The city of love is one of the most visited cities in the world and one can see why! It’s amazing architecture and iconic sites make this city one for the ages. It has been a bucket list place to visit for decades and romanticized in numerous movies. However, to realize this dream be prepared to pay because Paris is one of the most expensive cities in Europe. That’s okay because after the first time seeing the Eiffle Tower and getting lost in the streets of the city I found out why its know as the city of love.
Staying in Paris is not cheap but there are ways you can save money such as staying in a dorm room in a hostel.
Hostel- Staying in a dorm hostel will cost you between €20-€40 Euro per night but for a decent hostel you could pay around €30 per night. If you want a little more privacy than dorm style and want to opt for a private room expect to pay between €50-€100 Euro. If privacy is important but budget constraints do not allow for privates/hotels try and book a hostel that has POD style dormitories or curtains on each bed.
Hotel- Anything below €100 is going to be very cheap and most likely wont have A/C. Expect to pay €120-€200 a night for a decent room with A/C. If you have a large budget and want to spend more then the quality of rooms will match your budget.
Apartment rentals- If you have a group of people renting an apartment might be a good option for you. I would use AirBnB because they have a good amount of selections all over the city and you can expect to for an average decent apartment €60-€120 and up for a night.
Getting around the city is very easy once you get know how the system works. I would take a few minutes to orient yourself with the subway system layout when you arrive. This will save you time later. However, Paris is a very walkable city and this will save you a lot of money if you are willing to walk everywhere.
Airport- Getting to and from CDG is fairly easy. There are a few options:
RER (train) ticket from CDG airport into the city: €9.75
Bus from CDG airport into the city: €10.50
Taxi from CDG airport into the city: €40-€70
Subway- The subway system is very thorough and convenient. Expect to pay €1.70 per single one way ticket or you can buy a pack of ten for €13.70. You can also buy a day pass for €6.80. I found that I spent most of my time using this mode of transportation.
Bus- The bus uses the same tickets as the subway system so you do not have to buy different tickets for each mode of transportation. The bus system is efficient and goes places the subway system may not.
Bicycle- Paris has an amazing bike sharing program that allows you to rent bikes for thirty minute journeys for €1.70 per trip.
Taxi- They are plentiful but be prepared to pay as they can be expensive. Expect to pay €5 to start plus €2 per mile.
Food & Drink
Paris is one of the true culinary capitals of the world and while dining here the sky is the limit. There is room to eat for all budgets in this city. Be sure to try a cheese sampler with a glass of wine!
Breakfast- Plenty of hostels offer free breakfast but if you opt to go out for breakfast it shouldn’t cost you too much. Expect to pay around €1-€2 per pastry and around €2 for a cup of coffee at a cafe.
Lunch- If you are on a tight budget you can buy sandwich makings at a local deli for a few euros. If you are a looking for take away food like kebabs and such expect to pay around €5. If you are looking to sit and eat expect to pay around €10-€15 for a cheap meal.
Dinner- If you are on a tight budget just eat from a local deli for a few euro. If you are looking for a full dinner at a restaurant look for a fixed price meal (Prix fixe) you can find a decent meal for around €15.
Drink- Expect to pay around €5-€7 for a pint of beer. If you are looking for wine you can pick up a bottle for as little as €5.
Things to see & Do
Eiffel Tower- Constructed in 1889 the Eiffel Tower has become a global cultural icon. Located along the Seine River this is a must see while in the city. €17 for Adults.
Champ de Mars- Located in front of the Eiffel Tower this lush park offers a perfect vantage point to take it in. Be sure to bring a blanket and bottle of wine to watch the Eiffel Tower light show after 2100. FREE
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris- This cathedral is a staple of the city and always packed with tourists but well worth the hassle. Make sure you go early to avoid the long lines. FREE
Louvre Museum- This world class museum houses priceless collections from around the world but none more famous than the Mona Lisa. €15 for Adults and FREE first Sunday of each month.
Musée d’Orsay- This world class museum is overshadowed by the Louvre but should not be missed. This former railway station house an amazing collection of 19th & 20th century European art. €12 for Adults.
Arc de Triomphe- This iconic structure is a must see and easily accessible but just make sure you watch out for traffic! It was built to commemorate Napoleon’s victories and is positioned in the middle of a round about as a center piece of the city. Be sure to make it to the top to see the city from its observation deck. €12 for Adults.
Catacombs of Paris- This underground crypt is quite astounding and is lined with millions of skeletons. The line to get in wraps around a small park that has plenty street performers to keep you entertained. €16 for Adults.
Moulin Rouge- This iconic cabaret founded in 1889 has become a staple of the city. Beware that there is nudity. Tickets start at €87 per person.
Rue de la Huchette- Across the Seine River and a block over is this fun and entertaining street. It is full of street artists, bars and restaurants that will keep you entertained all night. Be sure to come here for afternoon lunch or dinner for great prices. FREE
Jardin des Plantes- This is the main botanical garden of Paris and sits on 28 hectares of land along the left bank of the Seine River. €14 for Adults.
Place de la Concorde- This is the largest of the major public squares in Paris and covers over 8 hectares. It can be found in the 8th arrondissement situated between Tuileries and the Champs-Elysées. FREE
Champs-Elysées- This grand street runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. It has been used as a model for cities around the world and you might notice Berlin has one similar FREE
Parc des Buttes Chaumont- This public park is located in the 19th arrondissement in the northeastern quarter of Paris. Explore this gorgeous park and enjoy some snacks from one of the vendors while people watching. The grounds have amazing views and hidden paths throughout so go explore! FREE
Versailles- This famous palace complex was home to the kings of France with many amazing sights. This makes a great day trip from the city and can be reached by train from the city. €20 for Adults.
Sainte-Chapelle- This amazing church was built in seven years (pretty impressive for its time) and it was intended to house precious Christian relics that included Christ’s crown of thorns. €10 for Adults.