Visiting Paris on a Budget

Paris. One of the most beautiful, most visited, and most expensive cities in the world. But you don’t have to spend all of your money in order to have a great time in Paris. I recently spent four nights in the city, and spent a total of $445. That includes two people, food, an Airbnb near the Arc de Triomphe, train rides, and activities (mostly free.)

This means we spent a total of $222.50 each, including accommodations.
$55.63 per day; or $29.13 per day, per person, not including accommodations.

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Now I am sure that there are people out there who can and have spent $5 per day exploring Paris; however, I spent less than $30 per day and was not even trying very hard.

Accommodations

If cheap is what you are going for, I would definitely recommend either a hostel or searching for an Airbnb very early. Airbnb’s tend to fill up, and if you can plan your trip at least a few months in advance, you have a pretty decent shot at getting an affordable place.

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The apartment we stayed in was a studio, on the 7th floor, and in a very old building. It had a bed and shower, it was extremely tiny, but it was less than a five-minute walk to the Arc de Triomphe. I did not go to Paris to stay in a nice apartment all day, I went to explore. If you have a similar mindset, you can definitely find something both decent and affordable for your trip.

My Airbnb was $212 total, or $26.38 per person, per night.

 

Restaurants / Food

To me, this is where it can get both tricky and pricey. For dinner, a meal at a restaurant is easily 30-35 Euros per person. While this usually includes a couple of courses and possibly dessert, this may not be the way to go if you are trying to save money.

If you would like to eat at French restaurants, I recommend going during the day at lunchtime when the prices are not quite as high.

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If you have the Uber Eats app, you can find many restaurant’s menus on there that are in your proximity and plan your meals accordingly. I actually found this to be a super useful tool.

My biggest tip for food that will be both delicious and cheap is Franprix. Look for it, or look for other stores like it. Franprix is a grocery store that makes fresh food daily. You can get an entire meal, such as a chicken breast with potatoes, a couple of croissants, and a drink to feed two people for around $11.

 

Activities

The only activity that we paid for during our time in Paris was for admissions to the Louvre, which was most definitely worth it. You could make a whole day visiting the Louvre alone. The cost of the tickets were 15 euros each, purchased at the museum. There are definitely ways to get free admission is you have the right credentials or visit at the right time. Check out more info here.

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Free activities that I did include walking around inside of Notre Dame, viewing and walking by the Eiffel Tower, seeing the Arc de Triomphe, and just walking around Paris in general. The entire city is gorgeous, and you can see amazing sites simply by walking around. The outside of the Louvre is also an attraction all on its own.

 

Transportation

This may be obvious, but taking an Uber or taxi is not the most cost efficient way to get around the city.

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The train may seem daunting at first to figure out, but just play with the ticket system for a few minutes and you can learn it quicker than you may think! You can also use the many maps on the walls as a reference for where you are trying to go. Train tickets are usually around 2 euros, much cheaper than a 25 euro Uber!

 

I hope these tips can help you plan for your upcoming trip to Paris!
Do you have any costs saving tips to help others?

-Haley

 

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