18 July 2024

What to Do in Paris: Activities and Deals

Discovering Paris is an enriching experience with a multitude of activities and deals to explore. Between iconic monuments, picturesque restaurants, and vibrant cultural events, the French capital offers endless opportunities for all tastes and budgets.

The Must-Sees of Paris

Paris attracts numerous tourists each year not just because it’s the “City of Love.” Indeed, the French capital is rich in history, culture, and art, offering many must-see attractions.

Visit the Iconic Monuments

Visiting the iconic monuments of Paris as a student is an accessible experience for everyone. The city offers many discounts for young people and students, allowing you to discover its treasures without breaking the bank. Reduced rates are offered to those under 26 for major attractions such as the Louvre Museum or the Eiffel Tower. 

At the Louvre, you can admire masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Continue with a visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral and its surroundings, enjoying the historic and lively atmosphere of the Île de la Cité. 

Don’t miss the Arc de Triomphe, which is free with the Education Pass, and enjoy the panoramic view of the Champs-Élysées. Climb to Montmartre to discover the Sacré-Cœur and stroll through the artistic alleys of the neighborhood. 

The Musée d’Orsay, also free for those under 26, offers an impressive collection of Impressionist works. Finish with a walk along the Seine, where you can admire monuments like the Sainte-Chapelle and the Pont Neuf.

As a student, enjoying these visits enriches your general culture and offers a deep immersion into the history and art of Paris, all at a low cost.

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Discover the Must-See Museums

In addition to the Louvre mentioned above, Paris is full of world-renowned museums. 

The Musée d’Orsay, housed in a former train station, is free for those under 26. It offers an impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir. This museum is perfect for deepening your knowledge of art history.

Don’t miss the Centre Pompidou, which has a rich collection of modern and contemporary art. You can discover works by Picasso, Duchamp, and many others. Additionally, the building itself is an architectural marvel.

The Musée du Quai Branly is another must-see, with its exhibitions dedicated to the arts and civilizations of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Access is also free for young EU residents.

Finally, the Petit Palais, which is the Museum of Fine Arts of the City of Paris, offers free entry to its permanent collections. You will find European artworks ranging from antiquity to the early 20th century.

Exploring these museums as a student not only enriches your general culture but also provides invaluable inspiration for your studies and personal development.

Enjoy Parks and Gardens

As a student in Paris, enjoying parks and gardens is an excellent way to relax and escape academic stress. These green spaces not only offer peaceful places to study or read but also fantastic opportunities for sports, especially running.

The Jardin du Luxembourg, located in the heart of the Latin Quarter, is an ideal place to combine relaxation and physical activity. Its wide paths are perfect for jogging, and you can also join running groups. After your workout, sit around the basin to get back to your studies.

The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, with its hills and winding paths, offers a more challenging running course. The ups and downs will vary your training while offering stunning views of Paris. The park is also a pleasant place for a picnic or a relaxing walk after your run.

The Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes are perfect for long-distance runners. These parks offer numerous running trails, ideal for long running sessions. Their vast expanses will allow you to immerse yourself in nature without leaving the city.

The Tuileries Gardens, between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, are also an excellent spot for a morning run. The wide paths and beautiful sculptures provide an inspiring setting to start your day.

On sunny weekends, you can fully enjoy these parks by strolling, doing sports, or bringing your computer and books to review your lessons outdoors.

By incorporating running into your routine in these parks and gardens, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle while enjoying the beauty of Paris.

Activities for a Weekend in Paris

Planning to spend the weekend in Paris or its surroundings? For a memorable getaway, start by choosing comfortable accommodation. 

Ecla offers hotel accommodations in Massy-Palaiseau, Villejuif, and Noisy-le-Grand:

Once settled, you can begin your adventure-filled weekend with a visit to the iconic covered passages such as Passage des Panoramas and Galerie Vivienne. These historic galleries offer unique shops, charming cafés, and a retro ambiance.

Next, explore the Marais district, known for its picturesque streets, art galleries, and trendy boutiques. Don’t miss Place des Vosges, one of the most beautiful squares in Paris.

On Saturday afternoon, wander through the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, known for its literary cafés like Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore. Visit Saint-Sulpice Church and enjoy the small shops on Rue Bonaparte.

On Sunday, start with a morning walk on the Champs-Élysées and climb the Arc de Triomphe for a breathtaking view of Paris. Then, explore the Montmartre district, with its cobblestone streets, street artists, and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

End your weekend with a cruise on the Seine, offering spectacular views of landmarks like Notre-Dame and the Eiffel Tower. This mix of historic passages and iconic neighborhoods will give you an authentic and memorable Parisian experience.

Exhibitions and Cultural Events

Paris, a city of culture and art, offers a multitude of exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year. Parisian museums regularly host world-renowned temporary exhibitions. For instance, the Louvre offers thematic exhibitions that immerse visitors in various eras and civilizations, while the Musée d’Orsay presents Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections.

The Centre Pompidou, a temple of modern and contemporary art, organizes bold exhibitions highlighting innovative artists and avant-garde movements. Additionally, the Fondation Louis Vuitton and the Palais de Tokyo are must-visit places for contemporary art lovers, offering immersive and interactive exhibitions.

Paris is also famous for its cultural festivals. La Nuit Blanche, for example, transforms the city into a vast open-air museum for one night a year, with art installations and live performances in various neighborhoods. The Festival d’Automne in Paris celebrates contemporary arts with theater, dance, and music performances.

Concert halls like the Philharmonie de Paris and the Opéra Bastille offer a rich and varied program, ranging from classical music to ballet performances. Reduced rates are also available for students.

Finally, the many Parisian theaters offer a range of plays from classics to contemporary creations. The Festival d’Avignon, although held outside of Paris, attracts Parisians eager to discover the latest theatrical trends each summer.

Dining Deals

Dining in Paris as a student can be affordable with a few good deals. University restaurants, or “restos U,” are a must. Managed by CROUS, they offer complete meals at very reasonable prices, often around €3.30, with decent quality and variety. Restos U near major universities, such as those at the Sorbonne or Jussieu, are particularly popular.

There are also private student residences like Maisons Ecla that include dining solutions within the building, from breakfast to dinner, with reduced prices.

Outside of restos U, several Parisian restaurants offer discounts for students. Many establishments offer reduced-price menus upon presentation of a student card. For example, some bistros and brasseries near student areas like the Latin Quarter offer interesting discounts.

Certain apps also offer restaurant deals at reduced prices, such as The Fork. This is an excellent tool for students looking for good deals. It allows you to book tables at a multitude of Parisian restaurants with discounts of up to 50% on the bill. It’s an ideal way to discover Parisian gastronomy without breaking the bank.

Finally, for a budget-friendly culinary experience, explore Parisian markets like the Marché d’Aligre or the Marché des Enfants Rouges. You’ll find food stands offering delicious and inexpensive dishes.

résidence étudiante - Noisy-Le-Grand - cinébox

Nightlife and Shows

Nightlife and shows in Paris offer students numerous options to discover the lively cultural life of the City of Light at a lower cost. Many iconic venues like the Opéra Garnier, the Philharmonie de Paris, and the Théâtre de la Ville offer special discounts for students upon presentation of a valid card. These discounts can sometimes reach up to 50% off the original price.

Additionally, several apps such as Lastminute.com, BilletReduc, and Bons Plans Spectacles Paris allow students to buy discounted tickets at the last minute. These platforms offer special deals for concerts, plays, musicals, and other cultural events, making it easier to access a diverse and often prestigious program.

Neighborhoods like the Marais, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the Latin Quarter are also full of small independent theaters and bars offering cabaret shows, stand-up comedy, or live music at affordable prices. It’s the perfect opportunity for students to discover new talents and immerse themselves in an artistic and convivial atmosphere.

Unique Experiences in Paris

If you are a student in Paris, you can experience unique adventures that will make your stay in the capital memorable. For example, participating in a yoga session at the top of the Eiffel Tower during special morning sessions offers a wonderful view of the city waking up. Outdoor cinema in historic locations like Parc de la Villette or Parc des Buttes-Chaumont offers screenings of cult films under the stars, creating a magical atmosphere.

Exploring the catacombs, an underground network filled with macabre but fascinating stories, is a memorable adventure for daring students. Boat trips on the Canal Saint-Martin offer a different perspective of Paris, with its locks and secret passages.

Finally, taking part in thematic guided tours, such as those on the filming locations of famous movies or gastronomic tours through Parisian markets, allows students to discover the city from a new angle, enriching their cultural experience and knowledge of Paris.

Original and Fun Activities

As a student in Paris, explore original and fun activities like French cooking classes to learn how to prepare traditional dishes. Take bike rides along the banks of the Seine to discover the city from a different angle. Visit contemporary art exhibitions in independent galleries in the Marais. Attend slam or stand-up evenings in artistic cafés. Explore flea markets to find vintage treasures. Finally, take part in student nights organized in bars and clubs in lively districts like Bastille and Oberkampf.

Themed Guided Tours

In Paris, themed guided tours offer an immersive dive into the city’s history and culture. Explore the mysteries of the catacombs or delve into the art and architecture of the Louvre during specialized tours. Discover culinary secrets on gastronomic tours through Parisian markets. Walk in the footsteps of famous writers in the Latin Quarter or explore the iconic film locations in Montmartre. These tours provide a unique and enriching perspective on Paris, tailored to all interests and curiosities.

résidence étudiante - Noisy-Le-Grand - atelier

Creative Workshops and Courses

Explore painting and drawing classes in artist studios in the Marais. Learn the art of French pastry in specialized courses. Take part in sewing and fashion workshops to create your own clothes. Discover pottery and ceramics techniques in dedicated workshops. These activities not only allow you to learn new skills but also to meet passionate people and share unique experiences in Paris, a city of creativity and innovation.

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