A love affair with Paris doesn’t have to end once you leave France. Just ask Janelle, a self-confessed “devoted Francophile” who has become obsessed with French culture even though she lives in Melbourne, Australia. When she’s not in France (she tries to visit at least once a year), she’s finding ways to capture the spirit of France and bring it into her everyday life. Her blog Distant Francophile is a great resource for anyone pining for their next trip to Paris. Here are a few of her tips for ways to save and splurge in the city.
Free: People Watching
One of my favourite things to do in Paris – and in all of France for that matter – is to watch the passing parade of people going about their day. Whether it is the chic French or the excited tourists, I can lose hours just people watching in Paris.
Paris is perfectly set up for people watching. Café chairs face outwards and you can always find a seat or a bench in the parks and gardens. And, of course, having Paris as the backdrop makes this pass time all the more rewarding.
My absolute favourite spot for Parisian people watching is from a seat beside the central fountain in the Palais-Royal. I’ve enjoyed watching men playing Pétanque and have been enthralled by the antics involved in professional photo shoots. Make sure it’s on your to-do list whenever you get to Paris!
Save: Lunch at a Fabulous French Restaurant
Fine French dining is something everyone should have the opportunity to experience – at least once. Unfortunately, ‘jacket required’ dining can be rather pricey. One way to tap into the experience while saving some of your precious travel dollars is to book at table for lunch. Many Parisian Michelin starred restaurants offer a fixed price lunch menu. You get the same fabulous food experience, complete with excellent service, at a fraction of the price of ordering à la carte or visiting in the evening. One of my favourite places to lunch is the classy two starred restaurant Taillevent. Here you can have your choice of 4 courses (including a cheese course), together with wine, mineral water and coffee at a comparatively bargain price. An amuse bouche, petit fours and a digestif are also included. Yum!
Splurge: Photo Shoot in Paris
One of the few disappointing thing about visiting Paris is the fact that I rarely get many family photos. Don’t get me wrong. I get stacks of photos of stunning Paris. But there are rarely any photos of my husband and I (or of the three of us, when our son is travelling with us). So for me, a truly indulgent splurge is to engage a professional photographer. You are virtually guaranteed to get photos you love, with one of the most beautiful cities in the world as your stage.
Click here to learn more about Janelle and find ways to Frenchify your life.