20 Tips for Smart Travel in Paris

October 13, 2015

Paris is one of the most amazing European cities to explore, but it’s also one of the most expensive. With luxurious hotels, haute couture and gourmet food, you’ll be spending more than what you can afford if you aren’t careful. We found some great tips to experience Paris like a local without breaking the bank. From booking the right flight to sleeping, shopping and eating out, you can save some serious euros just by being smart. Ready to save? C’est facile!

Transportation

1. Flights to Paris. The average price for direct roundtrip flights from the USA to Paris is $800. If you fly from Europe, you can find flights for around $60 or even less using Ryanair or EasyJet. From Japan to Paris it’s around $600. You can also use metasearch engines like Skyscanner and Momondo for Europe and Kayak for the U.S. to find the best price for you!

2. From the airport. There are two public transportation options from Charles de Gaulle. You can take the regional train or a bus. RER B costs €10 and takes 25-30 minutes. “RoissyBus” costs €11 per person and takes 75 minutes.

 3. Avoid taxis. The metro in Paris is easy to use and will take you anywhere you need to go.

4. Paris Metro. You can purchase a 10-pack of metro tickets, called the “carnet,” costing €15.50. Remember to grab a free map at your hotel or use your phone as a guide.

5. Take a bike.Vélib’ is a self-service bike system available 24 hours a day, all year round. You can join it by purchasing a one-day pass for €1.70 or a one-week pass for €8.

Accomodation

6. Hostels. Hostels in Paris are a great option with prices starting at around $15. For a private room you will pay $50.

7. Airbnb. Airbnb is another great inexpensive accommodation that allows you to rent a room or an entire apartment. The apartment would cost you around $70 per night. Check out our list of the best Paris Airbnb’s here. You can also check out FlipKey and HomeAway.

Attractions

8. Paris Museum Pass. With a Paris Museum Pass, you gain free entry without queuing as many times as you wish. You’ll gain access to 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris! Prices: €42 (two days); €56 (four days); €69 (six days).

9. Visit the Louvre for free. Admission is free the 1st Sunday of each month from October to March. If you want to escape the queues then try using the entrance at the Arc du Carousel or directly from the Metro station Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre (platform on line 1).

10. Musée d’Orsay. You can save on tickets by purchasing after 4:30pm (€8.50 on Thursdays after 6pm). Full rate tickets are €11.

11. Remember that the 1st Sunday of the month museums offer free admission! You can set your travel so that it falls on the first Sunday of the month.

12. Eiffel Tower. To save some money you can take the steps to the 2nd level and then take the elevator to the very top. Or you can use lift for all the levels.

-Stairs to the 2nd floor: €7,00 + Lift to the top: €17,00

-Lift entrance ticket (valid to 2nd floor): €11,00 + Lift to the top: €17,00

13. Drinking champagne at the Eiffel Tower. You can buy a bottle of champagne in advance at the store for $20-22 and drink it before go up. A glass of champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower will cost you around $12-21.

14. Free sights. Experience free attractions, like museums (Musée d’Art Moderne, Maison de Victor Hugo), cemeteries (Pere Lachaise Cemetery), churches, and parks (Jardin du Luxembourg).

15. Walking tours. Enjoy free walking tours and experience the city as a local!

Food and drinks

16. Drink in hostels. Remember that they have happy hours in the lounge where you can grab a beer for $2.

17. Drinking Water. Ask for tap water (“une carafe d’eau, s’il vous plait“) at the restaurants, it’s free!

18. Set lunch specials. A “prix fixe” menu typically consists of an appetizer, a main dish or entrée, and dessert. You can get it during lunch (from 11am to 3 pm) for $10-20.

19. Outdoor markets. Have lunch like a local by going to the markets. Grab some wine, bread, french cheese, and fruits and enjoy your meal at one of the parks.

20. Grocery stores. Buy all you need for basic foods, prepared meals and wine.

Total cost for 3 days trip to Paris: around $270 + flight tickets

Let us know your tricks to save money in the comment section 🙂 

If you can’t make it to Paris anytime soon, get a Grabr to bring a piece of this lovely city home to you. 

This article was written by Olga Feoktistova.

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