How to properly organize a vacation in Paris?

Travelling alone to Paris in 2022

Self-trip to Paris

Here I finally managed to carve out some time to write about my solo trip to Paris. Everything written in this article can be used by you as a guide for organizing your trip ;) . I spent in Paris, exactly 10 days, during which I saw a lot of interesting places, met some locals, drank a lot of wine, which snacked on cheese with mold :) In general, the rest was on the glory.

Cheap tickets

By yourself in Paris

This time my point of departure for my trip was Moscow. I stayed several days with my friends in this city, and when it was time to go back to my home town Novosibirsk, I suddenly had the idea: “I’ll fly to Paris. It should be fun. I had no particular plans for the next month, so I did just that – I went on another trip to Paris by myself. I booked tickets in 5 minutes on my favorite website Aviasales, which I have used for several years, because it is a very convenient service, where you can find the cheapest tickets. I recommend that I use it to buy tickets. My Moscow-Paris ticket with a connection in Stockholm cost 6000 rubles one way.

Hotels

A self-trip in Paris

Accommodation in Paris is quite expensive if you choose the wrong accommodation. Many novice travelers book a hotel at the first site they see, not even knowing that for many years there is a wonderful site like RoomGuru, where you can independently book a hotel in Paris, and inexpensive and fast. I myself have been using this service for many years and can say that it is the best of its kind. Of course, there is a similar site Hotellook, but it is harder to find accommodation for specific criteria, and the search quality is not always on top, not always can find a hotel at a low price. RoomGuru on these parameters far outperforms competitors, so it is better to book accommodation on it.

How to quickly rent an accommodation

Paris

To better experience the atmosphere of Paris, soaked in exquisite perfume, palace intrigues over several centuries, the smell of freshly baked baguettes, the gloomy dampness of the Seine and much more elusive, you should try to become a Parisian, to look at the city with different eyes. This is possible if you do not stay in a hotel, but to book accommodation with locals in a real French house or a typical apartment in a quiet quarter. You can do this on the service Airbnb, the process described here.

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Airbnb, in a nutshell, is:

  • The possibility of renting apartments in a good neighborhood in the center and attractive places for tourists near attractions;
  • Booking an apartment on your own, so you don’t have to depend on any extraneous circumstances.

Rentbee is a well-known site where you can always rent an apartment, with prices at the same level as booking a hotel room. Airbnb coupons can help reduce the cost of living in a rented apartment a bit.

Of particular value is the chance to live with real French people, try to understand their mentality through everyday life, learn the most interesting places in Paris, about which there is no word in the guidebooks.

Documents

Cheap trip to Paris

Since France is part of the Schengen area, the following documents were required for travel: Schengen visa, passport and insurance. I already had a passport, if you do not have one, then keep in mind that it is made from 1 to 3 months, so apply as soon as possible. I wrote about how to get a Schengen visa here, and I wrote about choosing the right insurance here. Nothing complicated here.

Money

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On an independent trip to Paris, I took some cash (euros) and a bank card with me. Mostly paid with a bank card, I have it in rubles, no problems, you can safely pay by card abroad without worrying about what currency the account. I recommend to read the article about bank cards in a trip, because you need to know exactly what card to take with you, because not all you can do shopping, some cards are not accepted abroad. More in that article. About money exchange in Paris you can read here.

Sightseeing

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During my 10 days traveling around Paris by myself I have visited many places. Advice to all travelers: buy Paris Pass card, with which you can save a lot on visiting sights, attractions, using public transport, get discounts in some restaurants and stores. Also, with this card you can visit the sights without queuing, which will save several hours in just one day, because the queues in Paris are huge. You can buy the Paris Pass on the official ParisPass website. And one more smart tip: print or learn the basic phrases in French, they can be of great help in a variety of situations.

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And now to the places to visit in Paris:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre
  • Orangerie Museum
  • Rodin Museum
  • Pompidou Museum
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • Aquarium on the Trocadéré
  • Versailles
  • France in miniature.
  • Disneyland
  • Chateau of Chambord
  • Luxembourg Palace

Also do not forget to visit the best viewing points in Paris, these places offer great views of the city. And then you can go on tours of Paris.

Routes

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Transport

transport

Public transport in Paris is used by almost all tourists and travelers, renting a car in this city does not bring a noticeable gain in time when traveling, because the narrow streets provoke heavy traffic jams that take away not only time but also precious nerves. Moreover, in Paris you can easily buy a pass of a suitable type (there is for several trips, for one day, for a long stay), which will save a lot of money. If you are going to spend a week or more in Paris, it makes sense to buy the Navigo Decouverte pass. You can find out more by clicking on the link above.

It is important to know in advance how to get from the airport to the center of Paris or to the hotel if you arrive in the French capital by plane with landing at the main airport (Charles de Gaulle). And if you don’t want to go into researching public transportation routes, you can order a personal shuttle.

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Shopping

shopping

Many travelers one of the purposes of a trip to Paris defines shopping (detailed article on shopping can be found here), along with a cultural program. And this is absolutely the right decision, because here you can buy great fashion items of the current season. A huge number of stores all over the city are tourist-oriented, attracting attention with discounts and catchy advertisements. But don’t be guided only by the numbers that are listed as discounts on the street boutiques. Some stores inflate the prices of their goods at first, and then already make discounts, as a result, customers buy things at the usual cost. Therefore, it is better to shop in the best stores in Paris.

Since prices in Paris are very high, in order to save money it is better to go on vacation in the period of sales. Discounts on goods reach up to 80-90%, for the same money you can buy a few times more things without losing quality. It is also desirable to return the VAT to save your money. This service is available for tourists, thanks to the Tax Free (so called VAT refund) you can save up to 33% of the budget on purchases (the percentage varies for different categories of goods). Read more about Tax Free in Paris here.

Regardless of your shopping budget, it is advisable for everyone to read the article on what to bring from Paris, the list includes original items that are sure to please you and your family and friends.

Tips for travelers in Paris

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  • If you want to visit the main sights without queuing, then arrive either at the opening or closing time. In an hour after opening huge lines are formed. In the afternoon, the lines diminish, so you can use this to save time.
  • Print (or buy) a detailed overview map. Paris is big and it’s easy to get lost in it, and with a map you can orient yourself and get to the right place. Do not rely solely on electronic maps, because the batteries in electronic devices run out at the most inopportune moment.
  • The Latin Quarter in Paris is a cheap neighborhood with cheap stores, restaurants, and souvenir shops. Want to save money? Go there.
  • The tourist season is divided into high and low seasons. One is suitable for active shopping and visiting museums, and the other for an inexpensive vacation. Find out for yourself when it’s best to vacation in Paris.
  • The best view of Paris from the heights is the hill of Montmartre (the highest point of Paris). If you don’t want to stand in a huge line at the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre is a great place.
  • Use the “free sightseeing days.” Visiting some attractions is free on some days (or during some hours). For example, admission to the Louvre is cheaper after 6 p.m. on Fridays and completely free on the first Sunday of each month. You can find out about these discounts on the official websites of the attractions.
  • Buy a metro card. There are a lot of metro stations in Paris, the map will help to navigate and quickly get to the right place.
  • Use a local SIM card. This way you can save significantly on cell phone and Internet costs. Learn more here.
  • Buy a Paris Pass. That way you will save a lot of money on sightseeing, public transportation, and more.
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The cost of travel

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Here everyone is free to determine for himself how much independent travel to Paris will cost. Different travelers have different styles of travel and different requirements for leisure. If you take advantage of saving tips, find a cheap plane ticket, the trip will not cost much. On average, a two-week trip to Paris requires 90,000 rubles per person (including roundtrip flight Moscow – Paris). My trip to Paris cost 86,000 rubles. You can learn about holiday budgeting in the city in this article.

Here is a brief overview of the costs for an independent trip to Paris for 10 days for 2 people.

Budget item Expenses (euro)
Air tickets 228
Hotel 3* 684
Insurance 17.1
Visas 70
Sightseeing 125.4
Excursions 114
Transport 68.4
Food 342
Other 150
Total 1798.9

Prices in Paris

Prices for Houses

Type of lodging Euro
Hotel 2* (1 night, 2 persons) 51.3-91.2
Hotel 3* 62.7-125.4
4* Hotel 79.8-228
Hostel (1 night, 2 persons) 57-79.8
Apartment (1 night) 114-228

Prices for food in supermarket

Groceries Price in euro
White bread (0,5 kg) 1,5
Tomatoes 3
Cottatoes 1
Apples 2,5
Bananas 2
Tangerines 3
Cheese 20
Pork 13
Beef 22
Smoked sausage 12
Whole chicken (1 kg) 6
Turkey filet 9
Herring 17
Pasta 1,5
Juice 2
Milk 1
Cigarettes (Marlboro) 7
Bottled water (1.5 L) 0,9
Beer (0,33 l) 1,5
Wine (bottle) 8

Prices for transport

Transport Price in euro
Single ticket (bus, subway, electric train) 1,9
Package of 10 single tickets 14
City Taxi from 15
Airport bus from 2
Airport train 10

Prices for sights

Sightseeing Price in euro
Eiffel Tower (2nd floor elevator) 16
Eiffel Tower (take elevator to the top floor) 25
Louvre 17
Orsay Museum 12
Pompidou Center 14

So there you have it, I have listed the main features of an independent trip to Paris. Now you can better organize and cheapen your trip. Paris is really a wonderful city, after visiting which I have only positive emotions :) . Travel, read my blog SpiritRelax.ru and enjoy life! All the best!

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