Oh Paris...one of the most prized destinations in the world. In fact, France is the number one most visited country for tourism worldwide, and rest assured that the French capital is the first place on most traveler's lists. Such high demand means accommodations in Paris can cost a pretty penny, and leave travelers wondering where to stay in Paris on a budget, or if it's even possible. It is in fact, if you know where to look!
HomeExchange is hands down the most affordable way to stay in the City of Light, and a great way to get an insider experience of pretty Parisian interiors. Who hasn't wondered what's it's like to live la vie bohême in a charming walk up amongst the rooftops of Paris, or how it is to come home to Haussmanian apartment on a beautiful boulevard? With HomeExchange you can live your French fantasies without breaking the bank.Discover How HomeExchange Works
Here's Where to Stay in Paris for Cheap
How Much Does it Cost to Stay in Paris?
In 2022 the average price for a standard double hotel room in Paris was around 175 euros per night, or just under $200. While you can find hotel deals for less, the reviews aren't exactly what you would expect to find on a postcard from Paris, but something more along the lines of "it was fine for the price." Expectations can be high for a trip to Paris, and rightfully so. The city is sensational, and so your stay there should be too, starting with where you sleep. If you don't have the budget for a high-end hotel, a local vacation rental is another option.
The most affordable route is a room rental within a private home versus renting out an entire place. This can be a great experience to connect with your local host and practice some French, but not everyone is comfortable with such arrangements. Most people prefer to rent out an entire residence, for which you'll pay about half the average hotel price per night in Paris for an apartment that sleeps two. Once rental sites tack on their services and cleaning fees though, the total cost climbs fast. So what is the most affordable accommodation in Paris?
HomeExchange is the Best Place to Stay in Paris on a Budget
The answer is a home exchange. Those already using home exchanges for travel accommodations know that finding a more affordable option is almost impossible. Here's why. HomeExchange is based on an exchange of services, not money. A one year subscription to HomeExchange, the largest and most reputable home exchange network in the world, costs $220. This unlocks the possibility of unlimited exchanges with over 100,000 verified hosts worldwide. For little more than the cost of the average hotel room for one night Paris, you can plan unlimited exchanges and vacations for an entire year.
Just like hotels and holiday rentals, you can access an exchanging host's reviews to make the best decision for you and your travel companions. We even offer a nifty tool where you can see your savings stack up, calculating how much you save using HomeExchange based on where you're going, with how many people, and for how long. HomeExchange hosts can be found in almost all the neighborhoods of Paris, as well as some of its popular suburbs which are quite charming too. Which leads us to our next suggestion for the best places to stay in Paris on a budget...
Affordable Neighborhoods in Paris
Paris is a relatively small and dense city, so wherever you choose to stay you're never far from the action. Sometimes tourists get a bit tripped up thinking that the city centers around the Eiffel Tower and that staying nearby is essential. This simply isn't true. Paris is more or less a large circle with the Seine river passing through the middle, dividing the Right Bank and Left Bank. Its neighbourhoods numbered 1 to 20 and referred to as arrondissements spiral out from the heart like an escargot. Generally speaking, the lower the number the more central and expensive the neighborhood. Some are pricier than others, but they all have their charms. Here are some favorites if you want to know where to stay in Paris for cheap.
Montparnasse makes up a large part of the 14th arrondissement of Paris on the Left Bank. The Left Bank is notoriously chic and pricey, but the 14th despite its close proximity to the popular Saint-Germain area and the Latin Quarter is somewhat more affordable. It's often overlooked by tourists, except for visiting the Catacombs, and that is a shame because it's a Parisian gem bustling with character and a true local's feel. Its geographical placement also make it quite convenient to go in any direction walking or on the Paris metro. There are a tons of tiny beautiful streets to explore, and you're only a short walk from the Luxembourg Gardens, which is definitely one of the best free activities in Paris.
When it comes to staying central, this is one of the best places to stay in Paris on a budget. This area of the 10th arrondissement was typically a working class neighborhood and borders the more expensive 2nd and 3rd arrondissements. Despite its gentrification over the last decade or so, it remains quite affordable compared to many parts of Paris as there isn't any particular tourist attraction around. It's definitely one of the hot spots in Paris for modern french cuisine from up and coming chefs, if you want to have an incredible culinary experiences without paying for tables and at Michelin Star restaurants. There is also a great range of street food that is casual and affordable, as well as cool cocktail bars and brasseries to grab a drink without paying the premium that comes with most tourist locations.
Belleville is a neighborhood located in the northeastern part of Paris that is known for its diversity and liveliness. It's also Paris's 20th arrondissement. Over the years, it has been home to many famous writers, artists, and musicians, including the iconic Edith Piaf, contributing to its reputation as a bohemian and artistic neighborhood. Today, Belleville remains a hub for creativity and the arts, with numerous galleries, studios, and street art installations to explore. Its multicultural community is reflected in the local food scene, which offers casual eats and drinks that won't bankrupt your vacation budget. Compared to other touristy areas in Paris, Belleville is considered to be more affordable with a lower cost of living. Plus, you can get a true locals experience here.
If you go slightly further east, you'll end up in Vincennes which is actually a suburb of Paris once you cross over the highway deemed the péripherique that surrounds the France capital. It is sometimes jokingly called the 21st arrondissement of Paris because it's so close. It's even on the Line 1 that shoots straight across the city, which will save you money when getting around as you can quickly access the city center via the direct metro. In this clean, quaint, and calm neighborhood you'll find slightly more affordable prices for daily needs like groceries, as well as dining and drinking options that aren't priced for tourists. There is also the lovely Château de Vincennes which is worth visiting, and a huge wooded park perfect for strolls, picnics, or even to visit the zoo you'll find inside!
Other Ways to Save in Paris
Now that you know where where to stay in Paris on a budget, you might be wondering if there are other ways to save when visiting this high demand destination. Your budget will benefit from a few simple suggestions to help you save in the City of Lights.
- Walk everywhere. Paris is only 6 miles (9.5 km) from north to south and 7 miles (11 km) from east to west which is quite small for a capital city. Walking is sometimes the fastest way to get around, and also allows you to discover amazing things along the way. It's half the pleasure of visiting Paris. Walking here is not only free, but a great way to burn off calories from all those delicious French pastries you should be enjoying.
- Take the metro. Even if you're not an experienced city dweller, you'll find the Paris metro incredibly easy and affordable to use. The average ride costs less than in New York City, and you can buy daily, weekly, and monthly passes to keep costs down depending on your length of stay. With the Paris metro you can get anywhere in one hour maximum, if not a matter a minutes on the fastest lines.
- Grab lunch at bakeries. Parisian bakeries don't just serve up delicious sweets, they also have amazing savory food like gourmet sandwiches, quiches, and salads to go. At lunch time they almost all offer a "formule" or menu with one of the above plus a dessert and drink for an affordable discounted price compared to ordering à la carte. Get some goodies to go and enjoy eating them on a park bench or along the Seine instead of spending 4 or 5 times as much at restaurants each meal.
- Shop local markets and cook at home. One of the many perks of a HomeExchange is having a kitchen to use. Staying in and cooking at home doesn't mean you'll miss out on the Paris experience. In fact it's the perfect excuse to shop the charming local open air markets like a true Parisian!
- Make the most of public parks. Paris does public parks like almost nowhere else. They are practically outdoor museums, perfectly manicured with tree lined allyways to stroll, ponds to sit around, and an abundance of benches and those iconic green chairs. They are free and all are welcome, so make the most of them for walking, sunbathing, people watching and more. Some of the best are the Tuileries, Jardin de Luxembourg, and Park Monceau. It's a true part of the Parisian experience.
Paris is Always a Good Idea with HomeExchange
Wether you want to climb the Eiffel Tower, come face-to-face with the Mona Lisa, or eat your heart out across the city, there are so many reasons to travel to Paris. The price of accommodations here shouldn’t stop you from experiencing this extraordinary place at least once in your lifetime. HomeExchange makes finding a place to stay in the City of Light more affordable than ever. It also offers a range of others advantages like a local’s experience, recommendations from your host, and the comforts of home even when you’re abroad in a foreign country. They say Paris is always a good idea, so sign up for HomeExchange if you're not already part of the community and start planning your perfect Paris trip to fit your budget!See homes in Paris, France