Out and About: Five Tips For Paris on a Budget

Five tips for Paris - Out and About - This and That Blog

Last week we spent about 30 hours in Paris and had an absolute blast! We’ve had a fairly expensive time of it recently, what with Paris and a wedding in France and then the big house move, so we didn’t want to spend a fortune whilst in Paris, although we did want to do a lot of things. This could have been awkward but thankfully it’s not that tricky to watch the pennies in Paris. Here are my top tips for visiting Paris on a budget.

Five tips for Paris - Out and About - This and That Blog

Notre Dame from across the river

Walk, walk, walk. The city itself is relatively small and the key sites are often only a fifteen minute walk away – if you plan accordingly! For example when I was there a few weeks ago I did the following route. Caught the metro to the Arc d’ Triomph – walked to Trocadera – paused to appreciate the stunning views of the Eiffel Tower – walked passed the water fountains below the Trocadera – paused under the Eiffel Tower – lounged in the surrounding gardens for a picnic lunch – walked to the Musee de Rodin – walked to the Notre Dame – walked across the bridge to the Lourve. At no point did we walk for longer than twenty minutes (well apart from when I wasn’t in charge of the map and we went the wrong way for ten minutes…) and all it cost us was one metro ticket. Perfect!

Five tips for Paris - Out and About - This and That Blog

The Eiffel Tower from below during our relaxing lunch in the park

Visit the gardens at the Musee de Rodin. For 2€ you can wander the gardens at this museum for as long as you like and wonder at Rodin’s stunning sculptures. Well known works like ‘The Thinker’ are interspersed with lesser known sculptures, all of which are arranged through the gardens, allowing you to meander leisurely past them all. Plus the café does really lovely food too!

Five tips for Paris - Out and About - This and That Blog

Gardens of the Musee de Rodin

Picnics are your friend! There are so many green places in Paris, not to mention beautiful places. So why not make the most of them and stop and sit in one for lunch? Granted if it’s pissing it down with rain it’s not too smart, but otherwise what’s your excuse? Plus you can grab all sorts of scrumptious food from the street vendors, patisseries or supermarkets. I swear all I ate all weekend was French bread, cheese and ham. Oh and croissants of course!

Five tips for Paris - Out and About - This and That Blog

Ignore the Eiffel Tower. Well not completely as it is a stunning structure and definitely has to be seen. What I really mean is that you should go elsewhere to get a stunning view of Paris. Try the Musee D’Orsay or the Arc de Triomph. I think the Arc de Triomph was my favourite but you do have to pay to go up it. But at only 9€ for a 360⁰ view of Paris below I would argue it’s worth every penny.

Five tips for Paris - Out and About - This and That Blog

Get a set of ten tickets for the Metro. If you don’t want to walk everywhere then the Metro is perfect. It’s easy to use, relatively clean and fast. When it comes to buying a ticket make sure you think about how many journeys you’re actually going to need as you can get it a lot cheaper if you’re going to use loads. We went for a book of ten between the two of us and that was just perfect for the three(ish) days we were there and worked out far cheaper than pay as you go or a book of five each.

Five tips for Paris - Out and About - This and That Blog

So there you have it, my top tips for visiting Paris on a budget. Do you have any of your own that I can use next time I go, if so share them below. As I’m definitely going back!

– Fi x

  • Lovely suggestions! Paris can be expensive, but you are totally right – there are so many things one can enjoy for free or inexpensively. My free view pick for Paris is the top floor of Printemps (one of the big department stores). You can go up to the 9th floor terrace for free and get a view of the Eiffel Tower, etc. And they have a self-catering cafe up there as well that is inexpensive, so should you want lunch with a view, you don’t have to pay big bucks for it.

    • Someone suggested Printemps to us as well but we didn’t have time to make it over there, which was a huge shame. Next time though definitely! x

  • I think these are all of my best Paris tips as well, hah! Another great one I’ve found was shop at the open air markets and then cook meals at your flat (if you are staying in a holiday flat) AND seek out Chinese delis! They are everywhere and it’s definitely where the real Parisians go for the cheap eats! Eating out in Paris on a budget can be tough.

    • That’s such a great tip and I’m going to remember it for my next trip to Paris! I hadn’t considered that as I was to focused on the boulangeries! x

  • When we went to Paris, we were on a tight budget too because it was our last stop after a 3-week trip through Western Europe. Our saving grace was walking tours. I think we used Frommers. While we were there in winter and it was a little cold, our biggest expenses were popping into cafes to warm up and grab a cup of coffee. It felt awesome to walk all over the city and we saw so much! It’s something we try and do in every large city we visit now.

    • You really do see so much don’t you? And you feel less guilty about the cakes and coffee you’re consuming at the same time – well I do anyway! x

  • I always get the set of tickets in Paris!! And I agree on picnics: stop at a boulangerie, take something delicious and you’re good!! As for walking I do that in every city!!

  • We set of 10 Metro tickets are the best! We get them every time we go to Paris! Great tips!