Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Check out these excellent tips for exploring Paris for less:
Stay in an Apartment
If you want to spend your time in Paris living in the lap of luxury, but you don’t want to burn a hole in your wallet, going online to check out the real estate Paris has to offer could pay off.
There are many long and short term rentals, which are more affordable than high-end hotels. They can still provide a modicum of luxury and good experience. Choose wisely, and you could be living it up for much less than you imagined in your very own (for a while) –pretty Parisian pad.
Have Fun in a Hostel
If you don’t care about luxury accommodation and you’re happy to share, you can book hostel dorm rooms in Paris for as little as €15 with private rooms costing just €50.
A lot of people don’t like the idea of staying in a communal hostel with lots of other people, but you can meet some fascinating folks and have some great times when you choose this option.
If you love to drink and party, you’ll be pleased to know that the cost of beer in the average hostel bar is around €2, which is much more affordable than the average across the city.
Don’t Visit During Fashion Week
During Paris’ bi-annual fashion weeks, all the world’s biggest and best fashionistas descend upon the city and. They do they take over all of the hotels and restaurants that you might want to visit. Because of this, many of the local businesses think that they can make a quick buck by increasing their prices. Well, just implementing the law of supply and demand.
If you choose another time to visit, you won’t run the risk of being ripped off. You won’t have to wade through crowds to get where you’re going. You’ll also avoid a visit from the green-eyed monster too! Who’s that? It’s up for you to find out!
See the Louvre for Free
The Louvre is one of the best attractions in Paris, so you won’t want to miss out on a visit to the impressive museum while you’re there –and you won’t have to.
If you happen to be in Paris on the first Sunday of the month, you will be able to enter the attraction completely free of charge. Many of the city’s other museums will also be open to the public for free too!
Pay Less for the Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay is another great Parisian museum. Although, you won’t be able to get into this one for free. But, if you visit after 4.30 pm or after 6 pm on Thursdays, you’ll see a reduction in your ticket price for a few euros – euros that you can spend on seeing some of the more expensive attractions in the city.
Purchase a Museum Pass
A final way that you can save money in the cost of Paris museum entry is with a Paris Museum Pass. This pass will get you entry into some the most famous museums and attractions either for free or at a discounted price. Plus, you can even skip the queues for more convenient sightseeing!
Prices start at €42 for a couple of days, which is perfect if you’re looking to have a cheap weekend city break.
Use Public Transport
Taxis in Paris aren’t exactly cheap, so if you are looking to save money, you should think about taking public transport.
The buses and trains of Paris are extremely reliable and very affordable, so take them instead and, if you want to see those savings mount up, always buy bus and metro tickets in bulk to save a few more euros.
Alternatively, you could always take the Vélib, which is Paris’ bicycle-share program.
There are more than 20,000 bikes available for hire at just €1.70 a day or €8 per week, which makes it by far the cheapest way to get around if you’re going too far to walk.
See the Free Sights
One of the best things about Paris, when you’re traveling on a budget, is the sheer number of free sights and attractions available.
The Arc de Triomphe, Maison de Victor Hugo, and Jardin du Luxembourg are all wonderful attractions that you can easily spend the bulk of your time in Paris visiting.
Have a Set Lunch
Paris is home to a lot of high-class restaurants and cafes serving up some of the most fantastic foods in the world. But if you don’t have much money to spend, then it’ll be a little hard to taste those beautiful dishes.
The good news is, if you choose to go out for a set lunch menu rather than an evening meal, prices are considerably less high, and you will be able to afford to treat yourself.
If you try to keep costs down by ordering water, make sure to specify that you want tap water or you might end up having to pay for some rather expensive bottled H2O!
If fine dining and fancy food aren’t your things, you can eat cheaply at one of the city’s outdoor markets, where you can get delicious bread, meats, cheeses and wine at a fraction of the price you’d pay for in a restaurant.
Often, the food is fresher too, and eating outdoors in the hustle and bustle of city life is a fun way to spend an afternoon if you love people watching and soaking up the atmosphere.
Mingle With Other People
It’s fair to say that Paris is home to some of the most beautiful, enigmatic and chic people on the planet.
There are a fair few eccentrics to spot too. So, if you are ever in need of a free activity to keep you occupied in the city, head down the Champs-Elysees, find a comfy place to sit and watch the native Parisians go about their businesses.
I promise you that you will be entertained and enthralled by their antics as they pass.
Take in a Free Festival
In the summer months, Paris transforms itself into a buzzing festival city, and the best thing is many of the best events are completely free!
Highlights include the Cinéma en Plein Air festival, where you can watch great movies outdoors and the Paris Jazz Festival which hosts some of the jazz’s brightest stars each summer.
Stick to Window Shopping
Paris is a pretty expensive place to shop, so it is unlikely you will find any bargains there.
The shops there are fantastic, though, so even if you know you can’t buy very much, it’s still worth spending an hour or two to window shop and see how the beautiful designs out there.
Anyway, you should be saving your money for experiences, not stuff that you’ll soon grow bored! But, if you have the budget and wants to get that legendary item as your souvenir, then why not?
Paris is an expensive place and traveling there when you’re on a tight budget isn’t exactly easy, especially right now, but there are budget options available, and by making a few sacrifices and rethinking your itinerary a bit, you can have a fabulous time in Paris without breaking the bank.
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