We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

Herndon, Virginia
3 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

Hello everyone,

First let me start by saying I'm new here so there are many things I don't know. So please excuse me for any mistake/rudeness etc.

I will be traveling to Paris and London from Feb 15th to Feb 24th from Washington D.C. My budget is about $2000 usd. So far my cost looks like this:

Airfare = $958.20

Eurostar = $65 (Feb 20th)

Paris 2 day Museum pass + 3 days Metro = $104.65

London metro / museum pass = Open

Lodging/food in Paris = open (Check in Feb 16th to Checkout Feb 20th)

Lodging/food in London = open (Check in Feb 20th to Check out Feb 24th)

Walking tours in Paris = open

Walking tours in London = open

Can someone give me ideas on where to stay and which tours to take? I'm thinking of taking walking tours the first day to get myself familiarized with the areas. So I can pick and choose where to visit later. Please help me with your helpful suggestions and safety tips. This is the first time I am traveling alone in Europe so naturally I am a little nervous.

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
London
London
England, UK
Europe
Europe
World
Essex
Level Contributor
30,353 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

Hello, Welcome to TA!

Nothing wrong with these questions at all, or the nice way in which you have asked them!

However, you may gain better answers for your London questions if you post on TA's London Forum....

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowForum-g186338-i17-Lond…

Lots of the museums in London are FREE so you don't necessarily need a museum pass, depends what you want to visit....

With some good guidebooks, you may well find they include some self-guided walking tours for both London and Paris - if you 'diy' then these would also be free for you, and save some money...

Paris and London are both great cities for the Solo Traveller, so please do not be nervous!

What sort of "Lodging" would you like, Hotel or Hostel perhaps??

Mentioned in this post
London
London
England, UK
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Herndon, Virginia
3 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

Thank you for your reply EssaxWanderer. I am looking for hotel or B&B. I have heard too many bed bugs stories from hostels. But i am open to any clean safe place in a good location (near metro or sight seeing sights) and free wifi. I hope that helps. I will repost in London forum.

Mentioned in this post
London
London
England, UK
Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
4,034 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

I'll go ahead and say that your budget is low. It's less than US$100 (or 75€) per night for lodging, food, and incidentals. That would be sufficient for a hostel stay but not for hotel. There are ways to economize, but both cities are expensive.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
17,527 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

For a budget place to stay you might try www.airbnb.com and choose the private room option. Look for places with several positive reviews and exchange a couple of e-mails with the owner before booking. And for more opinions you can post a link here too.

West Sussex, England
Level Contributor
2,342 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

Have you already booked your travel - flights and Eurostar?

Paris, France
Level Contributor
191 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

I traveled to Paris alone in October and am heading back in Feb because I loved it so much. I have a couple of recommendations based on my experience. First for the metro, I’d suggest buying a carnet of tickets. I'm not sure of the exact price, but it's around 12 Euros for ten tickets, which should be more than enough for a few days. (You will need to plan for around 10 Euros for the RER from the airport into the city, which is, I believe the cheapest way to get from the airport)

I also purchased a museum pass during my first visit and found that it was not the best choice because I was not able to visit all of the museums I had on my schedule. Therefore, I would have been better off just paying for each museum I did make it to. One benefit if the pass is skipping lines, but I only found one place where I was actually able to bypass the longer lines, so that's not a great benefit, especially in Feb. which is not a peak tourist season.

I rented an apartment on my first visit and the experience was a good one so that's what I'm doing this time again. I found apartments in very good locations at good rates, you'll just have to do some research to find a good property, make sure there are lots of good reviews. This apartment approach saves money on food because you have a small kitchen so you can prepare some meals and not have to eat out so much. I shopped a Monoprix and the various shops on the market street I was near and prepared my breakfast and dinner at the apartment then ate lunch out while I was sightseeing. I found that I spent much less on food than I had budgeted with this approach.

Hope this helps some and enjoy!

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
ireland
Level Contributor
976 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

The hotel Marignan www.hotel-marignan.com has single rooms with shared bathroom for €52 per night, breakfast included.It gets good reviews on TA, the location is fantastic, and you have the use of the kitchen from lunchtime onwards.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
6,968 posts
492 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

There are a lot of free walking tours in Paris. The guide expects a small tip after but no pressure. We took one in montemarte that was really nice.

There are a bunch of museums that are free as well. We went to one in the marais ( cavalet??)

I'm older now and budget is no longer an issue but I remember in my late teens and early twenties traveling with a tiny budget, renting random rooms and eating gyros sitting on outdoor steps I Greece. So much fun! The sun and views are free. Have fun!!

Oh for food the crepes are great and budget friendly.

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Greece
Greece
Europe
Chicago
Level Contributor
3,125 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

a 4 day Paris Museum pass is €54, the 2 day is €39. I'd make a list of the places you want to see and add it up and compare that with the cost of the museum pass. It works out to a good value and savings if you go to a lot places, otherwise, it's a waste. For the metro, you might be better off just buying a booklet of 10 tickets for ~€13. Are you flying into CDG or Orly?

Wherever you stay, there are likely to be plenty of bistros, cafes, restaurants and most importantly, patisseries. You can have cheap croissants and other pastries for breakfast, and sample some great street food or sandwich shops the rest of the day.

For a hotel, you could check hotel Diana or hotel College du France, both are around €90 per night. As suggested, you can also get some cheap apartment rentals from airbnb.com

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
Charles De Gaulle Airport
Charles De Gaulle Airport
Roissy-en-France, France
Orly
Orly
Val-de-Marne, France
Hotel Diana
Hotel Diana
445 Reviews
Paris, France
France
France
Europe
Kansas City...
2 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Paris and London in a budget for the first time traveler

I have just finished planning our trip. In Paris, I'm using an apartment from VRBO.com which is $360 Euros for 6 nights. In London we have a friend who invited us to a let in the Friends Meeting House, I think we're expected to give $25/night. In Edinburgh, The Hostel for $45/night. The rest of our cities are all Airbnb.com rooms-- Zurich and Munich for about $60/night, and I splurged in Frankfurt on a room twice that. The next night we are couch surfing for free in Dusseldorf to make up for it.

There were plenty of options on Airbnb.com. I also did get an offer from Couchsurfing.com for Edinburgh, but I seriously got the offer just hours after I had paid for reservations at the Hostel.

Our tickets were purchased with frequent flier miles, the biggest expense for our trip has been a Eurorail Global pass and reservations which was $1500 or so. Splurged on Moulin Rouge dinner and show (about $400), a day trip from Edinburgh to the Highlands and a day trip from Paris to Loire Valley. I found 50% off hop on/off tour bus in Amsterdam which is our last stop (and an Airbnb room.

I've actually been using Airbnb for over 6 months as a host. I've hosted a dozen different people so far, maybe. If you want an invitation to it, I can give you a link (I think we both get bonuses for the referral).

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
London
London
England, UK
Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Scotland, UK
Zurich
Zurich
Canton of Zurich, Switzerland
Munich
Munich
Upper Bavaria, Germany
Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Hesse, Germany
Dusseldorf
Dusseldorf
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge
11,303 Reviews
Paris, France
Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
Amsterdam
Amsterdam
North Holland Province, The Netherlands