Visiting Paris is one of the biggest dreams people have when thinking of a Euro trip, but making it happen without spending a fortune takes some serious planning.
During our time in Paris, we researched what we needed to so that we could comfortably spend a day in Paris on a budget, mixing traditional first-time-in-Paris locations with cheap/free lesser-known alternatives.
Here’s how you can spend one day in Paris on a budget!
To Eat on a Budget in Paris
One of the best ways to eat on a budget in Paris is finding a place that serves crepes or paninis. We found one of the best places for both of these.
In the Latin Quarters, there is a place called Creperie Genia, with menu combos for 4 euros that include a drink, a salty crepe or panini, and a sweet crepe.
Although the crepes at Creperie Genia are good, if you want really great crepes, I suggest you try Chez Suzette — it's just in front of Creperie Genia in the Latin Quarters. The sugar crepe is mouthwatering and only costs a little over 2 euros when you order it to go!
Note: There’s more than one Chez Suzette, but not all of them have a convenient take-out window, so make sure you visit the one in the Latin Quarters!
The Free Museum to Visit in Paris: Petit Palais
This lesser known art museum is located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, right next to the Champs-Élysées. The entrance is completely free, and it’s not as overwhelming as some of the most famous museums in the city. With pieces from different centuries and artists such as Rembrandt, Delacroix, or Monet, this museum houses the old City of Paris' Museum of Fine Arts. A couple of hours in the Petit Palais will give you enough time to enjoy the expositions, the magnificent palace that contains it all, and a coffee in its beautiful gardens (photos down below!).
The Local Market to Visit in Paris
Marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest market in the city; if you want to feel like you’re in the middle of where locals hang out, this is the market to visit.
Come in the morning for a busy and frenetic atmosphere, a perfect time to buy fresh, on-the-go food, or to sit down and eat a meal from some other part of the world (on a budget, of course).
Something to keep in mind is that take out is almost always cheaper than eating at the location (even if it’s a food truck!). We tried some Lebanese food, but there were other kinds of cuisines, such as Moroccan, Italian, and (obviously) French.
The Free Walking Tour to Go on in Paris
As much of you must know, we love ourselves a free walking tour! On this particular tour, you’ll visit places like the Latin Quarter, Notre-Dame, Saint Michel Fountain, and the Louvre or the Seine River — all while learning the history behind Paris in a captivating way. We went with Sandeman’s and loved the free 2–2.5 hr. walking tour.
An Awesome Eiffel Tower Photoshoot
How could you visit Paris without taking at least one photo of the Eiffel Tower (or a bunch of selfies in front of it)?
The gardens of Trocadero and le Palais de Chaillot makes for a great vantage point for a photo shoot just in front of the Eiffel Tower. From here, it’s super easy to find spots for photos that look like this:
Note from Robert: All you need for pictures like this are a wide-angle lens (anything from 18mm to 24mm... your phone will do) and a “normal” lens (like a 50mm).
The Viewpoint to Go to for an Amazing View of the Paris Skyline
If you want a free viewpoint of the Paris Skyline, here it is:
From the 9th floor of this commercial building on the Terrasse du Printemps commercial building, there’s a rooftop terrace that you can access for free to enjoy fantastic, 360º views of Paris, and even have a drink in the meantime (a little bit pricey though!).
We visited when this floor was under construction, but we were able to access to the terrace to the restaurant on the 8th floor to be able to take a picture of this amazing view.
Visit This Iconic Part of the City
100 meters above the city, you’ll find the Montmartre neighborhood on a hill. Although this area gets pretty crowded and touristy, it’s one of the coolest neighborhoods to visit in Paris. We recommend you take your time and get lost in its streets to discover the magic spots within it.
For the end of your visit to Montmartre, make it over to the Sacre Coeur for stunning views of the city. If you want to sit down on the grass and relax for an amazing sunset, come here, and then head back down to the nearby restaurants or bars to grab some dinner.
The Place to Stay: St. Christopher's Inn Hostel Gare du Nord
As you might’ve noticed by now, we really like St. Christopher’s Inn; our fifth time at their hostels was at their location at Gare du Nord. We loved how modern it was, the daily activities they offer, and the fun theme parties they have going on during the weekends at the bar in the center of the hostel.
As always, St. Christopher’s Inn includes complimentary breakfast — just make sure to book directly through their website. Free breakfast is always a huge plus, especially when trying to stay on a budget. Although it isn’t in the city center, the hostel is really well connected via metro, as it only takes 15 minutes to get to the city center.
Click here to check out St. Christopher’s Inn at Gare du Nord!
Transportation tip: The best and cheapest way to move around Paris is to get the metro day pass (which is around 7.50 euros per day) or the 10-ticket pass (which is around 15 euros per day).
*We were hosted by St. Christopher's Inn. Opinions found in this article are authentic, as always!