Considered as the political, economic, and cultural centerpiece of France, there is much to even about Paris. As interesting as that sounds, Paris is also a city that can empty your wallet.
With the city’s biggest restaurants, bars, and Tourist sights, your pocket could get empty quickly if you are not mindful. Paris, the City on the rim of the bucket list of every traveler, is unfortunately not very light on the pocket.
After spending months in the city, visitors will come to understand the ways to save money. It is believed that it is not hard to persuade people to visit, but much more difficult to convince them that they do not have to go down and out doing so. So to help those with the fantasy of visiting the Eiffel Tower and other iconic spots on a budget.
Here are Some Cost-Cutting Tips:
Book Hotels Outside the City Center
Generally, the nearer you are to the town, the more pricey things get. Choose a hotel, not in the center of a neighborhood. For Example, a typical room on a weekend in Paris near Notre Dame is charged $320 per day in early April.
By contrast, a standard room at the Place d’Italie in the 13th arrondissement is only $213 per day. The areas far from the main city are cheaper as compare to the main city. If you are on a very low budget, you can also look for the rental department rather than booking a hotel room.
Buy a Multiday Metro Pass
If you are traveling more than once in a day, you can use multiple metro pass, which is cheaper than a one-way metro pass. The one-way pass cost approximately $2.30 (EUR1.70). A Passe illimite, which is a multiple travel ticket or Navigo Decouverte card, will be the better option.
These Unlimited passes can be availed from all metro stations and ticket machines or ticket booths. They claim to give multiple rides per day of 10.85 EURO, two days 17.65 Euro, three days 24.10 Euro also with lesser prices for children.
If you think that, you would not be taking that much rides in a day, then another option for you is to buy ten tickets at a time, which cost 1.37 euro per train, which is still cheaper than booking a cab.
Do Not Eat at Your Hotel
The food at the hotel, you are staying in can be costly, so avoid dining there. Try to eat breakfast from nearby cafes. You can eat sandwiches from a nearby café that is cheaper, made by the baguette. Try buying cold drinks from local shops and not from big markets.
You can also try snacks like cheese, biscuits that are like starters. Try to sit inside the café, rather than sitting outside. Stay away from big fancy restaurants, they could be very costly. You do not need to show up on restaurants and cafes for every meal.
Buy a Paris Museum Pass
If you are somebody who likes to visit museums, it is always a good option to use a museum pass, which is applicable to almost 60 museums and monuments in Paris. Also, it saves time to stand in long ticket lines. The Paris museum pass cost 48€ for 2 days and 62€ for four days while it cost 74€ for 6 days.
There are some museums that are free on the weekends of the month. You do not need to have a ticket to enter the museum.
The following are some free museum that cost nothing on specific days:
- Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou
- Musée des Arts et Métiers
- Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
- Musée National Eugène Delacroix
- Musée National Gustave Moreau
- Musée National Jean-Jacques Henner
- Musée National du Moyen Âge – Thermes de Cluny
- Musée National de l’Orangerie
- Musée d’Orsay
- Musée National Picasso
- Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine
- Cité Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration
- Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
- Musée National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet
Best Budget Restaurants in Paris
When someone visits France, they want to live the luxurious life that France is famous for. The country is full of expensive and fancy restaurants. So if you are somebody who wants to experience luxury but also has a budget, these are ideal places for you.
These are some of my favorite places, so you can do some research on these places to be familiar with pricing and menu options:
- L’As du Fallafel
- Trois Fois Plus de Piment
- The Grilled Cheese Factory
- Ippudo Paris
- Bouillon Chartier
- Oui Galette
Beware of Cold drinks
When dining out in a country like France, try to not have drinks like Coca Cola as they are more costly than normal drinks or even a glass of wine. Alternatively, you can always go for ‘une carafe d’eau’ (one pitcher of tap water), it is a better option.
If you want wine or alcoholic drink, then you can have coke at the outside of the café, especially if you are not dining. You can sit there for long hours without the pressure of ordering something.
Healthy Food is Cheaper in France
Yes, you heard it right, healthy food is much cheaper in France. If you want to go to a grocery, always look for products like eggs, cheese, butter, chicken, pork, meat, fish, dairy products, and honey. Try to eat as much vegan as possible because that is cheaper.
Potatoes are very cheap in France. So, you get a 5 kg bag for 2.79 euros. Buy whole-wheat pasta are very cheaper and healthy as well. Lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, beets, and cucumbers are cheap, so salad is always a good option.
Avoid Eating at Tourist Traps
Being a constant place of attraction for visitors, there can be some tourist trap that will try to charge more, having deduced that you are new in the country.
Always ask for a menu from local hotels, and while getting food from the street, ask people from around about the price. Try to dine at places that look authentic and not a trap. Places around the metro are the most popular Tourist trap, so you got to stay away from that place.
Follow the Locals
The French are friendly and would not mind telling you about their favorite places for dining. Take advice from the locals, or you can follow them to know where they eat on a regular basis, and you can discover new places. French people regularly do not dine at expensive places, so following them and getting advice could be a great option for saving money.
Choose Apartments (AirBnB) Over Hotels
There are a lot of online websites that allow you to book an apartment, Airbnb is one of them. Airbnb is a website where people privately rent out their rooms worldwide for a good deal. Booking a trip with Airbnb can be a flawless experience, from saving a lot of money to experiencing staying in a neighborhood far from the hotels. The Airbnb website is extremely easy to navigate, it is easy to pinpoint locations and pictures are easy to view.
The main idea of Airbnb is to exchange culture. On your visit, you learn a lot about your host country and can interact more or less depending on your liking. For booking through Airbnb, there are a lot of people hosting, but you have to choose the right ones. Some hosts are serious, and some are time wasters, you need to see reviews before approaching anyone.
Read: AirBnB Vs Hotels
Visit the Free Sights
Though Paris is an expensive city, it has a lot of free sights to look for, most importantly museums including the Musée d’Art Moderne, Maison de Balzac, and Maison de Victor Hugo, the Musée Carnavalet (the Paris History Museum), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Musée de la Prefecture de Police (Police Headquarters Museum), and the Fragonard Perfume Museum.
A lot of cathedrals and churches are free, including the Jardin du Luxembourg. Église Saint-Eustache, Cathedrale Saint Alexandre Nevsky, Paroisse Saint-Paul Saint-Louis. Apart from churches and museums, there are so many parks in Paris that charge nothing that includes Tuileries Garden, Parc de Belleville, Champ de Mars, and Parc Monceau.
Stick to Public Transport
If you are staying in a place like Paris for more than two weeks, I would recommend you to only book public transport because taxis and Uber are very expensive and costly. So you better invest in public transport, they are also safer in my idea. There are a lot of short terms passes to travel in public transport which can help tourists.
The cheapest way to get around Paris is Velib. You pay a fee of 1,70 Euro for a day ticket or 8 Euro for a weekly ticket. During the validity of this ticket, you can use any bicycle from the Velib terminal. You can buy your tickets at every Velib station, but according to recommendations, it is preferred to buy tickets online. It takes a bit of time to get into the habit of choosing a bicycle, but once you have chosen 2 bicycles, it is quite simple.
The catch to travel at less cost is to change bikes every half hour. If you use a bike for more than 30 min, you will have to pay extra charges, which certainly increases the longer you travel. When you change bikes within 30 minutes, you do not need to pay anything extra.
Skip the Top of Eiffel Tower
A trip to the top of Eiffel tower costs 15 Euro per person, which is very expensive. If you want to get a view of the whole city, you can go to the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. If free to take the steps of Sacre Coeur. Eiffel tower is the most crowded place and, therefore, the most expensive one. A tourist on a budget should avoid visiting the place more than once in their tour.
Visit Flea Markets
Flea markets in Paris are famous all around the world. A traveler can have a good purchase from the market with a small budget. While looking for a good purchase, first decide to yourself how much you would be ready to pay out on product before asking for the rate. It could be pleasantly surprised as well, but chances are you will likely have to haggle with your seller. There are a lot of flea markets that are suitable for travelers and Parisians as well.
Most of these markets are open only on the holidays and very rarely on Mondays, so make sure to set aside time for a turn at one of these beautiful markets. Taking a walk around the old flea markets is always a lot of joy: but make sure you do it the right way, and avoid bad experiences like getting robbed and, more seriously, finding yourself short on cash as soon as you find that perfect masterpiece!
Shop at Supermarkets Around Town
Paris has many locations to picnic, and you can take healthy and yummy stuff along like cheeses, meats, bread, and fruit for a very reasonable price. If you have lunch at a restaurant, you will probably spend a lot of money. So on some days, you can plan a picnic. Supermarkets are a good option for purchasing organic and healthy items.
Organic things are not very expensive in Paris can buy organic things from the market and take them with you to a picnic in the countryside. Grocery shopping is definitely the best way to eat cheap in Paris. They have all the items you need for a basic meal as well as cooked meals. They sell wine too, which is expensive at hotels and restaurants.
Enjoy the Parisian Steet Food
Street food of Paris serves a lot of cultural and local food items that restaurants serve. When on a budget, you can get lunch from the street. It is cheaper than having a meal from a restaurant. The street food in Paris is also hygienic and clean, consisting of a lot of variety.
Looking for street food? You can go to Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis to taste Parisian diverse cultural food at surprisingly budget-friendly rates… You can have some chicken dishes at Le Daily Syrien, sandwiches from Urfa Durum, or a from Le Delice du Chateau D’eau, you can have a veggie meal. In the evening, If you get friendly with locals, you can order a cocktail on the street as you chat with them.
Explore Paris by Foot
Paris is a big city, you do not always need to take a vehicle for transportation. A lot of Parisians walk miles and save money. You can walk to a neighborhood and get an insight into locals’ life. It is free to walk the Montmartre and Sacre Couer. You can also walk at Luxembourg Garden for blocking the hustle and bustle of the city. Most of the travelers take the walking tour of the city because transport is quite expensive in the city.
Most popular and attractive walks in the city include these locations where a lot of tourists and locals go daily:
- Rue des Barres
- Rue de l’Abreuvoir
- Cour du Commerce Saint Andre
- Rue Montorgueileil
- .Rue Crémieux
- Rue des Rosiers
- Rue Lepic
- Rue Saint-Antoine
- Avenue Winston Churchill
- Quai de Jemmapes
Best Cost Cutting Tips When Traveling To Paris – Summary
Visiting Paris does not demand that you spend a fortune on accommodation, food, transport, sight-seeing, and even dining. What you need is a piece of proper information on how best to cut costs. Adhering to the featured tips, you will be set to have a lovely time throughout your stay in the City of Lights.