Whenever I ask people why they haven’t traveled, many tell me it’s too expensive. Does that sound familiar to you? When planning a trip to Paris on a budget, you have to be realistic with your expectations and be flexible. In this guide, you’ll notice that I prioritize sightseeing and experiences more than I do food and accommodations. When you prioritize the things that mean the most to you, you can definitely travel Paris affordably. Now, don’t get me wrong, Paris can DEFINITELY get expensive, but there’s a cheap, backpacker way around this!
By the time we made it to Paris on our trip in 2015, we were a month in and running out of money. We had to really think about the way we traveled. I want to show you how feasible it is to plan a trip to Paris on a budget. A little flexibility goes a long way and keeps the budget including flights under $1000:
Here’s How to Plan a Trip to Paris on a Budget:
This will include all flights, accommodations, activities, food, and transportation. All I get from this is the sweet satisfaction of being right and enjoying your awesome Instagram pictures. You’re welcome! Want more amazing itineraries? Download our free ebook below!
Norwegian is by far the cheapest website I have found for flights to Europe! I love their Low Fare Calendar, a feature that allows you to see the prices of flights around your designated date so you can choose the lowest price. For trips to Europe, I ALWAYS fly around late September or in October which is when the flights are the cheapest. This is an actual trip you can go book yourself for October 3rd, 2019 – October 10th, 2019 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Paris. If you’re not in Florida, don’t worry. Norwegian flies out of all major airports in the US, and have just about the same price point in October. If you need help finding a flight from your airport, just shoot me an e-mail and I’ll be happy to help!
Round-Trip Flight Total: $379.80
Best Place to Stay in Paris on a Budget: AirBnB
We love to use Airbnb because its reviews have never steered us wrong. We’ve used booking.com on multiple occasions and we have a 50/50 success rate. Airbnb had also allowed us to find some great places at very affordable prices just like this one! If you use this link to book, you’ll get a $40 off your first stay (and give us a $20 credit toward our next one)
This home is not only $131 for the week, but it also offers free breakfast, free wifi, and is right next to the metro! The reviews even say that the place is comfortable and homey! It’s close proximity to Paris city center makes it the perfect home base! Never thought you’d find something that cheap, huh?!
Accommodations Total: $131.00
Cheapest Way to Travel in Paris: Paris Metro Pass
If you do this itinerary, you will be landing in Charles de Gaulle Airport. The cheapest way to get around in Paris is its elaborate metro system. Take the train from the airport to Gare du Nord for 10 euro (approx. $12). You can then walk from that train station to your hostel which is less than .4 miles away. You can buy a 10 pack of train tickets for $18 at the closest train station, and I recommend you buy two for the week.
Transportation Total: $60
Food: Look for food near your hostel (or outside of Paris City Center)
When you arrive, ask the host for the nearest bakery. Away from the city center, bakeries will sell you treats, and bread for about a Euro a piece. No, it wasn’t the healthiest option, but it was delicious, authentic, and cheap! Daniel and I would stuff ourselves with 1 euro baguettes, and pain au cholocat at the bakery around the corner! Remember that the hostel also includes breakfast which will save you a lot of money on food. When you go to Paris, you’re obviously going to want to eat macaroons and crepes! They are available all around town in little street carts for about 4 euro a crepe!
Food Estimate: $30/day or $210/week
What to do in Paris:
Eiffel Tower– $30
The Eiffel Tower is a must-see when visiting Paris. You can enjoy a picnic on Champs du Mars and take a million selfies in front of the tower for free! If you want to go to the second floor it is $20, and a trip to the top will cost you $30. For the purposes of the guide, I will be accounting for the price of going to the top. When we went on our first anniversary, we loved the experience, and I even started crying when the tower started sparkling.
Catacombs– $30 with Audio Guide
This is one of the tours we wish we would have budgeted for during our first trip to Paris. Everyone we spoke to said that this was the most interesting (and creepy) part of their trip. Book online so you don’t have to rot in the line!
The Louvre is always on the top ten things to see in Paris, partially due to its fame for holding the Mona Lisa within its walls. Although Daniel and I passed on the Louvre due to time restraints, we understand it’s a place people want to cross off their bucket list and experience for themselves.
Versailles: $30 including transportation
The Palace of Versailles is known for its majestic interior and undeniable beauty. What once was the official residence of French Royalty, is now open as a museum showcasing ornate bedrooms, and furniture made out of gold. It’s about an hour and a half away from Paris, so plan on getting there early to beat the crowds and make the trip worth it.
Musee D’Orsay: $14.40
D’Orsay is a museum made for Art lover, who appreciates the works of Van Gogh, Picasso, and Monet. We are not huge in the art scene, but even so, we enjoyed our visit to the Museum. It also has a lovely view of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower from its rooftop!
Free Things to do in Paris:
Notre Dame: Free
Notre Dame was one of our favorite places to visit on our trip! The long, gothic hallways and high ceilings of the Cathedral make you feel like you’re in a movie. Notre Dame is also home to what is presumed to be Jesus’ crown of thorns. It is a very cool experience you need to check out during your trip.
This Basilica is known for having the best view of a Parisian sunset. It’s a beautiful church, and definitely worth a visit. Believe it or not, it’s completely free to visit and even includes an audio tour!
Arc de Triomphe- Free
The Arc de Triomphe was the first sight we saw when we landed in Paris! Located on the shopping, and tourist Mecca of the city, it’s easy to access via the metro and near lots of restaurants, and high-end shops (for window shopping, of course).
This HUGE avenue is filled with hundreds of high-end shops, bars, and restaurants! It’s not a place you would want to go spend all of your money, but an amazing place to spend hours window shopping and trying on Louis Vuitton Bags!
Grand Total: $903.20
Paris has a lot to see, and plenty to keep you busy that’s free if you wanted to reduce the budget even more. On the same note, there are places I have omitted that would be wonderful additions to your trip but didn’t fit into this budget. For those of you who are undecided about what you want to see, and are willing to spend a little more, the Paris Pass is a great option. It includes over 60 different attractions, including many of the ones I mentioned above for one bulk price. Travel Changes you in so many ways that you can’t even imagine. It turns you into a storyteller and broadens your horizons which is in part why my husband and I sold everything to travel the world (Want to know the full story? Click HERE). Our trip to Paris is what sparked our travel bug and what made us start a YouTube channel about our travels. Since then we’ve traveled to over 30 countries together! Our passion is to show you how you can get the courage to start doing the things that you’ve always dreamt of. Make this the year where you stop making excuses and get out there!
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