8 Tips to save money and time visiting Paris

8 Tips to save money and time visiting Paris

Paris Travel
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Paris is the city of love and lights! It is a romantic destination that is loved and revered by the artist's world over. With its exquisite artistic streets, numerous museums and amazing landmarks Paris is a worth seeing place. Paris sees a huge influx of tourists throughout the year and this is why it is one of the most expensive places to plan a tour too.

But never mind, below mentioned are some fantastic tips and tricks that can help you enjoy Paris in the most economical and intimate way. So if you are planning a budget-friendly trip to Paris, these tips can help you:

1. Always opt for group or public transportation

If you want to be on budget, then you cannot be travelling in taxis and travelling in taxis is not fun either. You should hop on to the Paris Open Bus tours, they are nominal and you can roam around the whole of Paris without causing a dent on your pocket. There are three varieties of Hop on Hop off bus tours, Paris'LOpen Hop-on-Hop-off Tour, Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off tour and Foxity BusHop-On Hop-off Tour. The charges for these buses range from the price of 33Euros to 18 Euros for a day. You can easily hop on at various attractions and hear stories about them in more than 6 languages. These buses are of great value regarding money, but if you are looking for further cheaper options you can always opt for the Metro pass that costs 14 Euros. Majority of these hop on hop buses allow one child under 11 years to travel free of cost.

2. Avoid restaurant sit-ins

Eating inside a restaurant is considered quite lavish and therefore it can cost a lot of money. There are numerous supermarkets, from where you can purchase food, or raw material to make sandwiches yourself. Buying from stalls or patisseries can cost you from 4Euros to 9 Euros and it would also include a wine. If you want to enjoy a restaurant meal and then eat it outside, you will be charged less. Many restaurants offer composite deals. You can easily find these restaurants from Trip Advisor, Romewise, Hostel World and easily seek restaurants that offer between 4$-10$. Opt for these meals and you will be paying between 9Euros to 15 Euros for a meal per person.

3. Finding reasonable accommodation

Paris is divided into 20 districts. If you want to locate a reasonable accommodation in the 1-9 districts then you will save a lot of money in commuting as you can literally walk to most of the famous attractions. It is advisable to avoid the 8th district because it is bit expensive. If you are looking to save money in accommodation then you can always stay outside the main central city. There is a lovely hotel by the name of Hôtel Léonard de Vinci where you can stay by paying under 70$ a night! Hôtel Regyn's Montmartre is another hotel that is under 65$. There are many inexpensive hotels that can be stayed in and cost under 80Euros. The cheap hotels have amazing services and therefore you should not fear them!

4. Visit free sites, take free walk tours and enjoy the boat ride

There are lots of free sites as well and you can get the Parisian vibes from them. Some of the free sites are:

Musée d'Art Moderne: It is a modern art museum which has some of the best pieces of art in the world.

Notre Dame Cathedral: It is a medieval Catholic cathedral and houses some ancient artefacts.

Aréne de Lutéce: This site is all about the very famous remains from the Roman era.

Hotel des Invalides: It has museums and other artefacts related to the French military regimes.

Maison de Balzac: The museum is situated in the house of writer Honoré de Balzac.

Maison de Victor Hugo: This museum is situated in the house of the writer Victor Hugo.

Musée de la Vie Romantique: It is a museum built in the house of artist Ary Scheffer.

Musée Curie: It is a museum that focuses on the radiological research of Madame Curie.

Musée du Parfum-Fragonard: An olfactory paradise. This is a museum of perfumes.

There are a lot of tour companies that offer amazing walking tours. They have a limit to some people who can join, therefore you need to be an early bird to avail this amazing opportunity.

5. Don't pay for sightseeing tours opt for busses that offer sightseeing

You can find some of the best Paris Sightseeing Tours through simple bus rides. You can buy a simple ticket for one of the public buses and then visit the tourist's sites, without being time-bound. Each of these buses has a route and you can easily find their routes on the site.

6. Save at the attractions

Louvre: It can cost 15 Euros. You can save by visiting Wednesday and Friday nights or the first Sunday of the month.

Eiffel Tower: An entrance ticket costs 19Euros. If you walk to a certain level, you can save as much as half the ticket cost.

Arc de Triomphe: The cost is 12 Euros, and you can save the cost on the ticket if you visit at night.

Notre Dame: The cathedral is free but if you are willing to visit the bell tower than it costs 10 Euros. Going early in the morning, you’ll get some early discounts.

Palace of Versailles: You can get a Versailles Passport for 20 Euros and that is going to be a good bargain.

7. Buy a Museum card

Museums have first Sundays free. You can make use of that opportunity or buy a Museum Card, it gives you access to numerous discounts for museum entrance and token stores within.

Centre Pompidou: Admission charges for adults are €13, children under 13 are free of cost.

Louvre: Adults are charged €11 and visitors under 18 years can go for free.

Musée Carnavalet: Free of cost for everyone.

Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris: Free of cost for everyone.

Maison de Victor Hugo: Free of cost for visitors.

Musée de la Vie Romantique: The entrance is free.

Musée d'Orsay: Adults are charged €9 and people between the ages of 18 and 25 years are charged €6.50, less than 18 years of age can go free.

Musée Rodin: Admission charges for adults are €9, people between 18-25 years are charged 5€, visitors under 18 are for free.

Petit Palais: Free for all.

8. Avoid or Things to be Consider

When you are sightseeing always carry water with you. You will find numerous water fountains where you can refill your water. Small street vendors will try to convince you to buy it from them. Always keep your money distributed and normally on your person instead of bags. And use front pockets rather than back pockets.

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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​10 New York City Brunch Restaurants I Love A Waffle Lot

Trust me, breakfast is overrated, even if it is at Tiffany's!

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You guys knew it was coming! If you know me personally or follow me on Instagram you would know that the thing that I love most in the world is brunch. My life motto is "Mimosa es su mosa" or maybe "On Sundays, we drink mimosas." Just kidding! However, there is nothing I love more than having waffles, poached eggs, and a latte on a Sunday with my girlfriends. Brunch is a long-held tradition for us, it's a great way to relax and it honestly just brings everyone together. So I thought I'd share a few of our go-to spots!

1. Dudley's

This is my favorite place of all time to get brunch. Dudley's is right on Orchard Street, it has a quaint little interior great for dinner, as well! However, I suggest going during the summer to enjoy their outdoor seating. The food is just so delicious! The first time I went was actually at the end of August with my best friend Alexia. She had just gotten back from traveling and we wanted to brunch, go to The Met, walk the Brooklyn Bridge and go thrifting all before we went back to school the next day. We got brunch and were full pretty much the whole day, it was insane. It was also really fresh. Alexia even says when she comes home from Greece no meal ever compares to the food she eats back home, but this really hit the spot. The cuisine is American with an Australian twist. I normally get the chia muesli, a burger with a salad on the side instead of fries. Also if it's later in the afternoon, I'll just do cauliflower tempura with green aioli! For drinks, I suggest a latte or their cold brew.

2. Buvette

I literally just went last weekend with my friend Emily, so if that doesn't tell you how much I love it here, I don't know what does! Buvette has extremely friendly staff and great food, the portions are a tiny bit small but they are super filling, definitely try the specials! I suggest the Belgian Waffle with berries and a latte. My friend Emily got a lemonade and avocado toast!

3. Victor's Cafe

Best croquettes and burger to date. I also got yuca fries on the side. Best brunch ever, oh my gosh! Of course, I got a latte with that, too! The paella de vegetales and platanos are to die for, as well. Victor's Cafe has my heart!

4. Your Mother's House

I actually just went to Your Mother's House on Sunday. It's not the best brunch ever, but they have such a great menu with tons of variety. I even had this Groupon for bottomless brunch if you are of legal drinking age. The Groupon definitely makes it worth it!

5. Sarabeth's

This has been a long-standing tradition between my friend Sara and I. The first time we went was actually when I was like 13, I want to say. It was December and at the time Sara was like 17 and she bought me tickets to see the Radio City Rockettes. However, the only reason I took the train at that point was for work so I wasn't going to be allowed to go. So we devised a plan to convince my mother that her mother was going and it all turned out quite splendidly.

We went to Sarabeth's, I got the lemon ricotta pancakes, and Sara got the crab cake benedict. I would recommend both. Then we saw the Rockettes. However, the reason this is a funny story is that a month later on Christmas Eve, she and her parents came over and our mothers are extremely close because Sara and I have been friends since I was five years old. Sara and I went to my room to hang out and left our mothers to talk. After a few glasses of Chardonnay, Sara's mom told my mom that we went alone. I was grounded for three weeks. Well worth it though, not only did I see the Rockettes, but I found a regular brunch spot!

6. Chat Noir Tea

I know I'm a coffee girl, but I needed some tea to spill it at this brunch! Chat Noir Tea has an amazing Croque Monsieur and a great English breakfast tea. I suggest getting the tea service for two!

7. Juliette

I've told you guys once and I'll tell you again, all great things reside in Williamsburg! I'll be back here with my girlfriends in two weeks. I recommend the french toast at Juliette if you have a sweet tooth like me!

8. The Cheesecake Factory

This is probably one of my favorite places to eat, for dinner here I usually get the crusted chicken romano but for brunch, at The Cheesecake Factory they have plenty of sweet things, so I'll normally order a few things and split it with whoever I'm with!

9. Milk & Honey Cafe

I know this one is a throwback to the "10 Instagram Worthy Cafes" article I wrote but the Milk & Honey Cafe does have some great brunch options and come on, you can try one of the best cafes and brunch places in New York all at once! (Fun fact: My Odyssey profile picture was taken here!)

10. Cafe Mogador

So I wanted to include Cafe Mogador in this because it was actually recommended to me and will be my next brunch stop, so I figured why not leave this here as a little surprise for us both!

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