We all know Paris isn’t exactly known as a budget friendly city, but I am here to tell you that it most definitely can be! Planning ahead and following a few simple guidelines is all that’s needed to make your Paris trip more wallet friendly.
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Stay in an Airbnb. This is probably the biggest piece of advice I have for making Paris affordable. Hotels are notoriously expensive and there are so many amazing Airbnb options in Paris. My husband and I stayed in an adorable studio in the 15th arrondissement and we paid less than $500.00 for six nights.
Utilize the Kitchen in Your Airbnb. This goes along with the tip above. Odds are the Airbnb you stay in will have a fully-functional kitchen. Having access to a kitchen in a place like Paris will be invaluable in your efforts to save money. You will be able to go by a market and pick up groceries and cook them at your Airbnb instead of dining out for each meal. You should definitely indulge in plenty of fresh baked bread, cheese, and wine – but being able to cook some of your meals will drastically reduce the amount of money you spend.
Visit Museums on Free Days. Museums are one of the best things about Paris, but they can get expensive if you are having to buy tickets for multiple museums. Several museums in Paris are free on the first Sunday of every month – these include The Louvre (only from October-March), Musee d’Orsay (always free for those under 18), Musee Rodin and others. National museums are always free for all persons 18-25 from the European Union with proof of identity. In addition to free admission many museums offer reduced rates on certain evenings – check specific museum websites for exact dates and times.
Take Advantage of the Subway System. The subway system in Paris is very easy to navigate and much cheaper than using a rideshare service. Our Airbnb was about a 6 minute walk from one of the stations on the 12 line and we used it almost every day. The ticket machines have options for multiple languages so you don’t have to worry about not understanding French. My only advice about navigating the subway system in Paris is to always know which station is your final destination. There are some stations that have multiple tunnels that will funnel you to the right train, but you need to know which direction you are going in. The easiest way to determine that is to just know which station you want to get off at. It might sound confusing, but I honestly found the Paris metro easier to navigate than the NYC metro. Oh, and not all trains have automatic doors – so don’t be like us and look like doofuses standing there waiting for the door to open. If you are on a train that has a lever on the door then that means it’s not automatic and you have to manually open the door.
Plan Ahead. Above all else, plan ahead. If you have already booked your trip to Paris, then odds are you are completely aware at how expensive it can be. Start saving money a few months before your trip – my husband and I do this before every trip we take and I can’t recommend it enough. Also, do some basic research of things like food costs, subway ticket prices, etc. so that you can have a roundabout idea of how much money you might need per day. This will help you get a generalized budget in mind.
What are some things you do before a trip to help you get prepared? Leave me a comment and tell me about it – and if you have any other questions, feel free to shoot me an email!
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