordable bicycle rental program.
See Paris by Double Decker Bus
Paris has an affordable tourist double decker bus that gives you a chance to see much of the city with the option to hop on and hop off at dozens of different locations. This is a tourist trap worth it’s weight in gold.
Walk the Champs-Elysees
The shopping avenue of Paris, you’ll find everything you could ever dream of, and all the window shopping one can handle. Walking the Champs-Elysees is a great way to see the center of Paris and it leads you right to the Arc de Triomphe.
Sit in any cafe.
Yes, just sitting in any cafe on the sidewalk will immediately make you feel like a Parisian. Just be careful. Cafes in Paris can be expensive because they know tourists love this experience. Do your research first and check the prices on the menu.
Grab a baguette and a bottle of wine.
In the evenings, the Eiffel Tower lights up and sparkles for ten minutes every hour after dusk. You don’t even need to spend the money to climb to the top. Just sit in the Champ de Mars and have a picnic. You won’t be alone. Parisians and tourists alike flood the grass every evening for this event.
Rent an apartment.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but Parisian hotels and guesthouses can be expensive. Even hostels are few and far between. Renting an apartment on airbnb.com or roomorama.com will give you a unique opportunity for a fraction of the cost. Truly, living like a Parisian!
Remember, for U.S. Citizens traveling to France, you won’t need a special visa. Just bring your valid U.S. Passport and you can stay in France for 90 days in a six month period, thanks to the Schengen Area Visa. If you need your passport within 24 hours, or you just don’t want to deal with the headaches of the paperwork and the waiting times, contact Fastport Passport. Fastport Passport has been expediting passports for travelers to Paris for over ten years.