Top tips for visiting Paris on a budget

Getting around, choosing accommodation, visiting the main attractions and more

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  • 25 November 2021
  • • 6 min read

Travelling abroad can be very daunting when you think about it. The first thought to cross anyone’s mind is how expensive it would be to even step anywhere outside of your country. Especially when it comes to popular European destinations like the City of Love, Paris. Have you been thinking about a trip to Paris but worried it might be expensive? Well, buckle yourself up, because today, I will give you FIVE tips on how to visit Paris on a budget. As world-renowned British actress, Audrey Hepburn, once said: “Paris is always a good idea”. And I couldn’t agree more. 

Before we jump into the details, I would like to answer the most frequently asked question: How many days should I spend in Paris? I would recommend 3 full days. This duration is more than enough. 

Now, let’s get started with the details on saving!

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1. Getting to Paris by plane

Travelling from the USA to Paris

If you really want to save money on flights, try travelling during the off-season. This is when the tourist numbers are extremely low and you can save quite a lot on long international flights. 

Paris’ off-season months are between November and February when it’s quite a bit colder but all the more beautiful for it. 

For example, if I were to fly from Chicago to Paris in January, round-trip tickets are half the price of what it would cost me in July.

Travelling from Europe to Paris

Look for different airport options

Flying into Paris’ main airport Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is much more expensive than flying into its other airports such as Beauvais (BVA) or Orly (ORY). Often, the price is double! While the train ride into the city will be a little longer, it’s usually worth the extra saving once you get there.

2. Getting around

Ride-sharing apps and taxis can get very expensive, and this goes for anywhere, not just Paris or any city abroad. This is a big category to really save some money. 

My favourite way to get around Paris is to purchase a Paris Visite pass. Since I recommended 3 full days in Paris, I would purchase a 3-day zone 1-5 pass for only 53.75 Euros. It gives you unlimited rides on the whole public transportation network for your whole long weekend trip. This includes Buses, Metros, Trams, RER and SNCF Transilien networks.

How do you know what zones to purchase? 

Zone 1-5 would work the best for you as this is where almost all of Paris’ main attractions can be found. It also includes both Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports when taxi fare alone from Paris airport to the city centre is 50-60 Euros. 

Where can you purchase the Visite pass? 

You can purchase Paris Visite travel passes at any of the ticket desks and automatic vending machines in all RATP stations.

3. Accommodation

Accommodation is also a big category where you can save money in Paris. There are two options: Stay in the city centre and book hostels or stay a little outside of the city centre where you can find cheap hotels.

As someone that loves to stay close to all the happening things in the city, I would highly recommend staying in the city centre and booking a hostel. 

For example, I could stay at St. Christopher’s Inn Gare du Nord for 26.90 Euros a night and the best thing is that breakfast is included! This way, one does not have to worry about spending money on breakfast. Another great way to save money. 

4. Attractions

When I’m visiting a new place I want to do everything, but obviously, that can’t be budget-friendly because tickets to famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Louvre can be fairly expensive.

That being said, it doesn’t mean you have to skip these attractions. Below are a few ways you can visit the top attractions in Paris on a budget:

Eiffel Tower

  • Ticket Price: 26.10 Euros to the Top

  • The queues are LONG to purchase tickets. My recommendation would be to buy them online. Another great feature The Eiffel Tower website has is the waiting time tracker. Check that before you go!

  • Additionally, if you can take the stairs up to the first floor, you could save up to 6.20 Euros.

  • Lastly, if you are more than happy to see the Eiffel Tower while sitting down at the Champ de Mars right below it, that’s FREE! Plus, there’s always a great atmosphere.

Arc de Triomphe

  • Ticket Price: 13 Euros 

  • If you are under 18 years of age, entry to the Arc de Triomphe is FREE

  • If you are between the ages of 18-25 and are a European Union resident and long term non-European French Resident, it’s FREE

  • On the first Sunday of each month, the Champs Elysees goes car-free when it’s usually jam-packed with drivers, so the view up the road to the Arc de Triomphe is even more special.


  • Ticket Price: 17 Euros (Online) On-Site: 15 Euros

  • If you are under 18 years of, its FREE

  • If you are between the ages of 18-25 and are a European Union resident and long term non-European French Resident, it’s FREE

  • On Friday evenings, if you’re under 26, regardless of your nationality, it’s FREE. Just have some form of an ID to prove your age. 

  • Le Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. 

5. Food

Now, we are onto my favourite part: FOOD! When you’re in Paris or any city abroad, you really have to try what the locals eat. It’s one of the best ways to be very smart with your money when it comes to food. 

Here are a few simple ways you can save money on food in Paris:

  • Book accommodation with breakfast included 

  • Take a mid-day break from sightseeing for some lunch in one of Paris’ Open Markets or food trucks. 

  • Eat crepes from the street vendors 

  • Try these for French cuisine

My normal day in Paris for food would look like this:

Breakfast: FREE (Included in hostel stay)

Lunch: Heavy lunch so 10-15 Euros for a food truck burger and fries with a shake.

Dinner: Light dinner so 5-10 Euros for Crepes or a sandwich from a street vendor. 

You don’t need to be spending more than 15-20 Euros on food in a day.

Now that I’ve given you my FIVE big tips on how to save during your trip to Paris, what are you waiting for? Go and book your flight to the City of Love and experience its beauty for yourself. 

If you want a full itinerary for Paris, check out my Your Ultimate Guide to Paris and please reach out if you have any additional questions! I would love to help you plan your trip to Paris on a budget. 

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