Travelling to Paris for a week of blissful relaxation and sightseeing is bound to be one of the best ways to put a spring back in your step. Nowadays, finding fantastic deals on flights and Eurostar train rides is the norm, so your little getaway need not break the bank either. But what about when you get there? Are you likely to part with all your hard earned savings? Of course you are!
Between expensive hotels, meals, transport and entry tickets into museums, you will soon realize that even a short week-end away can cost you big time. But there are many ways to reduce the cost of a visit to Paris, without reducing the quality of your vacation. Follow our best ever guide to ‘doing’ Paris on a budget and you could easily be planning several weeks away in the City of Lights & Love.
Keep it Close
Some people choose to stay well away from the city centre, in the hope that they’ll be saving on accommodation costs. While this may be true some of some cities, in Paris it actually pays to stay nice and close to the attractions. Your best bet is to book an apartment near the Champs Elysees. Not only will you have the best of Paris right at your doorstep, but you’ll have infinitely more space, will reduce your travel time during the day, be close to the best fresh produce markets in town and staying close to the action also means that going out for an after self-catered-dinner stroll will be a hassle free and totally pleasant experience.
Train it all the way…
…starting right from the airport!
Paris is home to one of the most efficient public transport systems in Europe, and you’ll be well advised to take full advantage of it to save yourselves some serious cash. The Paris underground is so extensive, there’s really no corner of the city you can’t get to, including the airport. Speaking of which, the arrivals terminal at Charles de Gaulle has a great info desk, where you can purchase a multi-day pass for as little as €50. If this sounds expensive, keep in mind that riding just a few stops can cost €5, and on an average sightseeing day you’ll probably be taking up to five rides a day!
Train passes offer unlimited travel for the included days, making this by far the most convenient and enjoyable way to get around town.
Pick your Battles
A popular city like Paris offers innumerable ways to make one’s trip a memorable yet affordable one. When it comes down to it, knowing where you’re happy to compromise, and where your most fervent desires should be splurged upon, is the only way to make your trip an unforgettable experience.
We found that sitting in the park across from the Eiffel Tower, and enjoying a delicious self-packed picnic, was infinitely more enjoyable than joining the big crowds and paying the big bucks to climb it. To be honest, this amazing feat of engineering is beautiful to look at…not from!
We also think that less discerning museum goers should take advantage of free entry on the first Sunday of every month, and plan their trip accordingly. You may only be able to visit only two museums in one day, and have to contend with big crowds, but we’ve yet to come across a queue-less Louvre in over half a dozen visits anyway!
A Museum Pass is also a great way to save funds while museum hopping and this allows you to skip the crowds out front. There will still be plenty of people inside though, so do keep that in mind.
We like to believe that everyone has dreams of doing at least one major tourist thing in Paris; whether it’s spending an evening at the Moulin Rouge, doing a superlative evening dinner cruise down the Seine, climbing the Eiffel Tower or splurging in one of the city’s best restaurants.
Whatever that one thing is for you, we urge to do it! What you then do is compromise on the rest or plan to do them on following visits. Spread out your savings (and your love) when in Paris and you’ll have plenty of both left to plan your next visit.