If you fantasize about going to Paris, but think it is too expensive — think again.
Camping is a way of stretching the length of your Paris stay. Another option to the “Hurry-Up-and-See-the-Eiffel Tower-Tour”, camping allows you to experience Paris rather than just seeing it. An extended stay affords you the luxury of time; the time it will take to understand why so many great artists and writers have gravitated to Paris. And with the money you save, you may afford to buy a Picasso. Well, not quite.
If you are more adventurous, keep reading.
The setting is the Bois de Boulogne – a forest hugging the west side of Paris, 4 kms from the Eiffel Tower. Think of camping as a bohemian experience – casual, rustic, and cheap.
The view outside your tent is not the Eiffel Tower, but you can step out of your tent and stroll along the river Seine. Lined with houseboats and a walking path, the Seine is a calming element of your camping experience.
Warning: you may have to deal with a few prostitutes working outside your tent, but that’s part of the adventure.
Did I mention it was cheap?
The Affordable Paris
For 16 € (Cdn$22), you get a spot of grass for a tent. Amenities include a grocery store, restaurant, clean washrooms and gated security.
What to do with the Money you Save?
My travel philosophy is deny yourself (somewhat) and then indulge. Splurge on important things like delectable food and wine. Food is an important past time in Paris, so you can choose from a myriad of restaurants.
My Bohemian Highlights
Bohemian: a person (writer or artist) living an unconventional life.
If bohemians live an “unconventional life”, this is an unconventional view of Paris.
Cafés and More Cafés
Absorb the history of the cafés in Paris, and be inspired to write that next great literary work.
Les Closerie des Lilas. Hemingway’s hangout.
Access to the City
You might say to yourself, “I’m not interested in a long commute”, but the campground is approximately 4.5 kms to the Porte Maillot metro station. Options:
- RATP Bus #244 (6am-8:30pm daily)
- Camp shuttle bus to Porte Maillot metro station (runs April to October)
- Walking (approximately 4 kms to the Eiffel Tower)
- Bike rentals (Paris Cycles ☎ 01 47 47 76 50 M° Porte Dauphine, on the northeast side of the Lac Inférieur)
Exploring the Bois de Boulogne
Appreciating nature is also a part of the bohemian experience. The Bois offers sites of its own. If you need a quiet day, explore the following:
- Parc de Bagatelle (full of irises, roses and water lilies)
- Hippodrome de Longchamp (horse racing track)
What to Bring
- Sleeping bag & pillow
- Swiss army knife (with corkscrew)
- Wine glasses
- Small sitting cushion
- Speakers for MP3 player
Bois de Boulogne Campsite Information
More camping details at the Camping du Bois de Boulogne website.