#ParisIsPossible: KL-Paris v/v for only SGD 709 (PHP 23k+)

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Getting discounted tickets from the Philippines to Kuala Lumpur is fairly easy, with two budget airlines (Cebu Pacific and Air Asia) flying to KL from Manila/Cebu, so Expedia’s discounted fare from KL to Paris and back is a pretty good deal.

Just go to Expedia and enter the booking details below. (I saw this fare via Skyscanner but it works just as well if you start from the Expedia page.)

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Booking details (Expedia screenshot)

 

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Total fare SGD 708.60 (Expedia screenshot)

 


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The Paris river bus

Paris Batobus sights 000

Paris is beautiful from a boat.

Well, it would be beautiful from anywhere, I suppose, but a boat is a good way to see the sights along the Seine river in relative comfort.

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There are various boat companies running sightseeing tours. A 1-hour cruise on Vedettes de Paris — the boat pictured passing under the gorgeous Pont Alexandre III bridge above — costs 14 €. Vedettes du Pont Neuf is currently running a spring promo, with erstwhile 14 € cruises now only 9-10 €. Cruise tours by Bateaux Parisiens also cost 14 €.

But for just a couple more euros, a one-day Batobus pass (16 €) will allow you to get on and off as often as you like, or stay on the boat the whole day if you should feel like it. The two-day pass is an even better value at 19 €. Batobus has 8 stops along the river — including ones near the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, the Hotel de Ville, and the Louvre — so it’s a great way not only to see the sights along the river but also to get from one Paris attraction to another.

Paris Batobus stop

The hop-on hop-off Batobus in Paris

Paris Batobus sights 01

In our case, we were staying at the Grand Hotel du Loiret, only a stone’s throw away from the Hotel de Ville and a short walk from the Batobus stop of the same name, so we found being able to hop-on and hop-off very convenient.

The Batobus is especially invaluable during inclement weather. It rained constantly the last time we were in Paris, so sometimes we would just stay inside the boat and sightsee from its dry, warm seats.

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Pretty good deal, right?

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The Paris river bus” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. 

 


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7 days in Paris for PHP 50,000

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Over a year ago, I wrote How Much Does A European Trip Cost, where I advised people to budget PHP 10,000/day of their trip. That estimate was largely based on a 10-day trip my sister and I took a few years ago and included everything from:

  • Airfare (Cebu-Manila-KL-Paris-KL-Manila-Cebu)
  • Hotels (all double/twin en suites in central locations)
  • Sleeper trains: Paris-Venice, Rome-Paris, and Paris-Nice
  • Daytime trains: Venice-Rome, Nice-Marseille, and Marseille-Paris
  • Ferry trip to Chateau d’If and the Frioul Islands
  • Batobus (Paris) and vaporetto (Venice) passes
  • Admission fees (Louvre, Orsay, the Colosseum, etc.)
  • Food and local transport

…and other miscellaneous stuff. (See: 10 days in Europe: A sample itinerary for France and Italy)

People who actually lived in Europe — ie, people who knew better — told me PHP 10,000/day was too much, but I figured it was a quick, memorable, reasonable rule-of-thumb, and explained:

If I had to describe my travel style, I’d say it’s frugal but comfortable. There are travelers who like to compare trip costs — the cheaper, the better — but I don’t. My personal goal is not to have the cheapest vacation, but to have the best vacation within a reasonable budget, and I tend to be willing to pay a bit more for something if it means I would be happier during my trip.

(Like, you know, centrally located twin en suites.)

But then, this month, I had to write this Rappler article, and I challenged myself to come up with a budget that wouldn’t take an extremely long time or an extremely frugal pre-trip lifestyle to achieve.

So — apologies for the needlessly long intro! — here it is:

7 days in Paris for php 50000

As you can see, the airfare gobbles up half the budget and is a lucky, low-season rate at that — you’ll have to keep an eye out for seat sales or periodic low rates to get that price. But it’s entirely possible: I’ve posted about a P23,700 fare and even a P21,500 fare that I found through Skyscanner/Expedia (and which is why I would encourage you to subscribe to this blog HERE to get the latest news and updates). Plus, there are 30-euro centrally located hostels (thank you for the tip Jasmin!) with free WiFi and breakfast, tricks to save on food and still have your fill, and other ways to not spend so much, even in an expensive city like Paris.

Of course, there’s the valid line of thought that says: you don’t get to be in Paris often, might as well spend more. PHP 50,000 is really just the baseline (and not even the basest of baselines) and you’re absolutely free to spend more if you have more to spend. What this frugal budget tries to prove is that if Paris is really a dream of yours, there’s no reason you can’t make that dream come true. I’ve done it, and you can too.

 

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7 days in Paris for PHP 50,000” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. 



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The Notre Dame

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Notre Dame Door

The Notre Dame is beautiful, from its iconic towers and buttresses to its intricate carvings and stained glass.

It’s not going to be a completely spiritual experience, seeing the church. For one, there are just too many people. And, of course, someone has to pay for the church’s upkeep — that someone being, mostly, you and me, the tourists. Signs of the inevitable commercialization — at least when I was there — include a shop selling religious items and vending machines spitting out Notre Dame medallions for 2 euros.

But the experience is what you make of it. When I went back last year, I made it a point to catch a service. I didn’t get to hear a Mass, but I was lucky enough to attend vespers. (Side note: it was my first vespers, and although I’ve been a Catholic since forever, I’m still not actually sure what vespers is and what, if any, is the Filipino counterpart.) During the service, there was an elderly man, a local, who took it upon himself to reprimand — in hushed tones — any tourist silly enough to make too much noise or sit in the benches designated for actual churchgoers. I actually thought it was nice, that someone still cared.

Another good thing about the Notre Dame: it’s free.

  • Location: Île de la Cité (one of the islands in the middle of the River Seine)
  • Opening hours: 8:00 am to 6:45 pm (7:15 pm on Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Admission: Free entrance to the church | 8,50 € to go up the towers
  • For more information: Official Website (English) | Service Times

Notre Dame Side

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The Notre Dame” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. 

France

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  • Coming soon!

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Where to Stay in Paris: Hotel Terminus Lyon

Paris Gare de Lyon | Image by Mbzt (CC BY 3.0)

Paris Gare de Lyon | Image by Mbzt (CC BY 3.0)

It was a last-minute decision to stay at the Hotel Terminus Lyon (and by “last-minute” I mean that the decision was made a few days before we filed our visa application, 2 months before our trip). We had planned to take a sleeper train from Nice to Paris, to save on time and accommodations, but it turned out there were no sleepers scheduled that night. We therefore decided we would just take a TGV that arrived in Paris right before midnight and sleep at a hotel near the station.

The Hotel Terminus Lyon is just across Gare de Lyon and was exactly what we needed. It’s a no-frills hotel that was nevertheless very clean and comfortable and had the essentials (and by “essentials” I of course mean WiFi). Staying near the train station also meant that we could easily transfer the next day to the hotel where we stayed during the rest of our time in Paris. We got a double room for USD 75 with an early bird discount — we were there on a January — but their actual room rates vary greatly within the year or even within a week.

Hotel Terminus Lyon_2015 03 (March)

Hotel Terminus Lyon_2015 06 (June)

Recommended.
Hotel Terminus Lyon (Official Website) | Booking.com | TripAdvisor

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Where to Stay in Paris: Hotel Terminus Lyon” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved.

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