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  • smeegarashenko
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 11, 10:08 PM
    Staying in Paris
    • #2
    • 12th Jul 11, 10:08 PM
    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
    • By Tojo Ralph 12th Jul 11, 11:03 PM
    • 7,841 Posts
    • 12,268 Thanks
    Tojo Ralph
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 11, 11:03 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jul 11, 11:03 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by MSE Lee
    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
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 11, 8:55 AM
    Cheap in Paris
    • #4
    • 13th Jul 11, 8:55 AM
    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
    Last edited by Former MSE Lee; 13-07-2011 at 4:11 PM.
  • newtothemoneytips
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 11, 8:59 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Jul 11, 8:59 AM
    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
    • By caitybabes 13th Jul 11, 10:02 AM
    • 437 Posts
    • 1,245 Thanks
    caitybabes
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:02 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:02 AM
    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
    • By carefulcath 13th Jul 11, 10:22 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    carefulcath
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:22 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:22 AM
    When is the best time of day to visit the Eiffel Tower to avoid queues?
  • fedupalready
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:37 AM
    Tower entry
    • #8
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:37 AM
    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.
    Last edited by Former MSE Lee; 13-07-2011 at 4:12 PM.
    • carefulcath
    • By carefulcath 13th Jul 11, 10:52 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    carefulcath
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:52 AM
    paris trip
    • #9
    • 13th Jul 11, 10:52 AM
    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
    • By carefulcath 13th Jul 11, 10:53 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    carefulcath
    Also which is the best guide book to buy/ Any recommendations?
    • Cocorico123
    • By Cocorico123 13th Jul 11, 10:56 AM
    • 84 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    Cocorico123
    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.
    • snowleopard61
    • By snowleopard61 13th Jul 11, 11:46 AM
    • 770 Posts
    • 1,593 Thanks
    snowleopard61
    We got by with buying our food for actual meals from supermarkets and bakeries - also super-cheap wine, which came in the sort of bottle I've otherwise only ever seen sunflower oil in, ridged plastic with a plastic flip-top, and which didn't taste that great! - but it felt very authentic having camembert and baguette and French wine while looking down at the Paris street from our hotel balcony. We ate out only for little treat things like patisserie and hot chocolate, or croque-monsieur (ham & cheese toastie!) or frites.

    The Paris mosque is worth a visit and they have a cafe where they serve mint tea and there were people smoking these hubble-bubble pipes. It rather surprised me at first as I thought they were smoking something else ...!

    Walking, as suggested by someone else, is good fun because you just happen upon things that you wouldn't otherwise have seen. A free way of entertaining yourself for a morning!

    Some of the very smart and expensive department stores are fun just to look at, if you can cope with feeling as if you don't fit the obvious demographic (no offence; I mean I don't - perhaps you do, but possibly you wouldn't be on MSE if you did!).

    Personally I found Montmartre an absolute nightmare as I can't stand being pestered by vendors and it happened ALL the time there.
    • snowleopard61
    • By snowleopard61 13th Jul 11, 12:36 PM
    • 770 Posts
    • 1,593 Thanks
    snowleopard61
    By the way, the guide we used when we first went (27 years ago, I think!) was 'Pauper's Paris' by Miles Turner. I should think it is out of print but available second-hand through Amazon. Obviously it would be in many ways out of date too though.

    When we last went, I just borrowed guides from my local library, which was fine - can't remember what they were, but at least it didn't cost me anything!
  • keepersgirl
    use the metro quick and easy, walk around ile de louis definatley whilst eating an icecream from berthillion, walk over to shakespeare and co a day trip in itself, walk along the banks of the seine and enjoy the paris plage (beaches in paris) on all through august. Go on giant ferris wheel in jardin tullieries, no queue when we visited, cross road and have stregthening hot choc in angelinas, the street markets are fantastic bastille especially was very good, visited last summer with dd.
    • mippy
    • By mippy 13th Jul 11, 2:31 PM
    • 486 Posts
    • 362 Thanks
    mippy
    Buy a carnet - a book of individual tickets for the Metro - and walk as much as you can. It's a great city to walk in.

    We stayed at the Hotel Formule 1, which is very basic halls-of-residence type accommodation, but perfect for us. 30 a night for a double room and you can walk to the Porte de Vanves flea market or get the metro a few stops into town from the one in Port D'Orleans.

    Go to bakeries for your lunch and sit in the park - there are many many gorgeous parks round and about. Food is generally cheap from supermarkets - especially alcohol - but other goods are not - we paid 5 for some own-brand nail clippers.
    Last edited by Former MSE Lee; 13-07-2011 at 4:13 PM.
  • ellesters
    snowleopard61 - I remember "Pauper's Paris!" I too used it on my first trip over 20 years ago. Suspect most of the restaurant listings are out of date, even if you can find it.

    Save restaurant dining for lunch time. Most restaurants will have a "plat du jour" for 10euro or prix fixe menu, often 3 courses for 15-20 euros max, this includes tax and service. A great way to dine in style for less!

    Picnic in your hotel room for dinner. Lots of markets in Paris, buy great wine, cheese, bread, pate and hole up in your hotel room. My favourite is the Richard Lenoir market on Sundays, runs north from Place Bastille. Amazing organic/farmers market. My husband still dreams of the spit roasted chicken and the potatoes cooking in all that lovely schmaltz! If you can't wait for dinner, you can take your booty and go sit by the Canal St. Martin, south of Place Bastille, very pretty and peaceful.

    Walking around Paris is the best way to get to know it. People watching in the Marais is free and fascinating. I love the Jardin de Luxembourg and the Marches aux Puce too.

    According to Time Out Paris, lots of bars/cafes are turning themselves into impromptu live music venues this year. Nurse a Ricard and check out the vibes guardian.co.uk/travel/2011/may/06/10-best-paris-music-venues

    1st Sunday of the month - all museums in Paris are free entry!

    xx
    • Riyazi
    • By Riyazi 13th Jul 11, 4:01 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Riyazi
    I suppose its a user led forum, which is okay, just like trip advisor!

    My tips for Paris:
    Originally posted by newtothemoneytips
    Excellent list and some good tips - thanks!

    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
    Originally posted by newtothemoneytips
    I saw a few girls/women with clipboards, running around near the Eiffel Tower trying to gather signatures for a Deaf & Dumb charity or something. Someone told me that it was a scam and not to get sign or talk to them. I couldn't figure out how it could be a scam - but your explanation makes sense

    When is the best time of day to visit the Eiffel Tower to avoid queues?
    Originally posted by carefulcath
    I went there about 2 hours before opening and I was the 5th in line!!! We went again in the evening and still waited for 2 hours! However
    this was during the busy Easter weekend. I think you are better off getting tickets online well before you go - you can pick times etc but unfortunately they are all booked well in advance.

    +1 on the ticket book - cheapest way to travel on the Metro (not as clean or modern as the London Underground though )
    I have learnt that living life to the fullest gives you a much better high than alcohol or drugs !
    • snowleopard61
    • By snowleopard61 13th Jul 11, 5:52 PM
    • 770 Posts
    • 1,593 Thanks
    snowleopard61
    Hi Ellesters, clearly you and I have both been saving money a long time then (Pauper's Paris) even if we're not the most prolific posters on MSE!

    Perhaps my best money-saving tip when in Paris is to go with someone you're in love with (as I did the first time). That way you get free entertainment even before you leave your hotel room.

    Nothing to do with money-saving - but on no account do what my teenage daughters and I did on the Metro a few years ago. I'd bought them each a cheap but VERY VERY LOUD personal security alarm for use in the UK and one of them happened to have it in her bag in Paris, and accidentally pulled the pin out on the Metro. You can imagine how much the Parisians loved us, in that crowded and confined space, as we blushed and giggled and tried with shaking hands to put it back in PDQ.
  • Bargainbagger
    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?
    Originally posted by carefulcath
    A friend & I returned fom this very trip yesterday. we found everything to be fine. Hotel clean, breakfast very plentyful. The inclusive trips left us little time to need to use metro etc.

    There is a small shop on the corner selling everything needed for luches very reasonably, Monoprix, just 5 mins walk and very reasonable. Loads of places within walking distance, with plat du jour etc. Hope you enjoy the trip as much as we did. I'd certainly go again!
  • Andy Ros
    Paris on the cheap
    Tesco do a few rewards for Paris. I used their rewards for a trip up the Montparnasse Tower, this was a wonderful trip, we could see miles as well as into local back yards. Well worth it. There is also the opportunity to get boat trips, I haven't tried these but imagine they are well worth it. A trip down the Seine on a hot summer's day sounds great.
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