How expensive is Paris really?
According to the Telegraph, Paris ranked as the 2nd most expensive city in the world in 2014 as well as 2015. Now it’s “only” the 5th most expensive on their list, and on lots of others always in the Top 15 of Europe’s and the world’s most expensive cities usually topped by Switzerland, Copenhagen, and Reykjavik. However, when we travel, these lists don’t really tell us much.
I will try to give you a more accurate understanding of what you can expect to pay when traveling to Paris. The prices named are the average that you can expect in most places, especially eateries (I’m excluding tourist spots because as you know, they hike up the prices). If I say “and up,” just know that in Paris, there’s no (almost) no limit when it comes to “more expensive” ;).
FOOD & DRINK
Let’s say you’re going for a typical French breakfast (which you should because calories from baguettes and croissants don’t really count – at least I want to tell myself that):
- Butter croissant: €1 – 1.5
- Pain au chocolat: €1.5
- Baguette sandwich: €4 – 6
- Coffee: €2 – 2.5
- Fresh OJ: €3 – 5
- Crêpes depending on filling: €3 – 5
As for lunch and dinner, you can expect the average price for an entrée to be around €17 and €30 depending on the type of meat usually, beef being the most expensive. Appetizers are usually around €10, sometimes a bit less, sometimes a bit more; a cup of soup between €8 – 10. Desserts such as a crème brûlée can rarely be €5 and are likely to cost you €8.
Did you know that baguette and other French breads have way less gluten in them because the microorganisms in the yeast that French bakers use basically eat up the gluten. Baking soda, which most of American bakeries use to bake their (let’s call it) “bread”, doesn’t do that. That’s good news for people who are allergic to gluten in the US: Many of them will not have ANY issues with this in France!
As for drinking, tap water is usually free, bottled water will cost €2 and up. If you’re into alcohol: 0.5l beer bottles will cost €2 and up, a glass of wine €5 and up, shots €4 and up, cocktails €8 and up.
In the unlikely case of you driving around Paris with a car, a liter of gas at the time this article was written is at about €1.25. If you’re taking the Metro, as you should because it’s an adventure that you have to experience, here are the current prices:
Train ticket from Paris’ international airport Charles de Gaulle to the city center: €10
- Single Metro ticket: €1,90
- 10 Metro tickets: €14.50
- 1 day ticket for 1 adult: €11.65 (the more days you get, the cheaper it becomes. Five days will be just below €40)
(These are the ones you’ll most likely need because they take you around in zones 1 and 2, Paris’ city center and all major attractions included).
- Ticket from Paris to Versailles & vice versa: €3.60
Attractions, museums, galleries, etc. are more difficult to generalize, but they usually cost between €10 and €30. I.e., to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower, it’s €17, admission to the catacombs is €12.
Accommodation in Paris will most likely be your biggest expense. Airbnb’s and hotels in the center of Paris are €100 and up per night; however, if you don’t mind staying a bit further out, you may able to find a place for roughly €40 (if you’re REALLY lucky) or €50.
The apartment in the picture above with the roof terrace was tiny, located in Montmartre, close to a subway, had no wifi but an incredible view, and cost around $300 for 4 nights.
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If you’ve been to Paris, please share your experience with how expensive you found Paris with us in the comments 🙂
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