Once the domain of overpriced eateries, haute couture and pricey hotels, Paris had a reputation for being an expensive get-away – but new budget options means the City of Lights is now within reach in more ways than one.
Pic: Wire Image
With the budget airline boom still in full flow, the cost of flying to Paris is now almost as cheap as inland UK flights, so websites such as cheapflights, travelsupermarket and easyvoyage are well worth a visit.
A return trip on the Eurostar from London can be had for just £69 per person at the weekend, and you'll arrive much closer to the centre by train.
No longer do tourists need to stump up huge sums for high-priced hotels or slum in some distant arrondisement to stay in Paris these days.
Boutique-y hotels with a quirky buzz and rentable apartments mean you can enjoy all the traditional sights and sounds without emptying your pockets. The Mama Shelter, with interiors designed by none other than Philippe Starck, offers double rooms from just 89 euros, while The Five Hotel in the up and coming Latin Quarter provides Bohemian, boudoir-style accommodation from around 101 euros.
Alternatively, visit www.housetrip.com or city-getaway.com and enjoy a 'live-like-a-local' experience in a rented apartment from around £60 a night.
Eating out there
Where once tourists were torn between huge bills for admittedly high-class cuisine, and suspect steak tartare in a quaint bistro, modern Paris has wised up to the need for affordable but excellent food.
The city is still awash with bistros and brasseries, but there are many serving beautiful French cuisine at very reasonable prices. If you're on a budget it's best to look for those with a 'prix fixe' menu. A la Biche au Bois (Avenue Ledru-Rollin), with its mains of wild game and desserts packed with seasonal fruits, offers generous portions as part of its 25.90 euro menu, while A la Biere (Avenue Simon Bolivar) gives diners rustic French food for just 14.50 euros.
If you're not too fussed about choice, head for Petrelle, on Rue Petrelle, where chef Jean-Luc Andre seeks out quality local produce for his 29 euro menu.
With the basics of eating and living taken care of, any spare cash you've got can be spent on the vast array of amazing art and culture on offer in the French capital... or you can simply soak up the incredible aura of this romantic city walking hand-in-hand by the Seine.
Have you done Paris on a budget? Where would you recommend eating or staying? Leave your comments below...