Lena from Salut from Paris shares her cost of travel in Paris tips for those wanting to plan a trip to the beautiful city of lights. 

We love Paris and the amazing things to do in Paris so we are so happy to have Lena, an expat living in Paris, sharing her up-to-date cost of travel guide to help you budget your trip accurately.

The exchange rate at the time of publishing (January 2020): $1 USD = 0.90€ EUR = 76p GBP


Introduction to Paris

Paris is one of the most popular destinations world wide – be it for honeymoons, weekend trips or as a leg on a trip to Europe. .. and France’s capital is living up to the expectation. There are tons of things to do and see, and to taste and try, no matter what you’re in to, you surely find it in Paris!


Like many other things in Paris that you can buy with money, there is no limit when it comes to accommodation cost. Generally, the more central, as higher the prices.

A bed in a mixed 12 bed dorm starts at 30€ while a double room at the Hotel Ritz next to the Louvre goes with 1200€/night in the books.

But apart from these extremes, a double room in a mid-range hotel in a safe and central area will cost around 150€/night.

When picking one of the thousands of hotels in Paris, it’s best to keep in mind that there are no objectively unsafe areas within Paris and as every corner of Paris is very well connected by the local Metro, there is nothing really outside the centre.

I suggest to stay within the highway ring around Paris and if possible, avoid the north and north east of Paris – not by all means, but it’s just less nice.


Transport costs

The most convenient and cheapest way of getting around in Paris is clearly the Metro. The price of a one way Metro ticket is 1,90€ but there is also the option of buying day or week Metro passes.

The costs for those are varying between 7,50€ and 32,90€ and are depending on the validation lengths and if the pass is for central Paris or also for locations further out like airports, Disneyland Paris or Versailles.

Alternatively, there is always the option to take a taxi or an Uber, it might just take longer during day time due to traffic. From the airports, the prices into town are fix. From Charles de Gaulle airport in the north it costs between 50€ and 55€ and from Orly airport in the south between 30€ and 35€, depending if the destination is left or right banks.


Food and drink costs

Paris is food heaven and while it is possible to have a lunch menu in a Brasserie for 12€ or street food for less than 6€, there is actually no limit if you really want to spend money.

However, starting your day in a typical French way is ideal for budget travellers. An espresso (you need to order a café though) in a typical Parisian Café costs less than 1,50€ when taking it at the bar and a bit more if you want to enjoy it sitting down. As the Parisian breakfast is very basic, you are all set by ordering also a Croissant, that won’t be much more than the café. A fresh croissant from a bakery costs around 1,10€.

The cheapest way to eat in a sit-down restaurant is having a classic Parisian lunch in a brasserie. Brasseries are all those little bars and restaurants that are opening early in the morning for breakfast, they serve lunch and close somewhen in the late afternoon. Often they are equipped with a terrace and a counter where you can buy lottery tickets and cigarettes. They also have a lunch menu between 10€ and 15€ per person that comprises at least the main dish, plus a starter or dessert.

Having Dinner in Paris is tricky in terms of budget, as there is really no limit in how much you possibly could spend. However, including a starter or dessert accompanying your main dish and a bit of wine, you will pay between 30€ to 50€ in most restaurants per person, Michelin star restaurants excluded.

Eating and drinking out in Paris is clearly not the cheapest, but how much you will spend depends also heavily on where in Paris you decide you order your drink and food. For example, a pint of Lager on a terrace in the centre of Paris can easily cost 12€ while you pay only 5€ in many bars in less touristic areas like the 13th or 18th arrondissement.

If you are traveling on a budget or maybe just for the little appetite in between meals, you always can get a Crêpes with butter and sugar for 2,50€ or a baguette with ham and cheese from the bakery for 4€.


Activities and attractions

Paris has tons of activities to choose from – and most of them unfortunately aren’t free.
The most known sight in Paris is of course the Eiffel Tower and tickets for accessing the top floor cost 25,50€ However, if you are up for some exercise and happy with the already quite fabulous view from the 2nd floor, you can buy a ticket for already 10,50€ and use the stairs!
Very popular is as well is a visit to the Louvre. Apart from every first Saturday evening of the month, this one isn’t free neither. The general admission fee starts at 15€ but like most other French museums, the entrance is free for everyone visitor under 18 years.
Many visitors are doing a sightseeing tour when in Paris. A classic is a cruise on the river Seine and with 15€ is rather cheap compared to most bus tours. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, why not visit some of the more unusual things to do in Paris instead.

Extra costs

From our own travel experiences, prices of groceries in Paris are cheaper than in the USA or in New Zealand. 1,5l of Water costs for example around 0.60€ and a liter of milk 0.95€. But more interesting: a bottle of French quality wine starts around 5€.

Helpful resources

My name is Lena and I am the owner of I am originally from Germany, but love brought me to Paris more than 14 years ago… and here I still am and slowly but surely fell in love with this town!
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  1. Great post. How do I find Lena …I tried to find the website and it said forbidden ?

  2. Paris can be so expensive! Thanks for sharing some great tips on how to make the most of your budget when visiting this beautiful city! We did a tour with a local that was just our family and was free! It was one of our favorite experiences during our visit!

    • That sounds amazing, what company was that?

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