Paris, the City of Love, is one of Europe’s most glamorous destinations. Famed for its elegant boulevards and chic patiserries, the city has a reputation for being an expensive place to enjoy.
However, it is possible to explore the city for under $25 a day if you plan ahead. Keep reading for some tips on how to enjoy Paris on a budget.
Travel Outside of the Summer Holidays
Rule number one is to avoid visiting the city during any school holidays. These are usually between July and August, one week in October, the Christmas period, and Easter. Outside of the summer holidays – flights, apartments and hotels can be at least half price. Before you travel, take the time to compare the cost of flights, this should enable you to plan your trip to a budget. It is also worth remembering that Paris is just as charming during the low season as it is during the high!
Buy a Metro Pass
The Metro is the most convenient way of getting around Paris, but at €1.70 per journey (approximately $2.10), it can get expensive. A more convenient option, especially if you are planning on staying in Paris for more than a couple of days, is to buy a week-long Metro Pass. A weekly pass for the centre of Paris can be purchased for around €20, which works out at $3.75 a day for unlimited travel within zones 1 and 2.
Explore the Free Museums
Paris has over fifteen museums that can be explored free of charge, which is not surprising when the city prides itself on providing accessible art to everyone. Check out the Musée d’Art Moderne (Museum of Modern Art) where over 8000 contemporary artworks can be found, or the Musée Bourdelle if sculptures are more your thing.
Alternatively, the Musée de la Vie Romantique (Museum of Romantic Life) is sure to be a popular choice if you are traveling with your loved one. A full list of free museums can be found on the About Travel website.
…and Other Free Attractions
The museums aren’t the only things that are free in Paris. From parks and gardens, to cathedrals, churches and the historical sights, there are lots of places that can be visited without you needing to spend a penny. Grab a Paris city map and explore the neighborhoods; the Latin Quarter and the Champs Elysees may be the most well known, but there are some charming, off-beat neighborhoods too.
You could also check to see if there are any festivals happening during your visit – from the Open Air Paris Cinema to the Paris Plage (Paris Beach) – numerous events are put on that you can enjoy for free.
Paris may be home to some world class Michellin star restaurants, but there are plenty of great cheap eateries too. Chez Stella offers a 3-course meal for $16, whilst vegans can eat for $13 at Piccolo Teatro.
If you don’t fancy eating in, you can grab some fabulous foods from the Paris street vendors. Everything from baguettes, crepes, falafel, and even Indian food can be found on the street stalls. The street markets also offer some tempting options for a fraction of the price of the restaurants. Just make sure to avoid the tourist traps around the Latin Quarter and the Eiffel Tower as these vendors won’t be cheap!
If you plan your trips and meals in advance, pay for a Metro pass, and travel outside of the school summer holidays, it is definitely possible to explore Paris for less than $25 a day.