Out of six weeks spent traveling in Europe, Paris was the city we stayed the longest in with seven days to spend there. After realizing almost all the big tourist attractions cost a lot of money, I began to realize I’d have to pick and choose what to do in order to stay within my budget. And trust me, Paris has a ton to do.
Looking back at my time there, I’ve realized that my favorite experiences in Paris were not necessarily the ones that were the typical tourist attractions or activities that cost money. Most of my most memorable experiences were in fact free, or at least really cheap. Paris on a budget is certainly doable.
So here’s a look at the top Paris experiences… on a budget!
Picnic under the Eiffel Tower
It seems like going up the Eiffel Tower is a dream of many, but I still can’t figure out why. It’s expensive and don’t you want the most iconic symbol of Paris actually in your photos? That’s what I thought.
So rather than busting your budget going up the Eiffel Tower, why not grab a baguette or even some dessert so you can enjoy a nice picnic underneath it instead.
Take a cruise down the Seine
Since this article isn’t titled “Free Things to do in Paris”, my advice is to pay, yes pay, to take a cruise down the Seine–preferably in the evening.
It’s less than 10 dollars which makes it quite budget friendly for Paris and it’s actually a great way to see all of the city’s most famous attractions since majority are along the river anyways. Just don’t pay for the dinner cruises, now those are not worth it nor are they budget friendly.
Eat macarons at Ladureé
If you’re addicted to macaroons like I am, this should be at the top of your list. Spend some time wandering the Champs Élysées before jumping in line with everyone at Ladureé.
Sticking to a stricter budget, simply buy a macaron or two to go, or if you really feel like splurging buy a whole box to sample all their flavors or one of their other fancy desserts.
Stroll through the Jardin du Luxembourg
Head to these gardens on any day of the weekend and you’ll be surrounded by local Parisians doing the same. People love to just sit in the grass with their friends and relax, bring a bottle of wine or two, and then call it an evening. Be sure to actually wander through the actual garden part too as they’re beautiful, especially in spring and summer.
Photograph the Pyramide du Louvre at sunset
The Louvre may be expensive to get in to, but it’s free to visit the pyramid outside. Even though doing a whole photoshoot there is a bit touristy, there’s still something magical about it as the glass reflects the sunset. Be sure to arrive early as surely there’ll be other people there starting to set up their cameras as well.