11 Oct Cheap Trips to Paris, S’il Vous Plait?
Believe it or Not, Cheap Trips to Paris Are Possible
Whether you’ve been to Paris or not, you’re probably keenly aware of what it represents to so many people: romance and indulgence. It seems like a city out of a fairytale. Unfortunately, such an unreal-seeming experience can have a very real price tag—but don’t worry! We’ll show you how to minimize that price tag to achieve cheap trips to Paris.
How Much Does a Trip to Paris Cost?
While it varies quite a bit, the price of Parisian vacations tends to be quite high. The following are the approximate average costs (and exact costs where we could find them):
- Economy plane tickets: $800–$1,500
- A France Tourism Development Agency 3-star rated “Very Comfortable” hotel: 170 euros (A little over $200) per night
- Metro ticket: 1.6 euros ($1.89)
- Admission to the Louvre: 15 euros ($17.69)
- Traveling from the bottom to the top of the Eiffel Tower via elevator: 28 euros ($33.05)
- Dining: Meal prices vary enormously, as to be expected, so we can’t really offer an average price that has merit, but lunch in some of the more famous cafes can cost upwards of $25 and a fancy dinner can even cost over $350!
Luckily, these costs can be cut drastically without greatly compromising the quality of your vacation. Of course, if there’s any area where you want to splurge, and can afford to do so, we encourage you to treat yourself. However, you’d be surprised how much fun you can have in Paris for significantly less dough.
Our Guide to Cheap Paris Vacations
One of the first things you need to think about, is traveling to your destination. There aren’t many different means to get to Paris from the US—you can’t decide to save by driving your car there, for example—but you can time your vacation for the cheapest flights. We’ve found that the least expensive flights to Paris are available during the late fall and winter. We also recommend researching online, on sites like Travelocity, which show you the best prices available. In fact, if you find a price lower than what’s featured on Travelocity, they’ll match it and refund the difference! If you go during the right season and do your research on deals, you could end up saving more than 50% on flights!
You’ll also want to do some research to find the perfect place to stay. Hostels offer some of the cheapest options, followed by hotels with under 3-star ratings. But if you want the sense of luxury that comes from staying in a nice hotel or resort, you can do that more affordably as well. One way is to look for resorts that are near Paris, rather than directly in Paris. While French vacations are very popular and therefore it may not offer any on a given day, the interactive map on our homepage is a good place to check for inexpensive resort rentals. We also recommend looking for resorts that offer complimentary breakfast as a way to save on meals.
For transportation, buy a Navigo Découverte, which is an unlimited weekly pass for the metro and buses. It costs 19.15 euros ($22.61) and it will save you a lot of money compared to buying a new ticket every time you want to use the metro. It will also save you a huge amount of time.
It costs almost $20 for a single adult ticket to the Louvre, but you can check out art for a lot less. No, we’re not going to recommend passing up the Louvre and visiting some obscure French museum instead. The Louvre is the largest museum in the world, thelocation of the Mona Lisa, and a highlight of Parisian excursions. Even if you’re on a budget, it’s not one tomiss. Instead, try to go on the first Sunday of any month between October and March, when you’ll receive free admission. If you’re under 26, you can also receive free admission every friday after 6pm.
When you visit the Eiffel Tower, save by taking the stairs to the second floor, which costs seven euros ($8.26), as opposed to 11 euros ($12.98), saving you about $5. If a handicap prevents you from making the climb, don’t worry because you and one person accompanying you can take the lift for a reduced rate of 3 euros ($3.54) if you present documentation of your handicap.
To save on dining, go grocery shopping instead of eating out for all meals. Remember, just because you make a few meals doesn’t mean you have to eat in. Make sandwiches and take them out into the city for a delicious picnic—and feel free to bring wine! You can also save by stopping at a bakery and buying a scrumptious pastry to go, instead of having a sit-down meal. Another option is to stop at a street vendor for a crepe or panini! For a sit-down meal, consider a restaurant with a prix fixe (fixed price) menu, where you can have multiple courses for one price. Some such restaurants include Le Pantruche, Zicatella, Mensae, Zoe Bouillon, and many more!
See, Cheap Trips to Paris Can be Yours!
Now that we’ve walked you through what you need to know, cheap Paris vacations are at your fingertips! Enjoy baguettes, fine artwork, and more! Don’t forget to take pictures from the top of the Eiffel Tower!