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  • Steve & Jenn

Paris On A Budget The GB&B Way

Paris France is on the top of many travel bucket lists, and for good reason! The Parisian capital is a city filled with gorgeous architecture, incredible museums, and some of the best food in the world! It, however, is not known to be very budget-friendly. We have visited Paris 3 times and managed to stick to a pretty low budget while still enjoying everything the city offers. Here are our top tips for enjoying the sites, food, and drinks of Paris, done The Good The Bad & The Booze way!

Enjoying The Sites

Paris is never short of things to do at every price range, but to keep on budget, we recommend taking one or two...or three of the many free walking tours. Our favorites are with Guru Walks. We did the Montmartre Free Walking Tour and Sandemans Free Tour of Paris. They are a great way to get a general overview of a city, meet other travelers, and get some exercise!

For one of our favorite views, head to the

take the escalators to the 7th floor for an unobstructed view of the city completely free!

Enjoy more epic city views at the Sacré-Cœur Basilica it’s located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. A great place to watch the sunset over Paris. Bring your wine, and people watch the mix of locals and visitors enjoying the city light up in front of you.

One of our favorite free things to do in Paris is to take in the city on foot! Explore Montmarte’s cobblestone streets (see if you can find the Wall Of Love), the lively Latin Quarter, stroll along the Seine to the Eiffel Tower. Walk down the Champs-Élysées and do a little window shopping until you reach the Arc de Triomphe.

If you’re short on time and want to see as much as possible, consider purchasing The Paris Pass. It not only gives you entry to many of the most popular attractions and tours but also unlimited rides on all of the public transport options in the city!

Eating & Drinking

The great thing about Paris is there is fantastic food around every corner. One of our favorite things to do is grab a baguette, cheese, olives, and wine and enjoy a picnic along the Seine. A perfect spot is on the river in front of the Eiffel Tower, also an excellent time to call home and show off your amazing lunch spot a little!

Another way to save on food in Paris is to take advantage of the pre-fixe or formule menu and can be found at most restaurants. A shortened version of the standard menu almost always includes a starter or dessert and entree, and some even come with wine. They are a great way to try some traditional French fair on a budget, typically priced around 9-15 euro.

One of our favorite spots is Le Royal, a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower. For 10 euro you get a choice of starter or dessert, entree and half a bottle of wine! They also have an adorable St. Bernard who was four months old and already HUGE at our last visit!

We also like to cook our meals at home and go out for dessert! The patisseries of France have some of our favorite sweets like the famous eclair and the “baba au rhum,” a cream-filled rum-soaked sponge cake, a favorite of Marie Antoinette! We recommend enjoying this and many others at Stohrer, founded in 1730, its the oldest patisserie in Paris!

Even though it is pretty much unheard of in the US, drinking in public is not only allowed but extremely popular in Paris and most European cities! So take advantage and grab a spot on the Seine, in one of the many parks, next to the Eiffel Tower, or by the Louver. There are grocery stores, markets, & wine shops on almost every street, so pick up your favorite drink and enjoy!

GB&B Tip- Most of the small markets and wine shops will open the bottles for you, and don’t forget one of our travel essentials, a few hard plastic cups. We use ours all the time and have had the same ones for over two years!

The Good The Bad & The Booze

With fantastic food, breathtaking sites, and a history dating back to 259BC, the good things about Paris are almost endless. We suggest choosing an area (arrondissement) of the city to stay in and exploring from there. The Paris Metro is an easy, fast, and reasonably inexpensive way to get around the city (a book of 10 one-way tickets costs 16€).

With the good comes the bad, as pickpockets and theft are a problem in any major city, and Paris is no different. Keep hold of your belongings on the Metro and in crowded or tourist areas, and never leave your phone sitting on a table! Also, be aware of typical scams, and if anyone approaches you asking to sign a petition, or trying to be overly friendly, just put your hand up and walk away. It’s always better to come off a little rude than to be taken advantage of.

And of course...the Booze! The first thing you probably relate to drinks in Paris is wine, and yes, as you would expect, the wine is excellent! A decent bottle of wine for those picnics we talked about will run you less than 5€. Or, if the weather is terrible cozy up at one of the many brasseries or cafes and order a small beer or glass of house wine. Speaking of beer, I can’t talk about booze in Paris without mentioning one of our favorites: from Fischer’s called Doreleï, it’s an amber beer with honey and found at most grocery stores. It comes in a .65l (22oz) bottle and costs around 3€, so bring those cups because this is one you can share! There are also countless options for Craft Beer, Imports, and local beers, so if you’re not a wine drinker, you will still have plenty of options. You can also find every variety of liquor, cocktails, and if you’re brave, give Absinthe a try (contrary to popular belief, it does not cause hallucinations!).

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