How Much Does a Trip to Paris Cost? | A Weekend Budget Example
How much does a trip to Paris cost? A lot of people might be surprised by how budget-friendly this answer actually can be.
I have been saying this for centuries to anyone who wants to listen (and there are very few people): if I ever become prime minister, an annual trip to Paris is mandatory for every citizen. I love the city, the culture, the language, the architecture, the history, the food, and…well, I could go on for forever!
While I may not get my annual trip to the city of love, I do make it a point to visit at least every other year at the very least. To help give you an idea of how much Paris costs, I’m using the weekend (three days, two nights) as an example. Keep in mind, I’m coming from Amsterdam, so the transport costs will, of course, be a lot less than if you were coming from a different continent! Here’s what we spent on two different weekends, one much more budget-y than the other.
France Travel Guide
How Much Does a Trip to Paris Cost?
Residence: €110 or €300 for 2 Nights
Paris is not a cheap city to stay in. Of course, you have plenty of affordable hotels, but almost all of them are further from the city center. The best option is to look into Airbnbs, as they’re often closer to the center and are comparable to these budget hotels.
The boyfriend and I stayed in a room in the middle of Le Marais, one of the nicest and most central districts of Paris. It wound up being only €27 per person, per night. Of course, you don’t get luxury for that price (the shower was in the kitchen), but since we only slept there, it wasn’t a problem for us.
On my second trip, we spent a little more to stay at this Airbnb near Montmartre at €75 per person per night. I really enjoyed seeing how real Parisians live (hint: tiny!).
**If it’s your first time signing up for Airbnb, you can get €25 off here or using mvanroon1.
If you are traveling alone, I would recommend looking into hostels. They’re often just as nice and cozy as other options, and you can meet other travelers. Check out different hotels or hostels in Paris here.
Transport: € 27.40
Train – €0 or €90 for 2 people
On my first trip, I was lucky enough to win round-trip tickets via a Twitter action from Thalys! That gave us some space to spend more money on food (yum!). I’d recommend registering for the newsletter of Thalys because they regularly come up with very nice offers. It was super comfortable, and in no time you’re standing on the Gare du Nord. Return tickets normally cost €75 (2nd class) if you book on time.
For our second trip, we used Flixbus, so tickets were €45 per person round trip.
You could also drive to Paris from Amsterdam, but make sure you find a hotel with free parking otherwise that can get expensive as well.
Metro – €29.80
In terms of metro, I would advise you to buy packets of 10 tickets, a so-called carnet. Then you’ll pay €14.90 instead of €19 or €1.90 per ticket. Also don’t fall for the trap of men telling you the machines are broken and want to sell you tickets themselves. Somebody tried that with us, and since I immediately realized it was a scammer’s trick, I ignored the man with a sarcastic, “Yeah, sure.” Of course, the machine worked just fine.
Yep, food was by far our biggest expense. But that wasn’t a surprise since we had planned to spend most of our budget on food this trip instead of on museums of sightseeing. If we had wanted to sightsee more, we would have eaten out and indulged a few times less. You can absolutely spend less on food if you want to follow a similar budget.
There are a few major attractions in Paris:
- Eiffel Tower – check tours here
- Louvre – check tours here
- Sacre Coeur – check tours here
- Notre Dame – check tours here
- Arc de Triomphe – check tours here
- Versailles – check tours here
One more thing that I absolutely did not want to miss given my fascination with the lugubrious was the famous Paris Catacombs. It’s an underground ossuary with over 6 million skeletons from Parisians who died a few hundred years ago. It’s very impressive and certainly a bit spooky. Check for tours + prices here.
In general, you’re in luck in Paris if you’re under 26. Most places are free or half-price. Also, don’t forget to take your old student card with you! The boyfriend was able to go inside for free with his, even though he hasn’t studied in quite a while.
Also, many museums are free on the first Sunday of the month if you can plan your weekend trip to Paris around then.
So how much does a trip to Paris cost?
TOTAL: €326 or €608.80 for 2
€163 or €304.40 per person
We spent €54 or €101.50 per day, per person. For one of the most expensive cities in Europe, that seems like a pretty big accomplishment!
According to my calculations, you really can’t do it much cheaper. If you wanted to prioritize sightseeing, you could spend a lot less on food. You could also couch surf or do a house swap to bring down the cost of accommodation. At my cheapest calculations, it could be €150 for a weekend in Paris. On the flipside, you could easily spend thousands of dollars on a weekend in Paris if you include luxury hotels, designer shopping, and fancy restaurants.
Have you been to Paris on a budget? What do you recommend?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe.