With the price of airfare getting such that one has to take out a loan, now, more than ever, it is important to try to find other ways to save money, without sacrificing the experience in our intended destination.
Paris is a city where you can find plenty of things to do for free – even visiting great museums.
Here are a few of my favorite options.
5. Maison de Victor Hugo. Located on the southwest corner of the picturesque Place des Vosges, this beautifully decorated home, an homage to Hugo, is a story of his life told in pictures, drawings, books and mementos collected by the writer himself. The sumptuous interior includes furnishings he initially picked out for his mistress Juliette Drouet. The Chinoiserie room really stands out.
4. Musée Galliera. How fitting that the fashion capital of the world would have a museum dedicated to fashion. A bit further out, in the 16th arrondissement,the museum which has been open since 1977, is home to over 70,000 items from great couturiers and designers and covers three centuries of fashion. Divas and Fashionistas, you don’t want to miss this one!
3. Musée de la Vie Romantique. This little country townhouse is nestled in a little park on the edge of Montmartre. A collection of souvenirs and artwork mingle in the home of the eccentric writer George Sand and painter Ary Scheffer. The space is designed to highlight these romantic talents while getting a true feel for their daily lives. What makes it extra special is the cobblestone walkway, the gardens and the little café, which used to be the greenhouse but now serves tea and cakes.
2. Musée Cognacq-Jay. The owners of the now defunct La Samaritiane department store were gracious enough to donate their collection accumulated from around the world to the City of Paris. Some of the most valuable pieces from the 18th century including paintings, sculptures, jewels and ceramics are showcased. Take your time here, there are lots of hidden treasures. Don’t miss the royal bed à la Polonaise located on the third floor.
1. Musée Carnavalet. Spend some time wandering the courtyard of the beautifully designed grounds while drooling over the façade of this grand piece of French architecture which used to be a Renaissance palace. Whether you’re a staunch history buff, or you tend to get a little bored, you will love this museum.
Don’t forget that some of the more famous museums like the Louvre, also offer discounted admission after 4pm. The national museums even have free days, usually the first Sunday of every month. You can find a comprehensive list here.
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