Recommendations for Paris...

Hi all, I'm off to Paris for the Jubilee bank holiday – taking the Eurostar – it is a budget trip as the friend I am going with does not earn much so any ideas/recommendations/tips/tricks on to have a good budget trip would be appreciated. We are staying near the 9th and 10th Arr and it is a first time visit!


Don't go anywhere near the Eiffel Tower. Go up the Montparnasse Tower instead. 

The Musée Carnavalet is good and also free, which is not the case for most Paris museums. All the museums are free on the first Sunday of the month, however, so if you want to do one of the big ones on a budget, Sunday would be a good time to go. (Expect it to be busy, however.)

The weather will probably be lovely, which means you can have cheap picnics down by the river instead of eating in restaurants all the time. Bring your own corkscrew. 

Hotel breakfasts are usually a waste of money if there is a cheaper without breakfast option, because there is a boulangerie on every street corner.

Oh, if you're near the 10th then it's worth a trip to Du Pain et des Idées for amazing pastries. Don't mind the queue of Instagrammers out of the door, you won't have to wait too long and it's worth it.

Get a baguette and a bottle of wine and have a picnic by Canal Saint Martin. Especially nice on a warm evening. 

The Grand Mosque has beautiful gardens, a lovely tea room and a hammam that is both a bargain and an experience. 

you have to go up the Eiffel tower if you go to Paris!


The queue for the Louvre on the free day starts early and is huge, the Pompidou is much more manageable

La belle hortense in the marais is a great bookshop come wine bar.

+1 for Saint Martin canal (if happy with grimy bits). 

Yes, take your friend up the Eiffel Tower.

And don't wear shoes you like, the streets are paved with the turds of yappy not proper dogs.

you have to go up the Eiffel tower if you go to Paris!

You really don't.

Hours queuing to be packed in like sardines with annoying American tourists, extra money if you want to go all the way to the top, and once you're up it, you can't even see it anymore. You can see the Montparnasse Tower though, which is an eyesore.

If you go up the Montparnasse Tower there's pretty much zero queuing (although it is getting more popular) and the view from the top is unbeatable. Go for a crepe in rue Odessa afterwards.

Anna has proven a reliable tour guide in the past (especially that pastry shop). 

We went to the louvre on Friday night they had a special late night openkmg or something, it was open late and pretty quiet- everyone looks at you like you have a third eye if you say that’s what you’re doing in Paris on a Friday but you could stand in front of the Mona Lisa with no queue for as long as you wanted (if that is your thing)

Buy a baguette from a street vendor and take it to Jardin du Luxembourg for lunch/picnic.

+1 for not eating breakfast at your hotel. Go to the boulangerie.

Yes, as ZG says, if your budget stretches to paying for Louvre entry, Friday night is a great time to go.

Paris is one of those places which can be very expensive but also very cheap, depending on what you choose to do. In my opinion the best way to enjoy it is just to walk around, and you're going at a great time of year for that. Bring shoes you can walk for miles in, weather appropriate clothes and your sunnies, and just wander about.

Eat at Bouillon Chantier, on the tourist trail, but still authentic. For a stroll, take the RER B to Port Royal then wander through the Jardins du Luxembourg, head to the Pantheon then wander down some of the roads to the Seine or via the Arènes de Lutèce to the Jardin des Plaintes and then the Seine W towards Ile de la Cité.

If you're at Montmartre then the small, but perfectly formed Musée du Montmartre is good.

Do not go to Bouillion Chartier (or at least, don't go sober). The food is actively gross and they have been phoning it in for years - it's also tourist central. Go to Bouillion Pigalle instead (despite the name they are not in a chain) - it's the same idea, extremely good value, but the food is actually nice. You can also get MASSIVE cheap bottles of draft wine and beer, all in pleasingly logo-ed glassware. 

Opera Garnier is great. If you can see a performance, all the better, but if not just a visit inside is nice.

Eiffel Tower should be done if not done before (obvs book in advance). Yes the crush to get up is pretty grim and depressing but once up it's actually pretty epic, plus you can walk down which is the best part. 

The only people who think the Eiffel Tower is good are the ones who have never been up the Montparnasse Tower.


I can recoomend the Les Ombres restaurant at the feet of the ET. It has a glass roof and you can see the sparkling lights of the ET every hour. 

Been there twice and did not percieve it as a tourist trap nor ridiculously expensive. Have to make a reservation though.

Second time I went there on a February 14th, hours after me any my then GF effectively broke up, we had a really lovely dinner there that lasted for hours.

The Promenande Plantee can be nice, and a bit different, on a bright day.


Sacre Coeur is worth a gander, especially if you're in the 9eme / 10 eme.


For drinking, my knowledge is out of date, but there used to be a good happy-hour trail on a Saturday, starting at Klein Holland, then Stolly's (best Long Island Iced Tea on earth), then Lizard Lounge.


Heaps of stuff to do on the cheap. Wandering around and sitting in gardens is great. I’m looking forward to a falafel on or near rue des rosiers. 

Also, there was a thread on family-friendly activities in Paris not long ago which you might want to mine for ideas (not all the responses were kiddie-focused).

If it’s hot, piscine Josephine Baker then a drink in a nearby riverside cafe would also be fun. Musee de la Chasse is eccentric if you are in the neighbourhood.  Musee d’Orsay or Palais de Tokyo are alternatives to Louvre.  Glace at Berthillon on your way across the Seine via ile saint Louis.  You can’t really beat just wandering around and sitting around in cafes though.  I am feeling nostalgic for youthful visits to Paris, sob. 

Always found the promenade plantee smelt of dog shut myself. Similar to parts of the bois de Vincennes. 

LVP had some great suggestions when I was in Paris a couple of years ago. I also second the thing about not having hotel breakfast. That is something of a rule for me where ever I go as the hotel stuff is usually pretty generic so I often look for a nice cafe nearby to get something better. I really liked going to the Orsay and l'Orangerie when I was there and was a good escape from the heat.

Just walk up the Eiffel tower and don't bother taking the lift to the top. 

I think the Musée d'Orsay is top notch from an architecture standpoint. Maybe different now but before was not as packed as other museums. 

Somebody on here once recommended Frenchie wine bar and it is great. I wish I could remember whose recommendation it was. Not especially budget though.

If you're more of a beer drinker then Hoppy Corner in the same neighbourhood is good.

Thank you all! We definitely have not chosen the hotel breakfast as wanted to get out and eat at different places.

I think my friend is unlikely to want to avoid the ET (given it is a first time visit) although Lucy will look in to the tower! Thanks.

Any nice shopping areas for clothes (that is not full of tourists)? Not too expensive but I may treat myself to something if I like the look of it!

Not going up the Eiffel Tower is wrong IMO

It may be passe, but its literally the most famous thing in France

It is basic and overrated.

Sorry, the OP asked for recommendations and not wasting your time going up the Eiffel Tower like all the other basic bitches is my top tip.

I guess going up the Eiffel Tower is like going on the London Eye, I wouldn't do it but depends what you like. Go to Montmartre for a nice view - and it's closer to the 9th/10th. The Bois de Boulogne has some nice formal gardens, you could cycle there using the Velib public bikes (or the scooters which are everywhere and fun after a couple of glasses of rosé)

Agree with the Marais, there are plenty of nice shops there and it's a nice place to have a wander even if you don't find anything you want to buy.

Much like France then...

London eye is 22 years old

It would be like coming to London and not bothering with buck palace

Much like France then...

It is unsurprising that you would think this when your top tip is the Eiffel Tower.

I didn't say it was top, but it's an essential imo as I said

Most people would agree, which explains why it's a popular tourist attraction

Get on a boat too

There used to be a back door to the Louvre through a tunnel which let you avoid the queue for the pyramid.  Not sure if it's still open though.

If you go up the Montparnasse Tower there's pretty much zero queuing (although it is getting more popular) and the view from the top is unbeatable. Go for a crepe in rue Odessa afterwards.

This has reminded me of my French client who told me the best panoramic view of Paris is that from the Tour Montparnasse because that's the only place from which you do not see the Tour Montparnasse.

Go up the arc de Triomphe, fewer people and then you actually get the view of the Effiel tower.  Natural history museum was cool.

There is a bar called Faust, I wouldnt eat there, but it is right on the Seine next to the walking path, directly in front of the Alexander Pont III bridge and sunny all afternoon. Good for a rose. 

The back door to the Louvre works if you have their annual Amis du Louvre museum pass or are in a group (worth it if you live here as it's tax deductible). Otherwise the entry direct from the metro is a better bet if the Parvis is baking hot as you queue.

I agree with Lucy on the Eiffel Tower. The view from the tea shop at the top of the Institut du Monde Arab used to be good, but last I checked it was closed.


This has reminded me of my French client who told me the best panoramic view of Paris is that from the Tour Montparnasse because that's the only place from which you do not see the Tour Montparnasse.


The only people who think the Eiffel Tower is good are the ones who have never been up the Montparnasse Tower.

I went up the Montparnasse Tower about twenty years ago and even then it has a glass /perspex thing around it right? It was okay. Also went to the Eiffel Tower on the same trip around sunset, it wasn't that crowded and preffered it to Montparnasse.

But the best views of Paris are closer to the ground like, the Arc de Triomphe, the terrasse of the Samaritaine dept store (I hope it hasnt changed too much since the refurb but it's right on the river by the two Iles), the lookout at Buttes Chaumont, the terrace at Printemps.  Anyway, Paris is lovely.


Saint Chapelle is stunning  - you will need to book a time online but it is on the Île de la Cité so, as a tourist, you will be in the area anyway. 

In terms of actually saving money, if they still do those 3 or 5 day city passes to all the monuments and museums, get them cause you'll be able to bypass all the queues and save time. And money if you manage to see them all.


[hotblack desiato mode on] big bag of weed and Jim Morrisons' grave at Pere Lachaise (sp?] [HB mode off]

Yeah, London's great for that.

In 2015 it was great venue. I would have managed to visit all of the sites covered by that pass, if in the middle of the trip a busload of my mum's Buddhist friends hasn't rolled into town which meant we had to spend the next two days going to temples.

It's a con, Guy. You'll spend much less just buying individual tickets for the stuff you want to go to.

Museums in London might be free but according to my last UK tax statement I spent over £200 on museums each year and mostly didn't get round to visiting a single one. (Something I regret, as the London museums are awesome.)

Tourists will spend a lot more getting round (and probably eating out) in London than in Paris, so it's swings and roundabouts.

The pass system let's you bypass queuing and that saves time and aggro. But €124 for two days is steep.

I am not looking forward to the lack of good playgrounds (or having to pay for a swing in some cases). But Paris is not great for small children (at least mine anyway). Still, at least the viennoiseries will be good!! I’m just doing the minimum time to catch up with family and friends before heading off to province. 

Last time we were there (sadly about 10 years ago now) we went for the Museum Pass - just covered museums and art galleries. Cut out queuing time in most places and if we needed to use the toilets, could just pop into any gallery. Perfect

Breakfast each morning was a takeaway coffee and croissant - a walking breakfast