When you think of Paris, you probably drum up the usual: Eiffel Tower, cafes, pastries, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Versailles, and of course, it’s awe-inspiring stamp of approval as the city of love and fashion capital of the world.
And sure, that alone is enough to get any curious adventurer ready to pack their bags, book their international flight, and fly thousands of miles across the globe just for a taste of Paris, wouldn’t you agree? After all, it is one of the most visited cities in the world.
Moreover, Paris is also one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in. So then, you probably have the same questions as I: Is Paris expensive to visit? And if that’s the case, what can you do to backpack across Paris on a budget?
Let’s take Paris and analyze 3 basic areas tourists typically spend the most bucks in when they travel: Accommodation, transportation, and attractions.
How Much Does Accommodation Cost in Paris?
Hotels in Paris are pretty expensive, especially if you’re staying close to popular attractions. A quick search of hotels near Eiffel Tower and Louvre, for instance, shows prices per day to fall between $80 and $300, depending on the vicinity. Ouch. Believe me, my pockets felt empty just writing that sentence.
Try booking a hotel even further away from Paris’ prominent attractions, like in eastern Paris near Place de la Nation circle, and you’ll quickly discover that those aren’t that cheaper, either. You’ll wind up paying anywhere from $70-$150, in addition to shelling out more cash for lengthier transportation getting to and from popular tourist hubs.
For the budget traveler, staying at a hostel or AirBnB out of the city center is your best bet for an affordable adventure in Paris. Most single room hostels run between $40-$100 per night, while shared dormitories are slightly cheaper. Recommended hostels to stay in while visiting Paris include Adveniat Paris, Auberge de jeunesse Fourcy – MIJE Marais, and St Christopher’s Inn Paris Gare du Nord.
As for AirBnB? Prices fluctuate just like every other type of accommodation—expect to find cheap, fair, and expensive—but just like hostels, search hard enough and you’ll find good deals in great locations.
Is Getting Around Paris Expensive?
Nope. Getting around Paris is easy, convenient, and affordable. You’ve got the metro, public bus, RER trains, trams, taxis, and even city bus tours. You can purchase a T+ Ticket to use on the metro, RER trains, and buses for single or multiple journeys.
1 Ticket = $1.90
10 Tickets = $14.90
The best way to save your money when traveling in Paris, though, is by purchasing a Navigo Easy or Paris Visite travel card, which allows for unlimited use of public transportation in different zones across the city, over single or multiple days.
What Are the Prices for Paris’s Popular Attractions?
Paris’ most popular attractions bring in swarms of tourists each and every day of the year. Here’s a list of ticket prices for a few:
Eiffel Tower: Lowest – $10 / $26 Highest
Louvre Museum: $15
Notre-Dame Cathedral: FREE
Seine River Cruise: $15+
Arc de Triomphe: FREE
Palace of Versailles: $19+
Disneyland Paris: $67+
As you can see, when it comes to attractions and their costs, Paris isn’t cheap, but it’s also not very expensive—it sits right in the middle. Fortunately, one of the best aspects of visiting Paris is that it’s jam-packed with free and low cost things to do that’ll keep you curious, busy, entertained, and satisfied. Visit the Museum of Modern Art, take a stroll around Jardins des Tuileries, explore famous filming locations of movies set in Paris, or catch a bird’s eye view of the city at Sacre Coeur.
Plus, many of the city’s major attractions and landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower, won’t even require you to go inside—you could simply sightsee from afar or up-close, saving you a few extra bucks.
So, is Paris Expensive?
Yes, at least, on the surface. Sure, Paris is a costly trip; however, with so many hostels, AirBnBs, free things to do, and places to go sightseeing without having to spend a dime, I’d say that you, curious adventurer, can absolutely, positively explore Paris on a reasonable budget. The only remaining question is: When are we going?