Paris is seductive. Great cuisine, tonnes of history, winding cobblestone streets and model-like locals who have mastered the art of perfectly tousled hair and casually chic outfits. Get the most out of the City of Light and your holiday budget, with this €50 and under bucket list.
1. Indulge your inner bookworm
A long-time fixture on the Paris cultural scene, Shakespeare and Company is the dream bookstore. Small, with towering shelves crammed with books this independent retailer is a popular destination that’s worth a visit. Browse all the book nooks, before deciding on a title or two to thumb through at Paris cafes or parks. Don’t leave without a store stamp on the inside cover of your new purchases to remind you of your time in Paris.
2. Sip on cocktails at a swanky bar
Swanky, sexy and the place to kick off a night to remember, Experimental Cocktail Club serves stiff and creative cocktails that will leave you wanting another. Tucked away down a quaint alleyway, the atmosphere, décor and music could easily be described as hip. Despite its chic appearance, cocktails are affordable at around €13, allowing you to buy a round for a group of friends or indulge in a solo mixology marathon.
3. Shop luxe for less
Just outside of Paris, a short train ride away on the RER, is La Vallée Village. Here, you’ll find designer fashion brands at dramatically reduced prices in a charming open-air village. French favourites showcased at this outdoor shopping wonderland include Sandro, Vanessa Bruno and Bonpoint, alongside international heavyweights like Jimmy Choo, Valentino and Guess.
4. Dine on Michelin-starred fare
Devour a three-course meal at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Antoine. Renowned as one of the seafood specialists of Paris, guests can opt for the set menu and bask in a complete fine dining experience at an affordable price. Dine on inventive dishes in an elegant setting with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
5. Escape to Reims
Take a return day-trip to charming Reims in the northeast of France for less than €40. A short 50-minute TGV ride Paris, this historic city lies in the Champagne-Ardenne region. Must-sees include the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims, which rivals the Notre-Dame in Paris with its beauty, and the Christmas Markets if you’re visiting during December.
6. Smell the roses and the perfume
Paris is renowned for being birthplace of some of the world’s best perfume brands, and L’Artisan Parfumeur is one of them. Founded in 1976, this L’Artisan Parfumeur’s flagship stores in Paris are where you can breathe in distinctive scents that will whisk you away to some other place or moment. Pick up a miniature set on your way for under €50 and take home the fragrance house’s bestsellers.
7. See a ballet at the Palais Garnier
Paris and ballet go together like wine and cheese, so if seeing a show is on your dream agenda whilst in this dazzling city then Palais Garnier is where you want to see it. This architectural masterpiece lends its stage to moving performances that can be attended at affordable prices. Choose seating wisely and you’ll have change from €50 for an after-show crepe.
8. Go vintage
Lovers of fashion are renowned for flocking to Paris for style inspiration and great buys. With so many glamorous Parisians, vintage shops are teeming with vintage couture and one-off-pieces. Trawl through racks of clothing and you may just come out with a Chanel or Yves Saint Laurent gem. Start ‘Mission Vintage’ at local favourites like Mon Amour, Un amour de vintage and GoldyMama.
10. Buy a Paris Museum Pass
Save time, money and your sanity with a two-day Paris Museum Pass. This golden ticket will set you back €42 and will give you access to over 60 museums and monuments across the city including Musée du Louvre. An added bonus is that you can visit anywhere listed as many times as you like! Order your ticket online and pick it up once you arrive in Paris to save on expensive shipping costs.
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