Financial Tips for a Semester in Paris

By: Lia Nickson

Spending a semester abroad in Paris has been by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The city has infinite experiences to offer and is incredibly accessible. With that being said my time in Paris has taught me everything I need to know about the do’s and dont’s and tips and tricks of how to have the best time in Paris. For starters one of the most beneficial parts of spending a semester in Paris is actually your Visa! 

If you have a EU citizen passport majority of attractions in Paris are free. However you do have to bring your passport with you and book online a EU under 25 citizen ticket. Your EU visa can get you into the palace of Versailles for free, the Musseum D’ Orsay,  Rodin Museum, the top of the Arc De Triumph, Musée de l'Orangeri, and of course the Louvre. I most likely am missing some other destinations but always check websites before visiting anywhere because even if it isn’t completely free many places offer discounts such as the Eiffel Tower and the Dior Museum. 

Another tip for saving money while being in Paris and traveling on the weekends is figuring out which airport is closest to where you live. Ubers for the most part are considerably affordable but the metro is always the most convenient. The two main airports are CDG and Paris ORLY. Both are easily accessible by metro (for me Paris Orly was only 20 minutes away) figuring out which airport is closer to you is really important because allthough one flight might be cheaper than the other, weighing in the expenses of how much it will cost to get there and back can make a huge impact. The third airport is Paris Beavais which is almost an hour and a half outside of Paris, the only affordable way to get there is by bus which is 30 euro roundtrip if you purchase tickets online. Sometimes Paris Beauvais tickets can be very tempting for how affordable they look but always keep the travel cost in mind before making the hour and a half journey. 

Lastly if you will be spending most of your time in Paris investing in a monthly metro card is well worth the money, but if you find yourself traveling outside of Paris every other weekend buying individual tickets might work better for you. A monthly Metro card in Paris starts the first day of each month and costs 84 euro while individual tickets cost 2.10 euro. If you do end up buying individual tickets make sure to keep it after you use them in case of getting fined (30 euro). The police only checked tickets on Mondays while I was there but always keep them with you just in case. As for weekly metro cards those start Monday and end on Sundays and cost 30 euro. I hope these tips can help you budget during your time in Paris!