Yes, a trip to Paris on a budget is possible. Here’s how.

Yes, a trip to Paris on a budget is possible. Here’s how.
Yes, a trip to Paris on a budget is possible. Here’s how.

The first time I visited Paris was for my 21st birthday, where we slept in a 20-bed dorm, drank 3-euro wine and ate cheap pastries for every meal.

While it was great for three young Aussies on a Eurotrip, perhaps this kind of budget holiday isn’t for everyone.

Thankfully, there are ways to explore the City of Lights without spending all your money, in ways that aren’t quite as extreme as what we did.

In the lead-up to the Olympic Games in Paris, 9Travel has rounded up some of the best tips to make a trip to the French capital as wallet-friendly as possible.

READ MORE: What you must not pack in your checked baggage when flying

A trip to Paris doesn’t have to break the bank. (Getty)

Scope out the free activities

There is so much to do in Paris, and a lot of tourist attractions are actually free to check out.

Skip the Eiffel Tower and head up to Montmartre for the best views of the city just outside Sacré-Cœur without having to fork out a cent.

Free museums include the Musée d’Art Moderne, Maison de Balzac, and Maison de Victor Hugo. All parks and gardens are free, and also make a great spot for a low-cost supermarket picnic.

Plus, if you’re visiting the city on the first Sunday of the month between October and March, nearly all the major museums have free entry. The Louvre is also free on Friday evenings for anyone under 26.

If there are certain sights you really want to see, book your tickets online in advance to save some money – and in some instances, to skip the line.

READ MORE: The things you need to know before you visit Venice

Stay near the Metro

The Paris Metro is so easy to navigate, connects the whole city, and only costs about 2 Euros per ride. 

Skip the taxis or Ubers, and take the train. To make your life easier, look for a hotel that’s located near a Metro station, ideally one that’s serviced by multiple lines.

Recently, a 9Travel writer stayed at Crowne Plaza Republique, which was so perfectly located she was able to save hundreds on Ubers.

Paris, France - July 06, 2017: The charming restaurant Le Consulat on the Montmartre hill. Parisians and tourists enjoy food and drinks. Montmartre with traditional French cafes and art galleries is one of the most visited landmarks in Paris.
Look for restaurants that offer set lunch menus. (Getty)

Get public transport from the airport

Landing in a foreign country after a long-haul flight isn’t the easiest thing to do, so it’s understandable if you want to just collapse in a taxi to head to your hotel.

But if you take the RER (regional train) into the city centre, or the RoissyBus shuttle, you can save up to 50 Euros. 

Eat out for lunch, not dinner

If there’s a Parisian restaurant you have your eye on, have a look to see if they offer a prix fixe lunch menu. These are usually a set two- or three-course meal which is significantly cheaper than their dinner offerings. 

For more dining deals, check out the app La Fourchette, which offers discounts of up to 50 per cent off at more than 1,000 restaurants across Paris. 

Then shop at markets for other meals

Paris has heaps of food markets across the city on different days offering up a number of edible goodies, from fresh baguettes and meats to cheese and produce.

Stock up here then take your haul to one of the many green spaces or perch on the banks of the Seine for a delicious and low-cost dinner.

READ MORE: Six secret spots not to miss in Kyoto, Japan

Paris / France - May 18, 2018: Students hang out having lunch on the lawn at the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens, a popular and historic park in the Montparnasse neighborhood.
Paris is a perfect city for picnicking. (Getty)

Make your trip work for you

At the end of the day, you’re going to be spending quite a bit of money while you’re in Paris – you are on holiday after all! But there are certain ways you can spend savvily, by earning credit card points while you do so.

Look for a travel card that will allow you to accumulate points as you spend. American Express card members not only earn points with every purchase – which can go toward future holidays – but can also access deals on certain hotels and experiences. 

Many credit cards will also offer insurance on purchases you make, which is perfect if you’re buying any souvenirs to take home that are particularly breakable. 

Amex card holders also gain access to exclusive airport lounges around the world to add a touch of class to your Paris trip while also saving you money on airport food. 


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