[fts_instagram instagram_id=3444010 access_token=3444010.da06fb6.e45747555b80458da54222a9a3c759c3 pics_count=6 type=user profile_wrap=no super_gallery=yes columns=1 force_columns=no space_between_photos=0px icon_size=65px hide_date_likes_comments=no]

by Sarah Hall

Paris, with all its food, wine, art and architecture–there’s no city in the world that’s more romantic. But hey, DC’s no schlub either. Here’s how to feel like Nino and Amelie without the transatlantic flight:

The National Gallery of Art has a wide variety of exhibits for everyone. Permanent displays include an Alexander Calder mobile and Henri Matisse cutouts.  On a nice day, you can walk across the street to enjoy the Sculpture Garden with pieces by Ellsworth Kelly and Roy Lichenstein. The best part is, admission is always free.

Walking around this massive museum can work up an appetite. Venture two blocks over to PAUL for some savory French treats.  Share the Le Tuscan sandwich ($8.25) with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, tomato, lettuce, and pesto on a baguettine, and the Quiche Lorraine ($6.55), hearty and custard-like with ham, bacon and Swiss cheese in a warm, flaky pastry shell.  But get two croissants with chocolate ($2.45)–they’re too good to share just one.

Total cost?  A whole afternoon of culture, art plus Parisian feast for under $20.  Now that’s a deal even the French can respect.

Want more? Read about Paris here, here and here.

Address Book

National Gallery of Art, 401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC.  202.737.4215.  Open Monday-Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday from 11 am – 6 pm.
PAUL Bakery & Patisserie,
801 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.  202.524.4500.  Open Monday-Friday from 7 am – 8 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8 am – 7 pm.