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Paris on Budget : How to experience the City of Lights without breaking the Bank (From a French)

    Paris also known as the city of love or the city of lights, is an expensive city to visit. But don’t worry, as someone who lived in Paris for 5 years in the 15eme arrondissment, I will give you the best tips and advices to experience the best of Paris o budget.

    Paris attracts millions of visitors each year, this city has a lot to offer. With the Eiffel Tower, the Louvres museum, the charming neighborhoods and the delicious food, this capital city has a lot to offer.

    Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and should be experienced by everyone at least one time. In this blog post I will give you all the tips and advices you need to enjoy Paris on budget.

    Tips to visit Paris on budget

    Transportations

    From the airport to the center

    When you arrive to the airport, I wisely advise you to not take a taxi that can cost you more than 50 Euros plus tips.

    If you arrive from Orly, you can take the shuttle buses that costs only 8 Euros. The bus will bring you to the station Denfert Rochereau in the center of Paris.

    If you arrive from Charle Degaulle Airport, you can take the RER B directly from the airport. It will cost you only 11,5 Euros to reach the center of Paris in 25 to 50 minutes depending on your destination.

    Also you can opt for the Roissy Bus, which costs only 16,5 Euros and will take you from CDG Airport to Place de l’Opera in approximately 1 hour.

    Public transports

    Paris has a well deserved public transportation system, with RER, Buses and Metro. To avoid waiste of money buying multiple single tickets (2.10 Euros), you can purchase a carnet of 10 tickets that costs 16,90 Euros.

    Also, you can opt for a Navigo Discovery Pass for tourists. The Pass itself will cost you 5 Pounds, and you can choose how many zones of Paris you want to have access to. For one week Pass, Zone 1 to 5, it costs 30 Euros.

    Explore the city on foot

    Paris is a walkable city, easy and enjoyable to explore on foot. Most of the main attractions and monuments of the city are close to each others, so you can visit them on foot. Exploring the city on foot will allow you to find hidden gems and discover new places that you might certainly not have found otherwise. You can stroll along the Seine River, lost yourself arround the Muséee du Louvres and Musée d’Orsay. Here are the best walking tours in Paris, by Nomadic Matt.

    Vélib

    If you are a bike lover, it can be pleasant to explore Paris by bike. Paris Velib bike share program has 14000 bike stations spreaded all over the city with more than 20 000 bikes available. Moreover, the city has an extensive network of cycle paths, which is constantly expanding. These spaces are designed for safe cycling trips.

    Paris Velib bike share program has 14000 bike stations spreaded all over the city. A one-day Vélib’ pass costs €5 and covers a 30-minute ride. After 30 minutes, you will be charged a small amound of money for each minute. There are also multiple days passes available for affordable prices.

    Where to stay in Paris on budget

    Choose the right place

    Choosing the right place to stay will make a huge difference in your budget accomodation. Accomodations near from the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre Museum or l’Arc de Triomphe are quite expensive places to stay in.

    I recommed you to opt for cheaper places like these ones :

    • The 10th arrondissement.
    • The 18th arrondissement.
    • Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre.
    • The 20th arrondissement.
    • Père Lachaise Cemetery.

    Hotels on budget

    Here are some hotels you can book for a fair price :

    Hôtel F1 Paris Porte de Chatillon

    Ibis budget Paris porte de Bercy (This hotel is very well located, in Bercy you will find the metro line 6 which allows to reach most of the main attractions of the city).

    Airbnb

    I also advise you to check if there are appartements available for an affordable price on Airbnb and compare it with the other hotels options. Do not forget to take the location in consideration.

    Where to eat

    France is recognised among the countries with the most delicious food in the world. If you are travelling on budget forget the famous Parisian starred restaurants. But don’t worry there are plenty of option to eat delicious french food in paris on budget.

    Saint michel

    If you want to try some French traditional meals in Paris on budget, you will find your hapiness in Saint-Michel.

    Saint-Michel neighbourhood is located in the 5th and 6th arrondissement of Paris. The place is accessible with the metro lines 4 and 10, or the RER C. Both stations are within a short walking distance from the neighborhood’s main attractions, such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle.

    In Saint-Michel, you will find a wide range of restaurants offering delicious food at a bargain price. A lot of restaurants offer starter, main course and dessert for only 15 to 20 Euros, their cart always include traditional french meals such as les escargots, the oignon soup, the steak tartare or the boeuf bourguignon.

    Boulangeries

    Boulangeries are another good option to save money. When you will walk arround the city, you will always find boulangeries that offer menu deals, with a sandwich, a drink and a dessert for an affordable price, you can also opt for a salted french crêpe.

    Picnic

    Also you can opt for a picnic in the numerous wonderful parcs of the city. Just find a boulangerie to buy a French bread baguette and then a supermarket to fill your sandwich with wathever you want (tuna, salmon, cheese …), you can add a drink and a some chips.

    Personal tip : As I lived close to the Eiffel tower in the 15 arrondissment during 3 years, I loved doing picnic on the Champ de Mars (Eiffel tower’s garden). If you want to make a Picnic for cheap there. You can take the Metro 6 and stop in the station ”Cambronne” or the Metro 8 or 10 and stop to the station ”La motte Picquet grenelle”.

    Then from there, you will find multiple great boulangeries and supermarkets in which you can buy what you want to make your picnic. You can picnic on the champ de Mars or in Paris’ many beautiful parks arround the scene.

    Tipping

    The culture of tipping is different everywhere arround the world. In France tipping is not mandatory, the price of the service is already included in the bill. Personally, I noticed that tourists tend to give money banknotes as tips, despite it is perfectly acceptable to give only 1 or 2 Euros for a tip in France. So, if you want to save money during your trip in Paris on budget, you should think twice before tipping.

    What to do in Paris on budget

    Visit the Paris Museums on budget

    Paris is also recognized for to many world-famous museums, including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and the Pompidou Center. Most of Paris museums offer free admission or discounts on certain days and hours,, so be sure to plan your itinerary accordingly.

    If you love museums, try to include the first sunday of the month during your trip to Paris. All the museums of the city are free the first Sunday of each month.

    But if you cannot coincide your trip with the first Sunday of the month. You can opt for the Museum pass. The Museum Pass which gives you access to over 60 museums and monuments including Louvres Museum, Orsay Museum, and the Orsay Museum, for only 48 Euros.

    The museum that I definitely recommend you to visit are the Louvres Museum and The Orsay Museum.

    The Louvre Museum

    Musée du Louvre. Paris on budget.

    The Louvre has over 35,000 things to see, like the Mona Lisa and ancient stuff from around the world. People love going there to see all the cool things and the fancy building. It’s a really special place!

    Orsay Museum

    The Musée d’Orsay is a famous art museum with lots of cool art by famous artists like Monet and Van Gogh. It’s in an old train station, which makes it really unique and interesting. People love going there to see the art and the cool building. It’s one of the best museums in Paris!

    See the Paris Landmarks for free

    Paris is a beautiful city, with multiple landmarks to see, you are not obliged to visit all the monuments, as they are already incredible to see. If you want to catch the best view o paris, I strongly recommend you to visit at least the 2d Floor of the Eiffel Tower.

    There is not only the famous Eiffel Tower to admire, you can also walk to ”The Champs Elysées” and visit ”Place de l’Etoile”, where you will find ”L’arc de Triomphe”. If you not a big fan of Museums, you can go to The Louvre Museum, to only admire the Pyramids of Glass and visit the surrounded gardens.

    Visit Paris gardens

    Paris owns numerous wonderful gardens that worth the see. Visiting gardens is also a good way to visit Paris on budget.

    Jardin des Tuileries

    The Jardin des Tuileries is a pretty garden located right next to the Louvre Museum in Paris. This garden has a lot of cool statues and fountains. You can take a nice walk through the gardens, relax on the several benches and chairs available. You can also grab a snack in the coffees arround and have you lunch in the garden.

    Jardin du Luxembourg

    The Jardin du Luxembourg is a big park in the Latin Quarter of Paris. It is a really nice garden with a great scenery.

    Les Jardins du Louvre

    Les Jardins du Louvre are very impressive and agreable to see. The gardens sourround the Louvre Museum and are filled will fountains. They have some amazing sculptures, fountains, and gardens that you can walk through and enjoy. It’s a really nice place to take a break from the city and relax, have a picnic.

    Shop at the markets

    Paris is home to many vibrant and colorful markets, including the famous Marché des Enfants Rouges. Shopping at the markets is a great way to find fresh and delicious food, as well as souvenirs, at a fraction of the cost of shopping at more touristy locations.

    Attend a free cultural event

    Paris has a thriving arts and cultural scene, and there are many free concerts, festivals and shows to attend. Check online or with your hotel for upcoming events.

    Tax refund

    If you plan to do a lot of shopping in Paris. Keep in mind Do you plan on doing some serious shopping? Non-EU citizens who spend at least €175 at any one store, may qualify for up to a 12% cash refund! This is available, with different requirements, throughout Europe. Read more in our post about tax refunds.

    Paris is an amazing city to visit, I hope that this blog post helped you to get the most of your trip in Paris on budget !