The city of light, the city of love, the city of Ratatouille—whatever you want to call it, it’s calling out to you. If you haven’t visited yet because your London rent is too high and your salary is too low, then that’s a mistake. Because there are lots of ways to save money if you’re planning a trip to Paris, no matter what debts you have or need for credit repairs. And it doesn’t involve eating only baguettes and nothing else (though you will enjoy that baguette, guaranteed, if you do choose to buy it at the local boulangerie).
For anyone who loves to travel but is struggling financially, visiting Paris can be as dazzling—but way less expensive—than a trip to Vegas or Tokyo. All you have to do is follow these easy budgeting tips:
1 Save on travel
Believe it or not, you can get to Paris for as little as 7 quid. That’s the price of a double G&T at Wetherspoons! How? By taking a bus, of course. It can be a bit of a trying journey, sure, but by booking a bus, you can save even more money on accommodations if it’s a night bus. And if you bring along drinks and friends, you’re sure to have a fun time. To compare bus fares, check out this site.
If travelling on coach isn’t for you, then you’ve still got plenty of other options. You can drive, of course, and go through the chunnel, or take your car on the ferry if you want to step out and take a look at the water. But because Paris is so close, it’s also easy to find cheap fair via rail on Eurostar—which can take a couple hours if you’re taking the fast train, as low as £29—or on a budget airline like RyanAir.
And once you’ve arrived in Paris, you’ll want to buy a ten-pack of metro tickets—that’s the best deal for a short trip.
2 Save on accommodation
Even though Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it’s actually quite easy to find accommodations deals. If you’re looking to stay in a hotel, it makes sense to book from this list of super cheap hotels under 80 euros a night, through a deals website like lastminute.com, or using the HotelTonight app.
To save even more money, you can stay at a hostel (check out HostelBookers.com), or split a hotel room with a friend. If you want to live like a local, you can also considering staying at an AirBnB, staying in any neighbourhood that suits you. You can even haggle with the host! For more info, check out this article on the 6 secret AirBnB tips that will save you money.
3 Spend less on eating out
Even if the French invented the Michelin star, it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on dining while you’re visiting. When it comes to breakfast and lunch, you’re sorted: any boulangerie will have a selection of croissants and pain au chocolats for breakfast, and as for lunch, they’ve got affordable paninis and quiches. A good wine costs an average of 5 euros, no matter what shop, so why not go to the Jardin des Tuileries for a picnic, or by the Seine?
When it comes to dinner, there are deals everywhere. As long as you’re not next to a tourist attraction like the Eiffel Tower, or in the pricey Montmartre neighborhood, there are plenty of beautiful places to eat that the locals love. Check out this list from TimeOut to learn more.
4 Save on the tourist attractions
If you’re a history buff, you can save money by going on a free walking tour. There are plenty of them in the city, but one to look out for is SANDEMANs New Europe Tours—take a look at their offerings here. Most churches are free to visit, too—even the Notre Dame. You might also consider investing into the Paris Passlib’, which can get you in for free to many popular attractions such as Versailles and countless museums, and you’ll even get unlimited access to public transport.
Paris itself, with all its beauty, is a giant outdoor museum. Which means that walking around for free, taking in the sights, is the best tourist attraction of all. To learn which neighborhoods are best to visit, check out this guide from World of Wanderlust.
A holiday in Paris is not only beautiful, but financially realistic for anyone looking to travel and save money at the same time. Next week or weekend, make your plans and head to the city of light. Whether you prefer to pack up golf irons or fancy dresses, there’s something in Paris for everyone, and at the right price.