Paris. What can I say about Paris to describe my adoration for this great, wonderful city? Let's just say, I fell stupid hard in love with it from the very second I stepped foot onto the city streets.
And then again, with the very first bite of hot, flaky croissant. Butter, raspberry filled, chocolate and banana filled. All the croissants. Love.
And then again at the sight of all the amazing facades and small balconies covered in plants and flowers.
And then again with the taste of my first merengue from Aux Merveilleux de Fred. THE BEST THING WE ATE IN PARIS. I'm not even a merengue person but this thing converted me. After the first bite, I immediately regret not buying all of them.
And then again as I sat al fresco drinking rose with Jesse at the small cafe on the corner, soaking in the sun and watching the passersby like a true Parisian.
I fell in love with this city. I'm in complete awe of it. And I can't believe my life, luck and the blessings that I got to experience it with Jesse. It's truly the most romantic city we've been to. The only downfall was that it is also the most expensive city we have ever been to. Like real expensive.
We therefore had to picnic in the park and live off crepes our entire trip (kidding, but only halfway. We did have two picnics and ate about 4 crepes in total. But I ain"t mad about it). Picnicking in Luxembourg Park was one of the highlights of our trip, as were these other free/cheap activities...
1. Airbnb in Saint-Germain-des-Prés
This is where our AirBnB was and it was perfect. Not perfect in a sense that the flat was huge, with room service and a king sized bed, more so, in the sense that it was budget friendly and was in the perfect area. The surrounding neighbourhood had cool bars, amazing restaurants and quaint cafes galore. And it is walking distance to just about everything; Luxembourg Garden (free), the Latin Quarter (free to see, $ to eat), Louvre (15 euros), Notre Dame (free), the Seine River (free), cute markets, a lot of shopping and grocery stores. If you are looking for a convenient and fun area, this would be it!
2. Visiting Montmarte and Sacre Coeur
This area of Paris was the most magical for me because everything was so dang quaint and charming. The ultimate Parisian cafe paradise, small alley ways, cobblestones galore, beautiful views, small vineyards, and open air markets. Seriously, I could see myself living there and never leaving. The best way to get around is to walk and walk and keep on walking- good exercise and free! I suggest getting lost there and finding all of the good patisseries hidden in the nooks and crannies. We found this amazing Patisserie called Les Petits Mitrons- seriously amazing stuff. Seriously. Each pastry is around 1.50 euro, so you try a delicious assortment! When you finally stumble upon Sacre Coeur- viewing the inside of the church is free but I suggest, going to the top, it only costs about 6 euros per person and the view is worth every penny and every step of the 300 journey up!
3. Biking along the Seine River
We like to bike, and Paris offers the use of city bikes so this was the perfect way for us to see the sites. I would normally highly recommend using city bikes BUT the biking company in Paris credits your card 150 euros just in case you don't return the bikes, and upon returning the bike, you should be refunded. Totally normal and understandable. However, more than one week later and I have only been refunded one payment! So beware of this if you a traveling on a budget and need the money in your account! Otherwise, bike on! There are beautiful paths just for bikers and if the weather permits, you can really see a lot.
4. Picnic and Crepe
Dinners in Paris can get pricey so do yourself a favour and plan a picnic or two, in Luxembourg park or at Pont Neuf at night! Super romantic, for all you couples. We bought some nice cheeses, some prosciutto and salami, some strawberries, packed a bottle of wine and a baguette (or two) for a beautiful date amongst the greatest monuments the city has to offer. For us, it was one of the highlights of our trip, and it didn't kill our budget.
Or for 4 euros, eat a crepe. Savory with cheese and ham or sweet with Nutella and banana, you absolutely can't go wrong.
5. Walking in the city at night
Call us boring but this was our favourite thing to do. Just walk. By the Seine River, by the cafes, through the parks. If you're anything like us, you're going to need to walk off those pastries and it might as well be when all of the lights come on. When you're looking at this beautiful glowing city, you won't even realise how many mile you've walked.
There you have it. My tips to enjoying Paris, and not spending your life savings while doing it! I hope you found this useful or at the very least, you are convinced to eat more pastries in your daily life!