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Affordable Europe

The swankiest European cities are within reach, thanks to a weakened euro. So book your hotel, pack your bags, and hop the pond!

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It’s no wonder Paris has a reputation as being one of the most magical cities in the world; the scenic parks, quaint cafes, and historic architecture ooze romance (and the delicious wines don’t hurt either).


The recently renovated Hotel Jules, with its black-and-white retro motif, sits about halfway between the Sacré-Coeur and the Louvre (two sites to circle on your tourist map). Throughout the fall, guests get a third off the cost of rooms starting at $250 for stays lasting three nights or longer (, 33. 1. 42. 85. 05. 44). Hotel Le Petit Paris, in the hip Latin Quarter, has hosted travelers since the reign of Louis XV. These days, it offers easy access to the cool cafés and bars of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the lush Luxembourg Gardens nearby. Rooms that started at $362 a year ago now go for $310 (, 33. 1. 53. 10. 29. 29).


The best way to get around the City of Light these days is via Vélib bike, a borrow-a-bike network with a station every 300-odd meters (7-day subscription €6.50, credit card required). Once you’ve got your ride, head to the Marché aux Puces de Montreuil flea market, where you can find everything from antique knickknacks to vintage designer clothes. Then stroll in the Jardin des Tuileries, Paris’ oldest public park dating to the seventeenth century, before checking out the Louvre right next door. At the end of the day, treat yourself to a meal, but skip the haute cuisine and instead opt for a bustling bistro. Le Comptoir in the chic Hotel Relais Saint Germain offers a nouveau twist on the French standards (33. 1. 44. 27. 07. 97). Also be sure to grab a bite at the famed brasserie Le Boeuf sur le Toit, located just off the Champs Elysées, the city’s grandest promenade (, 33. 1. 53. 93. 65. 55).

Savings Sample

Tasting menu at Le Comptoir

Last Year: $76

Now: $65

Photo: Thinkstock

See More: Travel for Two