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Paris is a great capital city synonymous with romance, haute couture and haute cuisine. It can also be expensive. With the exchange rate for the Euro poor, you’ll want to know how to make the most of yours on Paris city breaks. Here are some suggestions:
Walk whenever you can rather than getting on the Paris metro. When you do need to travel on the metro, buy a book of tickets currently around €12.70 rather than individual ones at €1.70 each.
If museums are an attraction for you purchase a Paris Museum Pass for 2,4 or 6 consecutive days. You can use them as many times as you want or time allows and they will save you queuing for entry. You can purchase online before you travel but allow at least 10 days for your pass to arrive. Otherwise purchase from various places on arrival.
The Eiffel Tower
It’s the iconic landmark of Paris so whilst you can see it from almost everywhere in the city, you’ll probably want to take the trip to the top. Prices differ depending on how far up you want to go – €13 to go to the highest 3rd level.
If you haven’t bought a Museum pass, look around the Louvre from the outside. It’s not just the glass pyramid that is outstanding, but many extensions over the centuries have added to the interest of this building’s architecture.
Then stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries where you’ll find several casts of statues on display in the Museum and if it’s summertime, a funfair.
Carry on through the gardens up the Champs-Elysées to the magnificent Arc de Triomphe.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Victor Hugo author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame fought for the restoration of this grand gothic cathedral in the 19th century. So you have him to thank for the continued beauty of this magnificent building situated on an island in the middle of the River Seine. Entrance is free but use your Museum Pass to go up to the towers and see where Quasimodo rang the bells!
Just a short walk from Notre-Dame are the botanical gardens, Jardin des Plantes on the Seine’s famous Left Bank. Here you can see more than 10,000 species of plants and the inspiration for many of Henri Rousseau’s paintings.
At the highest point in the city, see the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur at the top of Montmartre. Climb the stairs to the top of the Sacré-Coeur for a spectacular view all around Paris.
Just around the corner you can see the Moulin Rouge theatre which gave birth to the saucy ‘Can-Can’ dance and cabaret.
There are two famous cemeteries in Paris which you can see for free and do some celebrity gravestone spotting!
At Père-Lachaise you can see the headstone of Jim Morrison of The Doors fame; the tomb of Oscar Wilde where if you’re into tradition you’ll leave a lipstick kiss on his tomb. You’ll also find the graves of Edith Piaf, Marcel Moreau and Pissaro here.
At the Cimetière du Montparnasse the graves of Jean-Paul Satre, Serge Gainsbourg and Samuel Beckett can be found.
Check out the grand store Galeries Lafayette for its Art Deco beauty and staircases but you’ll have to resist the temptation to make any purchases!
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