Paris on a Budget, $590 for a Week

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in Countries, France | 0 comments

Summary: Everyone knows that Paris is quite an expensive city. But why should you miss such a great place just because of your budget? Nothing is impossible. One week in Paris for $590 including accommodation, food, public transportation and museums. Here are a few tips that will help you visit the French capital without spending all your money.

Paris

Sunset in Paris by Moyan_Brenn on Flickr

Accommodation in a room for up to two persons: From $270 to $400 per week

Accommodation is usually what costs the most. Still, you can find good deals by renting for a week instead of staying in hostels, which are not less than $50 on average. We suggest you check “petites annonces Paris” online (which refers to the classifieds section) and look for vacation rentals.
We don’t recommend that you stay in the suburban area just because the accommodation is cheaper, because you might pay the difference in transportation.
Of course, the best way to visit Paris is through Couchsurfing.

Boulevard Henri IV - Paris

Parisian building by pepsiline on Flickr

Food and drinks/pers: $20/day

This is what you will spend if you avoid expensive restaurants. You can eat very well in Paris buying your food in supermarkets and bakeries.
WiFi is not available everywhere, but you can always get online at McDonald’s. McDonald’s has proven time and again to be a soul saver with their free and reliable WiFi access.

Paris March 2009

Sweet shop in Paris by Herry Lawford on Flickr

Transportation: From $27 to $77

This is an expense you can’t avoid unless you want to visit Paris online, just staying in your room—which I’d assume you don’t want to do, right? So, the cheapest ticket is the weekly pass ($26), but that doesn’t include the weekends. In general, we found that the best deal is the day pass (Mobilis), which gives you the freedom to choose other transportation (for example, “the vélib” – bike – at $2/day) for other days without feeling that you have to use your weekly pass to recoup your cost. You can take both subway and buses with the Mobilis pass. Here are some different plans and prices that the RATP (Parisian subway company) offers:

• Paris +airports 5 days: $77
• Mobilis 1 day: $8.77 = $61.39/7 days
• Navigo 1 week (from Monday to Friday): $26.32

Metro Rush

Underground in Paris by Serge Meiki on Flickr

Visits to museums and monuments: From $20

There are a lot of monuments and museums in Paris, and it is really difficult to visit them all in one week—even with a substantial budget. The cheapest option is to simply see them from the outside without paying for the entrance, which is already awesome (and this is what we usually do). Here is some information about prices:

• Museum pass: From $ 52, valid for 2 days for visiting over 60 museums
• Average price per museum: From $9 to $24
• Le Louvre museum costs: $ 16
Note that many museums are free the first Sunday of each month.
We suggest that you choose the one you’re dying for and just take photos of the others from outside. Paris is a beautiful city, and just walking around is great.

Notre-Dame de Paris (France)

Notre Dame by Jean Pierre Dalbera on Flickr

Here are our favorite places:

Museums:

  • La Conciergerie used to be a jail, and is the place where Queen Marie-Antoinette spent her last days during the revolution.
  • Le Louvre museum is of course a must-see in Paris. It is a huge museum, so it is better to know in advance what you want to see to avoid walking too much for nothing.
  • Versailles Palace, which is not inside Paris, but is not too far. You won’t regret this visit if you like history. You will see the place where kings and queens used to live, and the furniture and articles that once belonged to them. The gardens around the palace are also amazing.
  • Les Catacombes is an underground ossuary museum located in the south of Paris, and is quite an unusual visit.
Palace of Versailles

Versailles palace by Sudharsan.Nrayanan on Flickr

Parks:

All parks in Paris are pleasant, but here is our selection:

  • Parc Monsouris located in the 14th arrondissement, métro Cité Universitaire.
  • Parc des Buttes Chaumont, métro Buttes Chaumont 19th arrondissement.
  • Le Jardin des Tuileries, métro Tuileries 1st arrondissement, between the Louvre museum and the Concorde Square (Place de la Concorde).
  • Le Jardin du Luxembourg, métro Luxembourg 6th arrondissement. One of the largest parks in Paris.
Paris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont by Vincent Desjardins on Flickr

Districts you shouldn’t miss:

  • Châtelet-Les Halles
  • A popular place for both locals and foreigners, in the very heart of Paris. Though this is an old district, there are some modern buildings such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, a huge library that you can visit, and the shopping mall Les Halles. Métro Châtelet-Les Halles.

  • Le Quartier Latin
  • The oldest district of Paris. A lot of students hang around because of the nearby Sorbonne university. It is lively 24 hours per day, and you will find a bunch of restaurants and cafes of all kinds, plus cinemas, libraries, and shops. Métro St Michel or Odéon 5th and 6th arrondissement.

  • Montmartre
  • Located in the 18th arrondissement, métro Abbesses, this place used to be a separate village from Paris, and is the district where all kinds of artists used to gather from all over Europe. It is always very crowded, as it is a very typical Parisian neighborhood. We recommend that you come at the end of the day to enjoy the view of Paris from the Sacre Cœur Basilica, and the very intense nightlife.

  • Le Trocadéro
  • This district has nothing special to offer in itself except an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. Métro Trocadéro.

Paris - Fontaine des Innocents - 25-05-2008 - 16h20

La Fontaine des Innocents Paris Les Halles by Panoramas on Flickr

Budget:

  • $350 average for accommodation
  • $140 average for food
  • $60 average for transportation
  • $40 average for visits
  • Total: $590 for a week
PARIS 189

Breakfast in Paris by Lovisa Jannson on Flickr

Advice:

  • Take good walking shoes and water. Like every big city, Paris is tiring, and you will walk a lot whatever you do.
  • Be careful with your money. Paris is not only a matter of dealing with one’s budget, but also a matter of keeping one’s money safe. There are a lot of skilled pickpockets, especially in the underground and crowded places. Also, be careful inside the museums, as there have been reports of pickpocketing in some museums. Only carry what you need. Be careful with con artists as well.

That’s it. Enjoy Paris!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *