Paris On A Budget
Paris is one of the dreamiest and most visited cities in the entire world. But, it is also one of the most expensive cities to travel to. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. In reality, you can visit Paris on a $1,500 budget for a total of FIVE days! Here’s how:
Flight Tickets ($450 – $650)
If you’re traveling from the US, a roundtrip flight to Paris will cost you anywhere from $450 – $650 dollars. But in order to obtain these prices you have to:
>> Plan ahead and purchase your flight 3 – 6 months in advance
>> Fly on cheaper days. For example, departing on Friday or Saturday tends to be more expensive. Try looking up flights that depart and return on Sunday or Tuesday.
>> Use momondo.com or skyscanner.com to find your perfect flight. These sites help you find cheaper prices for routes that include layovers and connecting flights. This means you’ll probably have an eight hour layover but you’ll pay less. Or you’ll have to switch planes at some point — from one airline to another — which will expand your travel time. But, who cares, right? You’re going to Paris!
*If you’re already in Europe, then getting to Paris should cost you no more than $100 dollars. Especially if you’re traveling with a Eurail Pass. But even flight tickets from London to Paris are approximately $80 US dollars.
Lodging ($400 – $450)
Skip the hotels. Yes, some of them are super glamorous but they’re ridiculously overpriced. Opt for an Airbnb room. They’re much more affordable AND you’ll get to live as a local. Most rooms for rent in Paris are super dreamy, anyway — almost all of them have street view balconies. Make sure you book your room months in advance before all the good, affordable ones are no longer available. You can find a good room for as little as $58 dollars per night. After taxes and a service fee, I paid a total of $399 for six nights.
Visiting the main attraction can also be ridiculously affordable if you do your research. Luckily, I went ahead and did that for you already.
Eiffel Tower: Visiting the Eiffel Tower only costs $20 US dollars. That’s if you go to the very top, which is the third level. The first and second level are even cheaper. But watching the tower’s light show is absolutely FREE! You can enjoy the tower from a nearby park and you won’t have to pay a dime.
Sacre Coeur: This catholic basilica is located on a hill, which already provides astonishing city views. But if you want to climb 400+ steps to get an even better view, access to the dome only costs $7 dollars. Admission to the basilica without access to the dome is free.
Louvre Museum: Every Friday, after 6pm, admission to the museum is completely FREE for anyone that’s 26 years old and under with a valid ID. If you’re older than 26, try to schedule your visit on the first Sunday of the month, admission is free for everyone.
Disneyland: Let’s assume you visit Disneyland on a busy day or on a holiday, tickets will cost $91 dollars. Let’s add transportation — it’s approximately $9 US dollars for a one-way train ticket to Disneyland, thats’s $18 dollars roundtrip. Now, let’s calculate food. Give yourself a $17 dollar budget per meal — trust me, that’s more than enough — that’s $51 for three meals. So, for a total of $160 dollars you can visit Disneyland, Paris.
READ MORE about how to get to Disneyland from the city, here.
* If you plan on visiting several museums, it might be better to purchase a Paris Museum Pass. But Paris is so pretty, I would suggest you don’t spend too much time indoors.
READ MORE about what to do in Paris, here.
Food ($100 – $120)
>> If you’re on a budget, then you’ll do anything you can to save. This means buying groceries instead of eating out. I purchased eggs, milk, bread, yogurt, bananas, avocados, orange juice, vegetables, and more, for only $28 dollars. I cooked breakfast and dinner, and packed my own snacks. Therefore, I only had to spend on lunch when I was out exploring. Besides, most restaurants have become super touristy and serve mediocre food for ridiculous prices. You’re better off cooking your own food.
>> I understand that you’ll still have to eat out at some point. That’s fine, just give yourself a budget of $15 dollars per meal. If you only have one outside meal per day, that’s $75 dollars for your entire 5-day trip. Here’s an extra tip: if you ask for water, most restaurants will serve you bottled water and charge you for it. Ask for tap water, it’s safe to drink. Also, most restaurants in Paris include the tip in your bill; double check your bill so you won’t leave twice the tip amount.
Transportation ($34 – $90)
Paris is a HUGE city! You can get around by metro, bus, Uber rides, bike, and by walking. Here are some options to save some money while in Paris:
>> You can purchase a Paris Travel Pass for unlimited public transportation rides, priced at $6.80 dollars per day. That’s a total of $34 dollars for your entire trip.
>> Or, if you’re an Uber lover, like me, then you’ll pay a little extra but it’s more convenient and usually saves some time. Here’s a little trick: don’t input your final destination when requesting your Uber ride. Choose a nearby location instead and walk the rest. Paris is usually congested with traffic, especially around the touristy areas, so you’ll end up paying more for that extra time in the car if you ride to your exact endpoint. Here’s another little trick: plan to spend each day in a single area, and choose a different area each day. For example, the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Sainte Chapel are all near one another. Get dropped off in that area, walk the rest of the day, and then simply get another ride back to your room. I calculated all my Uber rides and I spent a total of $90 dollars during my entire stay. And don’t forget, if you travel with friends and split the cost of Uber rides, the total price drops way down.
BOOM! Now you can Travel to Paris for only $1,200 – $1,500 US dollars!
Assuming you don’t have kids and you only have yourself to fend for, saving $1,500 wouldn’t be a difficult task. Save $94 every week instead of eating out, buying starbucks, or hitting the bar. If you do that, you will save $1,500 in four short months. And if you plan a trip with a significant other or with friends, then your lodging and transportation prices will significantly decrease.
I hope this blog post helped you plan your budget trip to Paris! And I hope you get to planning soon!
* This information is completely based on my own personal expenses, budgeting, and frugality. It is also 100% accurate, as I calculated all prices from receipts, invoices, and bank statements.