Sunday, July 20, 2014
Hey there! Welcome to Paris Cheapskate, where you'll find advice on where to eat, drink, and have fun for less in the City of Light. When I moved to Paris in 2012 I thought I'd only make it a few months on my small savings budget, but with some cunning I made it last for two years - and had a blast the entire time. I hope my findings will help you also enjoy the city on just the centimes in your pocket.
I'm no longer updating the site since I've moved back to the U.S., but you can still find plenty of hot tips about cheap eats, cheap drinks, cheap art and more by checking out the labels to your left. Enjoy!
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
There's nothing like going to the beach in Paris. For anyone stuck in the city (or getting a hot and cheap ticket to Paris in the off-season), the Paris Plages are a great way to pretend you're both in one of the most beautiful inland cities in the world and oceanside at the same time.
Around 1,300 tons of sand are brought into Paris and dispersed along the banks of the Seine and the Canal St-Martin to transform our humble bodies of water into sunning stations. In addition to rows of shading umbrellas and lounging chairs, the Paris Plages also offer games, mini zip-lines and sprinkler stations for the kids, beer and ice cream stands, tai chi and dance lessons, boat rentals, and concerts both live and broadcast in collaboration with Culturebox. This annual stretch of summer worship is one of the best free things to do in Paris, and I highly recommend you throw on your swim suit and make like you're on the Côte d'Azur. Just watch out for guys like this on the way:
- Voie de George Pompidou (along the right bank of the Seine)
Métro: M1 to Louvre/Rivoli; M7 to Pont Neuf; M1, M4, M7, M11, M14 to Châtelet; M1, M11 to Hôtel de Ville
Métro: M2, M5, M7 bis to Jaurès; M7 to Crimée; M5 to Laumière
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
There's nothing more satisfying than finding a treasure at a thrift shop. Sure, you may have to dig a bit, but when you find a gorgeous 1950s summer dress for 10€ or a Mad Men-era handbag for 5€, it feels like hitting the jackpot. Here are a few of my favorite Paris thrift stores:
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
There are tons of ways to enjoy Paris art for free, from galleries to free museum Sundays, but many of Paris' loveliest museums boast permanent collections that are free to visit every single day. My personal favorite is the Musée Carnavalet, dedicated to the cultural history of Paris.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
(Photo via Wikipedia)
When my mom first came to Paris, we were in the Marais and as we walked past the Hôtel de Ville, I pointed it out to her and she said, "Wow, I wish we were staying in THAT hotel!"
Easy mistake, but it's not, of course, a hotel at all... the "hôtel de ville" of any French town is the city center or town hall. It's where you go to sort out administrative woes and pick up brochures for what's happening around town. But Paris takes the concept much further and its Hôtel de Ville goes way beyond its definition as a city center. This magnificent structure has been around since the 1357 and is so much more than "the city's local administration" (as Wikipedia has described it).
Monday, November 25, 2013
(Jean Seberg via Awesome People Reading)
Yes, you should be practicing your French, but what if you just want to read a book in English? A little something to bring to Jardin du Luxembourg or Tuileries, or for while you sit along the Seine or in a café, or just to keep you occupied on the long journey away from Paris whether by train or plane.
Luckily there are plenty of reading resources for Anglophones in Paris. Besides Shakespeare and Company, the Abbey Bookshop and San Francisco Book Company, you can always get a membership to the American Library of Paris and check books out at your heart's desire. But what if you're a seriously stingy, Jenna-level cheapskate? No worries; there are regular events by two Paris organizations which sell books for between 1-3€ apiece!
Friday, November 22, 2013
(Photo via La Terrasse)
Sunday, October 27, 2013
I love me a good flea market, junk shop, garage sale, any place you can get cool old things for very cheap. Paris has its share of great brocantes and vide greniers, but the best Paris flea market I've been to is at Porte de Vanves.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Kaitlin Rebesco's photography has a distinctive kind of intimacy to it, a feeling of ephemerality and beauty that inspires a sense of lovely wistfulness. Rebesco's photos perfectly capture a feeling of fleeting happiness - whether that's youth, or love, or sunshine, or simply being in Paris while knowing you will have to leave it. The Chicago native says of her time in the City of Light, "Paris is such a picturesque city but one that at times, to me, feels almost melancholic. This sort of quiet and beautiful sadness is a feeling I tried to depict in my own work, using a lot of white space and minimalist compositions. But Paris, like everything else, is always changing, and that change is an inspiration."