Many people, myself once included, believe that they have to be rich to enjoy Paris, but there are many affordable ways to enjoy any city, especially Paris. Here are some of my favorite cheap activities to do in Paris:
Walking Inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral
I am not even a religious person, but walking inside the Notre Dame Cathedral took my breath away. The vaulted ceilings, carefully designed stained glass windows, and lit candles all made me feel like I had escaped modern society. The cathedral still operates as a church, so people walk silently through the cathedral; this provides one with an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. In addition, the cathedral offers free admission, so if you are traveling on a budget, this is a great place to visit.
Shakespeare & Company Bookstore
This bookstore is one of my favorite places to visit in the world. It has served as a refuge for creative minds for decades, and it is one of the most charming places to walk through, because it has an impressive collection books, friendly staff, and a cute tabby cat to pet whilst you read. I was particularly happy to pet a cat during my last stay in Paris because I was missing my cat, Dorian, so much. Few things make me feel as at home as a library of books and a cat to pet.
The bookstore wishes for customers to avoid photographing the inside of the shop, but you can always snap a great shot on the outside of the store. And beside the shop is an excellent café, so you can enjoy a cup of coffee before or after you explore the various literary treasures that Shakespeare & Company has to offer.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
If you are traveling to Paris on a budget, and you have a penchant for all things gothic and Victorian, I highly recommend a visit to the Père Lachaise Cemetery. One of my favorite authors, Oscar Wilde, is among the many notable people that have been buried there. Some honorable mentions are Frédéric Chopin, Jim Morrison, and Édith Piaf. If you do decide to visit the cemetery, I recommend taking the metro to the Gambetta stop, for this stop allows you to walk right towards the Oscar Wilde grave, and you will also spare your feet some unnecessary stress, because entering the cemetery from the main entrance means a lot of uphill walking on steep, slightly terrifying steps.
There are many reasons that people watching is so fascinating in Paris: the mix of cultures from all over the world, the impeccable fashion sense nearly all Parisians have, and the plethora of artists you can see in the streets or in-between metro stops. Walking around Paris is, of course, free, and for a small fare, you can take the metro to any desired location.
Walking along the Seine at Night
In my opinion, nothing compares with walking along the Seine at night. The city light’s dance and sparkle against the Seine, as the water elegantly twirls against the majestic bridges that line the city. And if your feet are tired from a day of walking, I highly recommend grabbing a fresh croissant from any nearby bakery and sitting down at any of the tables that are placed near the Seine. You will have a unique view of the city and a chance to reflect on everything you have done so far in Paris. In fact, that is my tradition. I always sit beside the Seine at the end of a trip to Paris, and reflect on the memories I have made, whilst feeling deeply grateful for yet another chance to roam the city of love.
Snapping a Picture with the Eiffel Tower
This is perhaps an obvious suggestion, and as trite and touristy as it may seem, having someone snap a picture of you, or you with your beloved, by the Eiffel tower is a real treat. The tower itself is fun to photograph; there’s something uniquely romantic about the Eiffel Tower, and it makes any picture pop, too.
There are several areas around the Eiffel Tower where you can capture it perfectly framed in the background, but my favorite spot is the Trocadéro.