The real Paris is still your friend when you are broke.
This is a city where Hemmingway was poor and he still managed to have a pretty great time. Following in his footsteps, we have sought out ways to avoid sub-standard liquor or eating leftovers out of boulangerie bins, when down on our luck.
Summer is particularly good for avoiding the use of money, as the weather gets good and you are no longer confined to your lounge room, watching people slip over in the snow. But all year round there is value to be found for less than €10, you just need to know where to go.
FREE ART AT PARIS MUSEUMS
There are quite a few galleries in Paris that are free, everyday of the year, all year round. Musée Carnavalet is good for the history of Paris, Musée de l’Art Moderne for some Picasso, Gris, Braque or Matisse. The Petit Palais opposite its Grand older brother is beautiful for the architecture alone.
€2 TRANSPORT ON VELIB
The bicycle system in Paris is amazing. Granted the bikes are often death traps with flat tires and broken seats, and Parisian drivers are on a mission to you eliminate you with Tarantino style driving, but how else can you get around Paris at your leisure for less than €2 per day? Subscribe at the terminal and when you take a bike for less than 30 minutes the ride is free.
FREE PÉTANQUE AT BAR OURCQ
The Canal l’Ourcq is the lesser populated, lesser known Paris canal past Jaurés. At Bar Ourcq you can get a pint for a fiver, and if you surrender some identification they will give you a pétanque set to play with for free. Beers are served in plastic so you can wander around or try and nab one of the slouchy beach chairs, or just sit au bord du canal in the sunshine.
€5 NEGRONIS AT RED HOUSE
Negronis are never a bad idea and thanks to Red House, never out of reach. For €5 you can wrap yourself around what we would call an ‘entry level’ negroni. It’s not going to blow your mind, but not all drinks have to. Best of all there is no hourly restriction on this bad boy, so you can pick one up for €5 all night long.
€9 BURRON AT EL NOPAL
We would love the burrón at El Nopal just as much if it cost more than €10. Choose your meat but not your size, these babies come out steaming hot and stuffed full of satiation. Best of all, when the sun is shining they can be consumed al fresco by the canal saint martin with a €2 beer from Franprix.