There are lots of great museums throughout Paris. If you have a student of art/art history pass you can get into all the national museums for free. In addition, these national museums are free all day the first Sunday of every month, but be warned, they tend to be very crowded on those days, so get there early! For other museums, you can use your French Student I.D. card to either get a reduced-price ticket (tarif reduit), or skip the lines.
One of the most engaging places to fing hidden treasures in Paris is at the flea market, of which the city has three major ones - Saint Ouen, Porte de Vanves, and Porte de Montreuil. They’re a great source of bargain treasures, and give you a great insight into the immigrant experience of New Parisians. Be aware that they get very crowded, so unless you enjoy elbowing your way through a see of people, go early enough to beat the massive influx of shoppers and tourists.
St-Ouen (8, rue Jules Valles, Saint-Ouen
Metro: Porte de Clignancourt)
Porte de Vanves (avenue Georges Lafenestre & avenue Marc Sangnier 750014; Metro: Porte de Vanves)
Porte de Montreuil (avenue de la Porte de Montreuil, 75020; Metro: Porte de Montreuil)
Passages are glass-roofed commercial shopping corridors where you can do some of the best specialist shopping. They not only provide an excellent treasure hunt, but also a charming and delightful shopping experience. Inside you will find restaurants and cafés, antiques, bric-a-brac, jewelry, secondhand goods, postcards, etc.
Here are some passages you can visit:
Galerie Vivienne (6 rue Vivienne, 75002; Metro: Brouse)
Galerie Véro Dodat (19 rue Jean-Jacques, 75001; Metro: Palais-Royal-Musee du Louvre; Louvre-Rivoli)
Passage des Panoramas (off rue Vivienne, 75002; Metro: Brouse)
As everyone knows, Paris offers a wealth of gifts and souvenirs, from postcards to perfumes to delicious delicacies to mini Eiffel Tower statuettes. You will find some of the cheapest and most interesting souvenir shops on the rue de Rivoli (by the Louvre) and around some of the major tourist attractions such as the Notre Dame and Sacré Coeur. You can also try the museum shops at Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay or le Centre Pompidou. However, these shops tend to be a fair bit more expensive.
Paris is the home of haute couture. No more need be said of this blend of high art culture and fashion. The highest concentration of couture houses is on the Right Bank. Most can be found on Rue du Faubourg Saint- Honoré and Avenue Montaigne in the 8th arr. For more trend-setting fashions, Rue Étienne Marcel and Place des Victoires, bordering the 1st and 2nd arr., is best.
Vintage shopping is certainly very popular in Paris. There are lots of great shops to hit up whether you’re going for a retro look or more recent one. A cheap option is to go to one of the many consignment stores located throughout the city. Chic Parisians discard their clothes with the seasons so it is fairly easy to pick up great quality items from places such as Alternatives in the Marais (18 rue du Roi-de- Sicile, 4th arr.). You can also find sample pieces, sale stock items and last season’s pieces at Le Mouton à CInq Pattes (19 rue Grégoire-de-Tours, 6th arr.).
For a more mainstream shopping experience, check out Paris’ department stores, or grands magasins. Two of the city’s most famous, Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, can be found on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arr., carrying merchandise at all price levels. La Samaritaine, located in the 1st arr. between Les Halles and the Pont Neuf offers the same items as Galeries Lafayette at lower prices. Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville, or BHV, located in the 4th, is better known for practical commodities, notably home furnishings, while FNAC specializes in records, books and electronic equipment. Le Bon Marché, located on the Left Bank (7th arr.), was Paris’s first department store and today is one of its chicest. It has a great food section, restaurant quality food and a great roof garden.
There are theaters everywhere in Paris and films are at a good price. In March, for about 3 weeks, movie tickets are about 3 euros. Make sure to see a movie in French while you are there, you will understand more than you think and they have a very interesting cinematic style. In order to find out about the location of theaters and times of screenings, it is a good idea to pick up a copy of Paris’ weekly magazine about theater, music and film, called Pariscope.
La Cinematheque Francise
Address: 51 rue de Bercy, 12e,
It is a must see spot especially for film buffs and film and cinema studies students. This building contains film archives, libraries, collections of film objects and documents, theaters, exhibitions and holds screenings of international films every day.
Go to a soccer game, it is like nothing you have ever seen in the US, especially matches between Marseille and Paris.Street performances - There is a large break-dancing competition in Paris which is really worth checking out. You can also see fire shows and tricks at night in front of the Notre Dame. There are good performers on the steps of Sacre-Coeur with a great view of the city.
The ballet and opera at Opéra Garnier are not to be missed. Sometimes NYU arranges for tickets and student discounts are also available. Opéra Bastille is another architectural landmark that holds international operas. There are also rush tickets for theatre and opera. At the Comedie Francaise, rush tickets (1-2 hours before show) are approximately €8.