It’s no secret to my friends and family that I LOVE Paris. I’ve been three times and I plan on going many more times (it’s a potential honeymoon destination for us!). Every time I’ve gone, I’ve done it on a budget and you can too! People think Paris is out of the question because it’s luxurious and fancy. You say ‘”Paris” and people think “expensive”. Sure, you can go and spend a ridiculous amount of money but you don’t have to! You can absolutely go to Paris on a smaller budget and I’ll tell you how.
1. Flights are cheap right now
If you can make it work in the next year, now is the time to travel to Paris. Flights have consistently been under $500 ROUND TRIP! This is so unheard of. Being flexible with your dates really helps here because sometimes a week or even a few days can make a difference of a few hundred bucks! We JUST booked our trip for January and paid $700 for BOTH of us!
Cost – $350-550
2. Book on a Tuesday, Travel on a Wednesday
This is seriously important part of booking flights. I have honestly checked for flights on a Tuesday and it was $350 and then checked the next day and it was $600. ALWAYS search for your flights on a Tuesday and if you can book, do it! It most likely won’t be cheaper. The only time this isn’t true is if you’re searching very far out, or very last minute. That being said, try to fly on a Wednesday. It’s much cheaper to fly in the middle of the week is usually always cheaper than flying on a weekend.
3. Take advantage of your age
Sounds weird? It’s not. People under 26 get into ALL museums for free! If you’re going and you’re under 26, then don’t bother buying any sort of museum pass. You’ll be able to get in for free!
Cost – FREE!
4. Get the museum pass
If you’re over 26, the museum pass is your best bet. You can get it at Paris Pass.com. It’s nice because you can choose how many days you need, you can skip most lines with it, and it will include train tickets too. Then you’ll be able to get into almost any attraction Paris has to offer.
On a SUPER TIGHT budget? Skip the Paris pass and pick two attractions you want to see and pay for those. I recommend the Louvre and a Seine River Tour. Most other things you can see without paying (like the Eiffel Tower…You can’t go up it without paying but you can see it and enjoy its beauty from the ground.) If you really want to save money, this is the best way to go. Instead of waiting in lines and seeing all the super tourist-y museums, check out some more under the radar attractions and just peruse Paris like a local!
Cost – $50-$219 (6 day pass)
5. Stay in an AirBNB
This is KEY. Hotels in Paris are so expensive and super small! The size thing doesn’t bother me, but the price does. There are SOOO many AirBNB’s for under $100 a night. I like to use the map function on their website so that I can see exactly what neighborhood I’ll be staying in. I usually try and get a place near the Eiffel Tower (super central) or The Latin Quarter (popular, gorgeous neighborhood).
Cost - $555 for 7 nights (split if staying with other people)
6. Eat off the beaten path
Food in Paris can be very pricey, especially if you eat on the main streets. Take a little extra time and find places that are more unknown and you’ll definitely save money. It’s also helpful to find a market and take some fresh fruit and other things back to your apartment. You can eat breakfast at home and save by doing that!
Cost - budget about $400 for food if staying for 6 days
7. Avoid all the souvenirs
I know we all want to buy souvenirs, but most are honestly cheaply made and expensive to buy. Instead, budget for delicious food (Macarons! Chocolates! Wine!) and 1 or 2 nicer souvenirs, like a painting from the local artists who sell their work on the streets.
Cost - budget about $40 for souvenirs
For a 6 day trip to Paris, you can go for as low as $1200. That’s SERIOUSLY cheap to go to a place like Paris for 6 full days! You might be able to get it cheaper by going in Winter, budgeting less for food, and finding an even cheaper Air BNB.
Don’t think Paris is out of the question for you! It’s totally doable and you will still see EVERYTHING you want to see, I promise!