Paris is unquestionably one of the most expensive travel destinations in the world. It is not only for visitors but also for expat alike. However, it does not mean you can not explore the city with tight budget.
Here are some tips that I have collected from time to time :
Transport from airport to city center
There are many bloggers, travel sites provides useful information on this matter. Most of them, however, focuses on the train, direct bus to Opera or Champ Elysee. These buses or train often costs more than 10 euro/ 1 way.
Can you pay only 3,8 euro instead ? Yes. From Charles De Gaulle airport, take the free CDG Val, a small train linking all terminal to Roissy Pole. There, you will have buses : 350, 351. These buses take you to Gare Du Nord, Gare De l’est where you have access to the network of Paris Subway/ Metro for only 1,9 euro. It make takes a little longer ( 15 minutes longer ) but it is valuable to save some money.
The second choice is direct train from Roissy Pole or Terminal 2. The train stops at Gare Du Nord, Chaletes Les Halle, Saint Michel Notre Dame and Luxembourg Garden – these are popular stops to continue your travel.
Inter City Travel
Subway is probably the best choice. However, personally, I prefer buses simply because it allows me to see more than just underground world. It is a perfect way to observe Paris’s life and do not mind if you are out of tourist trail, you can come back by another bus.
Paris 1 day, 2 day or 1 week pass allows you to use both subway and bus so try the bus. During the day time, it is quite comfortable. Take your own music !
This website/ app is very useful for inter city travel : www.ratp.fr
For those who are very active, there are 3 other options : bike and scooter ( new ). I prefer the electric scooter, it is not expensive and you are free to hit the roads wherever you want. Download the app called Lime or City scooter
Sightseeing & Activities
Paris has special policy for museums : it is free on the first Sunday of the month. Imagine you can skip 17 euro for the famous Louvre museum entrance or 11 euro for Musee D’Orsay. When your travel falls to that date, maximize the cultural visit.
Another important thing you should remember : in France, religious sites are free. Accordingly, you do not need to pay to visit a cathedral or church. There are more than just remarkable Notre Dame to discover in Paris.
Paris free walking tours are available in each area including le Marais, Montmartre, Latin Quarter. Make a quick search on google, you will some beautiful options like Discover Walk, Free Tours By Foot.
Eat & Drinks
Food is the most complicated choice. In Paris, cheap foods may not mean you have tasted the authentic French dishes. Though burger, beef steak can be good try but to have the minimum idea of what French cuisine is, I suggest you should pay a dinner starting from 20 euro with full course.
For more ideas, check out my picks of French cuisine.
I suggest visitors to spend more time for street foods of Paris which is really diverse.
Sipping a coffee like a French is a must. It costs only 2 euro for ” un cafe”.
When you are in a French restaurant, water is free unless you order a bottle. You can politely ask for ” une carafe d’eau” which means free water.
Paris isn’t lack of budget accommodation. Check out the list of 8 Paris hostels.
Airbnb is not a bad choice if you travel by couple or family. This is a great way to get the inside view of how Parisian people live too. The best is to get the promotion code from airbnb which gives you 10 to 20 euro credit. Choosing the apartment or studio in 17,18 or 19th century it will fit better your budget.