How To Visit Paris On A Budget

Cafés, fine wine and all the art you can imagine—minus the price tag

If you've ever dreamed of a Parisian vacation but assumed it was too expensive, we're about to turn your fantasy into a reality. Thanks to reasonably priced flights, Airbnb bargains and world-class street food, a visit to the City of Light is now more affordable than ever.

Here are three ways to live it up French-style without breaking the bank.

① Cheap Airfare is popping up everywhere.

Every day, more and more airlines are announcing deals on cheap flights to Europe, but these sweet steals won't last forever. Keeping an eye on ticket sales might take a little extra effort on your part, but in the end, the savings are well worth it. In addition to scanning airline websites, make sure to subscribe to Scott's Cheap Flights email newsletter and check out Cheap Flights, Expedia, Kayak and Skyscanner—these third party sellers are constantly announcing new price cuts.

② Stay at a luxury Airbnb.

Airbnb is one of the best resources for finding reasonably priced lodging in just about any destination. The cost per night typically runs significantly less than a hotel, and since you're staying in someone's home, there's generally more space, not to mention a built-in kitchen. Get inspiration from these charming studios and cozy, stylish one-bedroom apartments, and ditch the high-priced rooms for modern quaint quarters.

③ Never underestimate the power of a casual café.

When vacationing in a city like Paris, the desire to eat at the finest restaurants is totally  understandable. However, dining out three times a day can take up a huge chunk of your budget. We're not suggesting you skip the high-end restaurants you've been dying to try, but instead, try mixing it up by adding a few local cafés and fast-casual spots to your daily routine. It's also important to note that, unlike in the States, most French cafés incorporate gratuity into your bill or factor it into the menu prices, so what you see is what you get. Never underestimate the simplicity of a croissant and a café au lait for breakfast.