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There are so many reasons to Paris. From the picturesque squares and quaint cafes to the elegant boulevards and impressive landmarks, it is a sophisticated and vibrant city.

Then, of course, you have the wine and the food and the unforgettable dining experiences. 

The problem is, all of those wonderful elements come at a price, and Paris has subsequently become one of the most expensive cities in the world for tourists and many locals. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still visit and fall in love with its charm whilst sticking to a budget. 

Below, we’ll share with you 7 ways you can see Paris on a budget, covering everything from how to get there, where to stay and how to explore the city without breaking the bank. Read on for all our top tips. 

7 Ways To See Paris On A Budget

Choose Your Travel Wisely

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Depending on where you are travelling from, there are several ways you can get to Paris.

You’ll have the option to travel by plane, train or car. But you need to think carefully about which will be the best option for you, ensuring you get the most for your money.

The best way to do this is to conduct some research and weigh up the different modes of transport and related costs as it could vary depending on where you’re coming from.

For most people, flying is likely to be the cheapest and quickest option, and there are some great ways you can find budget flights. You could use tools like Skyscanner, opt for budget airlines or fly at more unsociable times of the day or week to reduce the cost of your plane ticket. 

If you’re coming from nearby European cities, including London, there are also options like bus or train, and you can then factor in your level of comfort.

Just be aware that if you’re flying you also need to think about your luggage. The last thing you want to do is select a budget airline or awkward flight time just to save money, only to find out it’s going to cost you just as much in additional fees to take a bag with you. 

Go Out of Season

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Another way to save money on your entire experience, including travel, is to visit out of season. So as well as choosing off-peak flights or tickets, you can save more by dodging the busiest times of the year. 

As it is such a romantic destination, Paris is often busy around Valentine’s Day and Christmas can also be another busy time.

But by far the busiest months are the summer months, with June, July and August being the peak of the season. Therefore, to save money it’s best to go outside of these times or holidays if you can. 

Find Cheaper Accommodation

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While it’s a nice idea to stay in a fancy hotel in the centre of Paris, you will definitely end up paying for the pleasure. If you’re really hoping to save money on your visit, look for cheaper accommodation nearby. 

This might be hotels just outside the city centre, campsites (if you like to camp, that is) or hostels. You could even use apps like Trusted House Sitters or Mind My House, which allow you to petsit or housesit for locals in the city.

This way, you get free accommodation and you do them a favour too. This can be a really fun way to experience Paris on a budget, especially if you love dogs! 

Think About How You Get Around

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It can be tempting just to hop in a taxi and fly from place to place, but this is going to get expensive very quickly.

The cheapest option is going to be exploring the city on foot and this way you can see even more of the capital than you would from a car or bus. 

However, if a long day on your feet is not an option or not your preferred way to travel, the public transport links are also great. You can catch the bus or the metro, and if you buy a day or week pass, this can really save you money on getting around.

Cut Costs on Sightseeing

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During your time in the city, you’re going to want to see and experience as much as you can. The good news is, there are loads of free or low-cost attractions you can enjoy and more budget-friendly ways to see the sights.

Some of the best free things to do include:

  • Visiting Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris (it’s free to enter but a €5 donation is optional but recommended)
  • Entering Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
  • Strolling along the promenade in Parc Monceau
  • Stopping by Notre Dame cathedral
  • Wandering along the banks of the Seine
  • Marvelling at fine art at Petit Palais
  • Enjoying the Eiffel Tower from below (tickets to walk up will cost you around €18 if you did want to see the views) 
  • Taking in free but equally as beautiful views from the bandstand at Parc des Buttes Chaumont or from the Galeries Lafayette rooftop
  • Travelling through time at Musée Carnavalet

Be Smart About What You Eat and Drink

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There might be some restaurants that you absolutely have to try during your visit, but if you’re on a really tight budget, there are ways you can sample the local cuisine for much less. 

Instead of always sitting in cafes, why not grab a coffee and croissant to go? This saves you paying inflated prices and gratuity and you can either sit down in a nearby park on enjoy it as you walk.

You can also pick up some supplies from your local bakery or supermarket to make a picnic – providing the weather is right. 

Why not have a picnic at Parc du Champ de Mars or alongside Canal St-Martin? Alternatively, grab some street food for dinner and catch the Eiffel Tower light show from Parc du Champ de Mars. 

Enjoy Budget-Friendly Entertainment

Finally, depending on the time of year you visit, there are lots of free events you can enjoy. Be sure to look out for free concerts in local parks and churches, particularly in the summer. 

You could also catch free seasonal events in Parc de la Villette, for example, the Parc de la Villette open-air cinema, which screens films in July and August. There are also plenty of free festivals throughout the year, like Fête de la Musique.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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