Around the world, Paris is known for being expensive! But… If you plan correctly (and have a little insider knowledge), then there are plenty of ways you can stick to your budget while visiting Paris. Here are 10 tips on how to save money in Paris (without compromising on seeing all of the iconic Parisian sites!):
Take advantage of all the Free Activities on Offer
One of the best ways to save money in Paris is by taking advantage of all of the free activities on offer. From free entry to the Louvre every first Sunday of the Month to all of the green spaces the city has to offer, there’s no limit to the number of free activities on offer in Paris.
Some of the best free things to do in Paris include wandering around the Sacré Couer (and exploring the rest of Montmartre), look for antiques at Port St Ouen, and wandering around Père Lachaise Cemetery (final resting place of Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison).
Order Tap Water
You may not be aware of this, but you can actually order tap water at restaurants. Rather than coughing up your hard-earned cash for some bottled water, instead, order ‘une carafe d’eau’.
Use Public Transportation
The cheapest way to cross Paris is obviously to walk! And much of the city is best explored on foot (if you’re stuck for ideas, then here’s an Old Paris Walking Tour). However, if a location you’re headed to is too far to walk, consider taking the metro or a bus, rather than a taxi.
Purchase a Carnet of Metro Tickets
And while we’re on the subject of the metro, make sure you save money by purchasing a carnet (pack of ten) of metro tickets. Save at least 20-30 cents per ticket by purchasing these in packs of ten at the machine, rather than paying per journey. Also, make sure to keep hold of your ticket during your journey: random inspections are common, and if you’re found without a ticket, you’ll be given a hefty fine.
Consider having a picnic (or two)
Paris is one of the best places in the world to enjoy a picnic, especially in the summer. So, if you want to save some money, rather than heading to an expensive restaurant, consider purchasing some supplies (read: baguette, fruit, and wine) from a local supermarket and enjoy your dinner outside en plein air.
Step off the beaten path
Head out of the touristic hotspots and into the lesser known parts of the city. Here, you’ll get a feel for the rest of Paris, and avoid the overpriced fees of the tourist sites. The coffees can be up to €2 cheaper, there will be fewer tourists and you’ll see a side of Paris that few others get to experience!
Consider buying a Paris Museum Pass
With many of the major museums in the city, including the Louvre, Musée Rodin, and Musée d’Orsay charging, the price of entry quickly adds up. If you’re an art lover, or simply want to visit all of the major museums simply to say you’ve been, then consider buying a Paris Museum Pass. The Pass entitles you to free entry to over 50 museums and less waiting time for entry (which in itself may well be a reason to purchase the pass). The Pass can be purchased here.
Never pay for WiFi
If you’re looking to save money in Paris, then never pay for WiFi! Instead, plenty of restaurants, cafés, bars and shopping centres throughout the city offer WiFi completely free of charge. Although many hotels will try and make you pay for it, there are plenty of parks, fast food places and other tourist sites where you’ll find a free connection.
Purchase drinks at happy hour
If you want to enjoy a drink, but don’t enjoy high prices, then make sure to head out for beers, cocktails or even non-alcoholic drinks at Happy Hour. Many bars throughout the city offer happy hour on a daily basis, with some even offering ‘all night long’ happy hours. In particular, enjoy good prices on glasses of wine, and half price cocktails throughout Le Marais, and much of the 11e.
Take a Free Walking Tour
There are plenty of free walking tours in the city, offering everything from where to buy the best pastries, to the rich history of the city. For these, make sure to wear comfy shoes, ask plenty of questions and bring your camera!