10 Tips for a Cheap Solo Weekend in Paris

Subtitled: the blind leading the blind; I actually spent 175 Euro but I wouldn’t have had I done the metro better and bought fewer pastries.

  1. Yes, look at hostel prices, but also look at the online reviews of hostel breakfasts. If it’s good, it will add value. If it’s not good, you’ll effectively pay twice for breakfast. Which brings us to…
  2. Eat only two meals a day. Maybe this won’t work unless you’re a small human like me, but I had to choose between quality and quantity and opted for the former. I ate hostel breakfast and then a late lunch, and I was full and happy.
  3. Go out for lunch, not dinner. Like the first two tips, this applies anywhere— lots of places have a price fixe lunch menu, which led to me eating Crème Brulee for the first time. Plus, falafel (see my last post). I brought my own snacks for snacks and “dinner.”
  4. Drink only during happy hour. Ditto to this applying anywhere. Maybe this would be more difficult for people who, you know, can drink more than one drink without glowing red and head-aching, but I was happy.
  5. Paris-specific: You can walk up the Eiffel Tower to the 2nd level for 4 euro (12-24 year-olds); plus, the line is shorter than that of the elevator and you get exercise! The picture is the view from the second floor.
  6. The Louvre is free for 18-26 year-olds of all nationalities on Friday nights from 6:00-9:45pm.
  7. There are free English-language walking tours! One I found through my hostel was CultureFish tours, which operates in both Paris center and Montmartre. Highly recommended.
  8. You can easily fill up your days doing only free things. I went to Sacre-Coeur, which was incredible, but there are a myriad of other things which you can find on the internet. (If you bring your own food and only do free things and walk everywhere, you could do a weekend in Paris for under 100 euro and still have an amazing time. For me, though, especially after my first day, I really wanted to eat French food).
  9. If you think you’re going to be using the metro a lot, either get tickets in a pack of 10 or a pass. You can also walk most places in the city center.
  10. Last anecdote: Someone tried to (incompetently) pickpocket me today at a Metro station. First, I could have pickpocketed better than him, so everything was all right. Second, he was welcome to the tampons in my backpack pocket that wasn’t locked… You probably already know this if you’re reading this blog, but it’s good in cities like this to either carry your bag in front of you, or, if you can’t do that, lock the pocket with valuables in it. Even if it’s like 2 pm and there are a ton of people around, things can happen.