*** This is a guest post by Janine from Bereise die Welt ***
Is it possible to save money in one of the most expensive cities in Europe? You would think: Never! But it actually works.
I have visited this romantic city three times and I can’t get enough. Paris is a city with many facets! Especially the quarter Montmartre drew my attention. Paris is definitely one of my favourite cities ever. I love the street musicians, the cosmopolitan flair and of course the wonderful historic architecture. In my blog post “Paris at Christmas time is a romantic sea of lights” I write about the pre-Christmas season. Paris offers loads of attractions, so that one visit is just not enough! There are so many things to do in Paris that it can quickly be stressful if you try to see and do all the things during one visit. Therefore you should focus your energy on one place/neighbourhood at a time. Trust me, Paris is worth several trips.
You will probably think: Several trips will blow up your wallet. Yes and no! Unfortunately it’s true that the French capital isn’t one of the cheapest cities. For a cappuccino and a croissant you can easily pay up to ten euros. One weekend can quickly cost a few hundred euros for restaurants and attractions, also for buying little things here or there. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be like this!
In this article you will find 10 tips for Paris on a budget so you have money for a second or third trip to this city!
1. Instead of hotels, because even budget hotels can almost cost 100 euros per night, rather use Airbnb. This does not necessarily mean that you will have to share a room: You can also rent a whole apartment and in best case you will have WiFi included as well. It´s possible to get a complete apartment of only 60 euros. It´s even better if you´re traveling with several people, then you can share the rent. This is how to live like a local!
2. Cheap stay or even for free: Another alternative are hostels or even CouchSurfing. Those who don´t mind to sleeping on a couch, could have a free accommodation via CouchSurfing. The advantage is that locals often have valuable insider tips for you.
3. How to get from A to B? Preferably by public transport. Cabs are too expensive! The best alternative is to buy a “carnet”. This includes ten tickets for the Metro and costs 12 euros. A single ticket costs 1.70 euro. This saves you no fewer than five Euros.
4. Cost-free places of interest: Amble along the Champs Elysee (during the winter a dream of lights) or take a look at the illuminated Eiffel Tower at night. This is also free: Jardin du Luxembourg (I highly recommend it in the summer), monuments such as the Arc the Triomphe, Musee dÁrt Moderne, Maison de Victor Hugo and most of the churches.
5. Free visit to the Louvre: Every 1st Sunday of the month from October until March and on 14th July (French national holiday) the entry is free. Young people up to 26 years (EU citizens), people with a journalist´s permit and disabled people with a companion generally have free admission.
6. Paris Museum Pass: With this pass you´re able to visit more than 60 museums and monuments in Paris without waiting time anytime and as often as you like. For two days the pass costs 39 euros and for four days 54 euros.
7. Free museums? Yes, there are! On the first Sunday of each month, most museums offer free admission. Of course, therefore they are crowded, but those who bring calmness and time and would like to spend a pure museum day, should take this advantage. You can find a selection of free museums here. There you will even find more free tours and exhibitions.
8. Eat out is an expensive business. I can only recommend you the lunch menu. At least that is much cheaper than the dinner menu. Or…. you do it like many Parisians do: Buy food in the supermarket or on the culinary market. Especially on warmer days you will see many people sitting at the Seine with a picnic basket, baguette, cheese, wine or even pizza.
9. Free drinks: Paris offers more than 200 self-service fountains for drinking free water or to refill your water bottle. The fountain in the Jardin de Reuilly in the 12th arrondissement for example offers still and sparkling water. Here you´ll find a map with all fountains.
10. Free WiFi: There are over 260 free hotspots in Paris. On this map you can see where the hotspots are and how you can log in. I can also recommend these free offline apps: “Visit Paris by Metro” (metro rides and attractions) for Android or iOS and the “Paris City Guide” (Guide, map) for Android or “Ulmon” for iOS.
Paris is an expensive city, but as in every other major city you can find cheap alternatives. I found ways to make the stay affordable in this overpriced metropolis. So it doesn´t have to end in an expensive fun ;).
Janine has been traveling for more than 12 years. She writes on her german travel blog, Bereise die Welt, about how you can manage to travel as much as possible with a 9-to-5 job. Besides many travel related articles, you’ll find tips to combine work with your travels and great weekend trips.