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Every year, over 30 million tourists visit Paris, which has more than doubled in over a decade. Those figures are not surprising, even if you have never been to Paris in person. The capital of France is a fantasy vacation destination for millions of people. The stunning beauty of this legendary city is undeniable.
Unfortunately, despite its popularity as a worldwide tourist destination, you and your bank account might be in denial about how much a trip to Paris costs.
How Much is a Trip to Paris? The Short Answer
So how much is a trip to Paris anyway? That question does not have a definitive answer. For experienced budget travelers, it might be enough to get by with a Paris trip budget of $1,000-$1,500 for a five-day trip and just shy of $2,000 for one week.
However, if you are trying to maximize your experience, including day trips, private tours, expensive hotel rooms, and a Paris food tour, you might consider as high as $4,000+ for a five-day luxury trip.
This doesn’t even begin to consider fluctuating round-trip flight costs and hotel pricing, which may dramatically increase the total cost of your Paris travel budget.
Paris holds a secure spot as one of the must-see tourist attractions in Europe. Given the city’s notoriety, the price of a trip to the French capital can quickly multiply.
Still, the stereotypically expensive City of Lights can be a practical vacation destination with thorough planning and plenty of personal flexibility. While we will try to give you a full picture of a Parisian vacation budget, it is nearly impossible to pin real-world numbers without specifics for reference.
The Truth About Planning a Trip to Paris
It can be hard to outline the average price of a Paris trip because of the many variables like time of year, where you stay, current exchange rate, and what you plan on doing there.
If you want to make a realistic Paris budget plan, it’s best to know exactly what you want out of your Parisian vacation well in advance.
With a plan in hand, you can budget appropriately, and throughout this guide, you will find information on how to anticipate just how much you will spend on your vacation.
Things to Consider
No Paris vacations will look the same, especially regarding budgets and price ranges. If you choose to visit Paris, you will find the city surprisingly affordable compared to other cities in the region.
The capital’s position in central Europe means it’s well connected to many other European cities by train, so if you plan to see more of the continent, Paris is a great place to start.
Always plan accordingly and come to terms with the fact that you might spend more money than originally estimated. You will surely find activities and purchases that take you by surprise in a city as diverse as Paris.
Alternatively, you might even find yourself in an emergency involving an injury or damage to property. It never hurts to set aside a little extra cash.
About 10 percent of your Paris vacation budget can be safeguarded for impulse spending and to safeguard against accidents and mishaps.
PRO TIP: When traveling to Paris or anywhere in Europe, remember that you are not usually expected to tip at bars and other establishments. If you choose to tip, you certainly don’t have to pay the standard US rate of 15 percent. In France, where workers are paid a living wage, and tips are a gratuity, a 5 percent tip is generally considered great. There! Saving money already!
See Related: London vs Paris: What’s the Difference
The millions of people who visit Paris annually mostly arrive by plane through either Paris Orly Airport or Charles de Gaulle Airport. No matter where you come from, you shouldn’t have much trouble booking a flight to the French capital.
As a major European travel hub, if you begin looking ahead and scouring the internet for ticket sales, you can potentially score a sweet deal on your Parisian airfare. If you can afford to be more flexible with your arrival and departure dates, you could save some money as well.
Even flying a day or two earlier (or later) can make all the difference. Some travel credit cards offer flier miles to cash in to fly to Paris. You might also save money using free miles from an airline loyalty membership.
Either way, you can save money on your dream Paris vacation instead. By getting free cheap flight alerts directly to your email inbox using Going.com, save money on flights.
Sign up for Going.com (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) for free using our link, and they will send you flight deals directly to your email inbox. Alternatively, use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to Paris at any time of the year.
See Related: Best Ways to Get Cheap Flights Alert
When planning a trip to Paris, you will generally find that plane tickets are your biggest expense, followed in a close second by the price of vacation accommodations.
Paris is notorious for being one of the world’s most expensive places to stay, especially regarding your traditional hotels. Your budget will immediately skyrocket if you try to stay at a hotel near popular attractions and activities.
A simple way to give your wallet a break is to choose accommodations further away from the city’s center. This way, you also experience the charming and beautiful neighborhoods surrounding Paris without missing the tourist attractions you’ve been dreaming of.
You can also save money by skipping the hotel stay altogether! There are many alternatives to booking a hotel for your vacation, and some could cut your accommodation budget in half.
See Related: Best Day to Book Flights
If you want to go out and experience a luxurious Parisian getaway, staying in a hotel is the right choice. This is an expensive route, especially during heavy travel periods.
If you choose to stay at a hotel, you will find the level of service in Paris is well worth the sometimes exorbitant prices. Paris is home to over 2,000 hotels, including many 3-star and 20 5-star hotels. You will likely have access to more amenities and facilities if you pay more.
You can also find budget hotels for as little as $70 a night, depending on where you look. The closer your hotel is to popular tourist attractions, the more you must pay. Use Booking.com to compare hotel prices and get the best deal based on your accommodation needs.
When you want to feel at home while on vacation, renting a Parisian house or apartment offers the best of both worlds. You can save money compared to traditional hotels, enjoy lots more space, cook for yourself, and enjoy more privacy in a vacation rental property.
If you are unfamiliar with hostels, they are low-priced accommodations for many travelers and a staple for budget backpackers. When you book a stay in a hostel, you usually book a bed for the night instead of an entire room.
Your hostel dorm usually houses other travelers, from as few as 3 to as many as 20. Hostel bathrooms are dormitory-style, with many shower stalls and a long row of sinks and toilets.
You share the bathrooms with your fellow travelers as well. There are usually one or two bathrooms on every floor. Believe it or not, hostels are one of Europe’s most popular types of accommodations and the cheapest by far.
If you like a lot of social interaction with other travelers and are comfortable with a more casual atmosphere, you might love staying in a hostel. You can find several cheap hostels in the middle of Paris; most are conveniently located near public transportation. Use HostelWorld to find the best possible price and location for your stay in Paris.
For those interested in experiencing the nearby countryside, staying at a lodge could be your best choice. If you are looking for a quieter, more peaceful place to stay outside of Paris’ bustling city center, you can stay in a Parisian lodge and get more in touch with nature during your visit.
Certain lodges house visitors in a designated area of a larger property, while some lodges reserve the whole building just for you.
In Paris, lodges are often small businesses run by families, so you will get an up-close and personal look at local Parisian life. You won’t get that experience staying at a run-of-the-mill hotel.
If you want to save money and get a feel for authentic Parisian life, you could always go to bed at a homestay instead of a hotel or a lodge.
A homestay refers to spending your vacation with a local family in Paris, like fostering a foreign exchange student abroad. Some homestays are indistinguishable from hotel and vacation rental accommodations, while others will be cozier and homier.
Certain homestays will include specific rules and regulations you have to follow if you choose to book one. Some might not allow guests, alcohol, or smoking. Some homestays may even insist on a curfew for their guests.
Choosing a homestay for your trip to Paris might be outside your comfort zone, but this unique accommodation could save you a ton of money and let you enjoy a more authentic Paris vacation.
See Related: Hotel vs. Motel vs. Inns
No matter what you have planned for your trip to Paris, it’s important to note that most places in the city are accessible on foot. Paris is such a walkable city, and many of the top attractions are within walking distance of one another.
Walking around the French capital is one of the best ways to experience the City of Lights. Still, if you cannot walk to your destination, you will be pleased to know that public transportation is accessible and affordable in Paris.
You have many different options for transportation to fit any budget, big or small.
Scooters and Bicycles
Like many other large cities worldwide, Paris has seen a rise in popularity among tourists using eclectic stand-up scooters. Renting electric scooters to see the sights in Paris is a fun, cheap way to get around, and you can organize it all from your mobile phone.
You can also find many traditional bicycles through the city’s large bicycle rental scheme, Vélib. Vélib supplies over 20,000 bikes available to rent per day or week. You can also find about 1800 24-hour pickup stations all around the city. You pay a deposit using a credit card and a flat fee to rent your bike(s).
When renting bicycles in Paris, remember that it’s safest to ride when traffic is lighter, so try to avoid renting bikes during rush hours. Studying French road rules is also a great idea, as they differ significantly from the US ones.
The Paris Metro is the quickest, cheapest way to get around Paris. It’s more reliable, clean, safe, and stylish than its global counterparts. The trains get you to your destination quickly and will save you a pretty penny on your transportation costs.
This underground metro system has 16 interconnected lines and offers access to the Paris RER. The RER is a regional train transport system that spans from the center of Paris to its surrounding neighborhoods.
The underground opens at 5:30 a.m. and closes at 1 am from Sunday to Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, it runs until 2 am. You can purchase single journey tickets called T+ Tickets or weekly and monthly travel cards.
Though bus travel can be inexpensive, remember that it can be unreliable due to Paris’ high traffic rates. When riding on Parisian buses, it will take much longer to reach your destination.
If you aren’t in any rush or prefer a slower ride to take in all the sights, you can save a lot of money compared to other transportation options on this list.
It must be noted that the normal bus service in Paris does not typically run during the night, though you can use a night bus service if you need to.
Unlike in the States, traditional taxis are still more popular than rideshare services. Taxi passengers pay a set price per kilometer, but all these rates are applied to all Parisian taxis.
When choosing a taxi service, remember that the price will vary based on when you order a car, how far you are going, and how bad the traffic is. You will also have to pay a flat pick-up fee and a meet-up fee if you reserve the taxi ahead of time.
You could be charged additional fees if you travel with more than four people or arrive late to meet your taxi. If all this sounds too rich for your blood, in some cases, you could save some money by using a rideshare service instead.
As Lyft does not operate in Europe yet, Uber is the most widely used rideshare app in the French capital.
Though you can find some cheap fares when using rideshare services, remember that the prices can skyrocket in the blink of an eye due to surge pricing.
See Related: How to Use Google Flights Search Anywhere
When you think of Paris, you cannot help but daydream about its famous food, culture, fashion, and romantic atmosphere. When you visit Paris, you will realize that all those daydreams don’t hold a candle to the real thing.
You can savor endless attractions and activities during your trip to Paris, whether that means going to concerts, restaurants, shows, or anything in between. However, this is where your budget calculations might start to swell a bit.
If you want to go shopping, try the nicest foods, and get access to the best tourist attractions, you will spend significantly worse than someone who enjoys scenic strolls and sightseeing.
If you love museums, you will be delighted to know that Paris has some of the best museums in the world, but most of them charge an entry fee. If you plan on visiting paid attractions, you can save a lot of money by purchasing a Paris Museum Pass, especially if you are a first-time visitor.
All these places would cost approximately $90 for one adult to visit. That’s not exactly an arm and a leg, but it can get pricey when you travel in groups, making the Paris Museum Pass an attractive money saver.
See Related: Essential Budget Paris Travel Tips
Dining and Shopping
As you might imagine, Paris is a food lover’s paradise. The city is full of many different restaurants from all over the world. They offer everything from traditional French cuisine to cutting-edge vegan eateries.
No matter what your taste buds want, Paris has all the flavors you could ever want or need. Setting aside some extra money for food costs is best because some expensive food around the city will tempt you.
Think about allocating enough money for one or two meals at more expensive restaurants to experience the beauty of French cooking.
Of course, if you want to make it a tight-budget trip or a solo traveler, you can make your meals, especially if you’re in an Airbnb or short-term rental on Vrbo. Book a cooking class if you don’t want to skip authentic French cuisine!
If you cannot wait to start your Parisian shopping spree, you will find no shortage of places to spend your hard-earned cash. You can cut corners on cost here by sticking to smaller boutiques and local shops instead of splurging on pricey brands name clothes.
- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.
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