Great 'MoneySaving city guides, part 1: Paris' Hunt

Former_MSE_Lee Posts: 343 Forumite
MoneySavingExpert Insert May 2016:

Check out 29 Paris Money Saving Tips for tons of ways to save when heading off to the beautiful city.

Great 'MoneySaving city guides, part 1: Paris' Hunt

Summer's upon us and people are off on their hols, so we're starting a collection of MoneySaving guides to different cities: This week it's Paris, so if you've ever been give us a hand with some love-capital tips.

View past Great Hunts.

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  • If there's a group of you travelling or you don't mind sharing, the Youth Hostel in central Paris is great! The one I stayed in was right in the centre about 5 minutes walk from the 'Les Halles' shopping area.

    We were a group of girls and shared a room with 6 of us. I believe they had smaller rooms as well as bigger ones! Its very basic, bunk beds and communal toilets but everything was very clean. The breakfast was good as well! If you travel regularly you can get a youth hostel membership card which gives you a few euros off the price.

    Paris can be a reeeeaaally expensive city so why not save some €€€ on your bed and spend it on something else!
  • Tojo_Ralph
    Tojo_Ralph Posts: 8,373 Forumite
    MSE_Lee wrote: »
    Great 'MoneySaving city guides, part 1: Paris' Hunt

    Summer's upon us and people are off on their hols, so we're starting a collection of MoneySaving guides to different cities: This week it's Paris, so if you've ever been give us a hand with some love-capital tips.

    Is this going to be a genuine travel guide researched by MSE staff based on initial input from MSE'rs, or simply a.n.other travel thread containing a random collection of good, bad and indifferent information?
    The MSE Dictionary
    Loophole - A word used to entice people to read clearly written Terms and Conditions.
    Rip Off - Clearly written Terms and Conditions.
    Terms and Conditions - Otherwise known as a loophole or a rip off.
  • newtothemoneytips
    newtothemoneytips Posts: 6 Forumite
    edited 13 July 2011 at 3:11PM
    I suppose its a user led forum, which is okay, just like trip advisor!

    My tips for Paris:

    budgetplaces is a good website to find prices per night in Paris, if you dont mind shared toilets etc. Everywhere I have been so far on there has been acceptable to good, but bearing in mind I dont mind where I sleep as long as its clean and safe!

    Paris visite card: The travel card for the metro, RER, buses etc is very good value. You can buy one at CDG airport and its gets you to Paris, all over Paris and back again. You can also get discounts for shows and other exhibitions on presenting it (check their website where or pick up a leaflet at the terminal)

    Monoprix: If you are thirsty, dont buy drinks from a vendor unless you are happy to pay 3-5 euro for a drink. The monoprix is the supermarket, and although not super cheap, is a lot more reasonable than the vendors. I definitely know there is one on Boulevard St Michel, in the Latin Quarter, and a bigger one on Boulevard St Germain, although they are generally in every arrondisement.

    Pickpockets: This is more about keeping hold of your money than losing it! As the tricks with "dropping a gold ring on the floor" has been well documented by guidebooks such as lonely planet etc, the new trick is to approach you with a clipboard, seemingly with a charity list or a petition. As you say no, they will push into you, and in my husbands experience, attempt to slide their hand into your inside pocket of your coat whilst leaning on your chest. A bit intrusive, and from my experience they hang around the exit of the CDG airport, Canal St Martin student area and the tourist areas such as outisde the Louvre/Arc de Triomphe/Bastille/Republic

    The Latin Quarter: Eating cheap and well in Paris is a struggle, and if you just want a lot of food fast, but not Macdonalds, the Latin Quarter has a lot of 3 courses for 10euro places, and it is very filling although the drinks are not cheap. To drink in the latin quarter is not cheap, a bottle of wine starts at about 22 euro. (Monoprix - 5euro)

    You can always walk: its good exercise, you see a lot more and its free! Its a big city but if you plan you can cover a lot of ground without using le metro, although that is an experience in itself!

    Free museum days: Once a month, the museums such the the Louvre, d'Orsay etc are free (extremely busy) and this will save you a lot of money (entrance in 2010 for the Louvre - 9euro each, one of the cheap ones). I havent got the days/times for this so please google this to find out

    Most things are closed on a Monday - so unless you have something specifically planned that is running on a Monday, check before you book incase you wanted to visit things, which you cant.

    Cabaret: There are quite a few cabaret shows about, with dinner and/or champagne or show only, and they all compete. I have been to Moulin Rouge, Le Lido and Paradis Latin, and out of the shows the Moulin Rouge is the best in terms of size (and if you get a good seat) but the most expensive usually. Le Lido is reduced with a Paris visite card and Paradis Latin has a lovely menu and as it is a lot smaller, it is a bit more personable and the stage acts come around (and above!) the tables!

    le Metro closing times: Paris is a city that does sleep, so if you are having a late one, make sure you can get home. le metro closes between 11pm-12am (please double check) and most places are open a lot later!

    and finally....

    Berthillon Ice Cream - not a cheap tip but a tasty one! On Ile de Louis, near Notre Dame, there are many ice cream parlours selling the famous Berthillon ice cream. It is definitely the best one in Paris, but if you cant get to the Island, look for the chain Amorino, which is a good shop for very good quality gelato style ice cream

    Enjoy Paris and have a wonderful time if you go. I love it and think it is a brilliant city with lots to offer
  • My only sad face is that the super good value for money (McDonalds) breakfast for 5 euro is no longer available.

    It was: coffee or tea, orange juice, yoghurt, fruit, pastry and a bacon thing. Bring it back! (and if anyone knows where to get a cheap filling breakfast in Paris, let me know!)
  • caitybabes
    caitybabes Posts: 442
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Get an amazing falafel (as endorsed by Lenny Kravitz) at L'As Du Falafel, a massive pitta full of yum for about 5-7 euro. 34, rue des Rosiers, 75004, 4th Arrondissement, Paris, France (map); 01 48 87 63 60

    We went there ages ago and we still talk about that falafel.

    Also, we stayed at a 2* hotel called Hotel Comete and it was decent. Had friendly staff and was a nice walk along the Canal St. Martin and a nice walk to Monmarte :)
  • carefulcath
    carefulcath Posts: 37
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    When is the best time of day to visit the Eiffel Tower to avoid queues?
  • fedupalready_2
    fedupalready_2 Posts: 4 Newbie
    edited 13 July 2011 at 3:12PM
    I've found that the best time for tower entry is either very early or the last hour. i've been late afternoon and been reasonably empty. shouldn't be too bad, unless August.
  • carefulcath
    carefulcath Posts: 37
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Yes I am going in August. I am going with Riviera Travel and staying at the Ibis Alesia. Does anyone have any tips, advice etc.??

    I am taking my 12 year old daughter. For travel on the metro I intend to buy a Carnet. Do I get a child's version of the Carnet for her?
  • carefulcath
    carefulcath Posts: 37
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Also which is the best guide book to buy/ Any recommendations?
  • Cocorico123
    Cocorico123 Posts: 84
    Debt-free and Proud!
    If you want to be about as central as you can possibly be in Paris and not spend too much on accommodation, the Hotel Hopitel is right next to Notre Dame on the Ile De La Cite. As the name suggests, it is above the Hotel-Dieu hospital. Rooms are 136 euros for a double / twin - it's not a fancy hotel, but has everything you need and the location is fantastic.
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