Can you imagine this view of the Seine with a glass of wine in your hand relaxing after a day of touring around Paris ,listening to the crickets and katydids chirp on a summer night, trees swaying in the gentle breeze as the moon comes out and a slow barge ambles by as you recline in your chaise lounge near the shore?
These are the moments that make me smile with glee as we live the life of kings on a tiny budget, traveling the world non-stop on $23/day per person. No, it is not a 5 star hotel, but in some ways better and I remember those nights fondly as we discussed our day in this lovely private, woodsy setting.
1) CAMPING ON THE SEINE - BOIS DE BOULOGNE
Royalty use to hunt in the beautiful 25 acres that is now Bois de
Boulogne in Paris where one can camp along the Seine!
Where else can you get a huge space to stay in Paris for barely twenty
something dollars a night (even less for tent campers)? Prices vary by season and options you pick.You can even see the Eiffel tower from the camp!
Bois de Boulogne camping is within walking distance to the famous “Petite Train” (takes one to Le Jardin d’Acclimatation which is
Paris’ biggest children’s amusement park) and near the Porte Maillot
Metro/RER station. The park areas across the street have some cool lakes and one of the best playgrounds in Europe!
This campsite is older, but has large clean showers that are even heated in winter time with plenty of hot water, there are two Carrefours ( hypermarkets) within 10 minutes walk and other useful small supermarkets within walking distance,and the shuttle to Port Maillot runs regularly. It is really quiet and peaceful during the day ( everyone leaves in the morning) for slow travel types like us that lke to hang out and homeschool when not touring.
I suggest you buy carnets de ticket at Porte Maillot Metro for bus/metro/RER (E12.90 for 10/E1.70 each, E1 for child each way). The bus from the campsite (E1.70 single trip) runs every half hour and takes you straight
to Port Maillot Metro, from which you can easily go anywhere in Paris you care to visit.
2) CAMPING ON THE SEINE - MAISON-LAFITTE CAMPSITE
Can you imagine starting your day in Paris by feeding swans swimming in the Seine in your pajamas with bits of your left over warm croissants? This photo was taken in high season summer and we were camped a few feet from the river, right on the bank of the Seine and had it all to ourselves.
We adored our site right on the banks of the Seine at our popular Maison-Lafitte campsite and the good access to central Paris via RER. Maisons Laffitte (
"City of Horses") is a sweet little town just 11 miles from the center
of Paris with a
beautiful, 17th century chateau, a famous horse track and plenty of
cafes, restaurants and small supermarkets. One can easily pretend to be
living a Parisian commuter existence like many of the locals.
This older, ( refurbished in 2012) but pretty and well maintained campsite is located on an island in the middle of the Seine River, and just ten minutes away from the center and the train station. It's just 20 minutes to the center of Paris and 50 minutes to Disneyland by train.Next to the train station there is a tourist information office with helpful folks who speak English which is handy.
There are 351 pitches for tents, caravans or campers and 92 fully equipped cottages and the price begins at 15 euro a night for 2 people. There is no pool here, but the municipal pool is only a 15 minutes walk.
3) SWIMMING IN A FOREST - CAMPING HUTTOPIA VERSAILLES
The campsite in Versailles
( which we stayed at to visit Versailles and some visit Paris from there using the RER
trains) did have excellent cheap wifi, but we did not like that campsite
( primitive, very sloped site) or the very rude young people who ran
it. The help was mostly teen boys and more interested in partying than being helpful.
But it does have a small pool, so if it's hot I might return just for that and it is newer and quite nice looking, but the pitches are way too steep and packed together ( no privacy). I did love the foresty feel to it and it was full of mature chestnut
trees. The cottages looked good there and the suburban town is nice ,but it is also more expensive than our two favorite campgrounds in Paris.
It is an easy and pleasant ten minute walk to
the Porchefontaine RER train station that brings you right into the Eiffel Tower in just 20 minutes.
The other way on the train is five minutes to Versailles (or a thirty-five minute walk and Versailles is free to wander the gardens on most days...and it's huge..biking this area would be fun too). Plus there is a well stocked Carrefour store and a boulangerie to pick up groceries. So this one would work in a pinch.
So what do you think? Is it time to plan a camping trip to Paris?