I am, still today, madly typing away at my NaNoWriMo novel. (You can see my progress here.) I’m also still keeping an eye on the wee ones of Ms MJ, An American Mom in Paris, but only for a couple more days as their departure back to Seattle is imminent, aka next Wednesday. I can’t think too much about that, though, as now that I have gotten to know her kiddos so much better, I’m aching with the idea that I may not ever see them again. MJ has already promised to come back to visit, so I’m not worried about never seeing her again (hee hee). While this is a very bittersweet time for her, I just wanted to say here how I have enjoyed her presence here in Paris and in the Paris Bloghood. Life will not be ever quite the same without her updates on Paris. She’d better write about re-entry into Seattle, though, or I am going to have to go over there and kick some a**. Three cheers for the American Mom in Paris! Can I get a holla?!
Some of you may remember at the end of this past September, I wrote about how I had a guest post that appeared on the Anytrip.com Blog (UPDATE 25 January 2012: now it’s the HostelBookers.com Blog!). It was the lovely Leah Prendergast who worked with me, asking me to contribute.
I have not used their services, but I have to say that if the interactions I have had with Leah are any indication, HostelBookers.com is a top-notch site from which to book trips and get advice about budget-conscious travel. Hopefully, there will be one day soon when I will be able to avail myself of their services and see some more of Europe using their travel tips and booking services. As a part of that, just so you know, I have in no way been paid or given any other promotional consideration in writing such. That’s just me, from the heart, based on the messages I had going back and forth with Leah and from reading their information on their blog. One of these days I will put up an official “Disclaimers” page that says as much for all my posts. But there you have it: I only put stuff on here where I have somehow had a personal connection with someone, and they seem like they are nice and have something cool to share. That’s it. I get no money from writing here, and I have never been paid to write about how X,Y or Z product or service is a good one.
That said, Leah has been kind enough to write a guest post on “Seven Great Things to Do in Paris for Free.” I’m really thankful to have something to put on the site this month as I am furiously still trying to write about 5,296 more words of my novel, resulting in a decent rough draft from which to create something truly spectacular over the coming months. *cross fingers*
Without further ado, please continue reading about some terrific FREE (ghetto Paris Karin loves FREE) and interesting things to do in Paris. Thank you, Leah!
Seven Great Things to Do in Paris for Free
This post was brought to you by Leah Prendergast from HostelBookers.com the budget travel specialists.
Paris is known as “La Ville-Lumiere,” the City of Lights. It is also known the world over as the City of Love. Visiting Paris is a dream for millions of people everywhere; however, the cost of traveling to the City of Love and Lights can make the journey seem impossible. Factually, a cheap Paris hotel is not difficult to find, and there are many things to do during a stay in Paris that are completely free.
1. Notre Dame Cathedral
Photo of the Cathedral Notre Dame by: dewolla
This Roman Catholic Cathedral is considered by many to be the most impressive example of Gothic architecture in Europe. Tours are approximately one hour long and are free to the public in a variety of language. The cathedral is open from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday and from 1:30 PM to 6:30 PM on Sundays. Visitors are also welcome to attend mass.
2. Musée Carnavalet
Photo of the Musée Carnavalet by: Bertrand Dupperin
The Musée Carnavalet is an excellent choice for those who wish to learn more about this beautiful city. It is home to sculptures, drawings, photographs, furniture, coins, and many other numerous items dating back to Renaissance time and detailing the history of Paris. All permanent collection pieces are free to the public, but temporary exhibits, workshops, and lectures do require an admission fee. The museum is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday.
3. Gardens of Versailles
Photo of the Gardens of Versailles by: woowoowoo
To enjoy the Palace of Versailles without having to pay the entry fee, plan a tour of the Versailles Gardens. Originally designed in the 17th century and commissioned by Louis XIV, the Versailles Gardens are made of expansive lawns, ornate sculptures, fountains, and beautiful flowers. The garden areas are open to the public from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
4. Hôtel de Ville
Photo of the Hôtel de Ville by: Edwin.11
The Hôtel de Ville is Paris’s city hall, but also is home to many stately statues and temporary art exhibits. Unlike many museums that charge a fee for temporary exhibits, the Hôtel de Ville offers viewing of these exhibits free of charge. Hours are 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday.
5. Musée Curie
Photo of Le Panthéon** by: PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE’s
A museum that is a bit off the beaten path, the Musée Curie is housed in Marie Curie’s former laboratory. Learn about the history of radiology, scientific research, and the family legacy left behind by the Curies. Reopening in 2012, the museum has free guided tours for groups and individuals.
[**Note from Karin: The Musée Curie at the Institut Curie is located just to the south of the Panthéon, on rue d’Ulm. However, both Marie and her scientific partner and husband, Pierre Curie, were interred at the Panthéon in 1995 – source. Please also note that the Panthéon does not have free admission. Admission at the Panthéon at the time of posting is €8 for the regular adult fee. For more information in English about the Panthéon see this link at the Centre des Monuments Nationaux.]
6. Musée du Parfum
Photo of the Musée du Parfum by: Ariaski
Imagined by the Fragonard perfume company, the Museum of Perfume has on display antique perfume bottles, toiletries, and perfume making devices. Entry and tours are free. Hours are 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Saturday and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sunday.
7. Paris Greeters Tours
Photo by: bibendum84
Volunteer guides from Paris meet for two to three hour walking tours of the city. Tours are available for solo travellers or for up to six people. Requests for these tours must be made in advance via email and are subject to availability. Tours are free, but they do accept donations.
Other Free Things to Do in Paris
Occasionally, some of the most popular attractions in Paris open their doors for free as well. If travel plans can accommodate it, the first Sunday of each month offers free admission to such notable locales as the Louvre Museum, the Pantheon, Musée Rodin, Centre Pompidou, and Musée d’Orsay.
There are also a number of self-guided sightseeing missions that are budget-friendly. Take a stroll along the Seine or enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower from the nearby Champs de Mars. Paris is also home to a number of public parks and gardens that can be enjoyed at no cost.
A stay in Paris is within almost any budget. Clean, yet inexpensive accommodations are easily found for the price-conscious tourist, and there are multiple attractions and activities that will create memories that last a lifetime.