Everyone should visit the City of Lights at least once. There’s so much to do and see, from the amazing food scene to the fascinating history and high fashion,
Paris, like many capital cities, isn’t the most affordable. The top restaurants and the museum entrance fees will put a huge dent in your pocket.
This doesn’t mean that Paris should be taken off your bucket list. If you are willing to modify your itinerary, it is possible to visit Paris on a budget.
- 1 Check out the free attractions
- 2 The Eiffel Tower can be climbed
- 3 Get Cheap Train Tickets
- 4 Use the Paris Transport Card
- 5 Paris Museums Visit on a Budget
- 6 How to Eat Paris on a Shoestring Budget
- 7 Register for Free Walking Tours
- 8 Rent a bicycle
- 9 Paris Off Season
- 10 Rent an apartment
Check out the free attractions
Paris offers many free attractions. If you are okay with looking at the buildings from the outside, you can see the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame as well as the Arc de Triomphe and Louvre.
Spend an afternoon exploring Montmartre’s bohemian streets, enjoying 360-degree views of Paris from the Printemps Rooftop Café and Terrace, and discovering the street art at Canal StMartin. It’s possible to skip the tourist attractions and see a more authentic Paris, despite their reputation of being expensive.
The Eiffel Tower can be climbed
You don’t have to take the elevator up to the Eiffel Tower. Instead, you can pack walking shoes and walk the steps up to the top. Either go to the first floor, then take the elevator up to the top and return to your place at the top for EUR19.40 or climb to the second for EUR10.20
Get Cheap Train Tickets
A train ride to Paris is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Paris. You can plan a side trip in the Provence and Bordeaux regions by booking tickets at a very affordable price.
Use the Paris Transport Card
Paris Transport Card allows you to travel for very little. You can travel unlimited on Paris’s metro, tramway, bus, RER, and other networks.
Prices start at EUR13.20 and you have the option of purchasing 1,2,3, or 5-day passes.
Check the zones on your pass! Zones 1-3 refer to the city center and surrounding suburbs, while Zones 1-5 covers further afield destinations such as Versailles Palace and airports.
The Louvre Museum
Paris Museums Visit on a Budget
You might be a museum enthusiast like me and plan your Paris trip so that it coincides with the first Sunday in each month. All museums in Paris will be open to you for free!
The Paris Museum Pass is a great way to save money if you have rigid travel plans. You can purchase a 2-day pass for EUR48.00 that gives you access to more than 60 museums.
Take a list of the museums you would like to visit in Paris and add up the entrance fees. Then, decide if the pass is worth it.
The Louvre is the best museum in Paris. To get the best out of my ticket, I spent the whole day touring different art galleries. This saved me a lot of money.
How to Eat Paris on a Shoestring Budget
Paris is a great place to picnic! For a few Euros, you can get bread, cheese, wine, and then enjoy your meal on the grass in front of the Eiffel Tour.
There are many ways to eat cheaply in the city, such as by visiting the markets or buying a crepe on the sidewalk.
Avoid eating at the main tourist attractions to save money on Parisian food. Sticking to the side streets and dining with locals will get you cheaper restaurants.
Register for Free Walking Tours
Walking tours are a great way for locals to learn about the city and see the main sights. Paris Greeters is my favorite walking tour of the city.
It’s completely free and the tour guides can customize your walk (there is no set itinerary). This makes it an unique way to explore the city.
Context Travel offers excellent walking tours of Paris for those who want to go deeper or know where they’ll be going.
Rent a bicycle
Paris is a bike-friendly city and renting a bicycle is a great way to discover the city. Even though short rides last up to 30 minutes are free, renting a bicycle for as long as two hours is affordable.
Bird electric scooters can be rented in Paris. To rent an electric scooter in Paris, download the app and link it with your credit card.
Both will allow you to explore the city at your own pace, and without having to rent a car.
Paris Off Season
Avoid the summer rush if you are traveling to Paris on an affordable budget. Paris flights are costly and hotels have higher rates. There will also be large crowds at top attractions.
Plan your Paris trip between spring and autumn, or during the winter months. It will be easier to find cheap flights, and hotels will likely lower their rates to compensate for the seasonal slump.
You will also find fewer people to photobomb your photos!
Rent an apartment
Renting a VRBO flat or apartment in Paris can help you save money. You can save tons of money by renting a VRBO apartment or flat that you can cook at home. Plus, you can share the rental costs with your friends.
You can choose where you would like to stay in Paris. You can book an apartment farther from the city and save money. With your transport card you can hop on the metro to get to all the major attractions.