World on a Budget: Paris
Paris is a city of many identities. Whether you are visiting the city as a backpacking tourist or as a honeymooning couple, you will surely find amazing attractions that will make Paris unforgettable. Like most top destinations in the world, Paris can be quite an expensive city. If you want to be able to splurge on a luxurious keepsake or a fine-dining meal, you have to make the most of free attractions and activities that can be enjoyed in the City of Lights.
Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris
Whether in the light of the morning sun or in the muted hues of twilight, the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris is a sight to behold. Known for its sublime balance, this French Gothic cathedral is brimming with medieval details and imposing gargoyles. More than 14 million enter its vast halls every year. You will be amazed with the astounding colors of the rose windows and the bell towers are worth the climb.
Parc du Champ de Mars
The verdant lawns of Parc du Champ de Mars is ideal for a photo opportunity, a picnic, or simply a quick rest when touring. While the elevator ride to the Eiffel Tower’s peak is not free, you can still enjoy amazing views of the Eiffel Tower from this park. This park was originally the military parade ground for the nearby Ecole Militaire but now the park is now the perfect picnic spot. Just bring a bottle of wine, brie, and a baguette.
Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Every major artistic movement of the 20th and 21st century call the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris home. Just a short stroll from the Eiffel Tower, this museum will impress you with its grand façade even before you have entered its doors. This modern art museum holds more than 8,000 works of art in its permanent collection and features important works by Picasso, Soutine, Gris, Braque, Matisse, Giacometti, and Modigliani. Don’t miss the best part of the hotel’s exhibits: The room filled with the work of Dufy and Bonnard.
Parc Monceau is a tourist favorite not only because of its peaceful, sprawling grounds but also for its captivating history. Its informal, English-style layout makes it unique among the traditional, manicured French gardens of the city. In 1871, the park was the site of the massacre of Paris Commune supporters by the French army. Enthralled by the park’s beauty, Monet frequented the park to paint his masterpieces. Aside from the randomly-placed statues of Guy de Maupassant and Chopin, the garden also boasts of architectural features like Corinthian columns, a Chinese fort, Dutch Windmill, and an Egyptian pyramid.
Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries is a verdant paradise perfectly placed close to some of the Paris’ finest attractions. This 28-hectare grounds are overflowing with trees, flower beds, ponds, fountains, and sculptures that will delight both young and old. Designed in 1664, the Tuileries became the spot where locals go to see and be seen. The Champs-Elysees, Grand Arche, and Arc de Triomphe are just a few of nearby Paris destinations.
Cimetière du Père Lachaise
The Cimetière du Père Lachaise first opened its gate to the living and the dead in 1804. This 44-hectare sculpture garden is filled with 70,000 grandiose and flamboyant resting places of the rich and the famous. Painters Delacroix, Modigliani, and Pissarro have their tombs here. The tombs of famous personas like Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Chopin and Jim Morrison are just some of the popular attractions in the cemetery. As the most visited cemetery in the world, the Cimetière du Père Lachaise will entrance you with its Haussmanian burial chambers, olden mausoleums, and gothic tombs.
If you’re looking for a rustic escape in the midst of Paris fast-paced, urban atmosphere, then Montmartre will definitely be a refreshing destination. The highest hill in the city was once an artist’s quarter and is filled with cottage-lined alleys that is still teeming with the ‘La Vie Boheme’ vibe. Plenty of artists and painters can be found in the streets, showcasing their works for free. Boulevard de Clichy is meant for mature visitors as it hosts adult shops, bars, and the occasional kebab shop. There are groups of locals who offer free walking tours of the hill for a more ‘backstage’ look of Montmartre.
Basilique du Sacré Coeur
The Basilica of Sacre-Coeur stands at the very crest of Montmartre and provides one of the most fantastic panoramas of Paris that you would ever see. The beautiful white marble makes the church stand out on the hilltop. Striking stained-glass windows and gold mosaics are all along the interiors of the church. One of the heaviest bells in the world can also be found at the Basilique du Sacré Coeur.