Forget Paris’ reputation for being one of the most expensive places in Europe to visit; we at Loving Apartments offer great value rental apartments and suggest things you can do for free in the city of love:
- Spending time at the Gothic masterpiece of Notre-Dame Cathedral really is a must. You can bask in the beauty of its architecture; increase your knowledge with a summer tour; and, enjoy one of the spectacular sound and vision night shows – all for free.
- Wend your way along the many beautiful trails and paths in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. There are so many outstanding features and gardens here that you might forget you are in urban Paris. If you have a head for heights, take the 22 metre high suspension bridge to the belvedere of Sybil – a temple folly that sits atop a craggy peak overlooking the park.
- Visit Galeries Lafayette, which since opening nearly 120 years ago has become an institution for fashionable Parisians. The urge to spend will be strong in this amazing art nouveau building but if you reserve a place at one of the free fashion shows held there each Friday afternoon, you may just be distracted long enough to forget about spending money.
- Walk barefoot on the sands of Paris-Plages. Every summer artificial beaches spring up along the river Seine. Topless sunbathing is a no-no, as is taking a dip in the river but feeling the sand between your toes and the cool breeze from the Seine makes this a perfect chill-out spot.
- Take a walk through the quietest neighbourhood in Paris – Père Lachaise Cemetery. Well, the incumbents are quiet but each year literally hundreds of thousands of visitors ensure that this cemetery is a place for the living. See the final resting places of: novelist, Oscar Wilde; singer, Édith Piaf; American lead singer of The Doors, Jim Morrison and many other famous residents.
- On the first Sunday of every month you can wallow in the sophistication of the Louvre for free. It’s a great opportunity to visit one of the most famous art galleries in the world and get up close to the most enigmatic smile in history – Mona Lisa’s.
- You don’t need to don a white lab coat on a visit to The Curie Museum but the tour will bring you much closer to understanding the achievements of famous husband and wife scientists Pierre and Marie Curie.
- Comfy shoes at the ready for a fantastic three-and-a-half hour walking tour of Paris. These tours may be free but your guide’s knowledge is priceless. As well as seeing some of the most famous sights of the city, you will discover parts you didn’t know existed. Tours are held daily at 11:00 and 13:00, meeting beside the fountain at Place Saint Michel.
- Take in the artistic wonders of the Centre Pompidou for free on the first Sunday of every month or any day if you are under 26 and from the EU. Like the Lloyd’s building in London, the Centre Pompidou looks like it has been turned inside out: unlike Lloyd’s, it houses a huge collection of 20th century art.
- Walk the Place des Vosges and you’ll be following in the footsteps of some of Paris’ most famous and influential citizens. This perfectly proportioned square is the oldest in the city and amongst its famous residents was Victor Hugo, the writer of ‘Les Misérables’. As a bonus, when you’ve taken in the symmetrical beauty of the square you can also visit the permanent exhibits in Hugo’s house for free.
When visiting a city that speaks an alternative language to your own, do you make the effort to interact in their language? It’s so useful, and respectful, to learn a few common phrases to help you get by on your travels, without the embarrassing common scene of saying something in your language that little bit louder, and getting frustrating when they still don’t understand! I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of this at some point, or have at least resorted to a spot of charades to get by.
I always try to make the effort to at least be able to order something in my destination’s native language as I feel a sense of accomplishment, and most of the time the locals truly appreciate my endeavours. There has been the odd occasion when I’ve been skiing in France, when I have ordered food in French, and the waiter has responded back to me in English. Not put off by his blatant lack of patience, I continued to speak French to him, much to his frustration.
No one expects you to spend weeks brushing up on your Spanish skills, or to sign up for French classes before you travel – even just spending a few minutes on your flight over, or making sure you have a handy phrase book in your pocket is sufficient. To help you along your way, here is a handy list of common words and phrases when visiting some of our most popular destinations.
|Good morning||Goedemorgen||Good morning||Bon dia|
|Good evening||Goedenavond||Good evening||Bona nit|
|Thank you||Dank u||Thank you||Gràcies|
|Please||Alstublieft||Please||Si us plau|
|Excuse me||Pardon||Excuse me||Dispensi!|
|I don’t understand||Ik begrijp het niet||I don’t understand||No ho entenc|
|My name is…||Min name is||My name is…||Em dic …|
|Where is…?||Waar is?||Where is…?||On és…?|
|How much does it cost?||Hoeveel kost het?||How much does it cost?||Quant costa això?|
|Good morning||Bon jour||Good morning||Dobré ráno|
|Good evening||Bon soir||Good evening||Dobrý večer!|
|Bye||Au revoir||Bye||Na shledanou!|
|Thank you||Merci||Thank you||Děkuji|
|Please||S’il vous plaît||Please||Prosím|
|Excuse me||Excusez-moi||Excuse me||Promiňte|
|Sorry||Pardon||Sorry||Je mi líto|
|I don’t understand||Je ne comprends pas||I don’t understand||Nerozumím|
|My name is…||Je m’appelle||My name is…||Jmenuji se…|
|Where is…?||Où est…?||Where is…?||Kde je…?|
|How much does it cost?||Combien?||How much does it cost?||Kolik to stojí?|
If you’re looking to combine art and culture with ghosts and ghouls, then check out our top destinations to take a chilling trip to over the Halloween weekend. We’ve got some great activities sure to frighten even the most fearless traveller…
With London’s gruesome history of crime and punishment, it’s not surprising that it is home to one of the most chilling historic attractions – The London Bridge Experience and London Tombs. From 27th- 31st October, the show increases the fright factor, with a Halloween special, that plays on the heightened senses of every visitor. ‘Phobophobia’ will attack its visitor’s deepest phobias with snakes and spiders, confined spaces and dripping blood. Visitors should also be on the watch for ghoulish figures lurking in the shadows lying in wait for the most unsuspecting of victims. Visit the official website for more information and ticketing.
Explore the dark and sinister side of Prague with a walking ghost tour through the historic Old Town. Your guide will lead you by lantern into the back streets and gloomy alleyways, while relaying frightening stories and ghostly legends. Many visitors have claimed ghostly sightings in historic Prague, and it is said that if you take your camera along, you may capture faint outlines of ghostly figures, visible only by photograph. Arrange your walking ghost tour for a creepy city break to Prague.
Amsterdam – During the Spanish inquisition in the 16th century, The Netherlands experienced horrific torture and death in the forms of hanging and beheadings. Witchcraft was strictly forbidden, and during this time, many witch hunts took place, with thousands of people being burned at the stake. Visitors can discover Amsterdam’s frightening and eye-opening experience – the Amsterdam Dungeon, to relive some of the terrifying occurrences during this period, as well as discovering Rembrandt’s evil secret. Find out more information on The Amsterdam Dungeon.
Paris – The Catacombs of Paris is a labyrinth burial ground that was created in the 18th century. For almost 30 years, the Parisian people buried the bones of their deceased within this underground maze of caverns and tombs. This was due to a lack of overcrowding in city cemeteries and the use of inadequate burial methods, which led to disease and infection contaminating the surrounding local areas. Almost 6 million individual remains were buried within the Catacombs, and visitors can explore the crypts below the streets of Paris, for a shocking but fascinating exploration into Parisian history.
Berlin – Berlin’s Nocti Vagus, or ‘Dark Restaurant’ as it is known, takes its everyday theme of dining on the dark, and throws in some special ghoulish features in celebration of Halloween. Dining in pitch black in Nocti Vagus, it is considered that guests will experience heightened senses in taste and smell, at the absence of their sight. Food is served by blind waiters, and on the 30th-31st October a chilling evening can be enjoyed, by those who dare. Advanced reservations are recommended.
Dreaming of a tropical destination for a summer holiday? Paris has just what you’re looking for. The city of Paris sets up artificial beaches for one month each year along the Seine River called Paris Beach, or Paris-Plages, as the French would say. Paris-Plages is a hot spot for relaxing in the sun and enjoying water sports. Entrance is completely free and offers an atmosphere that appeals to both adults and children.
The 2011 event is from July 21-August 21. This year marks Paris-Plages’ 10th anniversary. In celebration, the open-air venue will offer free evening concerts, tai chi, ballroom dancing, and cultural activities throughout the month. There is much to celebrate as Paris-Plages has developed extraordinarily since the founding of the event in 2002. Each season brings with it new attractions and services such as the inclusion of ferry transport between locations and pools suspended over the Seine River.
The original idea was to cater to the Parisians who weren’t able to go on holiday over the hot summer months, but Paris-Plages has become an affair that cannot be missed. Paris-Plages began singular as Paris-Plage with just one beach located on the Rive Droite near Pont de Sully. This traditional beach offers sunbathing and small pools for swimming. Today, visitors can enjoy two additional locations at the Rive Gauche and La Villette. La Villette provides a more active theme with activities such as boating and water sports. You will also often see people exercising and running up and down the beach.
If you’re dreaming of a relaxing break, Paris is the perfect getaway this summer. Paris-Plages will be greater than ever before, offering you a cultural experience and a relaxing haven whilst you are staying at a Paris apartment.
Loving Apartments is offering hot deals in July and August. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with hot deals in Paris this summer. You can also check for apartments closest to the Paris-Plages location by clicking here. Don’t miss out on a tropical summer in Paris—the place to be.