In some ways Paris can be a very expensive city to visit, but it doesn’t have to be. If you book a hotel overlooking the Seine and you eat at the restaurants nearby you might think Paris is the most expensive city in the world. However, if you stay a bit outside of the center and focus more on restaurants where Parisians (rather than just tourists) eat, the place can seem like a bargain and the food will be better.
Excellent food can be found in neighborhood bistros, especially if you focus on the plat du jour (plate of the day), and while beer and spirits tend to be weirdly expensive, wine can be a great bargain almost everywhere.
You don’t want to skimp with the big attractions, though fortunately they aren’t too expensive anyway, and most museums have free-entry days once per month so if your budget is tight you should investigate that. We discuss whether the Paris Pass is good value or not on another page. The free walking tours given by Sandeman’s New Paris are excellent and well worth the €5 or so tip you’ll want to give the guide at the end. And all the gorgeous architecture and monuments can be appreciated for free from the sidewalk as well.
Where to stay in Paris
There are plenty of cheap hostels as well as moderately priced hotel rooms scattered all over the city, and unlike many other destinations, staying in a central location isn’t critical in Paris since the Metro connects everything with ease. To save time choosing a place you can check out our recommended hotels and hostels for Paris, which gives you 7 great options in different price ranges.