Monday, 29 September 2014

Visiting Paris on a Budget

Eating out and sampling the local cuisine of a destination can be one of the highlights of any traveller's experience. However, it does not take very long for this luxury to start biting into your budget when you're staying somewhere renowned for its cost of living, like Paris. One of the best elements of staying in one of the affordable hostels in Paris is that they come with fairly well-equipped kitchens, allowing you to whip up your own gourmet homemade meal from wonderful local produce in minutes, and at the fraction of the cost of dining out.
Labour of Love
Self-catering need not be a chore, especially in the French capital. As with many culinary delights, most of the best Parisian dishes are simply a sum of fine, high quality ingredients - all of which are very easily obtained in the city. Many of the hostels in Paris will be within close proximity to small produce markets, or staff may be able to direct you to little known speciality bakeries and delis for the best ingredients. Travellers have the opportunity to incorporate hunting down the finest ingredients for their cooking adventures while touring the city in a completely unique way.
A Country of Food Lovers
Even in the city centre, Parisians demand the best and freshest ingredients, which can only benefit the self-catering traveller. It does not take long to find local sources of the finest cheeses, meats, bread and, of course, wine. Simple staples of the highest quality can turn even the most inexperienced cook into a gourmet chef even while on holiday. Hostels in Paris with self-catering facilities will be equipped with the basic cooking utensils that you will need to make any kind of meal, but do keep in mind that storage space in fridges and freezers may be at a premium as hostels try to accommodate numerous guest's needs. So try to buy your ingredients in small quantities and only just what you will need for whatever meal you have planned.
Lacking Culinary Inspiration?
Given that France is a purveyor and consumer of fine food and wines it is not unusual to come across tours of the city focusing on specialty food items, such as cheese, wine or chocolate. These tours are a fun way to explore the city from a different angle while indulging your need for culinary inspiration. Many of these tours can lead you to small specialty shops and markets off the beaten path where the Parisian's do their own shopping.
A Fun and Cost-Saving Measure
Self-catering and staying in one of the affordable hostels in Paris has many benefits, even beyond keeping within your budget's confines. Even the simplest meals of the freshest bread with the finest cheese accompanied by fresh fruits and vegetable can become a gourmet adventure for a traveller while in the French capital. After a long day spent sightseeing, nothing could be better than an evening picnic in the elegant surroundings of the Jardin de Tuileries, absorbing the lovely scenery, the elegant architecture of the Louvre, and soaking up the Parisian atmosphere.
Looking for your dream travelling experience? Jason H. Cunningham works for Hostelling International, a company with more than 4,000 hostels worldwide in fantastic locations. For the best hostels in Paris, or anywhere else, join our global community and say hi to the world. From quality, affordable accommodation and backpacker tips, to meaningful volunteer opportunities and enriching our eco footprint, we are the world's local hostelling hub.

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