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A weekend in Paris with 100 Euros to spend
Do you dream to explore the capitol of France, the romance walking the narrow streets and the fantastic food? Does your bank account scream "financial crisis" at you? Don't worry, you can go for a weekend in Paris without emptying your savings. It just takes a little research to find the cheap flight tickets, a nice hotel downtown at the right price (this guide is based upon a stay at the newly renovated Hotel de la Cité Rougemont that costs just under 100 Euros a night for a double room in the low season). And the extra money to eat, explore and shop from? 100 Euros will do and in this article you can find out how to get the most out of Paris with just that amount of money.
Friday 9:30 a.m
Breakfast at the local café
It's in an alley near 2 and 3 stars hotels but outside the tourist season it's also a place to come for breakfast for the Parisians. They serve coffee, croissants and a very freshly squeezed orange juice in the small bakery. The interior is neither fancy or surprising but it's functional, clean and cosy.
A breakfast dish inclunding something hot to drink, a croissant and a glass of that c-vitams-juice is 6 Euro, additional croissants at 1 Euro each.
Deli’s Café, 6, Rue du Faubourg Montmartre
Experience the romance and architecture of Paris
Take a walk along boulevard Montmarte to Place de l'Opera where you can enjoy (and photograph) the beautiful Opera Garnier, the great shopping mall Galeries Lafayette and the Apple store, situated in historic buildings. Here the hours just run by.
The cost: It depends on how tempted you are to buy your new summer dress or iPad :o)
Friday 1:30 p.m.
A Croque Madame and a glass of redwine
Proceed along Boulevard des Capucines og let yourself be tempted by one of the many cafées. Café de l’Olympia at the corner of Boulevard Madeleine and Rue de Caumartin offers lots of charm, close seatings for their many, many customers (also in the low season) and cosiness. Try ordering a Croque Madame and a glass of the red house wine. It will give you enough energy for the entire afternoon.
Cost: 15 Euros.
Café de l’Olympia, 2, Boulevard Madeleine
A tasty souvenir
In this little shop in the corner of Place de Madeleine you found the center og moustard. You probably know the Maille dijon moustard from your domestic super market but here in their shop you can get much more variants of this yellow dressing. For instance: Mousard with figs, moustard with blues cheese og moustard with sun dried tomatoes and garlic seeds. You didn't see that comming, did you? The store also offers vinegars and the tradtional moustards can be tapped like a draft beer.
Prices starts at 3 Euros for a glass of regular dijon mustard.
La boutique Maille, 6, Place de la Madeleine
Coffee and pastry the American way
One can say that it is a shame to visit an American coffeehouse now that Paris has so many cosy cafés you could visit. But. This one is different; this Starbucks might be the most beautiful one of them! Located in historic buildings which Starbucks have preserved you can have your coffee with the stunning view of the 100 year old paintings in the ceiling, the high panels, huge decorated mirrors and the stunning ornamented stucco. All Starbucks has done to the place is to restore it, move in their furniture and counters and few extra lamps. The place is very well visited - especially by students discussing anything from university assignments to last weekends parties. It can be a little hard to get seated, it takes some patience but it is worth waiting for.
The cost is 7-10 Euros, depending on what you order
Starbucks, 3, Boulevard des Capucines
Organic dinner at the bakery
Located in the romantic Marais neighborhood you find a bakery on a mission to strike a blow for good bread. The sell baguetts, large country breads and nice pastry. If you are on your way to a picnic alonside the Seine you can put a nice bottle of pique nique in you basket next to the baguettes. This organic wine, also named RN13, is tapped in patent bottles and you can get both a red and a white wine.
The bakery also holds a restaurant. There is a refectory table in the back big enough for 12-16 people and the chatter is lively. Even the waitors participate. There are also a couple of outdoor tables, however not a social as the other option.
The food is all organic and really delicious. Try the crisp salade poulet fromage with avocado or a tartine toastée au poulet fumé.
You can have dinner here for less than 20 Euros a person including a glass of the RN13 verre blanc.
Le pain quotidien, 18/20, Rue des Archives
Petit dejeuner avec les Parisiennes
There are a lot of cosy patisseries in Paris and don't hesitate to visit one. The best one are where the Parisians eat themselves and the cheapest ones (which are often also the ones the Parisians atends) are located in the narow streets. A lot of the Parisians have a regular place and if you do too, you will soon experience the warm welcome the place will give you because they remember you.
Try the patisserie at Rue de la Huchette. Though crowded in the tourist season the place offers a great breakfast, wonderful crepes suzettes and the service is very kind. Just be aware that the birds get their food from your leftovers and that they will sometimes be very eager to help you have a lot of leftovers so don't leave you croissant unattended while you get your café creme.
The cost is 6-8 Euros depending on your order.
The Eiffel Tower
If you haven't been, you've got to go. And if you have, you should go again. The Eiffel Tower offers the most beautiful view of Paris, leaving you with the impression of a never ending city. You can get a quick overview of all of the (other) main attractions and/or just enjoy the view of the many light patrician buildings all the way into the horizon.
If you take the stairs instead of the lifts you do not only save money but you also get a bonus experience; it is very special feeling to be on your way up the stairs and se the view enfold in front you while the people in the street get smaller and smaller. And if you are a little interested in how the tower was made, this trip upstairs offers you are great opptunity to really see the construction of this massive tower.
The cost (if you choose the stairs) is 4,5 Euros or 3, 5 Euros if you are younger than 24.
In the area around the Eiffel Tower there are a lot of cafés. Unfortunately many of them offers poor quality food, though they are well visited by the many toursts. Instead of wasting your money to get seated with the view of a horrible meal, find a patisserie where you can get a cheap baguette with cold cuts and a soda. It's tasty and budget friendly; the cost will be around 5-6 Euros.
Walk along the Seine
When the sun shines, nothing beats a walk along the Seine - prefeably hlding hands with someone you care for. It is very evocative and the many couples in love you will see walkning next to you or sitting at the benches will only reinforce the Paris feeling. If you are alone and happy about it, put some french jazz on you iPod and fall in love with the city.
It you are visiting Paris during the summer you will find stalls offering you antique books, souvenirs or art. Maybe you'll even meet the artists at the Pont des Arts while portraiting the beautiful view, smoking a cigarette and entertain the passing tourists.
Mona and friends
As for the Eiffel Tower it goes that if you haven't been to Louvre you should go. And if you have been you will probably want to go again to see what you missed the first time around. Louvre is more than one of the largest museums of art in the world, it is also a former fortress that was turned into a castle later expanded and remodeled into todays museum of art. In other words: the building itself is almost as much an attraction as the art inside.
Speaking of art: Mona Lisa is there – behind lock and key in a case of bullet and fire proof glass. The room in which it hangs is full of tourist all year round it is tempting to make a confession: With all the treasures, art pieces and etnographic collections also located in this museum, she might not be all that special, unless you know a lot about Leonardo da Vinci (who painted it). For those (author included) who a new to art, the museum offers so many other treasures that will amaze you.
The entrance fee is 9,5 Euros but if you are younger than 27 it is free.
Mojitea and Oreo cheesecake
Sore legs after walkning around Louvres can take a rest right next to the museum and its metro station Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre – at the lounge-ish tea house of tea by Thé. Forget the typical antique decor of your domestic favorite tea pusher and say hello to a streamlined lounge and dim french house music. The tea house offers classics like darjeeling, rooibos or the vert, but the real attraction of the place are the modern tea blends. Try a Thépuccino, a Spicy & Ginger (a chai latte with ginger) or how about a cold mojithé exactly as refreshing as the cocktail (but non-alcoholic)? Have a piece of Oreo cheesecake, a large macaron or a nicely decorated cupcake with your tea and you're taking tea to the new millenium.
The place also have free wi-fi, code on the receipt. The cost is 7-10 Euros depending on your order.
Tea by Thé, 2, Place du Palais Royal
Dinner with the Parisians
Far down a small side street of Rue Magenta is a restaurant that will remind you of a pub with its red checkered curtains. Inside there's a good and friendly vibe, full tables and a low cut madamme makes sure your wine glass is never empty. You are seated a six person tables and it is quite something to be seated next to happy and friendly Parisians in the middle of a their dinner with jokes and quick comments flying across the table. They are not to shy to include you in their party, regardless of your French skills.
The food is pretty good. You can have an onion soup with freshly baked baguette, a nice steak with home made pepper gravy and garlic roasted haricots verts and a fruit carpaccio a dessert at the cost of only 17,50 Euros. The wine is cheap too, bottles begin at about 12 Euros. This is the optimum place to bust some myths about snobbish Parisians.
Chez Maurice, 26, Rue des Vinaigriers
The last petit dejeuner
Find your favourite patisserie and enjoy a café creme and a croissants, remember to shop a few macarons for your remaining Euros and buy the last metro ticket before setting off to the airport.