The romance capital of the world, birthplace of fashion and haute cuisine, and home to the world’s most impressive art collections (Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, Centre Pompidou), Paris is a must-see European city. Wander through the cobbled lanes and neighbourhood (arrondissement) street markets, stroll along the Seine or Champs Eylsees, people watch from Parisian cafes or work off those croissants and camembert by climbing the 1665 stairs of the Eiffel Tower. Here’s some of the best Parisian experiences our money savvy travellers recommend for your visit to the ‘City of light’.
Watching an opera in Paris can set you back up to 300 Euros per ticket, well out of reach for most people but if you’re like me and want a taste of high culture without the high price tag, try getting yourself standing room tickets at Opera Bastille. You can only get them just prior to the performance and they are sold on a first come first served basis. Almost as amazing as the opera itself was checking out the Parisiens in their haute couture and jewels!
Author: Nikki Cotton
Hitting the local Paris food markets is a fantastic way to put your french skills to the test. Fruit vendors spruik their fresh produce in melodious tones and I was be able to snack and sample bits of fruit, nuts, breads and various melt-in-your-mouth french cheeses. Food markets are dotted around the city but some of the best and most exciting food markets include the Aligre market on the 12th arrondissement, Bastille market on the 11th arrondissement and the Maubert and Place Monge Markets (both on the 5th arrondissement).
Author: Trevor Norton
In my opinion, the Musee d’Orsay is way better than the Lourve, especially if you have kids with you. You’ll be able to comfortably see all of the museum’s highlights in a couple of hours and there is plenty to see, from impressionist works by Monet, Manet to sculptures by Rodin. The museum is located in a former railway station so the building itself is a bit of an artwork. As with most attractions in Paris, try to buy prepaid admission tickets otherwise you’ll be in for a long wait in the queues…
Author: Jules Walton
If you don’t have much time in Paris, forget the Louvre, D’Orsay or Pompidou museums, I’d head straight to the Musee Rodin. The gardens are spectacular and the number of Rodin marble and bronze sculptures is just, well, you get a sense of what a lifetime’s work amounts to. I really had no idea Rodin was so prolific. Get off at Varenne metro, entry is around 7 Euros including the permanent collection and garden.
Author: Vik Maslow
My kids, like most kids, are fascinated by anything to do with bums, farts and poo so when we visited Paris recently we took them on the tour of the Paris sewer. Honestly, it was a bit stinky for my liking but the kids loved it. The tour went for about an hour and the English translations definitely helped us to take in all of the information in the museum. The entrance to the Musee des Egeuts is just near Pont de l’Alma. The tour was cheap as chips, and cost us under 20 Euros for all 4 of us.
Author: Deb Lotti
I was staying in Monmartre and stumbled upon this amazing patisserie, Arnaud Larher, on Rue Caulaincourt. The window display was just mind blowing – rows of impeccable pastries, macaroons every colour of the rainbow and mouth watering chocolates. While the tarts, cakes and handcrafted chocolates are the main attraction of this store I couldn’t resist picking up a bottle of the orange flavour hot chocolate. OMG, it is worth a trip to Paris just to try it. You can have it hot or cold but either way, it’s absolutely delish!
Author: Paige Davey
The Louvre was on my places to visit in Paris for all the obvious reasons but once I arrived in Paris and stood in the massive courtyard I was just completely blown away. The scale of the Louvre Palace is like nothing you’ve ever experienced, at least not in Australia. It took a bit of time for the queue to move but I didn’t mind a bit, I just loved the fact that I was in Paris, standing out the front of the Louvre. I gladly handed over the 15 Euro entry fee and started exploring. I’d easily give the museum a full morning and even then you’ll feel like you’ve only seen a third of the artwork. If you can, time your visit for the first Sunday in the month as entry is free or if you’re under 26 you can visit any friday evening from 6pm till closing for nada.
Author: Caroline Fielding
Paris is the perfect city to see on bike because for the most part it’s flat and it’s really really cheap. Bikes are available at any Paris metro station and all you need is a credit card and away you go. You can use Velib bikes for up to 30 minutes free but an unlimited 1 day pass only costs 1.70 Euro. The only downside to the Velib bikes are that they’re really heavy so kids may struggle with them. Bike lanes are plentiful all around the city so biking is pretty safe compared to Sydney. Remember to pick up a bike map from the Paris tourist office, which has some highlighted routes for visiting the main attractions and museums around the city.
Author: Laura Sinclair
Getting a coffee from stand-up cafes in Paris is cheaper than getting a table at a coffeehouse - €1 instead of €2.5! And it’s also more fun to sit outside and admire the beautiful Parisian outdoors.
Author: Samantha Thomas
Grab a bottle of red wine in Paris (yes, the only cheap thing in Paris is Bordeaux wine - but it tastes amazing!) and some delicious French cheese, pate and baguette with a friend and sit along the Siene for a long relaxed lunch in under $20.
Author: Roisin Kelly-Goldsmith