Lately I’ve been all over Paris. I came back from my trip one week ago, and thought it was a good idea to first share my prior experiences with the city. (here and here) But now I’m considering you might get a bit tired of always the same… So sorry 😛 So here it goes Paris 3.0, followed by detailed posts of each day.
First things first. I got the advice to separate my budget post from the actual ‘travel diary’ posts, so that it is easier to find out what the free things are etc. I went to Paris by rail. Lucky as I was, there was a deal to go with the Thalys. Students got 50 percent off! So for 50 euros I had a return ticket to Paris! If you prefer not to travel with the high-speed train (when there is no deal it can sometimes be quite expensive) you can either go via Izy, the low fare train connecting Brussels with Paris (check it out here) or by bus (Ouibus site). Ouibus connects different cities throughout Europe for low fares. If you’re not a fan of public transport Blablacar is a great solution. You basically share rides, and split the costs! Coming outside of Europe… I honestly only flew once (to USA and back) so I really lack experience when it come to finding cheap flights. Sites that I used based on the advice of others are Dohop and Skyscanner.
As a member of Hihostel, I booked one of their hostels in Paris. Hi Paris Yves Robert was a very good hostel, at walking distance of Paris Nord where my train arrived. The neighborhood was calm, and so was the hostel (probably because I was there off-season). I had a private room with my own shower. Breakfast was included. In total I spent about 105 euros for three nights. Of course if you book a bed in a dorm, this is cheaper. Other hostels can be found at Hostel world.
My favorite way to get around in basically any city is the subway. It’s easy, fast, cheap, and you never have to wait long. I bought a booklet of ten tickets, because I walked a lot. This was approximately 14 euros. For the trip to Versailles you have to buy separate tickets (you get there with the RER) this costs you 7 euros for a return ticket. What I used more than the subway were my feet. The best way to explore a city is still walking around, like this you get to see the city for free, and won’t miss out on experiencing the vibe and little things.
-Free things to do in Paris-
Everything I did/visit in Paris was free! A list of places visited: Père Lachaise, Jardin de Luxembourg, Canal Saint Martin, Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, Panthéon, Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame de Paris and Sacre Coeur. All these are free (most for EU citizens under the age of 26 years old). If you don’t fit into that category, you can enjoy a free entry to most of these every first Sunday of the month. So I spent 0 euros. So bring your ID is what I would say 😉 Travel guides like Lonely planet will give you a full list of other free things. If you are looking for a free walking tour I would strongly recommend Sandeman.
I always like to read others posts about great places to eat and all… but I myself, am really not a foodie. So I did eat, it was cheap, but don’t expect gastronomic dinners at the coolest spots from me. Actually I prefer to cook myself, which is possible at the hostel. The first evening I ate at a restaurant just underneath my hostel room. How easy is that? (I was too tired to go look any further) It was a small and cosy place, they didn’t really have anything French, but it was good. The place was called Les petites gouttes. I spent 13 euros. By the way, if you just order water from the tab you don’t have any costs on drinks (which are often crazy expensive in Paris). The second day I ate at the hostel itself for 12,60 euros. I had 3 dishes for this price and the food was surprisingly good! The third day I ate at the Flunch, right next to Centre Pompidou. I can’t remember exactly how much I spent but i believe it was around 8 euros. For lunch and snacks I usually just bought some croissants at Paris Nord station. So the total amount spent on food would roughly be about 40 euros tops. Oh and they have cocktails for 5 euros at the bar of the hostel, in case you are looking for cheap drinks.
I think I’ve covered all the budget aspects. So if my calculator is right I spent 220 euros on this trip, and that comes down to 55 euros a day. I think that’s not too bad, considering Paris isn’t the cheapest place on earth (I saw bars where they asked 6 euros for a coke, 6!). So you probably can always go cheaper, but I had a great and comfortable time in Paris, I got to see the things I wanted to see and … that’s it really 😛 If you guys have any budget tips for Paris, I would say let me know!
A photo diary will follow in the coming days/weeks!