Have you ever imagined yourself packing your bags, leaving your daily life behind and taking the next flight to Paris?
Flâner through the streets of the City of Lights, visit every museum and culture center on your way, as well as allowing yourself French delicacies, coffees and cups of wine to any bistro you wish?
Well this doesn’t have to remain a dream. Paris is so wonderful that you will never regret making this trip possible, but it sure comes at a cost – literally.
So if you ever wondered how much does it cost to go to Paris, the flight prices, accommodation, transportation, visits, food and more… You are on the right spot!
Take note, we’ll tell you everything from start to finish – including tips on how to make sure your holiday is both memorable and affordable.
Trip to Paris cost: What is the average prices of flights from the US to Paris?
The total price of a flight to Paris can depend on the airlines, the airport you depart from and the airports you are flying over to. Choosing a direct flight or one with layover(s) might also affect the price.
But one of the most important factors that make the flights’ cost to Paris vary significantly is the season in which you are travelling.
High-season flights’ costs to Paris
The pricing of the round trip flights for the high tourism season are typically more expensive than the low tourism season because of when they are operated.
The high season in France is from May to September and at Christmas time. These months tend to be busiest for airline travel. This means that you will need to buy tickets well in advance during this time because there will be a high demand for airplane seats, which raises airfares.
Take note, the average cost of flights from the US to Paris in high-season is usually starting from $1,000 and can raise up to $4,000+!
Low-season flights’ costs to Paris
Fares are generally cheaper during the French “low” season which is the rest of the year (January through April and October through early December.
In the low tourism season, you can find flights between $300 and $1,600 on average.
What does the flight cost include?
From the United States to France, if you have a direct flight, know that the prices usually include food and drinks on board with 2 different meals.
There should be no additional charges for bringing on with you a checked luggage either.
How to find a cheap flight ticket?
If you want to book your ticket online, the lowest ticket prices can be found using comparator sites like Kayak or SkyScanner. Remember also that flights will not always be what you’re looking for in terms of dates or prices – so do your research beforehand!
Some of the largest companies that offer flights to Paris are: Delta Airlines, Air France, American Airlines or United.
There are also cheaper airlines such as JetBlue, French bee, Air Caraïbes, Level or Norwegian, which might be a good choice for those looking for budget air travel. With those tickets, double check if you don’t need to add manually checked luggage, meals or multimedia entertainments.
What transportation options exist for getting around the city and at what cost?
If you want to get around the city there are multiple transportation options. All of them come at a different cost and convenience. Here are some details to make your transportation choices for your week in Paris.
Metro and RER
One of the most famous options to get around Paris and visit all areas of the city are the Metro – or Subway – and RER.
The metro and the RER in Zone 1 offer access in the intramurros Paris. If you want to do a daytrip in the suburbs of the French capital and go visit the Versailles Castle for instance, you can use the longer RER at a reasonable cost.
If you pay by local currency, RER and metro tickets will cost between 1.70€ and a bit more than 10€ ($2 – $12) depending on your travel distance and the zones you want to reach. The metro operates from 5:30 am to 1:15 am and during the week-end, it is extended until 2:15am. As for the RER, it operates at 5:30 am too and ends around 1:15 all week.
Another transportation option is City Buses. Most of the bus tickets will cost you 2€ ($2,35) to move in Paris and in its surroundings. However, if you decide on taking the night bus, the Noctilien, shuttles to and from the airports or buses that provide a more extensive service throughout the suburbs of France, it will be a bit more.
Trams while visiting Paris
If you desire to visit a place in the outsides of Paris, you can use the trams. With similar prices to the Subway tickets the tram allows you to go further with lines that usually run at a moderate speed.
Schedules can vary a lot depending on the line you need to use, so we recommend you have a look beforehand.
Lyft, Uber and other private rides services
If you don’t want to use public transportation, or if you’re staying outside of Paris, you can enjoy a private ride service.
Among others, Lyft and Uber are available there with an easy-to-use app that allows you to request your journey from a distance.
It is though very practical for short distances and when you are in a rush or simply don’t want to get lost in a foreign city, though not so ecological and can get very expensive for long distances or during busy times.
The average price of a private ride within Paris can be around $5 and $25.
Bike and Electric Scooters Rentals
You can find all kinds of bikes for rent from 10€ – 20€ ($12 – $25) per day (plus deposit) but prices may vary. Another option is to rent a velib’, the public bikes that you can find all around the City.
Pick a classical mechanic one or have fun with the electrical bikes for respectively a little bit more than $1 or $3,50 every 30 minutes.
You can also find small electric scooters for rent at different locations around the city. Those are a really fun way to visit Paris. The cost is cheap for a few minutes but can rapidly increase if you are using them for long distances.
For a taxi ride from the airport to the hotel, you can expect the cost to be around $50. You can avoid high taxi fares by reserving your taxi ride beforehand.
As for Paris, it is hard to estimate the real cost as it varies on how many people will get in, how many kilometers will you need a ride for, the time spent, if you put luggage in the trunk or at what time you travel.
However, one thing is certain. This will certainly not be cheap!
Public transportation from the airport to the city center
The French Capital created different options for you to join the airport in which you landed to your accommodation in Paris.
- From the Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle airport (CDG): You can buy a 13,70€ ticket to use the Roissy bus, or a 10,30€ ticket to use the RER B, or a 2€ ticket to come with the Bus lines 350 or 351 – but note that those take longer.
- From the Orly airport (ORY): You can take the Orlyval shuttle which costs 9,30€ and afterwards, the RER B until the closest station to where you are staying. You could also use the Orlybus for a one-way ticket of 9,50€ that will take you to Denfert-Rochereau. You can also use the Tramway 7 for a 1,90€ ticket or the Bus line 183 for a 2€ ticket. Finally, you could also take a GO C Shuttle linking the airport to the RER C line for a 6,35€ price.
How much are accommodations in Paris?
Spending your nights in a hotel in Paris
For your nights in Paris, if you choose to stay at a hotel in the capital, know that hotel room prices range from $50 to $500.
The average price for the hotels in Paris is around $100 per night though some may vary depending on the season.
In the streets of Montmartre or in a very calm neighborhood, you will find a lot of small hotels with magnificent views, and they can be a good option if what you are looking for is affordable accommodation while visiting Paris on a tight budget.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a fancy accommodation and luxury experience, staying in 5-star hotels can cost up to $500 a night!
The best place to look for accommodation is online, as you might receive special deals and if you are traveling with children you may also find some family-friendly hotels that could be cheaper than a regular one.
For those who don’t know, Airbnb is basically a network of people renting out their rooms or apartments.
You can find everything: from an entire apartment to a couch in the living room! There are many kinds of places you can rent for the duration of your stay.
Prices vary mostly depending on location, seasons, number of nights and amenities. Be sure to check them all out before booking, but as a whole, a Airbnb rental will usually end up being cheaper than a hotel.
Guest houses or Bed and Breakfast in Paris
The Guest houses or B&B are a simple and sometimes cheaper choice for accommodation in Paris. They allow you to connect with local people, enjoy authentic Parisian food and drink.
Usually, they include delicious and homemade breakfast with French pastries and marmalade to start the day off the right foot! This is a great opportunity to discuss with your hosts and ask them the local tips of things to do and see in town.
How much should you plan for entertainment and attractions in Paris?
Tours and attractions
The popular tourist attractions in Paris can come at a cost. For the most famous ones, the Eiffel tower will charge you from $12 per person for basic entry, up to $30 if you want to access the top of the Iron Lady and enjoy a 360 degrees view of Paris.
For the Arc de Triomphe, count around $12 for one person.
If what you are looking for is a more budget-friendly option, do not worry! You could still enjoy all these famous monuments by appreciating their architecture and reading about their story, without actually entering the buildings.
How much does it cost to visit museums in Paris?
There’s a ton of museums scattered all around Paris, so it’s impossible to form an average.
But if we could use the Louvre as a reference in this case, know that the entrance is $18 per person for an onsite purchase and $21 for an online purchase ensuring an entrance within a 30 minutes wait maximum. For kids and teenagers younger than 18 years old, the entrance is free.
If you are a culture addict and plan on visiting many museums, then your Paris trip budget will thank you if you get a museum pass. Indeed, the city of Paris is selling a 2 days, 4 days or 6 days museum pass for those who intend to visit monuments and museums.
Are included the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre Museum, The Orsay Museum, the Pompidou Center, The Quai Branly Museum, the Rodin Museum, the Château de Versailles and much more. For those who are interested, the cost of the museum pass goes from $61 per person for the 2 days version to $91 for the longest option.
How much money do you need for food and drinks while in Paris?
Coffee and Breakfast
You can buy some amazing pastries and coffee at almost any bakery in Paris. You’d be surprised by the difference in prices between bakeries, though!
Some of them are a bit hidden away from the main tourist paths, so be sure to ask some locals if you’re looking for one.
Prices will go from $2,50 for a simple coffee and around $6 if you are looking to order something more elaborate.
The average French breakfast – with a fresh croissant and coffee – could cost you between $4 and $10 per person if you add any extras, but there are many different options available in Paris!
If you are looking for a brunch though, count to spend at least $18 per person for a decent one.
Lunch or snacking in the city of lights
There’s no doubt that you will be visiting several bakeries in Paris, and you might also want to enjoy a picnic on the banks of river Seine. This said, lunch is usually less affordable than breakfast in Paris. How much this depends on where you eat it, though!
For example, if you are looking for an affordable Paris lunch, you could try the jambon-beurre sandwich – which is a fresh ham and cheese sandwich for around $5. However, if you are willing to invest a bit more money in your food, there are plenty of simple restaurants, cafes and bistros with healthy and delicious meals for around $10-$20 per person.
If you need inspiration on what to order once you are there, make sure to read our French Popular food blog post.
How much money do you need for dinner out while in Paris?
If you’ve been lucky enough to find a restaurant with good food at affordable prices during lunch, know that dinner might be at higher costs.
French cuisine is famous for being one of the most delicious in the world. And it is still possible to eat the best French food with a cup of wine for an average of $20 to $25 per person.
It all depends on your budget and the places where you want to dine. Everything combined, food can be one of the expensive travel costs especially if you travel with family and if, like us, you want to try any single thing on the menu! 😉
How much does it cost to drink in Paris?
You won’t have any trouble finding a bar or café on your trip through the city of lights. But you will encounter differences in price, depending on the establishment you choose and where it is located.
Nightlife is pretty expensive in Paris. The average price of a pint of beer is around $7 and if you are looking for other alcoholic drinks or cocktails, then expect prices to go from $8 to $18 per drink.
You could find cheaper options around the Latin Quarter for beer, such as in the bars and cafes along rue Saint-Séverin or rue Galande.
How much money should you budget for Paris souvenirs, gifts, clothes and shoes?
Shopping in Paris
Shopping in Paris is a lot of fun, but this thought comes with a hefty price tag.
Usually, any fashion item is a bit more expensive in Europe than in the US, so don’t be surprised. The best way to keep it at low cost would be to visit the local French fashion stores.
If you are looking for high-end and luxury brands, you’ll find the best deals in popular shopping centers like Les Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps, where designer goods at discounted prices are sold on the second floor. Once you are there, enjoy the architecture of those amazing shopping centers.
Souvenirs of your Parisian trip
If you are looking for souvenirs to take back home, you will find many options in small souvenir stores or in street markets. Prices will depend on what you want to bring home and in which area you buy it.
Tips for keeping your holiday in Paris on a budget
Here are a few tips for both memorable and affordable activities and options to consider for your vacation week in Paris.
Same money on visits
If you are planning a trip to Paris on a budget, here are some tips to organize your visits.
First, check on the websites of the museums, monuments, castles, the price of the entrance you would like to acquire before your visit. For some attractions, buying tickets online can mean a lower cost – ideal for a mid-range budget!
Many museums also offer free entrance on the first Sunday of each month. If your trip to Paris falls on one of those Sundays, you are in luck!
Then, investigate what are the free visits you can do when you travel to Paris. A few options are the Fragonard Perfume Museum, the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Sacre-Coeur Basilica or Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. You can easily enter those without paying a penny.
How can I save money on drinks in bars while visiting Paris?
If you plan on drinking in Paris, a great tip is to look for Happy Hours. Many bars and cafes in Paris offer happy hour for their most popular drinks every day between 6pm and 8pm.
It is a great way to stay on budget while enjoying the nightlife in Paris!
Cheapest months to visit Paris
The best time of the year for traveling is autumn (September, October), when flights to Paris and accommodation costs are low. There are also plenty of daylight hours, yet the weather is still warm during the day and cool at night.
The spring (March, April and May) are also good months to visit Paris as it is the comeback of the sunshine whereas you won’t be reaching the high tourism season yet.
Save money on transportation
If you count the ticket from the airport, plus all the metro tickets to move around the city, it’s easy to spend a lot of money. How can I keep these expenses under control?
Well good news, you can make some savings by buying a Paris Visit Pass valid for 5 days for a price of 38,55€ – with unlimited pass of Bus, Metro, RER, Tramway and local trains to enjoy the City of Light without worrying about this part of the travel budget anymore.
But, if you want our opinion, the best way to keep a free transportation cost during your days in Paris, is simply to walk the city!
Cheaper alternatives to accommodations
If you are a solo traveler – or a couple – looking for cheaper alternatives to keep your Paris travel on a budget, you could consider experiencing Couch Surfing.
This website allows you to find a free place for the night in exchange of a conversations and exchanges with French locals! This can be a great way to meet new friends and learn about real Parisian life.
The French capital hosting over 30 million visitors a year, is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. A trip to Paris surely comes at a certain cost, but we can guarantee that it will be one of the best investments of your life.
Even though you can expect a trip there to be quite expensive, we believe that with a bit of research and planning, you can keep your budget in check while still having a wonderful holiday.
If you have any specific questions or want to organize a unique tour of the city with a local, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’ll be happy to help!