As my avid readers (lol) already know, I was in Paris last month, but only for two days. As those avid readers (who definitely exist) also know, Paris is hella expensive for someone who gets paid in zloty (Polish currency). Plus, I ate a lot of pain au chocolat. What does all this add up to?
A shit-ton of walking and wandering.
My biggest tip for saving money is to look at Google Maps, find things like parks, landmarks, churches, etc, and make a route. Then put on some good shoes, and walk. Yes, Paris is a big city, and you will need to take the Metro at some point. But by walking around, I saw a lot of what I wanted to see, was able to find things I never would have noticed, and I burned off the calories from those pain au chocolat.
Like I said before in my previous posts on Paris, I‘m by no means a fanatic of French culture or the Parisian aesthetic so I didn’t particularly have any must-sees, except Montmarte and Sacre Coeur. Here’s what happens when you have no game plan and very little money.
Ok, confession: I only wanted to go here because of the Regina Spektor song. It was nice, but I’m sure much more impressive in the spring, once the trees are no longer bare.
Boulevard Saint Michel
Shopping, cafes, generally expensive stuff. Very nice to walk along. Much nicer, I’m sure, when you have money.
This is a great church with amazing stained-glass windows. I feel like the normal admissions price of 10 euro is a little pricey, because it’s really only a 2 room-stop. But I got in for free, because I’m 25 and an EU resident.
I feel like it speaks for itself.
This was the one thing I absolutely wanted to see, hands down, no matter what. It did not disappoint. The shops are adorable, the view is amazing, the whole neighborhood in general is very beautiful. Great for that hipster, bohemian aesthetic. And there are a lot of steps. Perfect for getting that cardio on my weekend off from the gym.
The basilica at the top of Montmarte is definitely worth the visit. It’s an operational church, so you don’t have to pay to get in, plus you don’t have to go through security like you do at Saint-Chapelle or Notre Dame. The inside of Sacre Coeur is so beautiful. I’ve seen many cathedrals in Italy, and I think this was one of my favorites. (Until I went to Barcelona and saw Sagrada Familia.)
I also recommend climbing to the top of the dome (haha, what else is new). The view is truly fantastic. It’s only 6 euro, which I think is a pretty reasonable price. There is no elevator, and it’s something like 300 steps up a very narrow, spiral staircase. Claustrophobics should skip this one. Think of it as penance for all that pain au chocolat.