Is traveling to Europe from India is expensive? If you smartly plan your trip, then you can travel to beautiful Europe on a budget.
Punya Trivedi and his wife Tanvi visited four cities in Europe in the month of March 2016. They share their experiences and tips in this series of blogs on their Europe tour on a budget. Happy traveling !
Paris: Enjoy Essential City in Two Days
To travel to Europe is to dive into the world of mesmerizing nature and some of the most enchanting man-made architectural wonders. We started this amazing European compact tour exactly where you guessed it- Paris, the most romantic city in the world.
This romantic city has something for everyone, apart from the famous Eiffel Tower. Paris has the most number of museums, over 130 as per Wikipedia. It is also a heaven, for people with palate for delicious food. But despite this, visitors at times, tend to rule out Paris from their itinerary, as it is rather infamous for being a bit heavy on the pocket.
So now, can you visit Paris on a tight budget? Yes, you can! Here is a list of few tips and tricks, we picked up while planning a trip to Europe and Paris.
On Landing in Paris
Charles De Gaulle Airport is about 30 Kilometres away from Paris City. You can reach the heart of city there are multiple ways-
Make a note that all the above modes of travel will drop you to a central point in Paris. Make sure you know where to get-down to reach your hotel.
Boarding and Lodging in Paris
We stayed in Paris for about 2 days. And 2 days suffice for you to get a good glimpse of this historically rich city. But if you are connoisseur of art, then even 10 days fall short to catch all the artistic marvels the city has to offer.
Accommodation in the heart of city can be an expensive affair, especially, staying close to tourist attractions. However, there are few suburbs near the Paris City, which give you decent accommodations for about 50% of the price of what would have cost you in Paris City. If you select accommodation in suburbs, you will end up paying little extra for travelling, however you will still save at least 20% to 30% on your budget.
Famous Suburbs near Paris are La Défense & Asnières-sur-Seine. These suburbs are very large; make sure you choose a hotel near train/subway station. Since almost all of Paris is either connected by bus, trains or subways, getting around is mostly hassle free. Make sure to check location on google maps.
Prefer hotels that offer breakfast, so you can take full advantage of the delicious bakery food served. This yummy breakfast also helps you save some money on expensive restaurant food!
Getting Around in Paris
As mentioned earlier, every part of Paris is well connected by buses, trains, subways & boat (Batobus). Thus moving around is easy. However, the transport network is a bit complicated and may take you some time to figure it out. Though there are signs through-out Paris to guide you, press verbal "F1 (help) button", and ask fellow commuters for help. Else you may end up boarding a wrong metro/bus.
To get around in Paris, you can either purchase a day pass or individual tickets.
A day pass will cost about € 8 to 10 depending on which zone you are located, however individual tickets cost near about € 1.8 to 2.5 per trip, per person.
We felt, once you are in the heart of Paris, it’s better to explore Paris on foot. A quaint walk on river front, love-lock bridge is an experience you will never forget.
We did not get a chance explore Paris on boat (Batobus), but for sure it would offer you some most romantic & breath-taking views of Paris from river Seine, it takes you through a circular route, moving parallel to famous monuments of Paris on the banks of river Seine. You have to buy a day-pass which costs about 15 Euros per person to enjoy this remarkable ride. There are no single journey passes available.
Food in Paris
Parisians are passionate about their food and wine. Hence you will find abundant food options there. A restaurant dish starts from € 10 for a budget restaurant, however if you visit few open food counters, wherein you walk and carry out, you can get sandwiches etc. for about € 5 to 7.
There are fewer options for vegetarians. Best option is to go to grocery stores like Carrefour/Monoprix and buy bread, cheese, salads etc. and make your own sandwiches. Use Google language to help translate French labels into English.
For non-vegetarians too, buying sandwiches from grocery stores will save you some money. But duly note, all food varieties may taste bland for an Indian palate. So do not forget to carry salt, Indian tomato ketchup & few other essential spices.
In next blog , we will share a few tips on sightseeing in Paris !
Punya Trivedi writes this blog series on "Europe On A Budget"
Punya is an IT professional, who simply loves to go places. He has so far explored parts of western and southern India and his international travel has so far covered US, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland & Nepal.
Punya is an avid net-surfer and is always looking out for online deals to save money. Through this article he would like to share few travel hack tips on Europe. He visited Europe in March 2016 with his wife Tanvi, who is also a travel enthusiast.
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