Have you been dreaming of going to Paris forever but never went because of how expensive it’s supposed to be? In this guide, I will show you step by step how you can travel Paris on a budget too!
In 2019, I visited Paris for 4 days for only $200!
In this post, I will show you exactly what I did to use as little money as possible and what I actually spent money on while still seeing ALL of Paris!
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First, I will go through all the steps you need to make to get the best and cheapest possible Paris trip. After that, I will tell you some inside tips, many people forget before leaving for Paris. And finally, I will expose my Paris expenses list!
The first thing what needs to be taken care of when planning to visit Paris is transportation.
If you are not from Europe, you will probably book a flight to get there. To find cheap flights, I highly recommend using Skyscanner, a flight search engine with various benefits for our goal of finding the best and cheapest flight to Paris.
For example, you can just pick “search everywhere”, and the search engine is going to show you the cheapest flights on specific dates, anywhere in the world. Since we are looking for a flight to Paris though, we are going to just select “Paris”, and “whole month”, if you are looking for the cheapest flight you can get, without having much date restrictions.
If you do have date restrictions, you can just type them in, and Skyscanner is going to recommend you flights from different airlines, matching your search.
When you change up the dates, you can see how flights get cheaper or more expensive on specific dates.
For all my fellow Europeans, I have something else for you to travel to Paris on a budget! How about taking the train?
Even though flying is faster and maybe more convenient for most people, purchasing a train pass can have various advantages.
Here just naming a few:
- You can travel during your stay too if you need to get somewhere
- Trains are much more environmental friendly than planes, especially cheap airlines
- You can stop anywhere on the way (with a pass. If you have a train ticket for specific trains, ofc you can’t just take other trains without losing money)
- It sometimes doesn’t even take much longer than flying, considering the time you need to be at the airport in advance to your flight
- You can take as many suitcases, backpacks, and liquids as you want
- it’s fun
So if you are ready to travel across Europe with a train pass, I recommend searching for the perfect one on Rail Europe. Rail Europe is similar to Skyscanner, but for trains and train passes.
If you already have an Interrail or Eurail pass, you can also get your train reservations here. (You will need one for high-speed trains to Paris)
Talking about Interrail and Eurail tickets: That’s what I used to travel Europe with! I didn’t only visit Paris, but 6 other cities and countries.
I had the 22-day continuous pass. But depending on how long you plan on traveling, you can select from 3- day passes, up to 2 months!
Now we covered your transportation.
The next step is to find a good accommodation for you!
First, you should think about the kind of vacation you want to have.
Is it to mainly explore the city? Do you wanna relax? Are you traveling for Instagram pictures? Are you a nighttime person?
Keep in mind that the more center you want your hotel to be, the more it’s going to cost.
If you were going to purchase an underground ticket anyway, you could stay in a hotel a little further from the center, if you don’t mind the way being 15-25 minutes to the city. That might sound long for you now, but Paris is huge. I stayed in an aparthotel in the 14th arrondissement, which is still pretty center, but it took like 25 minutes with the underground to actually get to the Eiffel Tower. So that is pretty normal.
If you would like to stay close to the center though, for various reasons like you will need to change your outfits a lot, then you will find a good place too! It’s just probably going to be a little pricier.
A good search engine for hotels and hostels is Booking.com. I booked all the hotels and apartments I stayed in through that website and haven’t been disappointed yet. And I’ve stayed in many hotels.
I am sure you can find the perfect hotel for you there, they have so many options for finding the right one for you, from distances from specific attractions, AC, available activities in the near, and much more.
And the best is, you can get a 10% cashback when you book through my custom link here.
Don’t really wanna stay in a hotel? How about an Airbnb?
Booking an Airbnb can be an amazing experience if done correctly.
Some tips for that:
- Pick one that fits your taste and conditions.
- Talk to the owner before. Make sure it’s not sketchy.
- Contact support if you have concerns or questions
- Look for reviews! And read through all of them
- Pick a safe area
Ready for some fun? You can get $25 off your first booking HERE!
Alrighty, we got the main steps of our budget trip to Paris done! Good job!
Now, let’s get to how you can save money while in Paris!
Tip #1: Know your mealtimes.
I know that seems a little out of context but look: If you keep snacking all day long, you will spend much more than sitting down twice a day to eat some real food.
Of course, you definitely HAVE TO try the bests foods and snacks in Paris but have a better strategy than roaming around eating all day.
Don’t know what to eat in Paris? Read my Ultimate Paris Food Guide and you will be ready for Paris and its delicious food in no time!
Tip #2: Get your tickets in advance!
This one is so so important. To travel to Paris on a budget, you need to think of getting the cheapest tickets for the attractions you’re interested in. I didn’t think about purchasing my Eiffel Tower ticket until a week before and the last free spot was at 10 pm! (It was still amazing, but keep in mind you might not have as much luck during peak seasons)
So I recommend getting your tickets online, and favorably several weeks before your visit.
The links I linked the attractions to, are guides. They usually offer tickets for specials and often have tickets after the originals are sold out.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but I tried them and they’re legit.
I got my Rome Colosseum and Palatine tickets from that site because the official site’s tickets for that day were sold out. And it was legit and we got to experience those attractions thanks to that site.
So it’s just an inside tip from me personally, to check there when you see the original site’s tickets are sold out.
Of course, there are many more attractions you can get tickets to, but the ones I listed are the biggest I’d say.
Tip #3: Save some extra money BEFORE the trip
This is nothing new of course, everyone needs to have the money before the trip. But what I mean is those little things you can do in your everyday life that can save you some spending money you can use on your trip!
Related: 15+ creative ways to make money
One thing I started doing at the age of 14, what saved me up to $500 in a few months was to do online surveys, product tests and more, on Survey Pages. Sounds like much work? It’s not! And if you’re over 14 you can start doing it today!
It can be pretty time consuming to figure out which websites actually pay you and which are just a waste of time. And I declared many as a waste of time.
But, I also found 3 LEGIT and well paying Survey Websites that I used as a teen to make some extra money. And, you make extra more when you have more friends.
Here are my favorites:
YouGov (US, UK, Germany, France,..) You can change the country when signing up.
Alright guys, are you ready for my spendings list?
Before I get started I need to add one more thing: I had a 22-day continuous Interrail Ticket for my Europe tour. That price is NOT included in the spendings list.
Also, I had a friend come with me who insisted to pay for the hotel alone. So well, that is out too. But since that hotel was approximately 300 for the shared room, we could theoretically add $150 to my list to make it fair and have the hotel included. Okay?
Spendings in Paris
- Train reservations $20 ($10 for each person, I paid)
- 5 day Metro Ticket $39
- Dinner $11
- Eiffel Tower Ticket $8
- Louvre Ticket $17
- Breakfast $1 (ik…I should’ve had more. haha)
- Lunch 17$
- Dinner $23
- Medication $5 (yep..I managed to get a migraine while traveling. It sucked. Don’t be like me. Bring your meds.)
- Breakfast $8.50
- Ticket to Versailles $27
- Train to Versailles $7.30 (incl. return ticket)
- Patisseries $18 (Macarons, Eclairs, etc)
- Souvenir $3
- Breakfast $3
That gives us exactly $207.80 for expenses I had while being in Paris, including attractions, food, and souvenirs.
That was my Ultimate Paris Budget Travel Guide!
Now you know how to travel to Paris on a budget for as little money as you can, got some extra savings tips, and you’ve seen my personal Paris expenses list!
If you have more questions or things to add, feel free to comment below or contact me personally through the contact form or my social media @myclickjournal. I will reply to each and every one of you!
Now take a deep breath, feel the excitement of a new trip, and start planning!