The French capital is renowned for its high prices, but if you’re money savvy, you can easily spend your time in Paris on just €30 a day. There are plenty of ways to stretch that €30 way longer than you think, like making the most of free museum days, avoiding the tourist traps and buying wine from the supermarket instead of with dinner at a restaurant. Especially when you’re backpacking in Paris, you really don’t need to splash the cash on expensive sights and pricey meals! Check out our tips on how to do Paris with €30 a day.
Bare in mind that this plan doesn’t include your bed for the night. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, beds at St Christopher’s Inns hostels in Paris start at just €16.80.
FREE HOSTEL BREAKFAST
When in Paris, if someone mentions the words ‘free’ and ‘breakfast’ in the same sentence, you take that offer! If you book directly through the St Christopher’s Inns website, you’ll get a complimentary continental breakfast each morning of your stay. Plus it’s a great way to get talking to other backpackers before heading out for the day.
Check out St Christopher’s Inns at Paris Canal and Gare du Nord if you’re after a hostel that’s modern with a party vibe and super cosy beds
REFILL A BOTTLE OF WATER, €0.65
If you don’t have a reusable water bottle, buy a bottle from a supermarket in the morning for about 65 cents and refill it at the countless water fountains across the city.
THE METRO, WITH A CARNET ABOUT €4.50 PER DAY
Paris is way too large to try and get around on foot AND see everything you want to see. The metro is actually pretty affordable, you just need to plan and make sure you’re not taking extra unnecessary journeys. You can purchase a metro ‘carnet’, which is a pack of 10 tickets, for €14, which is a great way to go if you’re in the city for a few days. Even if you’re only in Paris for a weekend, each day this works out at about €4.50.
MAKE THE MOST OF FREE MUSEUMS IF YOU CAN
On the first Sunday of every month between October and March, a number of Paris’ museums open their doors to the public for free. This includes the likes of Musée National de l’Orangerie, Musée d’Orsay, Musée National Picasso and Le Louvre which also is free every Friday evening for under 26 year olds.
GET FREE VIEWS
Instead of paying to get views FROM the Eiffel Tower, don’t you want to get views OF the Eiffel Tower? For free? Head to Printemps Department Store or Galeries Lafayette where you can get stunning free Parisian views. From both of these points you’ll get a great view over the city including a silhouette of the Eiffel Tower - and that’s the best bit! You won’t get that by paying all that money to climb up the tower!
LUNCH FROM A BOULANGERIE, €1.50-3
Boulangeries are pretty much around every corner in Paris, and they’re amazing for picking up a quick, light lunch. Avoid the more tourist-targeted boulangeries and pop into one that’s more local. Often you can find huge slices of pizza for just €1.50! Otherwise, filled baguettes usually cost from about €3.80. That should fill you up until crêpe time later…
MAKE THE MOST OF PARIS’ FREE SIGHTS
Might sound obvious, but remember, most of the city’s main attractions are free to see, snap pictures of etc, it’s just that most of them sadly cost to go inside! The Notre Dame however is an exception. Pop your head in or step inside and explore for hours - it’s stunning and won’t cost you a penny.
Wander up to the Sacre Coeur for amazing city views, explore off-the-beaten-track Parisian streets, gaze at street art… The list goes on.
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CRÊPE BREAK, €3
Prices of crêpes vary around the city, but the ones from the takeaway crêpe stands you’ll find dotted around tend to be about €3 with a simple, sweet filling. You’re in Paris, so it’s got to be done!
FREE WALKING TOUR
Departing daily from Fountain St. Michel the FREE Sandemans walking tour covers many main attractions including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Arc du Triomphe and more. You can sign up for the tour at the St Christopher's hostel reception.
LOCAL DINNER, €12
For a real French bistro experience that won’t dent the wallet, La Petite Rose des Sables is a quaint little local place that serves up traditional beef bourguignon, roast chicken or roast pork for just €12 and it’s all authentic and delicious! This place is so popular that it gets busy pretty much daily, so expect to have to wait before you can sit down and tuck in.
If you’ve yet to experience a French crêpe or galette, these are a great, filling option for a super budget-friendly dinner. We recommend Crêperie Plougastel where savoury galettes cost around €8-9.
WINE UNDER THE EIFFEL TOWER, €2
Skip the pricey wine with dinner and head to a supermarket, buy a bottle and enjoy it under the twinkling Eiffel Tower lights on the Champ de Mars. Unless you’re a wine connoisseur, when you’re trying to stick to a budget you’re gonna go for the cheap stuff. This can be €2 at a local supermarket! However if you really want a decent bottle, even the €5 bottles are pretty good quality for the price.
SPEND THE REST ON DRINKS AT THE HOSTEL BAR
If you’ve stuck to what we’ve recommended here, you could have up to 6 extra euro to have fun with! Hostel bars are the best places to meet people and make new friends with fellow backpackers, and the prices are usually way more reasonable especially in more expensive cities like Paris. Belushi’s at St Christopher’s Canal and Gare du Nord has daily Happy Hours from 4-9pm with awesome deals on drinks and even 25% off big, juicy burgers for guests! End the night here and spend your leftover euro on a couple of drinks - your money will go much further than if you went to most of the other bars in the city!
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