Paris: Cheapo Night Out!

night out paris

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!

About the author

Meredith Franco Meyers
About the author: Meredith earned an MFA in fiction writing at The New School in New York City. Her feature stories and articles have appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, American Baby, Self, Bridal Guide, Time Out New York, Fitness and more. She joined EuroCheapo in summer 2007.
Posted in: Paris Eating and Drinking
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Cheapo Comments

6 Responses to “Paris: Cheapo Night Out!”
  • Meredith says:

    The show usually ends as the sun is coming up. Seriously. You can buy one ticket for 25 euros and stay all night. You can even leave and come back a few hours later with the same ticket. I cannot say enough good things about this cabaret. Also, if you’re around during the big fete de la musique, I recommend taking that in.

    Oh, and you asked how many cocktails we stayed for. Just two – but we sipped them slowly and listened to the piano for hours. Gotta love Paris!

  • LA Kango Suz says:

    Meredith-
    Thanks for the great suggestions about Paris on the cheap. Do you have any suggestions for finding cheap parisian places to dance? My hubby and I are ballroom dancers and we usually cut the rug in Los Angeles on a regular basis. We’re thinking of planning a trip to Paris later in the year and I’d love to schedule in a couple of dance places.
    -Suz

  • Great tips Meredith! More free Paris fun here on National Geographic Traveler’s Free Cities site:
    http://www.ngeo.com/traveler/deals/freeparis0803.html

  • where is this crepe stand? are there many stands in the city selling food?

  • Meredith says:

    Of course! There are countless crépe stands all over the city. Most of them are in the Latin Quarter, but many high traffic corners host stands as well.

    My favorites are (for sit down crépes): La Couer Aux Crépes on Rue Galande or for stand-up crépes, this place next to the St. Germain des Prés church, across from Les Deux Magots (one of the most famous coffee houses in Paris).

    Make sure you choose a crépe maker whose making them fresh and not a guy or gal who has a stack of pre-made pancakes behind them. You want to watch the whole process, from the pouring of the batter, to the smoothing over of the Nutella.

    Bon App!

  • [...] got lots of it for the charming two-star Villa des Princes. In fact, you may recall that we mentioned Villa, the tiny 12-room gem in the middle of the trendy St. Germain des Prés neighborhood, a [...]

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