Visit Paris on less than £200

A couple of days ago it was my friend's 20th birthday, and so we decided to take a trip together to Paris for a few days to celebrate. The idea of Paris has never appealed to me (gasp), mainly due to the fact that I don't like London at all, and everyone told me that Paris was basically London but with more dirt and baguettes. However, I decided to visit Paris for the first time - and the result? I fell completely and utterly in love.

Imagine, little old French ladies with perfect hair and make-up carrying teensy chihuahuas under their arms, with men that oozed sultriness and seduction, imposing and ornate buildings on every corner, guys playing accordions and xylophones on the metro, delivery boys with massive bouquets of bright blue flowers going to the cream-coloured houses with the shutters on the windows. I couldn't fault a single thing - and even the beggars sat on their corners with little rabbits in their laps. We went into French cafes where we ate crepes, and roamed the streets where we bought quaint velvet bags and macarons, and spent the evening in restaurants where they brought out pasta and salads with grapes in and orange juice they added bottled water to (a delicacy apparently). We took photos with Mona Lisa, and saw Paris from the top (the best view was from the Centre of Pompidou - you're welcome), and gazed at the Eiffel Tower as snow started falling around us. Reading this, you're probably counting dollar signs in your head, working out how we could afford such a luxurious trip to one of the most famous countries in the world. The truth? It came as easy as breathing. 



The flights - £80

A lot of the time, if you're going away somewhere for a short trip then one of the most expensive compulsory buys are the travel to and from the country. In regards to Paris from London, most people will automatically think of taking the Eurostar, the train that runs between the two cities. However, considering you're likely to get tickets at £90 minimum for one person one way, it can easily add up, especially if you're not travelling solo and don't have that sort of money for the travel alone. Ferries and driving are another mode of transport to and fro, but it's a pretty long journey and petrol can be dear, and if you go by coach, get ready for 15 hours of not being able to move (but you can get journeys for as low as £20 if you use brands like Ouibus). And so, the cheapest and most practical way of travel, for my friend and myself anyways, was to fly. 

For this, I scoured a couple well-known budget airlines, and eventually found that EasyJet and Vueling offered the cheapest flights - £80 for one person, return. However, if we had waited a couple days more, we found that the prices had easily doubled. Lesson? If you find an incredible deal, it'll get snapped up just as quickly as you stumbled upon it. 6 - 8 weeks is the best time to buy according to most airlines, and if you're willing to travel from smaller airlines, like Heathrow or Stansted or your country's equivalent, then you can easily save. Also, look out for airlines that offer loyalty schemes such as Vueling with their Punto programme, as if you spend £500 or the like on flights (easily done when you travel as much as I do) then you can get free flights and other perks - making it completely worth it. Also, you get to fly! I adore flying, and on the way back I witnessed the plane being cleaned whilst on it for the first time - suddenly there was a loud noise, a burst of Spanish, and foam started running down the windows. It was kind of awesome.



The hotel - £22.50

Hotels in Paris are surprisingly cheap, especially if you use the 'sort from lowest price' filter on Booking.com, my go-to site for booking accommodation abroad. I found several hotels for around £25 for two people per night (literally insanely cheap), right in the centre of the city. However, my friend and I settled on one place for £45 because it was right by the Oberkampf metro, fifteen minutes away from anything a tourist could ask for, with all these adorable shops and cafes right next to us. We found the hotel to be quiet and clean, even if it didn't offer a blanket when it was -2 degrees outside. I probably wouldn't recommend the hotel we stayed in, hence why I haven't linked it, but that's simply because of how misleading some photographs were. And so - always always always read the reviews on a site like Trip Advisor, in order to make sure you don't get scammed or lose out on money or anything.

Excursions - free!

In regards to excursions, we visited the Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Centre of Pompidou, and wandered past little gardens and churches and the Seine, and everything was free. No guidebook I read explained this to me, but if you're a student or under the age of 26, you can get entry into all these art galleries and museums for free! A lot of this doesn't apply until after 6pm, but even so, these places may not close until around 10pm. This means that if this applies to you, you can easily save your money for other things. Otherwise, I would have spent around £30 on excursions, which isn't bad either (considering a lot of places - like the Notre Dame - are free).

In regards to the Eiffel Tower, it is possible to go inside and look out over France from it, but after much research I realised that it simply wasn't worth the money, and you could get much better photos of the city from other places - that actually have the staple tower in view. For this, my friend and I went to a place called the Centre of Pompidou which was filled with all these beautiful art installations and the like, and we could go to the top of the building for three if we followed the little pipes up around the building. From the top, you can get one of the most beautiful views in all of Paris, of little squares and opera houses and churches, and you can also see the Eiffel Tower in the background. For view and value, this is definitely the best place to take landscape photographs - and you can look at some Pablo Picasso whilst you're there.


Food - £90

My food expenses ran to turn out to be pretty cheap considering location and quality and the sheer amount I eat - for example, on day at breakfast I had an omelette and then some crepes and two different drinks, coming to around £35 when my friend and I ordered the same. All together, I would say that I spent around £90 on food in Paris, including on those little Milka chocolates you don't get in the UK, food at the airport, dinner out, etc. So whilst food can be pretty cheap, it can also add up pretty easily, so you definitely need to watch out for that. 

My favourite place to eat at was a little place called Cafe Ragueneau, where they brought out these steaming dishes of goodness. God, it's making me hungry just thinking about it. And the staff were so insanely friendly, giving off the feeling that you were just being served by some old friends, with the waiter that we had joking and laughing with us. The atmosphere was that of a home, with chatter and warmth and featured decorations that added an extra feeling of comfort, and just everything fell into place to make it a wonderful place that made you feel welcome and safe whilst you ate some gorgeous French food. Honestly, I can't recommend it enough, but I'll sure as heck try.

Another place that I have to recommend is a little cafe called Rendez Vous Germaine, which was a small lace by Cluny Sarbonne on the Metro, a small walk to the Notre Dame. We stopped there for breakfast one morning, and it was a typical French place with croissants on the side and posters in French and the woman who worked there having to consult a waiter whenever she wanted to talk to us because she didn't speak a word of English. The food was wonderful, and it was decently priced also. All in all, it's the sort of place that will make you feel welcome and give you it's undivided attention when you arrive, and I fell in love.


And so, my trip to Paris wasn't filled with filth or snails or rude people or any of these other misconceptions people told me were true, and was instead filled with food food, beautiful buildings, and so much love for a place so seeped in history, art, liberation, and absolute divine allure. The people were so helpful and friendly also, like one time we got lost and a dude showed us a map on his Mac behind the shop desk, and then whilst buying tickets at the Metro the woman at the booth next to us realised how bad we were at it (it had basically no buttons, just a little silver revolver) and did it for us. And then there were the shop keepers giving us free magnets and guys in museums telling us the stories of the paintings and ladies on the trains who pointed out French words to us. 

Honestly, the whole chill yet helpful attitude of the place and its locals was such a stark contrast to London that it made me never want to go back again - and so, ten days later, I was booked to go on a trip to Poland.


I adored my trip to Paris, and if this post has helped or inspired any of y'all, let me know below!

- Amy

46 comments:

  1. Salut. Je pense que c'est un voyage incroyable! Je voudrais visiter Paris un jour, mais je suis radin, et je ne prends pas un avion pour £80 des Etats-Unis. Aussi, je voudrais visiter pour environ une semaine ou plus. Tu peux lire le francais, non?

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    1. I only read Spanish and English haha.

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    2. Well, zut. I'll translate. "Hi. I think that this is an incredible voyage! I would like to visit Paris one day, but I am cheap, and I (that should've said 'je ne peux pas prendre un avion') can't take a plane for £80 from the U.S. Also, I would like to visit for about a week or more. You can read French, no? (And you can't, haha. My bad.)"

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  2. I was in Paris ages and ages ago. Went there and Amsterdam...the only two European cities I've ever gone to, and man, what an experience! I was a poor uni student when I went and I wish I knew then that some of these places were free after a certain time! That would've saved us so much money.
    Another great post with helpful travel tips:)

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  3. Wow the flight tickets for you are definitely so cheap, less than the food! I hope you had a fantastic trip there!

    Camila,
    My Vogue Style | www.myvoguestyle.com

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  4. Great post! It's always so hard to travel on a budget but you've got some great tips here!

    Alya / moorizZLA xx

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  5. Thanks a lot :D

    I really love this kind of travel tips :D I hope you had enjoyed your travel :D You need to visit Portugal <3

    NEW PERSONAL POST | Happy 4th BLOGIVERSARY, Pieces Of Me <3
    InstagramFacebook Oficial PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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  6. So nice!

    ** Join Love, Beauty Bloggers on facebook. A place for beauty and fashion bloggers from all over the world to promote their latest posts!


    BEAUTYEDITER.COM

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  7. ¡¡Hola Amy!! París es mi asignatura pendiente, porque ya he visitado Francia, pero no París. Nunca tuve el concepto de que París fuera una ciudad sucia o con gente maleducada, todo lo contrario y ya has visto que tú ahora también piensas igual. Yo me volvería loca con su repostería y sus macarons, ja, ja. ¡¡Me ha encantado tu viaje!! Besitos.

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  8. This is so nice! Great post.

    Bloglovin
    STYLEFORMANKIND.COM

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  9. Paris for under £200? Well that's impressive! I'm so pleased to hear you enjoyed your time there, it really is a beautiful and magical city - I hope your friend had a very Happy Birthday there :) Beautiful photos by the way, this entire post makes me want to hop onto a plane to Paris asap!

    aglassofice.com
    x

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  10. Wish we could have affordable flights here. Great post and thanks for the visit.
    www.effortlesslady.co

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  11. Paris very fabulous and romantic
    new post on my blog <<< fashion blogger >>>
    have an happy day, kisses

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  12. such a nice post and tips. I love pics too.
    kss
    =)
    New post in my Lifestyle Blog

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  13. OMG this was so fantastic! I literally want to go to Paris like now! All the suggestions were extremely wonderful, and I am fangirling so hard since you visited my blog <3 <3
    Prabhleen @ Booksarelife987

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  14. I was also really surprised by how much I loved Paris when I visited just over a year ago. As I was reading what you'd written I was nodding along. Cheap hotel, nod; hotel right by the Metro, nod; nice coffee shops and restaurants with friendly waiters, nod; locals who help you understand how to buy a Metro ticket, nod; not climbing the Eiffel Tower, nod; great views of Paris including the Eiffel Tower in the view, nod (from the Montparnasse tower in my case). Ah, Paris, gotta go back, I'm smitten.

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  15. Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase

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  16. Amazing post, dear! Looks wonderful :)
    Hugs,
    LIANA LAURIE

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  17. Amazing you were able to enjoy your trip at such an affordable price. I would have thought the hotels would have been a lil more expensive. I'm glad you enjoyed your time and thank you for sharing :)
    xo
    Sauniya | Find Your Bliss ♡

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  18. I want to go to Paris so bad! I though it would be so much expensive

    http://ayellowrain.blogspot.com/

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  19. This post is so good! Love Paris and Paris on a budget is a great one. Xx

    www.thefashionfolks.com

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  20. I actually think Paris is quite different to London - personally I prefer it as although it's a city there's still something quaint about it! I've found the accommodation there is surprisingly cheap too, if you're not fussy about where you stay which I'm not! You've made me really want to go back!
    Amy xx
    www.callmeamy.co.uk

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  21. If I could get anywhere near Paris for $250 I would go in a heartbeat!

    It sounds like you guys had a great trip! Great pictures, as always. :)

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  22. Such a great post and thanks for the travel tips!

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  23. I would love to go to Paris one day too!


    http://www.fashionablyidu.com

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  24. Thanks a lot :D

    fantastic tips and photos my dear :D

    NEW COOKING POST | Gratin Codfish with Ham.
    InstagramFacebook Oficial PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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  25. I wish I could get there on that much money. Why do I have to live so far! I'd defintky go every weekend, especially with these fabulous tips

    Sxx
    www.daringcoco.com

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  26. Really a great trup, thank you for sharing!
    Kisses

    www.angelswearhees.com

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  27. Looks great, I've actually never been to London or Paris 😩 But I will soon hopefully

    SASKIA CILIBERTO

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  28. Thanks to share it! I am in love with Paris as well.. is an amazing city!
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: LACE CROP TOP + FLARE PANTS

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  29. I'm just planning to go, so these are perfect tips.
    xxx
    mari
    www.ilovegreeninspiration.com

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  30. This totally proves that one can travel on a budget and have a great time without really missing out on much. I will definitely have to keep these tips in mind the next time I visit Paris.

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  31. Great post and beautiful photo, Dear<3
    I'd be happy friendship blogs ♥
    Julia Shkvo

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  32. Congratulations on the look. I love it whole. Greetings.

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  33. Such an amazing post, can't believe you found tickets for £80 return! I'm bookmarking this post for any future Paris trips xx

    http://www.thatnewdress.com

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  34. Even though I've been to Paris, I alway imagine it as this big sparkling city of love and romance. Don't get me wrong - I love Paris! But the place just smelled of pee.... like everywhere. Maybe it was because of the heat from the summer.
    My favourite place in Paris is by Notre Dam. Especially Shakespeare's book shop, did you go?
    I can't believe how unbelievably cheap you made this holiday! O.o

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  35. Gosh, I definitely need to revisit Paris, dear! xoxo

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  36. Bellissimo posto e bellissime immagini!
    Un bacione Manu <3

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  37. Food is the most expensive haha xxx
    https://yukovablog.co.uk/brightening-skincare-routine/

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  38. Great foto https://bysinkj.blogspot.com

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