My boyfriend and I are going to Paris on Wednesday for 4 nights. We booked the train and some good value accommodation several months ago. However, we are now in the process of buying a house so we've not got so much money left for the Paris trip. It will probably be our only holiday this year.
We are fully aware what an expensive city Paris is. We have our accommodation already, an apartment in the Marais, we would like to know a few places to eat etc, and any good money saving tips, and what are the best cheap or free things to do. We would like at least one nice romantic dinner somewhere traditional- but need to make this trip as cheap as possible otherwise!
If you have accommodation and are staying in the Marais - then Paris is not so expensive - transport is free, use your feet, you can get just about anywhere in central Paris by foot in under 30 minutes and discover more than you expected. If it rains, use the bus, tickets are cheap, get a 'carnet' of ten at any metro station - great stuff like the botanical gardens, parks and the Arab institute are free or very inexpensive - hidden museums are often free - lots of links on the Internet;
There are hundreds of cafes in the Marias - you an eat for under 20 euro or sometimes under 12 - they are all competing, but these are mostly tourist cafes - go out a bit to the 'ethnic' areas or residential areas - most arrondissements from 12 to 20 (16th is a bit posh) - some good stuff in the 11th - I tend to survive on a bowl of soup from the myriad oriental fast food places - bowl of hot soup, noodles etc for 5 euro fills up for most of the day.
Romance - buy wine and a picnic on the Pont des Arts, and go home early - better than any resto
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Lots of mini-marts about where you can buy sandwiches, and better, filled baguettes in bakeries. Cheap bottles of drink too. Large metro stations will sometimes have cheap eating places inside and nearby.