A week in Paris is enough time to see all the major sites and attractions while also experiencing some of the city’s hidden gems; however, it comes at a price.
Expect a week in Paris to set you back between €630 ($690 / £530) and €6,400 ($7,000 / £5,350) per person, excluding flights. While the most expensive part of your trip is likely to be accommodation, this can be reduced by looking for deals, staying in a hostel or budget hotels.
Having visited Paris multiple times over the past decade, we’ve found some tricks and tips for stretching your budget to ensure you have the best time.
The cost of your flights to Paris will vary dramatically depending on when you travel, where you travel from and how you travel.
I’ve broken down the average cost of a return flight from major cities around the world to Paris below;
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Flights Per Person: €120 – €1,100 ($130 – $1,200)
How To Save Money On Flights To Paris
Depending on where you’re travelling from, your flight to Paris may be the most expensive component of your trip. Therefore, any money you can save on flights could impact the overall budget.
Luckily, we have a few tried and tested methods when it comes to saving money on flights that might help.
Setting Up Travel Alerts
Flight aggregation websites (Google Flights, Hopper, and Kiwi, to name a few) can be set up to send you an email when flights to Paris hit a predetermined price point or are cheaper than average for that time of year.
Alternatively, you can look for discount flight alert services such as FareDrop which was created by Youtuber’s Kara and Nate to provide alerts on the best flight deals to/from anywhere in the world directly into your inbox.
Consider Alternative Airports
Saving money on flights usually comes down to one of two things;
1. Being in the right place at the right time and finding a deal
2. Being flexible
One way to maximise your flexibility is to consider flying from or to an alternative airport.
However, be sure to do the math to see if you’re really going to save money and that your time spent on the additional travel is worth it.
For example, if you’re based in Dallas, TX but find a flight to Paris $200 cheaper out of Houston then you’ll still want to calculate the additional gas costs, parking (where applicable) and the additional time it’ll take you to travel to/from the airport.
Saving money by travelling from a different airport is often an incredibly personal choice and comes down to how much you value flying out of your local airport or how far out of your way you’re willing to travel to save money.
Look For Layovers
Alternatively, you can look for flights with layovers as these can often save you $100+ if you find the right combination.
However, much like saving money by flying to/from different airports, the cost and hassle aren’t always worth it.
For example, if the layover is six hours and you only have three days in Paris, six hours in an airport is a significant time commitment.
Meanwhile, if the saving is $50 and you’re on a ten-hour layover, then the $50 you save on airfare will likely just be spent on mediocre airport food and therefore likely isn’t worthwhile.
Whether you’re flying domestically or internationally, one of the best ways to save money on flights remains to travel midweek.
Research has shown that flights are cheaper on a Wednesday or a Thursday because fewer people can travel mid-work week.
While this saving often isn’t huge (an average of $50 per person) it’s a quick and easy way to save that can really make a difference if you’re travelling as a large family or a group.
Travel In The Off-Season
In the United States, flights generally become more expensive during peak travel times. These include the likes of Christmas, New Year, Spring Break & Thanksgiving, to name a few.
However, Paris also has a peak season from March through August.
This is when the weather is the nicest (generally dry and sometimes sunny) and when most children in Europe have their summer break.
Travelling outside of this peak season helps you save on the cost of flights and hotels and spend less time in the queues at major attractions since fewer travellers are visiting.
As a result, when planning your Paris vacation, consider visiting in the Fall or Winter – Although be sure to pack a coat & umbrella.
Once you’ve got your flights to Paris booked, it’s time to book some accommodation.
The average cost of a hotel room in Paris is around $175 per night. However, you can find many options both above and below this price. The three main factors that influence the cost of accommodation in Paris are;
1. The location
2. The star rating
3. The time of year
Luckily, Paris isn’t short of accommodation options and has a range of family-friendly hotels, Airbnbs and even historic luxury boutiques for you to choose from. As a result, you’ll find some of the most expensive hotels in the city can reach upwards of €600 ($650 / £500) per night while budget options can be found for as little as €40 ($43 / £33).
When it comes to finding a great hotel in Paris, it comes down to balancing fantastic reviews with a great price and a good location. After all, the cheapest hotel with the most five-star ratings won’t be worth it if it’s across town and you’re frequently wasting both time and money on the metro, buses and taxis.
Hotel Room: €280 ($300) – €4,200 ($4,600)
How To Save Money On A Hotel In Paris
If you’re on a budget, then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a range of ways you can save on the cost of your accommodation when in Paris.
After all, if you’re visiting the city for a week, a saving of just $10 or $20 per night can quickly add up.
Book In Advance
One of the most tried and true ways of saving money on travel is by booking in advance. This continues to be true when booking accommodation in Paris.
That’s because booking in advance gives you the largest number of options as the most popular and most affordable places haven’t yet been booked up.
While more options can mean more research, spending the time doing that research can provide you with some real bargains in return.
Book A Vacation Package
Booking a vacation package online with the likes of Expedia is a great way to quickly and easily save money on your trip to Paris.
A vacation package, at a minimum, requires you to book a hotel and a flight in a single booking. However, you can also add car hire, transfers to/from the airport and tickets to major attractions.
That being said, booking this way isn’t always cheaper. Therefore you must compare the cost of the vacation package with the cost of booking each item individually to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Stay In A Hostel
Another fantastic option for saving money on accommodation in Paris is to stay in a hostel.
The cost of a bed in a hostel dorm room in Paris ranges from $25 to $50 per night, with private rooms often costing as much as a night in a budget hotel.
In our experience, we’ve found that staying in a hostel allows you to save money on your accommodation.
Still, it also provides you with the chance to meet other like-minded travellers and often save money on food by using the kitchen (available inside most hostels).
The Paris Metro is arguably the fastest and cheapest way to get around the city as it boasts 16 interconnected lines spreading over 133 miles (214 km).
Meanwhile, the Paris Regional RER train connects the city with various airports and Disneyland Paris.
However, that’s not the only way to get around the city on a budget.
In fact, one of our favourite ways of touring Paris on a budget is on an open-top bus – although try to travel on the open-top bus outside of rush hour as the peak traffic in the city could result in you staring at the same building for upwards of 30 minutes.
If you’re looking to experience the Parisian nightlife, you’ll want to look to the city’s night buses (Noctilien). These buses can be identified by the ‘N’ in front of their numbers.
However, depending on the time, your budget and the number of people in your party, you might also want to consider taking a taxi.
There are more than 20,000 taxis in Paris, so you can be sure you’ll find one regardless of where you are or the time of day.
Fares start at €3 and increase based on the distance travelled, location, date and time.
Ground Transport: €50 – €500 ($55 – $550) per person
How To Save Money On Ground Transport In Paris
You can use several different cost-cutting methods to save on the cost of transport if you’re looking to visit Paris on a budget. These include;
Planning Your Trip In Advance
Planning your trip while also allocating time for spontaneity allows you to pick a centrally located hotel, know how long you’ll need in a particular destination and save time & money travelling between attractions.
For example, if you know you want to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and the Arc de Triomphe on your trip to Paris, you can map those locations out to see the distance between all three.
Then you can calculate a route that minimises the amount of time (and associated costs) spent travelling between them.
It might mean going to the Eiffel Tower on the metro but then walking the two kilometres to the Arc de Triomphe before catching the metro over to the Louvre Museum.
However, if you don’t plan the outline of your trip to Paris, then you could end up not knowing that there are metro stations directly outside of both the Louvre Museum and the Arc de Triomphe and a direct line running between the two making the journey both quick and easy.
This lack of planning then wastes a significant amount of time and increases your transport costs.
Purchase A Travel Card
The Paris Visite travel card provides you unlimited access to the city’s transport system (metro, RER, tramway, bus, funicular and the Noctilien) for a select number of days.
This is a great way to save both time and money if you plan to take public transport multiple times during your trip.
Opt For Walking
Another way to save a significant amount of money on your transport costs in Paris is by walking instead of taking public or private transport.
Paris is a very walkable city, and many major attractions can be very close together – and you never know, you might come across a hidden gem on the journey.
Rent An Electric Scooter
Electric scooters are a fun, quick and affordable way to get around the city.
Popular with both tourists and locals, several different rental companies to choose from and thousands of electric scooters scattered across the city.
We personally chose to hire electric scooters in Paris to quickly travel between locations that weren’t well connected by public transport.
Attractions and Entertainment
As if flying, sleeping, and getting around Paris wasn’t enough, you’re now going to have to start factoring in the cost of seeing some of the most famous sights in the city.
And it’s safe to say that Paris isn’t short of famous sights.
While some are free, such as the Montmartre, others can cost money.
And with so much to see over your week-long vacation, the cost of seeing it all can quickly add up.
Some of the most popular attractions in Paris include;
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Of course, this list doesn’t include most of the museums, theatres, restaurants and parks that Paris offers.
However, I hope it gives you some insight into how the price of visiting these popular attractions in Paris can vary dramatically.
Attractions: €100 ($110) – €1,000 ($1,100)
How To Save Money On Attractions & Entertainment In Paris
Luckily, you don’t have to spend friverlesously on attractions and entertainment to experience the best of Paris.
Instead, there are several ways you can experience everything the city has to offer on a budget.
Plan Your Trip
Planning your trip to Paris or having an idea of the attractions you’d like to visit during your trip (and their associated costs) can help you save money and plan accordingly.
For example, let’s assume you come to Paris with a blanket budget of €30 ($32) per day to spend on attractions and decide that you want to visit three major attractions every day.
In this case, you’ll likely get to Paris and, after a few days, find that you need to either adjust your budget or adjust your plans significantly to stay on budget or see everything you want to see.
However, if you’d spent extra time before your trip to decide on the vast majority of things you’d like to see during your trip and researching their associated costs, then you’d have realised you either needed to set a more realistic budget or reduce your list of attractions with plenty of time to do so.
Visit Free Attractions
Some of Paris’s best attractions are completely free to visit.
Therefore it shouldn’t be a surprise that adding these to your Paris itinerary can really help you reduce your attractions and entertainment costs when visiting the city.
A complete list of all the free attractions in the city can be found on the Paris tourist office website.
Look For Discounts
Many of the major attractions in Paris offer discounts for families, students and seniors.
This information can be found on the attraction’s website in advance.
However, if you’re purchasing tickets on your arrival it’s always worth asking if there are any discounts available to ensure that you’re getting the very best price available.
Book Tickets In Advance
The vast majority of major attractions in Paris allow you to save up to 20% when purchasing tickets in advance.
However, purchasing tickets in advance can take away some of the spontaneity of your trip and increase the pressure of visiting an attraction on a specific date at a specific time.
To compromise on this we often opt to book tickets in advance for a handful of attractions we know we want to see during our trip.
Adding these select few attractions into our itinerary allows us to save money while also giving us plenty of free time to be spontaneous and discover the hidden gems of the city.
Buy The Paris Pass
If you want to visit several attractions during your Paris trip, consider picking up the Paris Pass.
This pass provides you with entry into many popular attractions in the city for one fixed price. However, keep in mind that not all attractions are included.
So while the pass might save you money, it’s likely not the only money you’ll spend on attractions and entertainment when visiting the city.
French cuisine is adored by many, which explains why most food connoisseurs can rarely pass up the chance for a trip to the country’s capital.
Luckily, fine dining and traditional French food experiences don’t have to come at a high price.
Expect a pastry from a traditional bakery in the city to cost roughly €3 to €6. Meanwhile, a coffee is likely to set you back between €2 to €3.
Lunch and dinner at most restaurants will cost between €12 and €20 per plate, although expect that to increase if you’re looking to visit one of the 119 Michelin star restaurants in the city.
Meanwhile, cafés serving a range of sandwiches, wraps, and soups will often charge between €5 and €12.
Food: €30 ($33) – €100 ($110) per person, per day
How To Save Money on Food in Paris
Food is one area where you might find your budget gets away from you.
Luckily, there are multiple ways to dine at luxury restaurants or experience Paris like the locals do without paying over the odds.
Avoid Tourist Traps
You can find some of the worst yet most expensive food close to popular tourist attractions such as the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.
If you’re looking to dine in these areas, consider using TripAdvisor to check out the reviews in advance or look for where the locals are eating.
Enjoy A Picnic
A picnic in one of Paris’s 480 parks and gardens is a fantastic way to make the most of the city’s incredible atmosphere while also saving money on food.
To add to the experience, consider heading to a local market and buying baguettes, cheeses and pastries.
Make The Most Of Lunch
If you’re looking to dine at a luxury restaurant during your trip, consider going for lunch instead of dinner.
In most cases, you’ll be able to get the same amount of food and the same luxury dining experience for a third of the price.
Eat Some Meals At Your Hotel
If you have a hotel room with a kitchenette or are staying in a hostel with a kitchen, it’s worth picking up some ingredients from a supermarket and making breakfast, lunches and even dinner at your accommodation.
This isn’t a luxurious way to save money and might not be something you want to do for every meal throughout your entire trip. However, adding in these home-cooked meals can help you to save significantly.