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How to take on Paris like a pauper

So this famous city is not so famous for its prices. You sit down at a restaurant and you will pay more than if you stand at the bar.. Same food, same drinks but you 'pay for the view'.

But worry not, there are always ways to survive on a shoestring.


Living in pairs, I discovered that the grocery stores are much more affordable than eating out. There are a few grocery stores but the best ones I found were Monoprix and Carrefour.. Amazing selection of all types of fresh food and you won't break the bank for a couple of meals.

I've found Starbucks to be overpriced no matter where I go but it's always nice for a treat now and again on a cold day.

Try picking up breakfast like a local, by popping into the near pâtisserie and buying a croissant. Or buy a baguette, cheese, ham and wine for a picturesque picnic style dinner.


The amazing thing about Paris is that you can walk wherever you need to go in the city centre… And you get more sightseeing in this way!

The metro is easy to use after the first couple of days but be prepared for getting lost a few times.

You can hire Vélib' bikes which is also another amazing way to get a lot of sightseeing in! There are stations all over Paris but it's tricky to use if you don't know what to do.. Like us! We tried to hire these bikes for 5 days and only got it right on our last day. What you need to do is have minimum €150 on your card per a bike. This is insurance in case you don't return it. The money is held but released when you return it. The first half an hour is free and then from there a one day pass is only €1.70. I highly recommend this! It was so much fun to cycle around the city.

The taxis are a bit more pricy and I tend to avoid them.


Thankfully, most of the tourist spots are reasonably priced and sometimes free.

Eiffel Tower – €15

Notra Dame – free

Montmartre – free

Sacre Coer – free

The Louvre – €15

Hop on hop off bus – €21

Free walking tour – free

Versailles – €15

If you want to spend a bit more then there is the

Seine Crusie – €41

Disneyland Paris & Disney Universal Studios – €69

Both of which I really loved and highly recommend.


Hotels are amazing for a few nights stay because it could add up after a few days.

Renting apartments are for the people wanting to live more like a local. You can make meals for yourself and it's generally cheaper than hotels. This is a great option for longer stays.

I personally haven't tried Airbnb yet but I've heard only the best things from close friends and will definitely be giving this a try soon.

So enjoy the famous city of love and lights for its beauty, art and history rather than its stereotypical prices.



Profile photo of Bianca Rentzke

I am a 19 year old, South African and my greatest passion is to travel, write and take photos. I'm currently working as a model which allows me to travel and meet new and exciting people from all over the world. I get to spend up to three months in a country which allows me to experience the place as a local. So far this year, I've been to Japan and Singapore and I am going to Paris in two months time. In between my travels, I am based at home in beautiful South Africa. I'm a lover of life and a believer in taking any opportunity that comes my way because life is too short for regrets.

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