How Should I Budget for Paris?
How Much is an Apartment in Paris?
Accommodation in Paris is varied - in a well connected area of the city you can expect to pay about €1,400 or £1,000 a month for a one bedroom flat, and slightly less as you go further out of the city.
Compared to other European cities like Madrid & Berlin this is relatively expensive, but when compared to London it’s quite affordable. Paris apartments aren’t known for having the most modern equipment, but you can expect a high standard of decor & all the requirements for comfortable living. Not to mention a culturally well-equipped kitchen! Many in Paris live in buildings that were built in the 18th or 19th century, and therefore the fixtures may be older in an effort to preserve their period charm.
Of course, you can also live in one of the suburb’s of Paris - while you’re transportation costs will go up, you may find larger & more modern buildings or cheaper properties.
Cost of Travel in Paris
Public transport in Paris is extensive and fairly inexpensive. Parisians make use of the Metro, the bus system, and suburban train services.
There are 300 Metro stations in Paris, making them the most easily accessed public transportation in Paris. A working commuter’s ticket in Paris costs, on average, €20.40 or £15 a week if travelling from Paris Zone 1 & 2 - and using a Navigo card. Individual journey ticketing in Paris is unique, as it’s time-based rather than destination based. After purchasing & validating one ticket, you’ve purchased an hour and a half worth of journey time. If your journey goes on longer, it is necessary to purchase another ticket.
Metro stations are plentiful and operate from 5:30 AM to 1:30 AM, making them a great choice for visitors & commuters alike.
Buses in Paris run for a short time, compared to London. They are a great option for people who want to get a good look at their surroundings & perhaps familiarize themselves with their new neighborhood. Most buses stop running at 7:30 PM, with a handful of evening services that attend major metro areas & suburban rail stops.
Suburban rail services are known as RER: they connect the metropolitan area of Paris with the outlying suburbs. For example, to go from Zone 1 of Paris to Versailles, it would cost €4.20, or £3.00 per single trip.
Paris is becoming a more cycle friendly city with new bike lanes being built all around. There is a bike rental scheme going on similar to Boris Bikes, called Velib bikes. They’re easy to rent & return. To rent a Velib bike for one for a day it costs €1.70, or £1.30.
Of course, the cheapest and most convenient way to explore Paris is on foot. It’s a great way to discover interesting new places!
Average Food Costs in Paris
Paris is so well known for food it’s hard to even begin explaining - but when it comes to cost, all that quality does come at a price. Groceries in general are more expensive than in other European cities, and about on par with London - some items even edging to be a bit more expensive. Dairy products & bread are generally more expensive due to France’s regulations & protections for local producers. They are also some of France’s most beloved & well respected products, so do enjoy while you’re there! Good news for wine fans: it’s cheaper and better in Paris. The average cost of groceries is somewhere around €125 or £93 a month for a single person who is budgeting.
Dining out in Paris can be as expensive or as cheap as you like - a city so famous for their food has lots of variety & choice. Take a look at Yelp for an idea of where you may like to eat, and what sort of cost you may incur.
Internet & Phone Costs in Paris
Due to heavy competition in Paris, the cost of ADSL internet access is quite low at just €29.90 or £22.00 a month. It’s high quality & all services are uncapped for usage. Interesting to note that many local parks in Paris have free wifi, so always check while you’re out & about on your phone. There are also lots of ‘unbundled’ options for internet access, so you don’t always have to pay for TV & a landline phone just to access the internet.
It’s easy to buy a Pay As You Go phone in Paris, and a SIM card with a plan that suits you. Free Mobile is one of the preferred providers for this sort of "portable à carte" as it’s known in France. Assume you’ll spend about €20 or £15 for set-up & a phone, plus additional top-ups for minutes & data.
Cost of Enterainment in Paris
Paris is a city that is always active, with new things cropping up all the time. You can stay on top of it with Timeout.com in Paris. Listings for museum exhibits, free events, and annual parties are here - so it’s a great way to plan out your leisure time.
Expect to pay about €11 or £8 for a cinema ticket in Paris. There are many cinemas playing local movies that those outside of France may well never see, as France encourages their film-making industry to flourish. However without a proficiency in French you may be a bit lost... There are English-language screenings, but those will be for international, Hollywood movies.
Theatre in Paris is alive and well - many cabaret shows are popular with visitors to the city. The famous Moulin Rouge, for instance, is still active. Tickets are generally about €70 or £52 each for popular shows, but they’re the most bare bones. You can purchase nice packages that include a meal or transportation, as well.
There are many lovely museums in Paris with many of them being at least in some part free. The most famous museum in Paris is probably the Louvre with an admission cost of €18 or £13 to see all exhibitions. Entry is free for residents of the European Economic Area between the ages of 18 - 25.
Of course, it's always free to walk around this romantic city & watch the day go by, surrounded by world-class architecture and fascinating people.