Is Paris Expensive? A Paris Trip Cost Guide

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Images of Paris ooze luxury and charm, and it makes you wonder, is Paris expensive to visit? Working out a Paris trip cost can be difficult when factoring in accommodation, food and drink, activities, transport and other expenses, as life in big cities is notoriously costly.

Paris is one of the most expensive cities to visit in Europe, with an average daily cost of €120-565 (approximately $128-603 USD) per person per day. However, there are areas where you can learn to get the most out of your travel budget.

With a Paris trip cost guide, you’ll learn how expensive Paris really is and work out how you can visit Paris whatever your budget.

Paris Trip Cost Guide

We’ll break down each of the main expenses for a trip to Paris to give you an overview of how much you might spend in a day in Paris.

Arc de Triomphe in Paris
Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Accommodation Prices in Paris

Accommodation prices in Paris can vary a great deal depending on how budget-friendly or no expense spared your Paris city break will be. It surely won’t surprise you to learn that accommodation in Paris is generally quite a bit more expensive compared to the rest of France.

A night in an average hostel in Paris such as The People Paris Marais would cost around €50-60 per person in a dorm room or from €100 to €350 for a private room, though most options are around the €180-mark.

A mid-range hotel such as Ibis, or Mercure Hotels, start at around €120 for one night in a room with a double bed, or up to €190 as you get closer to the city centre. Keep in mind that prices often increase in the high season months – especially in July and August but can be cheaper if visiting Paris in winter.

There are lots of Ibis hotels around France, and plenty in Paris, with a popular hotel located within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower in the Hôtel ibis Paris Tour Eiffel Cambronne for €150 per night for the room and the Hôtel ibis Paris Rueil Malmaison near the Rueil Malmaison metro station as a cheaper option from around €70 per night from which you can easily get into the centre of Paris.

If you’re taking the trip to Paris of a lifetime, you’re celebrating or you simply enjoy the finer things in life, hotels like Novotel Paris Les Halles and other boutique hotels are very popular and located right in the 1st arrondissement (one of the best areas for first time visitors!), while Le Relais Montmartre is a beautiful hotel in Montmartre. One night in a standard room for two in a luxury hotel like this would cost from €350 – 550 for a double room.

The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum

Transportation Prices in Paris

Paris’ public transport system is excellent, helping you around the city with 5 train lines, 14 metro lines, 13 tram lines and an extensive bus system.

Fortunately, one ticket works across each of the public transport systems, except transit to the airports and other distant locations via train which cost €11-17, rather than the standard 1 journey ticket for €2.10.

You can also buy a pass at the ticket booths to use all the public transport in Paris in zones 1-3 for €13.55 for 24 hours or you have the option to include access to the airports and Palace of Versailles for an increased fee. As a tourist, this drastically cuts down on travel costs, so it’s the best investment to keep your Paris travel costs to a minimum.

If you prefer to get around Paris by bike and reduce the cost of a trip to Paris further, you can rent city bikes from the street with your credit card from Paris’ public bike system Vélib’ Métropole! A 24-hour pass costs €5, or €10 for an electric bike, and just €20 for a 3-day rental.

Note that it’s generally better to rely on public transit, cycling and getting around on foot if you want to stick to your Paris travel budget.

Things like taking a taxi can be expensive and less efficient when accounting for the high traffic that tends to plague the French capital. Renting a car is similarly not recommended on a trip to Paris due to the city’s terrible traffic

Palace of Versailles
Palace of Versailles

Food Prices in Paris

To keep your trip to Paris cost low, it might be better to eat a larger lunch and smaller dinner as this often works out cheaper, however, if you simply want to find not-so-expensive options, don’t worry, there are plenty out there.

A Jambon Beurre (and ham and cheese baguette) will cost you around €4-5 from most bakeries, although there are more lavish options like the Caractere de Cochon, which costs roughly €10 for the classic French sandwich, or BBT offer the same delicious ingredients with a drink and dessert for under €10.

For a hot lunch, you can also find croque monsieurs or omelettes for around €15 from many standard cafes.

For dinner, in a mid-range restaurant, you can find a 3-course set menu for around €35, or spend €15 – 35 for a main course.

Most restaurants have a set menu for a more reasonable price than if you just pick from the menu, so if you’re going for 2 or 3 courses, a set menu is the cheapest way and often the best way to sample the restaurants’ specialities.

If you want to have a high-quality dining experience, lunch at a restaurant like the Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower with views over Paris will start a €160 for a set menu, or €255 to 275 for a tasting menu. At dinner, they just offer the 5-course or 7-course tasting menus.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower

Activities Prices in Paris

You may wonder how expensive is Paris due to the vast amount of activities you can do there, which can all add up to make for a high Paris trip cost, however, most museums and galleries in Paris have certain opening days and times for people the visit for free so it’s possible to time your trip to Paris well to still visit the iconic museums and save a lot of money.

Tickets to most of Paris’ galleries and museums are between €10 and €20 for a standard adult entrance ticket, with the Louvre costing €17, the Arc de Triomphe €13 to go up, the Musée d’Orsay €16, Palais Garnier €14 to enter, Dalí Museum €12 and the Rodin Museum €13.

If you plan on visiting more than a few of these museums while in Paris, it can be extremely cost-effective to purchase the Paris Museum Pass which has options for 2-day, 4-day and 6-day passes and includes entry to a wide array of the most notable museums and attractions in Paris.

The Catacombs are a more expensive activity, at €29 for a tour of the 2 km underground tunnels, and the Eiffel Tower similarly costs €28.30 to reach the top in a lift, or €21.50 for the stairs to the 2nd floor and then the lift to the top.

Other ticket prices are available for the 2nd floor, the cheapest at €11.30 for stair access to the 2nd floor, although if you’re only going to the Eiffel Tower for views from the second floor, you should visit the incredible restaurant while you’re there.

Rodin Museum
Rodin Museum

Fortunately, the best time to visit Paris on a budget is on the first weekend of any month except July and August, as the Louvre is free after 6 pm on the first Friday of the month, and the Musée d’Orsay is free on the first Sunday of every month. However, there are many activities you can also do for free.

You can of course walk around Paris at no cost, taking in the sights of the Champs-Élysée, or perusing the old book market on the south bank of the Seine river, walking around the gardens of La Villette, the Jardins du Luxembourg or Parc des Buttes-Chaumont with its beautiful cherry blossom in Spring, or paying your respects at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

You can also get a free art fix at the Pompidou Centre, although you have to pay a small fee for the temporary exhibitions, enjoy the aesthetic interior of the Bibliothèque Mazarine or Sainte Chapelle opposite the Notre Dame de Paris, and visit incredible buildings the Panthéon and the Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre for free (just avoid mass if you’re going as a tourist).

What’s more, you can get an excellent panoramic view of the city up close and for free from the terrace of the Galeries Lafayette Haussman if you’d rather see the Eiffel Tower from the outside and spend your 20-something euros on a delicious lunch instead.

The Pantheon
The Pantheon

Entertainment Prices in Paris

While you may successfully save money on an apartment further from the centre and make use of a daily Paris travel pass to get around Paris, there are always other expenses on holiday that you need to account for.

Whether it’s your mid-morning coffee, afternoon sweet treat or evening entertainment, to make the most of a trip to Paris, you’ll have to budget for additional costs or face a surprise at the end of your stay.

Food and Drink in Paris

A simple black Americano, or Café Long to the locals, will cost around €2.50 in most cafes, although it can go over to €6.50 in very fancy spots such as the Cafe du Trocadero or specialist coffee shops.

However, to keep things cheaper, you can always get 50 cents off your coffee if you have a reusable cup in Pret a Manger which you can find all over Paris.

To keep things really cheap, pick up a French press in a Monoprix or other cheap shop and make your own coffee in the mornings at your apartment or hotel.

As your day rolls on, you might want to stop for an apéritif or bière pression in the afternoon, which is also generally more expensive in Paris than in other French cities. A 25 cl draft beer can cost from €3.50-6 in a pleasant but not luxurious brasserie, with 50 cl beers costing €7-10, with Brasserie Bellanger being a beautiful and inexpensive option for eating and drinking in Paris.

A classic Ricard will also cost around the same amount as a small beer, usually around €4, and other popular apéritifs such as kirs (white wine with a sweet fruity liqueur) and martinis costing around €7 each.

Nightlife in Paris

For an evening out, however, you can find many entertainment spots around Paris, each with varying prices.

The renowned Lapin Agile in the Montmartre district, made famous by the many artists who frequented it and immortalised it in their paintings, is a great spot for an evening in Paris, with tickets for the cabaret shows at €35 per person including a drink, and additional drinks between €5 and €9.

For a longer night out, there are many nightclubs in Paris, although they’re not particularly transparent with their entry fees.

Most nightclubs in Paris will charge €10-20 to get in, and you can expect drinks to be slightly more expensive than in other bars in Paris. However, if you’re not concerned about your trip to Paris cost, then nightclubs like Cha Cha Club are very popular and on the more expensive side.

View from Montmartre
View from Montmartre

Is Paris Expensive? Average Prices in Paris

For a more detailed view of the cost of a trip to Paris, here is the average cost of a day in Paris for one person, assuming you buy a 24-hour travel pass, have three meals a day, visit three paid-for Parisian landmarks, drink an alcoholic drink and go on an evening out, paying for your entrance and one drink.

So bear in mind, if you only do the free activities in Paris, you can reduce your Paris travel cost greatly, or spend the money you’ve saved on staying closer to the centre.

Accommodation: €50 – 275 / night

Transportation: €10-15 / day

Food: €30 – 150 / day

Activities: €15 – 75 / day

Entertainment: €15 – 50 / day

In general, expect to pay around €120-565 per person per day while visiting Paris. Keep in mind that this is an estimate and there are ways to keep costs down, however, there are certainly ways that you could spend more should you have the room in your budget.

Paris is an expensive city, but that’s not to say you can’t go on a cheap trip to Paris. With plenty of artistic, cultural and natural activities to take part in as well as some fantastic offers to make the most of, you can enjoy a trip to Paris without breaking the bank.

Are wondering about the costs in Paris? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments!

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Brittany Scott-Gunfield

Brittany is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Colchester, England, she is slowly but surely travelling the world as a digital nomad. She loves to hike around different landscapes and has a deep love for travelling around France (and elsewhere in Europe).

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