If the back-to-school blues have hit you or if you are feeling a bit low because the weather seems to have changed swiftly from sunny to raining torrentially then now is a good time to start planning a getaway. Even if you can’t afford a fortnight somewhere warm, just a change of scenery and the excitement of doing something different can be enough to lift your spirits.
A long weekend in Paris is more affordable than you might think. Take an iDBUS from London to Paris from at the Mini Price of £35 per person, find some budget accommodation (there are large chain hotels that offer small rooms but small prices, too) and enjoy all that the city has to offer.
There are plenty of things to do in Paris even if you are on a budget. Here are some of our favourites that won’t break the bank – because they’re all free.
Jardin des Plantes
You may envisage Paris to be a mass of concrete and stone, shops, restaurants and museums. If you have young children, you probably don’t like the idea of keeping hold of them all the way round the city and trying to interest them in things that they are only allowed to look at and not touch. Fortunately, as in London there are plenty of large green spaces in Paris.
Jardin des Plantes is a botanical garden dating back to the 1600s and is a formal garden. Not really a place for cartwheels and games of tig but it is pretty and a great place for picnics and a bit of fresh air. The French do create beautiful botanical gardens with many interesting and aesthetically pleasing features and this is one of their finest.
Parc André Citroën
If the Jardin des Plantes seems too formal then come to this park for an interesting day out. This is a garden intended to be explored with different colour themes and textures, scents and sounds to investigate.
The famous cathedral dates back to 1163 when construction began (it was finally completed nearly 200 years later). Gothic towers and the famed rose window and triptych of decorated doorways offer plenty to look at and admire.
A walk along the banks of this famous river (perhaps after touring Notre-Dame Cathedral) is a relaxing way to enjoy the city. You can stop and view the works of various artists selling their wares in stalls along stretches of the river.
Bois de Vincennes
This is Paris’s largest park and it includes a Buddhist temple, lakes and a miniature farm.
If you buy your iDBUS tickets (you can buy three and receive a fourth ticket free, ideal for families) and accommodation to suit your budget there is no reason why you need to blow that budget after you arrive. There are plenty of free things to do in Paris, so do a bit of research before you travel and create your ideal itinerary.