How to…see Paris with a travel Paris on a tight budget
How to…chose how to travel:
One of the most expensive things when you are travelling is the way you get to your destination. From Hamburg, my starting point, you can fly, take your car, a bus or a train to Paris. I wouldn’t recomand the car. You don’t really want to drive 15 hours, pay for carparks and be stuck in Parisian traffic. Also in Paris you really don’t need a car. The subway system is brilliant there.
The bus can be an option but again it takes it’s time and doesn’t have to be cheaper. So flying is the easiest way and nowadays not even so expensive. You can get a ticket for under 100 € if you buy early and are flexible with the date. For example flights monday or friday are more expensive than tuesday to thursday. I flew friday to Paris and tuesday back. Just click yourself through all options
How to…chose where you stay:
Hostels, B&Bs, or websites like AirB&B offer cheaper accommodations than hotels. Also look in which corner of a city you are staying. We stayed in The Village Hostel in Montmatre. We booked a chared four bed female bed room and ended up with a three bed room for the two of us for the same price. But usually Hostel guests are friendly and always up to a nice chat. Charing a room with strangers may sound weird first but there are a lot of advantages. We met wonderful people who gave us tips or with whom we went for a drink in the evenings. Of course you have to expect more noise and less comfort than in a hotel but if you don’t mind a bit of dust or a bit of music to late hours you should be fine.
Also take into account if your hosel offers free luggage storage, lockers and breakfast and if it has a kitchen.
If you want to save money the best way is to do so with the food. Paris is a crazy expensive town. A coffee can be 6€ and a dinner at a restaurant 20€ and more. But almost every restaurant has lunch offers. We ate fantastic food at lunch for much less than in the evening. Also eating a big lunch gives you strenght for the rest of the day. Also look out for special lunch restaurants. Little places that sell amazing sandwiches or soups are now jumping out of the ground at Paris. And of course don’t forget that France is the mother of crêpes.
In the evening you can easily buy good french food like baguette and cheese at grocerie stores and eat dinner in you Hostel. They mostly have plates, knives and forks. While buying dinner you can also stock some fruit and drinks to take with you the next day so you don’t have to buy expensive snaks on the way. Other than that picknicks are a tradition in Paris. Just pack cookies, apples, croissants and coffee and sit down in one of Paris beautiful parks and enjoy an open air meal with live entertainment of other tourists.
Also make sure your accommodation has free breakfast. Hostel breakfast may not be the best in the world but it gets you started. Of course sometimes you have to make exceptions, like if you have no time to return to your hostel for dinner or when you want to celebrate your good time at the end of your trip with a nice meal.
How to…explore the city:
Tourist attractions of course know that hundreds of people pilgrim to them and so they cost money. But Paris has a lot of offers to make your experience great without you always thinking about your empty purse.
If you are from the European Union and under 26 all state museums are for free. Versaille, the Louvre, the Arc de Triumph, all for free if you show them your ID. You still have to stand in line but hey, that’s easier if you don’t have to pay like all the others right?
For your evening entertainment you can go to a ciosque de jeunes. Here they sell tickets to events of the very same evening or the following ones for a very cheap price or nothing at all. If you know French it helps a lot, not only because the people at the ciosque don’t speak Englich but also because most of the events are in French. We for example got tickets to a concert of three different indie bands for free.
Also there are free walking tours. Just search free walking tour Paris in the internet and you find them. You have to reserve a spot in advance but other than that you don’t have to pay anything for a 3 hout tour around the city. The guides are locals, do the tour in different languages and are really friendly. You have no Japanese Tourist group feeling, are in a small group and walk around a lot. Our guide knew so much about Paris history it wa great. In the end you may tip your guide, we gave him 5€ each. There are different tours about different topics and at different locations.
And of course you can also do things that are free anyway. Walk through parks, visit beautiful quarters like Montmartre, or go window shopping at the Champs Elysées.
You see there are a lot of ways to save money in Paris. Still for a 4 day trip with 5 nights at a Hostel and flights you can expect around 400€ including food, souvenirs and all activities.
If you liked my tips and tricks or want to tell me about your time at Paris just leave a comment below or fill our the contact form on my blog. And of course don’t forget to like, share, tweet or simply tell your friends.
See you on the road fellow travelers 🙂