France obviously has all the public transport means such as trains and planes. However, the best and cheapest way to move around in France remains car sharing.
There are several websites dedicated to car sharing on which anyone can make a search according several criteria, or even leave freely an ad online. But the most efficient and visited website is http://www.covoiturage.com.
The other transportation means, i.e train and plane are still expensive, but it´s always possible to find promotional offers on much common websites such as the SNCF (French Railway System), under the Promotions page (http://agence.voyages-sncf.com/voyage-promotion.aspx). But be careful because those promotions are only limited to given destinations, dates are not flexible, and it concerns only late dates.
There are already plenty of websites dedicated to traveling or any other leisure activity in France, but the most visited site on which you can find last minute trips iswww.lastminute.fr , under the “Wednesday Unbeatable offers”. The all-inclusive holidays, week-ends and even train and plane tickets remain among the most affordable.
But in any case, if you wish to get the best prices regarding stays, week-end packages, or simply plane and train tickets, you might as well go on a website where all prices are compared. http://www.voyagermoinscher.com and www.kelkoo.fr are the two leading price comparators in France.
There are plenty of tricks to travel and make the best out of all the different activities France offers and it is impossible to know all of them. That’s why there are many online forums proposing and giving out tricks to all people wishing to travel with a limited budget (www.voyageforum.com).
In France, like any other European country participating, once a year, during a whole week-end (3rd week-end of September), people can visit for free or at low price many buildings, museums, or other places that are normally closed to the public. Those two days are so-called “Les journées du patrimoine” and gather millions of visitors each year. However, in order to take the most out of those two days, I would recommend you to leave early in the morning and above all, be very patient.
There are also other cultural events during the year, such as “The Museum Night”, which will take place on the 16th May, this year. This event has been existing for 4 years now and also exists in most of the other European countries. It starts at sunset and ends at around 1 a.m and gives you free access or cheap prices to many museums. You can check online the agenda for all the cultural events initiated by the Culture Ministry at www.culture.gouv.fr .
Few tips to enjoy a “not too expensive” week-end in Paris
The first step to take when coming to Paris is to get a plan of all transportation routes. You can download it previously at http://www.paris.org/Metro/gifs/metro.pdf . This will save you money (no need for taxis and other expensive transports means) and might eventually help you find your way within this huge city. One ticket for the subway (can be used for the buses as well and lasts for 1hour30 min) costs 1, 50€ and a pad of ten tickets costs 11, 10€. There is still an alternative for tourists who wish to go around all the best-known places in Paris: the ParisVisite pass. It costs 8, 80€ for one day, 14, 40€ for two days, 19, 60€ for three days or 28, 30€ for five days. It gives you access to all most popular districts and offers you other advantages: % off shows, given museums, boat and bus tours, and many other advantages. In order to choose what suits you the best, and even buy your transportation tickets online, just go at http://www.ratp.info .
Accommodation remains one of the most important when coming to budgeting. There are obviously plenty of hotels in Paris, but prices are quite expensive and can vary dramatically from one to another. The best way to find the most affordable but still nice places to stay is to post messages on different forums and wait for people to give you good advices. Or you can simply go at http://www.auberges-jeunesse.com/ , where all the city centre youth hostels are listed.
There are loads of museums and cultural activities in Paris, but they are unfortunately not for free and can become very expensive. However, Paris organizes all year through various free exhibitions open to the public. Those different exhibitions and events are listed and updated at http://www.parisgratuit.com .
You cannot come to Paris without experiencing the nightlife. There is always something to do at night in Paris: just sitting at a Café terrace, dance all night long or simply walking around in the streets. The most popular place is of course, Pigalle. It might have a bad reputation but this is actually not the place where you can find the worse of Paris. On this street, you can find the Moulin Rouge for example, but this is actually where you will find all the best bars and nightclubs, and some of them are actually not that expensive. But if you really are a Party person, you can register for free on websites such as www.guestlist.fr, on which you can get free or cheaper passes for nightclubs and occasional events.