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Out of all the travel destinations that you have dreamt of during repetitive and boring Biology 101 lectures, Paris with its romantic mystique has stood out among all the world cities that you have lusted over recently.
While all the cliché sights and attractions all appeal to you, you also have a thing for the off-beat highlights of any destination that you visit. In spite of what you might think, Paris is no different in this regard, as it has more than its share of quirky things to do.
Before you hop on that plane to head out on the most fun you’ll have all year though, don’t forget to pre-book your stay to avoid a potential crisis when you get on the ground. Find some accommodation here that will allow you and your friends to have a place that will exceed anything you can find in a hotel or hostel, as well as the peace of mind that comes from having an apartment that is ready and waiting for you upon arrival.
Now that we gotten that necessary advisory out of the way, let’s get down to the business of revealing all the quirky things to do in Paris.
1) Musée de la Magie
If you ever spent a significant portion of your childhood attempting to nail that card or coin trick perfectly, then checking out La Musee de la Magie (The Magic Museum) will be of great interest to you.
Here, artifacts from centuries of magic performances around the world can be found, from the boxes where you watched in horror as that magician’s assistant got sawed in half, to ventriloquist’s puppets that are as mystifying as they are creepy.
2) Le Cimetière des Chiens
The great majority of us have grown up knowing a favorite furry friend. Unfortunately, this also means that we have likely been around long enough to witness their inevitable demise. Most pets in the developed world are either cremated or buried on a private plot of land.
However in Paris, there is a dedicated cemetery where human’s best friends are given over to the earth in the same manner that our human loved ones are. Here, custom tombstones and tributes will touch you and creep you out, often at the same time, while the land’s resident stray cats will also give you the chance to celebrate life as well.
3) The Giant Thumb
This attraction is exactly what the title suggests: it’s a statue of a giant thumb, carved in intricate detail from a piece of metal. Located in Paris’ central business district of La Defense across from the ultra modern version of the Arc D’ Triomphe, its positioning in the midst of what is otherwise a rather sterile business center makes it all the more surreal.
As destinations go, Paris ranks among the top to experience before passing on into the great beyond. The problem is that it gets harder to see places like The City of Lights as you take on ever more responsibilities in life, so it is imperative that you get out and see these sights while you are young, single and fabulous.
The only chestnut that you can’t seem to crack in your mind is this: all this stuff costs money. Especially Paris, which consistently ranks among the priciest urban destinations on Earth. However, with some tenacious travel hacking, even the more expensive places in the world become accessible to those of modest means.
Since you likely count yourself among this group at this stage in your life, it is important that you find ways to stretch your dollars until President Washington cries. To help you do this, we have scraped together our best tips on how to do Paris on a student’s budget.
Let’s review them in detail below, so you can begin packing your rucksack for an amazing adventure in one of the most fabulous cities on Earth.
The best things in life are free
While you might be excited enough to book your ticket at this point, take the time to read this first before charging your credit card. While just about any time of year is a great time to visit Paris, be sure to time your trip to coincide with the first Sunday of the month. A large number of museums, monuments, and tourist attractions offer free admission at this time, including the Louvre (during the winter months).
In addition to this, strolling through the Jardin de Luxembourg, along the Seine, or though hip neighborhoods such as The Marais doesn’t cost anything, allowing to save your money for a night or two of fine French dining.
French food doesn’t have to break the bank
One of the pleasures of being in France is partaking of some of the finest cuisine in the world, and as such, you shouldn’t deny yourself of it totally in the name of keeping to a draconian budget. Dining out every night does add up though, so you’ll have to pick your battles when it comes to eating out at fancy restaurants.
This doesn’t mean you have to slum it on your cheap days though, as Paris offers plenty of affordable treats that won’t break you financially. Crepes are a popular sweet or savory treat that you simply have to try, as it will only set you back a few Euros for the more basic varieties.
Boulangeries offer racks full of macaroons, croissants and freshly-baked baguettes, while Paris ethnic diversity will expose you to a myriad of international street fare such as falafel, a frequent find due to the strong presence of Arabic cultures within city limits.
Chip in on an apartment together
Of course, none of the above matters if you have no place to lay your head at the end of the day. While hostels can be fun, if you are traveling with a large group of friends, it can be difficult to keep everybody together in the same rooms in the perpetually busy budget accommodations of this highly popular city.
An alternative option that it is just as affordable (but far more cozy) is to rent an apartment for the duration of your stay here. By making use of booking sites like this one (http://www.housetrip.com/en/paris), you can get a place that is close to nightlife, tourist attraction and shopping, all while having a quiet place to return to at night.
Or a place where you can party it up without imposing on strangers.
Either way, the freedom you enjoy with this option makes it worth your serious consideration.