20. April 2010 17:00
Live large in Paris and London without spending big. Frommer’s introduces Free and Dirt Cheap guides to two of the most expensive cities in Europe.
Most travellers, whatever their budget, are now looking for the best value-for-money options and Frommer’s is delivering the answers by searching out the free and best value deals in London and Paris. Frommer’s London and Paris Free & Dirt Cheap are two new practical and thrifty guides for those who want to enjoy the finer things in life for less.
The £12.99 guidebooks are written for residents as well as visitors, and offer readers a multitude of choices, fresh ideas, insider knowledge on local shortcuts and essential tips to maximise their time in London and Paris.
Frommer’s Free and Dirt Cheap guides explore lesser-known areas and the hidden nooks and crannies of each city to unearth bargains. From the left to the right banks of Paris and from north to south London, the authors provide up to date and detailed information on the best entertainment and nightlife, cheap eats, shopping deals, cheap city living, key art and cultural attractions for free as well as how and where to find discounts. Free music, readings, theatre, films and classes are available if one knows where to look - activities include everything from the wonderfully weird including free Stitch and Bitch knitting classes held in a different location in London every week (www.stitchandbitchlondon.co.uk/join.html) to the more glamorous such as free entry to The Longchamps, Auteuil and St Cloud horse-races in Paris every Sunday in May (www.dimancheaugalop.com).
Further listings include:
London dining bargain
The gourmet creations of Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, may be beyond most of our budgets, but what about their successors? At the Escoffier Room and Brasserie of the Westminster Kingsway Cooking College, up-and-coming chefs learn their trade by serving up sumptuous meals for a fraction of the price they'll charge in a few years. Mains start from £6–£9.50. www.thevincentrooms.com.
Free London meditation classes
The prime goal of Inner Space meditation centre in Covent Garden is to help people relax. Courses include half-hour lunchtime courses in creative meditation, relaxation strategies, time management and other form of relaxing self-improvement – all the courses are free. www.innerspace.org.uk
Free London hidden gem
Based at the University College London, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is full of ancient ‘curiosities’, such as a 5,000-year-old dress and burial goods. With low protective lighting and dark corners, the museum has a mysterious Tomb Raider-ish atmosphere and is perfect for adventurers. The author advises borrowing a torch from reception. www.petrie.ucl.ac.uk
Free cinema in London
Located on the trendy Borough High Street, Southwark’s Roxy Bar & Screen shows a mixture of classics (free) and new releases (£3). If you are lucky enough to have a spare hour in your day, they also show free classic TV comedies at lunchtime. www.roxybarandscreen.com
Free bike tour in Paris
Held at night every Friday, link up with fellow night-owls (close to 300 of them) at 9.30pm in front of the Hôtel de Ville, for a three-hour nocturnal bike ride – this is a fantastic way to see the city of light come alive at night. www.parisandovelo.com
Free food in Paris
On Friday and Saturday nights from 8.30pm, Samir, owner of La Choppe, serves lashings of delicious Moroccan couscous with all the trimmings to anyone who’s bought a drink (around €4).
Free concerts and cheap booze in Paris
Lovers of live music, preferrably indie, rock, electro, hip hop, and folk, will enjoy free entry at L’International on Rue Moret. Famous for its exciting up-and-coming bands, it is usually enjoyed over a swift €3 bière or three. www.linternational.fr