The question of how to visit and stay in Europe’s major cities like Paris without busting the budget is a big one. Finding budget accomodations in Paris is a must if we want to visit and enjoy the City of Light. And it is very doable!
For our purpose, which is to enjoy the best of Europe on a budget of $2000 per month, we stick mostly to smaller, less well known, and much cheaper cities. They are just as fabulous as Europe’s great, but expensive capitals. Finding budget accomodations in those cities is easy. They are the rule, rather than the exception.
But finding budget accomodations in Paris, London, or Rome is challenging. That’s because every American traveler knows about and wants to visit those cities. It’s all about supply and demand. Millions more people want to visit Paris, than they do, say, Bordeaux, Lyon, and Marseille. All of which we will visit, by the way.
So there is a huge price difference between those wonderful capital cities, and Europe’s smaller, but equally charming and awesome cities.
But that doesn’t mean that we can’t visit those big expensive cities. It means only that we need to limit our time in those cities, and use common sense in our spending choices.
You CAN Find A Place Stay in Paris Without Busting the Budget Using This Tool
You can find reasonably priced boutique hotels all over Paris. I have grown to rely almost exclusively on Booking.com’s platform after trying all the other popular ones, including Airbnb. For short term stays, Booking is the most user friendly and comprehensive.
If you didn’t know, Booking.com was acquired a few years ago by Priceline.com, and the company changed its name to Booking.com. As a frequent long term traveler, I really appreciate how well this company navigates the field and has come to dominate it. I’ve joined their affiliate program and glad to promote their services. When I recommend a specific hotel, I only recommend those that I have stayed in and really liked.
But I also like their platform in general, and will show you how to use it to your best advantage to quickly find the properties that meet or exceed your needs and expectations.
When you search Booking.com for rooms or apartments, look for places with guest review scores of at least 8.0 and you’ll find something that’s absolutely fine.
If there’s a price problem at that level, you can add the 7 level, and you should be able to find something that’s at least ok for a few days. Just be sure to read the particulars and the guest reviews and look for any red flags. If more than one guest has complained about a particular feature, it’s usually for a reason.
Three Boutique Hotels I’ve Stayed in and Loved in Paris
Unfortunately, prices in the most popular districts have risen dramatically in the past few years. Those hotels will now set you back between $100 and $150 per night in the low season. So you may need to make a tradeoffs in location or quality if you want to save money.
Here’s a Filtered List of Budget Priced, Good Quality Paris Accomodations
Here is a list of accomodations that I have prefiltered for you. I set this up to save you time and effort in finding a place that meets your needs at an affordable price. The dates I chose are arbitrary. You will need to change them to the dates you want to find the prices for those dates.
The resulting properties are located in the most popular neighborhoods of Paris, with review scores of at least 7.0, and with all the essentials necessary for a good stay. I have sorted them by price from lowest to highest.
Obviously, the higher the score, the better. Always opt for the best that your budget will allow.
You can change the sort criteria using the menu in the horizontal bar above the list. It looks like this.
Use the menu on the left side to change your search filters. For example, you could change the neighborhood, or room features.
Don’t choose “breakfast included.” It’s not that the hotel breakfasts are bad. They’re the same as everywhere else– croissants, cheeses, processed meats, fruits, juices, and coffee.
When you check in at the hotel you can always choose to add breakfast then if the price is reasonable. The problem is that it usually isn’t. Breakfast included often adds 10-15 euros per person to your room charge. Get out to a local cafe and save 5-10 euros per person. Then hit the streets of Paris!
Use Maps to Find a Hotel and to Get Around Paris
The map view is always useful, if you want to be near a particular landmark. But don’t worry if you are across town. The metro stations are everywhere and will get you to your locations quickly.
If you’re not already familiar with Google Maps GPS public transit directions on your phone, start playing with that now. It is INDISPENSABLE, when you are in new cities. Once you know how to use it, you’ll be able to get around like a local.