Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ten Tips for Paris on a Budget

Please give a warm welcome to Leah from who is guest blogging on JNSQ this week! Just want to take a second to let readers know that AnyTrip is giving away several trips to Paris, and you still have time to participate! Just Like them on Facebook to enter! Good luck and thanks to AnyTrip for these great tips!

© flickr Moyan Brenn
The allure of the City of Lights can put a big hurt on your pocketbook if you are not careful, so check out these tips for how to have a blast without breaking the bank.

Cheap accommodations – Hostels are fine if you are just looking for a place to grab a shower and snooze but if you want to savor the atmosphere of a Paris neighborhood, check out weekly apartment rates or room rentals where you can cook and hang close to home to keep your out of pocket expenses low.

Learn the language – Don’t aspire to speak French like a native, but valiant efforts to address locals with articulate French phrases give you a chance of not being pegged as an uncouth tourist and therefore avoid the price gouging that goes with the label. Of course, learning how to understand their response is the second part of the equation…

Hit the outdoor markets before closing – Any good bargain hunter knows that vendors drop their prices drastically when it is time to pack up, so if you can refrain from shopping until closing time, you will be surprised how much more you’ll have for less money.

© Flickr Dimitry B.
Museum Pass – Even though there are many free museums to enjoy in Paris, the ones you write home about have hefty entrance fees so a Paris Museum Pass is your golden ticket to unlimited access to all 60 museums -- ideal for repeated visits so you can soak up your favorites.

Paris Visite Pass – Spare yourself the trauma of Paris’ notoriously wicked traffic by hopping aboard their excellent metro system with a Parise Visite Pass. The traveler’s card entitles you to unlimited rides for a single price for a set amount of time – but note the passes are divided into zones so city-wide excursions require multiple passes. What’s really cool is that the pass automatically qualifies you for discounts in stores, restaurants, and sightseeing venues as well as the many seasonal events.

Cheap dining - Learning to eat cheap in Paris requires a bit of discipline but with fortitude you can indulge decadent food fantasies without facing sticker shock. The street vendors have rock bottom prices for crepes and pizzas while the cost of sit-down restaurants like Chartier, Chez Gladines and Au Petit Grec comes as a pleasant surprise.

Luggage and bags – Keeping track of your stuff is tough enough when you travel, but Paris is notorious for pick pockets and purse snatchers, so arrange your attire so you carry your valuables close to your body and just have purses and bags to carry incidental items. Simple but sturdy luggage with locking zippers is the best idea; anything too flashy just makes a juicy target.

© Flickr Aitor Escauriaza
Stay away from tourist traps – As in any popular destination, everything from food to souvenirs cost more the closer you are to the main attractions. By setting a firm resolution not to be tempted by the obvious bait, you’ll find your spending money will stretch much further.

Ask for advice - It is surprising how people love to share their insider knowledge of bargains, so by asking the right question at the right time you could well land a sweet deal. Be alert for opportunists, but don’t be shy about relying on the kindness of strangers.

Buy your own booze – Drinking cocktails and buying bottles of wine with dinner can jack up the bottom line in no time. By keeping your own supply tucked in a handy flask you can catch a buzz for a fraction of the price.


  1. Je ne sais pas francais:

  2. I love the final tip! Ahahaha, a flask! Nice.

    It is so true though. Yesterday afternoon, I treated myself to two glasses of wine at La Perle and while their prices are certainly on the cheaper end, for the 8 euros I paid for two glasses, I could have gotten a decent bottle of wine at the G20 next door and gotten really hammered.

    Great tip! So true....

  3. By keeping your own supply tucked in a handy flask you can catch a buzz for a fraction of the price.

    What a strange american idea !!! if yu do that, you'll be hunged par the restaurant owner, more you'll be a cheapskate!!

    yann frat

  4. Lol a French restaurant owner will kick you out if he catches you with that bottle...:) The best advice is to get hammered before getting to the restaurant, especially the pricey ones... Thus save money and avoid any embarrassing situation...:)

  5. By the way, if tou wanna know what's in a french mind when is visiting New York (and the states) for the first time, you can read it here:



  6. What a strange american idea !!! if yu do that, you'll be hunged par the restaurant owner, more you'll be a cheapskate!!

  7. Thanks for the great info.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Hey everyone, glad you liked the post! Can't take credit for it, but appreciate the comments on behalf of :)

  10. Thanks for the tips! We're heading to Paris for Christmas and I'm busy brushing up on my much-neglected French, deciding on which apartment rental to take and scouting out places to eat. Can't wait!

  11. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

  12. I simply adore this particular tute! Thanks for discussing a lot of nice tips with us just about all! I love your eye pertaining to materials. Our god Appreciate it and your loved ones!

  13. Thanks for this post, I had a lot of fun reading it and I think it's really good advice for tourists, expats, and parisians alike ;)


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