Great tips for visiting Paris on a budget. How To Make More Memories While Spending Less Money.
Like many new travelers, I had a perturbed feeling about my maiden trip to Paris. The sole reason that evoked this feeling was the impression of the city being too costly for most travelers. But, one of my friends who visited the city before me, put my fears to rest. Booking tickets with British Airways was a piece of cake, all I did was to contact their customer support team and voila I was through the booking process. So now, allow me to share some important tips that will surely come handy when you travel to Paris:
Choose public transport from Charles de Gaulle Airport– You can save money when you arrive in the city by using the public transportation. Here are two great options available to you:
⦁ You can choose RER B (regional train) – This will cost you €9.50 and it will only take a maximum of 50 minutes, it will depend on the destination you are traveling to. When you reach the city, you can take the metro to reach the actual destination you want to reach.
⦁ RoissyBus will cost you €10 (per person) and it takes a maximum of 60 minutes. Traveling from RER bus should be your first preference, entirely depending on your destination, as it takes you directly to your destination and you don’t have to face the hassle of changing a local metro.
Avoid taking taxis – The best thing about Paris is that it has a planned subway system, you can travel anywhere comfortably and above all, it saves your precious time as it avoid the traffic jams. We recommend that you don’t waste your money on taxis.
Buy metro/bus tickets in bulk – Both the cost of metro and bus tickets are the same €1.80. The best way is to purchase a ‘carnet’ which includes a pack of 10 tickets that it will cost you €14.10. You get to save and always have a ticket handy to duck into a Metro station.
Choose the Velib – You will surely like the large-scale public bicycle sharing system that the city has. This bike-sharing program boasts of more than 23,000 bikes at over 1,800 locations located across the city. Joining is quite easy as for one day pass you have to shell out €1.70 and it is €8 for one-week.
Staying at hostels – Since the hotels are quite expensive choosing to stay at a hostel can be a good decision. You may be surprised at the sophistication of some of the hostels in Paris. The price at dorm rooms starts at €15 and if you want to go for a private room in some hostels, you should expect to pay near €50. For another alternative check out accommodation on AirBnB.
Couchsurf – You can sleep for free after a long tiring day of sightseeing. Yes, you heard that right and it is possible with couch surf that helps you build a connection with the locals. They are the ones who will offer you a place to stay and moreover, they will also guide all those places, in the city, which are worth exploring.
Explore Free Sights – There interesting places that are totally free to visit including museums like Maison de Victor Hugo, Musée d’Art Moderne, and Maison de Balzac. Make sure you have not missed the beautifully built churches and parks like the Jardin du Luxembourg. The city offers so many tourist attractions for which you don’t have to pay. Paris Tourism has a huge list of things to do for free in Paris. Here are a few of my recommendations:
Visit The Louvre for free – On the first Sunday of every month (from October to March) entrance to the Louvre museum is free for the visitors, but the entrance lines can be very long. If you really want to save time in standing in long ticket queues, all you need is to just enter the Carrousel du Louvre entrance and you will straightway head to the ticket counter. The best way is to have a Paris Museum Pass in order to skip standing in the long queues.
Save at the Musée d’Orsay – If you visit the museum after 4:30 p.m. you will just have to pay €8.50. The entry to the museum on the first Sunday of the month is free.
If you are a student from one of 28 EU countries, and under the age of 26, most Paris museums are free of charge. Documentation will be required for entry.
Save by buying a Paris Museum Pass – There are so many attractions and museums that are worth exploring in Paris and the ticket prices are on a higher side. This is where the Paris Museum Pass will come handy. The pass will get you discounted admission to more than 40 museums across the city and moreover you don’t have to stand in long entry ticket lines, which is perhaps it’s most valuable feature. Tickets are available for two day, four day and six day admissions.
Free Walking Tours – You can choose to take the services of various tour companies for walking tours, which is one of the best ways to explore various central sights or Paris neighborhoods. I suggest the free New Europe Walking Tours. Paris Greeters is another opportunity where the locals meet you and take you on a free tour – you will need to contact them about two weeks before your visit to be matched with a Greeter Guide.
Free Cemeteries – You can visit the cemeteries of the rich and famous such as artists, philosophers, intellectuals, entertainers and even a rock star, at Cimetiere Pere-Lachaise and Cimitière du Montparnasse. You don’t have to pay anything to visit the cemeteries of legends like Georges Bizet, Jim Morrison, Isadora Duncan, and Sarah Bernhardt.
Free Water – If you are at a restaurant, you should ask for tap water. You will be offered bottled water and will be charged for it. Make sure you insist for tap water as it is safe to drink and moreover you don’t have to pay for the tap water.
Drink at hostel bars – If you have decided to stay at a hostel, you can enjoy drinking at their bars. Here, you get to enjoy amazing happy hours which is great to enjoy a beer for €2. Trust me, it’s a great place to start your night out experience without disturbing your budget.
Set Menus for lunch and dinner – Eating out in Paris is a great experience especially and you should look for the prix fixe menu. These meals normally include a set menu with two or three courses. Most restaurants offer a set menu and it will cost you between €10 and €20. Look for the chalk board at the restaurant entrance featuring the Prix Fixe Menu of the day. The food is yummy and it is quite affordable as well.
Summer Festivals – Probably summer is the best season to visit Paris. I say this because almost every week you have the privilege of attending the Paris Jazz Festival, which continues over 8 weekends. Performances usually take place during the evening. At Cinéma en Plein Air in Parc de La Villette in northeast Paris you can enjoy outdoor film screenings, (or at times inside the Grande Halle for security reasons).
Grocery stores – The best way to eat cheap is to shop at the various grocery shops and outdoor markets. You will easily find all the ingredients that you need for the basic food and for the prepared meals. If you are looking for wine, you can purchase it in grocery stores. Picnicking in Paris parks or along the river Seine is a favored activity of Parisians and travellers alike.
There is no denying the fact that Paris can be an expensive city for travelers wanting to explore this beautiful city. But, on the positive side, every leading city has budget options and all you need is to do is make small adjustments to make big savings that will surely help in making Paris a fun & memorable place to visit.
About The Author: Emma Brown is a writer by profession. She has a knack for coming up with novel ideas. She currently writes for followthesteps. She contributes ideas for latest technology and many more. She has also worked for scores of magazines, writing exciting content on various topics.