Paris is world’s capital for fashion, for romance and for many for food too. For someone Paris is a getaway to a fairy land and for others Paris is an inspiration. But for many, Paris is a big desire, as the city is just too expensive for traveling. But, is Paris really so expensive or can you spend few days here without killing your wallet?
A trip to Paris can be super expensive, but using a common sense and making some compromises, Paris can even be done on a pretty solid budget.
Our 7 tips for budget travel to Paris
1. Cheap flights to Paris
Being based in Europe, there are numerous low budget airlines flying to Paris. If you are lucky, you will get a return fight inside of Europe for as little as 20-40€/pp.
2. Reaching Paris from the airport
Some low budget airlines use the most distant airport Beauvais-Tille, what is bit of a downside. But nevertheless, you will reach city of Paris in about 1,5 hours by shuttle bus, costing you 15,90€/pp (online purchase) one way. If you buy the bus ticket on the spot, prepare to pay 17€/pp one way.
Your best bet to reach Paris is by landing at Orly or Charles de Gaulle airport, as these two airports are very well connected with a train RER B. You will need around 20 minutes by train to reach Paris and metro stations. This trip will cost you 10€/pp one way.
You can buy the RER B train tickets at the self-service machines at the airport, but note you can pay the tickets only with coins of 1 and 2 EUR or credit cards like Visa and Mastercard.
3. Traveling around Paris
The most comfortable and easiest way to explore Paris is by its metro system. A ticket will cost you 1,80€/pp, but you can also buy them in a bunch of 10 for 14,10€. A good option if using the metro a lot is having a daily ticket. The price depends of the zones included. For example: the daily ticket for 1-3 zone is 11,50€/pp per day.
4. Accommodations in Paris
Like everywhere in the world, also Paris can hit you hard with hotel prices. All depends of the location and ranking.
We were collaborating with a beautiful boutique Hotel Phileas in Paris. Their rooms were amazing, big and with a chick design. That said, the price for a room in Hotel Phileas does not come cheap, but if you are looking for a perfect romantic getaway or maybe you are traveling to Paris for your honeymoon, do take a look at this hotel. We loved it!
But of course, Paris offers a wide choice of accommodation. If you are looking on each cent, make sure to have a hotel near the happening or at least near a metro station. You will thank us for that!
We always use booking for finding our accommodations and here is another trick you can use. Book your hotel just a day or two before your arrival to Paris. Hotels with empty rooms offer big discounts for last minute dates. The prices can go down for more than 50% and you will get a beautiful room with breakfast included for less than a rundown hotel without breakfast and far from the main tourist attractions.
5. Food in Paris
If you are not picky and you are fine with fast food for few days, you can live out of bakeries. You will find sandwiches for around 3-5€, freshly baked pastry, croissants for as little as 0,20-1,50€. A good budget option is also to stock yourself from grocery shop. Buy everything there and just take it to the park and make yourself one heck of romantic time.
Good value options for lunch or dinner are Asian or Arabic/Turkish restaurants. The cheapest options are kebabs. We have eaten kebab with loads of French fries, salad and rice for 7€. The portion was big enough for both of us.
Even though you are traveling to Paris on a budget, we would still recommend you to eat at their local cafe/diner once. After all Paris is also about the food and to know how locals do it. Go for a daily menu, served from Monday to Friday. A three course lunch will cost you somewhere from 12-18€/pp.
6. Tourist attractions
If you’ll be visiting payable tourist attractions, prepare yourself to spend at least 10-15€/pp for each, what comes pretty expensive at the end. That is why, we have decided to explore Paris without paying the entrance fees and believe it or not, we did not feel we have missed anything.
The only payable thing we have done was the River seine cruise (14€/pp), which was one of the nicest experiences for us in Paris. It was wonderful to see Paris from another perspective.
7. Best time to visit Paris
The best time is of course somewhere from May to October or maybe for Christmas and New Year Holidays, but that also means the most expensive time. If you want to travel to Paris on a budget, your best time to come would be January and February and maybe November. Fewer tourists mean lower prices.
We were traveling to Paris at the end of February and were extremely lucky with weather. We even got some sunny days, what did make our trip to Paris even a bit nicer. But like Adrian Leeds once said »This is Paris. You don’t come here for the weather!«