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Paris On A Budget

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Like any major European capital, one can spend a fortune of money in a day, just enjoying the sights and tastes of Paris. But one can also be penny-wise and have a grand old time. Here are a few great money-saving choices which may actually enhance time spent in the city.

*Avoid taking expensive taxi rides. Take the metro. Buy a carnet (a pack) of ten rides for 11.4 euros.

*Skip a sit-down breakfast in a cafe. Instead, do what Parisians do...go to the neighborhood boulangerie or patisserie. Buy a croissant, brioche, or fruit pastry and a coffee to go. Then find a good people-watching place to sit, or stand. Spend your money instead, on lunch.

*Put together a picnic lunch from a market street such as the Rue Cler, or buy a pre-made sandwich from a boulangerie/patisserie such as Gerard Mulot and go to the park. Every corner of the city offers a lovely place to eat and stroll. The Jardins du Luxembourg, for example, is a vast city park with iron chairs strewn about for leisurely enjoyment.

*Take advantage of free admission to museums in Paris. The first Sunday of each month is usually free at major museums such as the Musee du Louvre and the Musee D'Orsay.

*Instead of renting a hotel room, especially if you are traveling with more than one person, rent an apartment by the week. Go to Paris-Insider's Vacation Apartment Rentals category for reputable listings. http://paris-insider.com/vacation-apartment-rentals

*When arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport, if you don't have unwieldy luggage, and you're not exhausted, take the RER B metro into the center of Paris, instead of a taxi. The money you save can go towards a great meal instead.

*If you intend to visit a few museums during your stay in Paris, buy a museum pass and get discounted admissions. Go to
www.parismuseumpass.com

*Skip a restaurant dinner out. Assemble a meal you can eat in your hotel room or apartment rental. Check out the great food emporiums such as Fauchon or Hediard or go to the neighborhood epicerie (general food store with exceptional take-out).

*Great art can be appreciated in many of the churches of Paris. It costs nothing to enter the main chapel of Notre Dame de Paris, which is a visual feast. Click on the Churches category of Paris-Insider. http://paris-insider.com/churches

P.S. The moment you arrive in Paris, go to a newsstand and pick up a copy of Pariscope, with listings of everything that is going on in the city. It has a section in English with many options for recreation on the cheap. L'Officiel des Spectacles is also a great guide, solely in French.



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