Off the beaten track: Unseen Paris on a budget

Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but for those who like to stray from the tourist spots it can be a bit of a cliché. However, there are some great ways to head to the French capital and try out some of its more unusual delights – and keep costs low along the way.

How should I travel?

As I live in Gillingham, which is just an hour’s drive from Dover, it makes a lot of sense for me to drive to Paris. Last year, I had a look at what it would cost for me to fly against taking my campervan and the latter was by far the better option. I even managed to shave a bit of the cost of my insurance before I went by heading to MoneySupermarket to get a better deal on my van cover – adding an extra £112 to what I had available for my holiday budget.

Where should I stay?

A great way to see some of the countryside just outside Paris is to camp – and as hotels in the city can be very costly, it will also free up some cash to spend elsewhere. Just 45 minutes away from the centre is a gorgeous area called the Chevreuse Valley, where you’ll find a wonderful national park and lots of nearby places to pitch up for the night. In summertime the area is an absolute delight and will offer some interesting places to take your camera, far from the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

What else can I see?

If you are interested in keeping things a little different, avoiding more expensive tourist traps like the Centre Pompidou and Le Louvre, why not think about taking a look at some of Paris’ darker history in the belly of the city. The Municipal Ossuary, also known as the Catacombs, was created to help the poorer members of the population bury their dead without the cost. As such, there are now around six million people beneath the ground in Paris, with the crypts and walls of skulls open for all to see.

There are plenty of places in Europe that you may want to see, but wherever you go, why not take the time to see if there is something in each of these famous places that may be just a little more unusual than the usual landmarks. You may even find they offer a more affordable way to spend your time and money.