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Visiting Paris on a Budget

Paris is a beautiful city to visit and, despite its reputation as one of Europe’s more expensive destinations, can be explored happily on a budget. Before you set off, ensure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and even though Paris isn’t far away, solid travel insurance, in case something does go wrong.

If you have an old E111 or your EHIC has expired, then we can help with an EHIC renewal or update you to the latest card to provide medical expense cover, should you have an accident. In Paris, one of Europe’s older cities, there are plenty of cobbles, ageing stairs and small, narrow streets and so on where an innocuous bump can turn into a nasty fall – so you should ensure that you get yourself covered with a European Insurance Card.

Getting to the City of Light

To get to Paris cheaply look out for regular Eurostar deals to arrive in style, but you’ll need to book well in advance. If you’re not worried about the style, then the likes of Megabus offer deals from £1, while there are plenty of other bus trips and ferry/train deals to catch.

Use booking websites to find a place to stay that matches your budget. The cheapest places are well outside the city centre, but the savings are massive compared to the central hotels.

Once you’ve arrived in Paris, you can get around on the Metro cheaply using a Paris Visite travel card, which are valid for one to five days, to match the length of your visit. If you need to check your social media, and are worried about getting a big data bill, there is free Wi-Fi at most Metro stations, so do your updates from there, rather than risk eating up your roaming data.

Wining and dining

Paris is famous for its food, and while most of the top eateries are out of range for the budget traveller, there are plenty of places to eat out well for less. A quick internet search will rapidly reveal the latest and cheapest best places to snack. Do your research before you go and you can easily eat out for around €10 a meal.

If you’re just ambling around the streets looking for food, then Parisian street food is usually delicious and if you venture down the side streets, most smaller restaurants and cafes will have a deal for the passing tourists.

The tourist traps

Avoid organised tours and make your own way around the city’s main attractions to enjoy them at your leisure. The Louvre has reduced entrance after 6pm on Wednesday and Friday, while prices for the Eiffel Tower are cheaper if you’re under 24.

Near the popular locations, be very wary of street peddlers who will try and scam you for cheap tat, often quite aggressively. Also, look out pickpockets who operate in gangs. Keep your valuables safely zipped up in an inside pocket and never get them out in the open unless you have to.

Using online resources and a bit of clever budgeting can see you enjoy the full Paris experience at a fraction of the cost. Just make sure you have that EHIC card and travel insurance, just in case something does go wrong.

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