After spending a couple of months working in a hostel in a small French town, we were both low on funds and ready to return to the rest of our clothes and a less baguette-filled diet. But we were also lucky enough to have the chance to stay in a friends apartment in Paris for a few nights. Of course, we had to go. We promised ourselves we would find the cheapest ways to entertain and feed ourselves. Here’s our round-up of the best cheap things to do in Paris!
Best shopping: OMAYA Vintage
Yes, we both had an ridiculous amount of luggage, and yes, we did have to get it up and down seven flights of stairs but when you find a gem like this store, you have to at least look.
Looking turned into rummaging and rummaging turned into trying on clothes and naturally, that led to a few purchases. We both walked out of OMAYA with €5 winter coats, a skirt each and a sweater each. Everything in this store is reasonably priced and the owners are lovely people! They leave you to do your digging while they continue unpacking boxes of beautiful clothes and accessories.
You can find OMAYA at: 29 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris, France.
Best dinner: Paris Feni
After spending a day traipsing around the city, using brain fluids to think about art and not eating enough because the food is outrageously priced, all we wanted in the evening was a hearty dinner and a glass of wine that wasn’t going to break our already-fragile banks. We surfed the internet looking for options that were more adventurous than pizza (but just as cheap). And the angels sent us Paris Feni.
Located in a cute, charming square tucked away from busy rue Oberkampf, this restaurant has a warm, welcoming atmosphere. They serve an array of Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan dishes, with vegetarian options. The meals are adequately sized, will have your tastebuds dancing (especially after a month of cheese and baguettes) and will only set you back €12, including a glass of house wine! The service is really fast so you won’t be eyeing up other customers’ dishes with a rumbling stomach for long. The owners are super friendly and accommodating to tourists.
Oh yeah, and look at this chocolate dessert that’s full of warm gooey chocolate. How could you say no?
Find Paris Feni at 15 Rue Ternaux, 75011 Paris, France.
Best site: Palais De Tokyo
One of our friends told us we must go to this modern art gallery and we are so glad we listened. Palais de Tokyo is located right next to the National Museum of Modern Art, across the river from the Eiffel Tower.
This gallery is unlike any other we have ever been to. Rather than displaying artwork in different rooms according to different chapters of an artist’s creative or physical journey, this gallery creates an experience for the visitor from the moment they step inside.
About five minutes after we stepped inside, we found ourselves crawling through a suspended tunnel system made completely out of packing tape. We felt like children at a fairground, it was so cool!
Each artist’s installation, painting, sculpture, sketch or video is accompanied by an explanation of their thought process and intention for the piece displayed. The visitor can then interpret the work and relate it to their existence.
Even the staircase was full of creativity…
It’s hard to put our experience into words, as each individual adventure into this gallery will be different.
“This odyssey – both physical and mental – is an invitation to walk through the Palais de Tokyo, metamorphosed by the artists in such a way that, from one installation to the next, from one floor to another, we find ourselves inside the works.”
– curators of the current exhibition.
Afterwards, you can enjoy a coffee on this terrace looking out at the Eiffel Tower!
Palais de Tokyo can be found at 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France.