Heading to Paris? Lena from Salut from Paris shares her cost of travel in Paris tips for those wanting to plan a trip to Paris.
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! One fun fact about Paris is that it is home to more dogs than children -perhaps this is why it is seen as such a romantic destination? Either way, there is a lot to love about the capital of France.
How much does a trip to Paris cost?
Accommodation 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 starts at €1200 per night.
But apart from these extremes, a double room in a mid-range hotel in a safe and central area will cost around 150€/night. We loved the Eiffel Capitol Hotel, not too far from the Eiffel Tower and with decent priced rooms. You can also choose one of the hotels with a view of the Eiffel Tower but these start at around €300 a 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. Also, visiting Paris in March or September can give you good weather but hotel prices are more affordable than other times of the year.
Transport costs in Paris
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.
Prices food and drink in Paris
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 & attraction prices in Paris
How to save money in Paris
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.