Paris, the city of love, the city of lights is one of the most popular tourist destination in the world. It however comes as a price, given the lavish hotels and large ticket gourmet meals. You however do not have to be staying in the sun palace for it to hit you that a trip to France’s capital is expensive. Depending on the prevailing season, even the hotels considered to be midrange can be pretty costly, going for up to 300 Euros for a night. And this is excluding the flight and the meals while in this great city.
But while it has the potential to be very expensive, like any other large city in the world, it does offer a large variety of worthwhile and friendly activities for a traveler to enjoy while on a budget. You can save huge on the meal, lodging, transportation and many other expenses if you make your plan wisely. The following are some tips that will help you save money and still get you to enjoy the city where love blooms.
Choose the season to travel wisely
Unlike many of the tourist destinations in the world that have high and low tourism seasons, Paris’ tends to run throughout the year. You should expect to see a large number of people in the winter as well as in the summer – though the crowds in the winter are slightly thinner than those in the warm season. In general, the lodging as well as the airfare will be lower and affordable during the winter. If you are however looking to travel on a budget and still remain warm, you should plan your trip in spring or fall.
Avoid the festivals and the holidays
As mentioned previously, air fare as well as the lodging rates in Paris are usually at their lowest in winter. There is however an exception to this rule. During New Year’s Eve and the Christmas period, the prices will hike insanely. During the festivals and the holiday seasons, many museums and shops are usually closed. Expenses in the city are also expected to rise during Parisian events such as Fashion Week.
Book hotels on the outskirts of the city
In general, the closer you get to Paris, and any other city for that matter, the real estate becomes more and more expensive. In order to save on lodging costs, you should book a hotel that is in the surroundings of Paris. There are hotels that are convenient and very close to the city that will not have you break your bank to afford the lodging fees.
Mind the exchange rate
In the past few months, the exchange rate of the euro/dollar has improved a great deal. There are however ways to ensure that you stretch our dollar even further. This also applies to other currencies. To get the best results, you could skip the exchange counter and make use of a credit card that does not charge you for the transactions that are made in the foreign countries. You could even prefer the ATM. Most often than not, the ATMs and the credit cards will provide you with a better rate than the exchange bureaus.
Plan trips in Paris on the first Sunday of the month
How will this help? Well, many of the attractions in Paris tend to offer freebies during this period – every first Sunday of the month. These attractions include the Musee d’Orsay, Louvre, the Centre Pompidou and many other attractions.
Look for the free museums
For those who are lovers of the museum, Paris is like a paradise and a sort of a heaven. However, even for the staunch lovers of the art in museums, the admission fees for a week can really put a dent in your bank account. You should also not overlook the exhibits in the city that provides free entrance including the Musee d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Musee Carnavalet.
Pedal through Paris
Paris has an elaborate bicycle share system that if you are open to and not shy of, can help you have a great deal of money when it comes to transportation, when you join the program. The Velib program has you picking a bicycle at any station and dropping it off at any station that you are travelling to, so long as you have with you a ticket.