A Paris Itinerary

Paris is not a city for budget travelers.  However, I couldn't help but take Blake here to start our trip.  This is my third time in Paris and his first.  It's been great to see how much French I can remember and practice speaking with the locals.  Since we are traveling on a budget, we have had to pick and choose the things we can afford to do.  It's a bit disappointing not being able to visit all the main museums/attractions, but we know we'll make it here again later in life when we've got more of a budget.  The city is electric and romantic and you don't need to spend money to have a great time! 

On our first day, it happened to be the first Sunday of the month.  What does this mean?  Several museums are free!  We visited the Centre Pompidou (one of the modern art museums).  On the second day, we walked around our neighborhood in the Bastille area, saw the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, walked down the Champs Elysees, and had a picnic in a park near the Place de la Concorde.  All of this was free. :) 

On the third day, we went to the Jardin des Plantes, Notre Dame, and the Jardin du Luxembourg.  (We love parks!)  We also walked around the Latin Quarter and enjoyed a crepe with ham, cheese and egg.  Towards the end of the day, we made the trek to Sacre Coeur and took a quick picture of the Moulin Rouge.  All of this was free, as well!  We splurged and got dinner with wine, beef tartare and a goat cheese salad ($52 euro).  We also stopped in a speakeasy for a cocktail before heading home ($26 euro).  Again, this was a splurge so we won't be making it a habit. 

Today is our fourth day.  We spent 15 euros each on tickets to get into the Louvre (how could we not?!) and explored the museum for about 3 hours.  We then walked through the Jardin de Tuileries and set up shop with some more wine and cheese.  We are now sitting in a Cat Cafe working on our blog!  

Budget hacks and lessons learned:  The metro is cheap, but walking is cheaper! We tried to plan our days around certain areas so we could mostly walk.  Parks are free and picnic lunches are just as fun as going out to eat!  You can find an affordable hotel in a cool neighborhood but you might have to share a bathroom with others on your floor... ours was $50 euro a night in the Bastille area. Keep your metro ticket until you fully exit! We got a ticket for $35 euro because we threw one of our tickets away after boarding the train!