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Although Paris has a reputation for being one of the most expensive city in the world, the rumours are now unfounded. In 2012, Paris dropped ten places in the Mercer cost of living survey. And with the Euro looking weak, now is probably pretty good time to find some cheap flights and discover the city of love on a budget.

Best Cheap eats in Paris, Eiffel Tower at Night, Paris

Eating in Paris can catch a lot of tourists out. Avoid the expensive restaurants and snooty maître d’s on the Champs Elysees and follow our guide for the best cheap eats in Paris.  Spend less on food and possibly splurge a little on a nice hotels in Paris instead!

Best Cheap Eats in Paris

Head to the Marais

Famous for its selection of ethnic eateries, the trendy Marais area of Paris is perfect for picking up a quick snack.

Check out L’As du Falafel where you can grab a flatbread filled to bursting with golden fried balls of falafel, smothered in hummus, and accompanied with red cabbage. For €4 to take away, you can’t really argue with that. If it’s too busy, simply head to Chez Hanna down the street for equally tasty food at equally low prices.

Best eats in Paris, The Louvre, Paris

Enjoy an Oriental baguette

Vietnamese food is popular in France, and nowhere can you see the fusion of two cultures more clearly than at Saigon Sandwich in the Belleville district of Paris.  Their speciality, banh mi, is a light and crusty French baguette filled with flavours of South East Asia. 

There are only a few options (poulet, bouef, maison and special) but for €3 a go you could happily sample them all.

Find French food on the cheap

Believe it or not, there are some restaurants specialising in French cuisine that won’t see you stumbling into your overdraft. Les Temps des Cerises is one of them.

Described by Yelp as a “Dive Bar”, nothing could be further from the truth.  Run by a cooperative, it attracts a distinctly bohemian crowd. The menu is small, but the food is prepared from ingredients which sing with freshness and high quality.

View from the top of Arc de Triomphe

Eat like a local celebrity …

Rumour has it that Pierre Herme, one of Paris’s most celebrated pastry chefs, makes a habit of visiting the Belleville restaurant Le Baratin. The prices are surprisingly low for the delicious Argentinian fare.

Time Out Magazine recommends the tuna carpaccio with cherries, or the spicy basque lamb. Pop in at lunch time for the prixe fix menu. At €18 for three courses it’s hard to complain.

… or eat like a local office worker

Bistro Victoires is a favourite amongst Paris’s locals. It doesn’t look like much from outside, and the wine list leaves a lot to be desired, but when you sit down to enjoy some of the best steak frites in Paris, all else will be forgiven.

Portion sizes are enormous and the waiters often remind patrons that if they order a starter, they won’t be able to tackle the main course. Despite being a popular location just steps away from the Palais Royal, it still manages to be a hidden gem.

Champs-Elysees Sunset

What are your tips for finding the best cheap eats in Paris?

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Kathryn

    January 26, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Off to Paris in March so I’ll be sure to check out some of your tips. Can’t wait!

  2. Arti

    January 27, 2013 at 3:28 AM

    I would love to go to Paris some day! And explore all the local food and just enjoy!

  3. Bianca

    May 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    I’ll be in Paris in July. I’m going to be hitting the set menu lunches hard and pretty much just eating as much as possible.
    I didn’t realise Vietnamese food was popular in France. Crusty bread rolls are all over the place in Vietnam but I didn’t realise the influence went both ways.

  4. Renuka

    January 20, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    These are really valuable tips on Paris eats. I view Paris as an intimidating destination, but I guess it’s not so scary(pricey).

  5. Ian

    January 20, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Excellent tips … as someone who be tackling West Europe for the first time in the next year or so, I appreciate the heads-up about where to get food that won’t break the bank! 🙂

  6. Writing The Region

    January 24, 2014 at 6:41 AM

    I couldn’t believe how expensive food was in Paris, even for little crappy restaurants. Great post!

  7. Jeff

    January 24, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    I will be visiting Paris in near future and i will definitely use your tips.

  8. Ian

    January 27, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    That is a real beauty! Thanks for this post, now I know how to eat in Paris in a budget when I visit.

  9. Kristy@Family Visa USA

    January 28, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    I love the tips! Hopefully I can eat as much food that I like when I go there without hurting my pocket.

  10. Jasmine Brown

    February 8, 2014 at 3:45 AM

    When in Paris, do what Parisians do. Traveling is really an expensive hobby so its good that there are articles like this that help you enjoy the most out of your vacation without burning a hole in your pocket.

  11. Naomi

    February 13, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Thank you for sharing this. I have always shunned visiting Paris because of the ‘High Cost’ rumor. I will plan a visit there very soon. I will also share this with my clients visiting Paris.
    Thank you!

  12. Tina

    February 18, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Nice tip, This is the best time to visit Paris… 🙂

  13. Jonathan Look, Jr.

    February 18, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    The Marais is my favorite neighborhood on the planet. Seems like cheap eats are everywhere. Thank for reminding me. Paris, it has been a while!

  14. Kelly Rogers

    February 27, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    I read in many novels that food in Paris is very delicious. So now, I want to try Parisian food. And your article will be a great help. 🙂

  15. Milena Yordanova

    July 19, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    There are many little bistros where you can order a fixed price menu. It includes starter, main course and dessert. You can also buy delicious baguette sandwiches from any bakery for around 5 euro.

  16. Suze the Luxury Columnist

    August 26, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Some great tips here, we’re going to Paris very soon so will be sure to check out the Marais options

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

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Europe

Let’s Do A Road Trip In Europe Fin

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Its that time of year again. It is the holidays and vacation, mirth and much merriment is upon us. Those of us who are lucky are able to take a few days to a few weeks off for vacation and can enjoy it abroad or do a staycation. A trip abroad is probably preferred, there’s so much to see and do, it would a pity to while the days away in your own hometown.

Get a move on, grab your bags, get a ticket and jump on a plane to Europe. When you get there, rest for a bit and begin your road trip. Nothing beats traveling on the road and taking all the sights that nature has to offer while stopping by at different locations.

Remember, a road trip can be very feasible and pleasant if it is done right. Make sure to have your car inspected, checked and ready to go for a long distance road trip.

You’ll want to make sure that you have your oil checked and your tires as well. Proper tires from suppliers such as Kwik Fit will get you squared away and ready to hit the road.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Grossglockner

One of the top places that you’ll want to go is in Austria. There’s this little spot called Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, this spot is one that is talked about by road trip aficionados of all kinds.

The Grossglockner is the opposite of what it sounds like, it’s not gross at all, it’s quite pleasant actually.  The path will take you through different sights ranging from mountain tops to rivers, to rock formations and more. What’s fun about this place is that you will also be able to have different changes in the road itself, it is not just one straight path but one that is filled with turns and changes to keep you from getting bored.

Italy and the Amalfi Coast

Italy is a place that won’t disappoint, it has food, culture, and history to keep you company. Italy also has beautiful sights all over too. One of the best places to drive through would be the Amalfi Coast.

The Amalfi Coast has everything you could possibly want, beaches, cliffs, and beautiful fishing villages. The place is not only beautiful in nature but in culture as well. One can check out the Cathedrals, Villa Rufolo, engage in some boat tours for a quick respite from their road trip and also view the Sirenuse from afar.

Portugal – The Estoril Coast

Drive from Italy, pass by countries such as France, Spain and reach the destination of Portugal. You will find the climate and the overall setting over here to be appealing.  On your way to this beautiful place, make sure to check out popular spots such as Lisbon and other prominent locations such as Sintra. The Estoril Coast was home to the nobility of ages past and even to those that we see as nobility today, celebrities, wealthy people and tourists with a couple of euros or dollars to their name stop by this place and immerse themselves in the manmade and natural attractions that this place has to offer.

Don’t Hesitate, Time Stands Still For No One

Time is slipping, check out budget and look into which part of Europe you want to stick to. Make the decision and take the trip, it will be a great refreshment and you will be glad you were able to have the experience. Take a few snapshots and indulge in the experience of #RoadtripsofEurope

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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