Backpackers (or anyone on a budget) visiting the French capital can save a lot of money by staying in one of the excellent hostels in Paris. But keep in mind that cheap and convenient lodging isn’t the only way to keep your pockets in check.
Without a doubt, food is a very important part of anyone’s travel experience and surprisingly there are many great ways to enjoy a cheap meal in Paris without compromising on quality.
Here are some quick tips to help you enjoy some of the best culinary delights in the city while avoiding the many tourist traps.
Stay away from famous places: The best way to avoid tourist restaurants (and therefore tourist prices) is to stay away from the main tourist attractions in the city by choosing a cafe or restaurant. Avoid restaurants located near the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Champs-Elysées, for example, if you don’t want to be charged through your nose.
Buy drinks at the bar instead of at the tables: Wherever you choose hostels in Paris, they will undoubtedly be located near local restaurants with a bar. If you just want to have a drink instead of dinner, you’ll pay significantly less by ordering directly from the bar rather than sitting at a table. You can always move to a table if you decide to eat later.
Avoid Fizzy Drinks – You can blame cola taxes for the strange anomaly of sparkling water or fizzy drinks like coca, which cost a lot more than a glass of wine here.
Ask for a pitcher of tap water – You can end up saving a lot of money by ordering plain tap water instead of bottled. “A jug of water” is the phrase you’ll need if you don’t want to bring expensive bottled water to the table.
Enjoy freshly baked breads for breakfast: Instead of heading to a cafe for an expensive tourist breakfast, follow your nose to a bakery (we promise it won’t be difficult in any of the hostels in Paris), grab a baguette, a croissant or something else. Another bread, add some cheese from the supermarket, and voila, you have an authentic French breakfast.
Go for lunch or lunch instead of dinner – If you want to try a fancier restaurant for quality food, avoid doing it in the evening when prices tend to rise. Enjoy lunch or brunch to take advantage of the lower prices.
Choose “to go” instead of “on the spot.” Basically choose to bring your food rather than eat at a table. In many cases this will be much cheaper and you can bring your food to eat at the hostel or find a sunny spot in a park and have a picnic.
Choose “a formula” – A set menu is one of the most economical options for tourists to dine in one of the restaurants or cafes in the city center. However, be aware of extra orders, which can translate into a few extra euros that you may not immediately realize.
Tipping is not mandatory – most restaurants here include a service charge in the final bill, so you are not required to pay an additional tip. However, nobody will stop you from leaving a few euros for an excellent service!
While staying in one of the well-located hostels in Paris will take care of the pounds, being smart when it comes to eating right will certainly help you take care of the pennies.