When we talk about European Travel Goals, especially in Paris of France, that involves a lot of time planning, organizing and checking your finances if the budget will make it.
Traveling halfway across the world needs you to purchase a flight ticket, accommodation, food, tour bookings, and other miscellaneous stuff. Now the question is, will Paris make a cut in your budget?
Is Paris Expensive? Yes, and it might be a big one. Paris is an expensive city. It’s no secret that living or even traveling here might cost an arm and leg..just kidding! But for real, it is expensive to visit this place especially if you don’t research the city first or preparing yourself for what’s to come.
So, how expensive can it get?
Based on the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), “The City of Lights” ranked seventh! One of the only European who made it to the top list followed by Switzerland (of course another expensive country, but we’ll talk about that next time).
Why Is Paris Expensive?
According to Jon Copestake of thelocal.fr, “Paris has always been expensive. It’s partly driven by high real estate prices that feed through to retail prices. It’s just structurally expensive and the high wages also make a difference.”
I agree with Copestake, its no surprise that Paris is expensive. When you talk about Paris it always screams for class and luxury.
I mean, since when did they lower their standards at all? They always exceed in providing high-class French cuisine up to the field of arts. No wonder you’ll run out a stack of bucks if you’re not wise enough in splurging some french goodies.
Can You Travel in a Budget in Paris?
Yes of course! I made a breakdown just for you on my “travel strategies” that I applied in Paris on my recent travel:
If you live in Europe like me, I always wait for Ryanair flight sales or ICE Train seat sales. This is a total lifesaver! Almost 50% of the total cost will be saved up if you are “in the know” of their current seat sales every season.
Another technique I do, if there’s no seat sale available, is to book ahead like three to six months before your intended travel. Flights and train tickets are quite affordable around this time because more seats are still available compared when booking a month before, the tickets will be doubled the price.
This method helped me a lot in saving money on our trips. This method also applies to other countries outside Europe visiting Paris.
When booking your hotel, I highly recommend Booking.com. They’ve got a lot of choices tailor-fit to your budget. You don’t have to book a super expensive hotel for your stay, you will be out most of the time anyway.
As long as the property is clean, safe and comfortable, then you’re good to go. We stayed at Hotel du Pre, they are located very central in Paris and just walking distance to most of the tourist attractions.
Try looking at Airbnb. The site has a lot of properties listed that might be suitable for your needs. If you like to cook your own food or have privacy in a home ambiance while traveling, then you can apply this in the filter tab to customize your preference.
Just make sure that the property listed is legit to avoid any problems on the day of your travel.
If you are a wild child at heart and plans to explore around Europe and not only Paris, you can rent an RV or campervan. This is very common around here in Europe and most Europeans travel via RV. I
t’s not expensive and you will only pay for your camper rent, gas and the parking spot. There’s a lot of camp parking sites in Paris where you could park safely and even shower for FREE!
You may check out Camping de Paris and Parcheggio Camper. This parking spot is located centrally so you can just leave your van to park and explore the city on foot at your own pace!
Also Check: Does it Snow in Paris?
Upon booking your hotel, book it including breakfast. Instead of spending your time in the morning looking for a great breakfast spot in the city, you might want to save time and try what your hotel has to offer.
In the hotel where we stayed, they offered a classic French breakfast with an array of French pastries, varieties of croissants, eclairs, different flavors of jams and cheeses. On top of that, they served an amazing roast coffee that wakes you up on your journey.
If you don’t feel like eating breakfast in the hotel, hit the local french bakeries. For less than 5 euro, you’ll get two kinds of breads or pastries that you can enjoy. Another 3 euro for a good fresh french coffee, You should follow where the locals go.
Most locals will lead you to the hidden gems in the city that might surprise you. If you like to try the most well-known bakeries, try Jean Millet, Au Paradis du Gourmand or Maison Landemaine.
If you want to feed your historical cravings, head to Stohrer, it is known as the oldest bakery in the city founded since 1730 by King Louis XV’s chef, Nicolas Stohrer.
Check out the affordable lunch specials in the restaurants. Most restaurants in Paris offers affordable lunch deals without compromising its taste and quality. It ranges between 15-30 euros per lunch set.
One of my favorite lunch spots in the city, which I really recommend is La Maison Bleue. We ordered the pumpkin soup with garlic bread, beefsteak with bone marrow and vegetables and of course my favorite a cup of good latte macchiato. I have to say it was THE BEST!
If eating out is too much for you, you can always buy and cook your own food inside your Airbnb rental. There are tons of grocery stores in the city where you could buy cheaper basic food that you can store for the rest of your trip.
A visit to the grocery might only cost you an average of 30-50 euros for two persons which will last for at least three days of consumption. Sounds better than spending a 60 euro worth dinner.
Free Tours in Paris
- Cathedral Notre Dame – Though it got struck by a fire last year, it is still worth a visit to admire its wonderful architecture that surpassed through time.
- Champ de Mars – A really nice park to spend an afternoon picnic while admiring the views of the famous Eiffel Tower and the different people that pass around you.
- Window Shopping in Champs-Elysees – Who says you can’t shop without getting broke? You can still check out all the luxurious Louis Vuitton and Prada shops without breaking your bank. If you can’t afford it right now, just check that nice stuff out and feed your hungry eyes of these luxurious collections.
- Printemps Rooftop Cafe – Are you looking for a more picturesque and panoramic view of the Eiffel Tower for your Instagram? Look no more. The cafe’s overlooking location gives you this wonderful view for free! You need not order a drink to take that shot.
- Museum Hopping – Did you know that every first Sunday of the month Paris’ famous museums welcome art aficionados for free? You heard me right. Make sure you time your visit within this time to experience the wonders of Arc de Triomphe, Musee National d’Art Moderne-Centre Pompidou, Saint Chapelle, Musee d’Orsay and much more.
My final thoughts.
Though Paris can be a very expensive city, that doesn’t mean they ran out of more affordable things to offer especially for budget travelers.
There’s always something for every traveler. Whether you travel for luxury or in a strict budget, as long as you research and prepare ahead, don’t worry you will not go home broke.
Just make sure you do your own research and prioritize what matter’s to you when you travel.
No matter the price as Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea”. Au revoir!