Aww Paris. You love it. I love it. We all love it. Even before you’ve been, you love it.
But how much does it really cost to go on vacation in the famous capital? While I’ve found plenty of general “cost of living” guidelines for Paris, I’ve yet to find a real specific breakdown of a real vacation, so I took fairly meticulous notes (i.e. I jotted down rounded up costs in the notes section of my iPhone) when I and my mother went gallivanting along the Seine two weeks ago. Here is the breakdown of those costs, and incidentally a kind of itinerary for the Parisian nonsense we got up to.
P.S. I’m sorry, but I did round all of my numbers. I’m “meticulous,” but not that meticulous. So if I spent 2.24€ on something, I most likely wrote it down as 3€. Anyway… without further ado!
(We arrived around 7PM at CDG in Paris.)
20€ on two train tickets from the airport to the Paris metro lines
30€ on two “carnets” of public transport tickets (Carnet = Pack of 10 public transport tickets)
6€ on takeaway pizza
Total = 56€ (+86€ on AirBnb in 19th arrondissement)
64€ (prepaid online) for two tickets to the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour
11€ on two coffees
6€ on a few croissants
4€ on two waters
20€ for two tickets to Saint Chapelle
FREE walk around Champ de Mars at the Eiffel tower
27€ on two large sandwiches and two beers at a restaurant (Le Panorama)
10€ on cheese, crackers, wine and other groceries (We ate the groceries plus our leftover sandwiches for dinner.)
Total = 175€ (+86€ on AirBnb in 19th arrondissement)
9€ for two boxes of Ibuprofen at the pharmacy
32€ for two tickets to Musee d’Orsay and l’Orangerie
36€ for breakfast including coffee at Musee d’Orsay (Cafe Campana)
5€ on water
12€ on lots of postcards
30€ on lunch at a cafe whose name I didn’t catch (which included wine)
14€ on another “carnet” of public transport tickets
14€ on groceries which included more wine, cheese, chocolate, etc.
6€ on takeaway pizza
Total = 158€ (+86€ on AirBnb in 19th arrondissement)
30€ for two Louvre tickets
14€ on coffee, a water, and pastries in the cafe at the Louvre (Cafe Mollien)
4€ for a magnet inside the Louvre
45€ on two large meals at Le Corona across from the Louvre
5€ on three magnets at a gift shop
5€ for some pins at Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen
7€ for a crepe and some drinks
20€ on groceries including wine, couscous, cheese, crackers, sausages, etc.
Total = 133€ (+86€ on AirBnb in 19th arrondissement)
Paris break! After day 4, we actually left Paris and went to Portugal and then later on went to Belgium. At the end of our trip we came back to stay one more night in Paris. The next morning we got up early so we could have one more day puttering about before our evening flight back to Chicago.
30€ on two omelettes and two coffees (Attitude Cafe)
8€ on a few single public transport tickets
30€ on coffee and heavenly pastries (Ma Salle a Manger)
55€ on a taxi back to CDG from the Bastille area
20€ on snacks at the airport
Total = 143€ (+79€ on the budget hotel the night before, Au Royal Mad)
THE MEGA TOTAL = 1,088€ for two people for five days in Paris including accommodation
DAILY BREAKDOWN = That’s 109€ per person per day with accommodation included.
All in all, I was “only kind of on a budget”; however, I’m aware that these costs are through the roof for someone who typically bills herself as a budget traveler. I definitely wasn’t depriving myself in Paris. However, I know for sure that I could have gone cheaper and still been happy too, which is always a good feeling.
So, my take on this is that you could definitely spend more or less in Paris than I did and still be comfortable. So how can you save money if you want to be thriftier than I was?
(1.) Well, you can probably see, but grocery shopping in Paris was actually very reasonable and if you were willing to dine in more often than we did, you could save a significant amount of money there.
(2.) Coffee while out and about was expensive in Paris, so if you can grab some instant to heat up back at your hotel then you’ll definitely save there too.
(3.) Also, seeing as I’m not going back to Paris anytime super soon, I wanted to be sure I got to all the museums I wanted, but if you’re more of the “walk about the city and enjoy the sights” kind of gal or guy, then you can save a lot of money there too. Walking around and sight-seeing is always free, so you can see all the big sights like Notre Dame and the Eiffel tower without spending a dime.
I had a blast on my vacation, and I hope these numbers helped someone else. Paris, someday I will be back!