Paris can get, how do you say?, “trés cher.” After dining out in Paris for two nights last week, we were ready to give our wallets a break and try a Paris night a la Cheapo.
A stroll for free
After doing a bit of research, we mapped out a fun, Seine-side stroll from St. Germain des Prés (where we were staying at the lovely 2-star gem “Villa des Princes“) to the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The whole journey took about an hour as we wandered along the river, stopping at bridges, watching the tour boats, and posing for photos.
A pancake dinner
By the time we arrived, we had worked up an appetite. Sure, we were feasting on the sight of Paris by night, but that didn’t quite cut it. We got in line for fresh crepes from a street vendor and salivated as he poured the batter, flipped the pancakes, and added our ingredients: Nutella and banana for Mere, and ham and emmental for Pete. Two crepes set us back about €7 and we shared a Coke (€1.50).
A free light show
We timed our walk so that we’d get to the tower just as the hourly ten-minute light show sparked up the sky. Light shows start at the top of the hour, after sunset. They occur every hour until 1 am or 2 am depending on time of year.
After ingesting crepes and stars, Seine and Eiffel, we hopped on the Metro. For €1.50, we scooted from Invalides to the Latin Quarter.
Slow sipping at the cabaret
We were ready for some good company, old fashioned standards, and the wacky feel of live cabaret, so we ventured to “Aux Trois Mailletz,” our favorite cabaret at 56, Rue Galande in the Latin Quarter. Downstairs, the fancier vaudeville show costs €25 a ticket, but upstairs in the more casual piano bar, you need only buy a drink to sip it all in. (We also found that if you tip the singer and pianist, they’ll fulfill multiple song requests.)
Cheapos could sip a Coke for €5, which isn’t cheap. Beer costs €9, while cocktails run about €11-13. Obviously, you’re paying for the tunes, but you can sip your drink as slowly as you like. We think it’s worth the inflated drink price just to take in the music, the sight of dogs in the audience, and that weird glamour of cabaret performers running about in full makeup. Bravo!