PARIS — Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world — and it sure knows it. That's why the French capital — ranked among the world's priciest and most-visited — can afford to charge tourists so dearly for sampling its timeless beauty and world-class cuisine. But if you are willing to give up your foie gras and champagne, there's a whole world out there for budget-conscious traveler. Here are five things that prove that Paris — the City of Romance — knows better than most the best things in life are free.
In search of a safe haven away from the stresses of the city? Paris has just the answer with the Tuileries gardens — sitting tranquilly
THE SACRE COEUR
The landmark white domes of this basilica indelibly mark the Paris skyline, located at the city's highest point on the Montmartre hill. Come here to experience a panoramic view of Paris' historic rooftops or to be entertained by numerous spectacles by Parisian street artists. But equal delights can be found inside the church, which features the world's largest apse mosaic, in the dome above the altar, designed by Luc-Olivier Merson.
PARIS BEACH AND ICE RINK
Paris might be 93 miles from the sea, but that doesn't stop cash-strapped tourists in search of that beach holiday. Every year since 2002, the French capital has run "Paris Plages" or "Paris Beaches," a free summer event that transforms several spots along the Seine river into
For the winter traveler, Paris offers a free ice rink outside the city hall from December to March.
DROUOT AUCTION HOUSE
Going, going, gone. Marie Antoinette's slippers, the iconic hat of mime artist Marcel Marceau, Edith Piaf's black dress — even a piece of the Eiffel Tower: You can see it all going under the gavel at this famous auction house in Paris central 9th district. With 16 functioning auctions rooms, it's the world's largest auction house open to the public. Anyone can simply stroll in for free from Monday to Saturday to delve into the fascinating establishment's cabinet of curiosities. If you do happen to have a little money to spare, you can get yourself a piece of French history from as little as 1 euro.
Marilyn Monroe once said that the French are glad to die for love. Paris is proof that they're also glad to live for it — with amorous couples often seen kissing on park benches, street corners, or walking wistfully hand in hand along the banks of the tranquil river Seine. There is nothing more beautiful than taking the person you love for a romantic walk along the banks of Paris' two magical islands. the Ile Saint-Louis and the Ile de la Cite, with the haunting sight of Notre Dame cathedral in the distance.