Some Things to Keep in Mind When Planning Your Parisian Vacation

Planning a vacation takes research and a little bit of knowledge of the area you’ll be staying in in order to fully enjoy your vacation. Here’s some things to keep in mind on Paris while planning your vacation.

metro pic

Seasons

Spring: March thru May in Paris is the prettiest and most yearned for temperature wise. However, travel prices go sky high, and you’ll find that you’ll pay an arm and a leg for a hotel.

Summer: June thru August is when locals often leave the city. You’ll see a lot of festivals and outdoor events during this time, but you’ll also see an overall hike in pricing.

Fall: During the September thru November months prices are lower than usual for travel and everything in the city. The only drawback is the lessening of activities and the dark and cold evenings.

Winter: December thru February in Paris is a magical time, with lights and ice skating. However, it’s very rainy and very cold.

Hotel Budget

*Consider who you’ll be traveling with on your Paris vacation. Hostels, for instance, are probably not the best idea for small children or seniors.*

*Consider what landmarks and events you’ll be attending when you make your hotel selection, so that you choose a location with easy access to your points of interest.*

Hostels: This is the cheapest option by far, much cheaper than hotels or apartments. However, you will be sharing your living space with other travelers. It’s not a very private option, but on the up side you meet new fellow travelers while staying there.

Hotels: More expensive than hostels, but you have your own private room and enjoy the luxuries and amenities a hotel has to offer.

Apartments: Apartments are priced by the week or month, while they are pricier, in the long run they make sense if you are planning an extended stay.

Sights

Paris has many, many, many things to see and do – too much to conquer in one trip. It’s important that you plan out what landmarks and museums you plan to see in order to make the most of your trip, and plan financially for these treks. Some things to consider:

  • What landmarks and attractions do you want to see? 
  • What is your budget for attractions and landmarks?
  • Do you want to attend these attractions or landmarks more than once during your stay? If so, are passes available?

Eating

For some travelers, eating well in Paris is a must. Fortunately, you don’t always have to spend a lot to eat well here. Here’s some things to keep in mind on your food budget:

  • If you’re on a smaller dining budget, stick to street vendors and patisseries. For gourmet dining, lunch menus are always cheaper, as well as sticking to ordering off the preset menu instead of a la carte.
  • Read reviews on restaurants before you travel. It’s good to know where good places are to dine, and have an idea of what you’re interested in.

Getting Around

Paris is a friendly city when it comes to transportation. Decide what forms of transport you plan on using, and to where, and how often. You can often purchase metro, bus, and train passes to lessen the expenses a bit in this area. Taxis are also widely available.

Eating Cheap in Paris

Paris Sandwiches

 

Traveling abroad is no easy financial feat for most of us, but there are always ways to save – especially when it comes to dining in Paris. With hundreds and hundreds of small bistros offering gourmet food at lower prices than the fine restaurants in Paris, it’s easy to budget in this area. But, there are ways to dine and save at the gourmet restaurants as well.

 

When out and about enjoying the sights and sounds of Paris, stick to out of the way places when it comes to grabbing a bite to eat. The non-touristy places are going to offer great food for a lot less than the places right next to land marks such as the Eiffel Tower or the Champs Elysees. Also, keep an eye out for food stalls that are scattered throughout the city – these are usually cheap and very accessible. Patisseries are also a great way to dine, with coffee and sandwiches typically being made available for purchase.

If trendier restaurants are more your cup of tea, there are certainly ways to save in this area. Firstly, stick to the prix-fixe menu instead of ordering A la Carte. You can often times get a great three course meal for under fifteen dollars. Also, remember that it’s always cheaper to dine during lunch hours than dinner hours where you can often see the prices markedly higher.

Just remember these key things, and you’ll be dining like a king on less than a king’s budget in no time:

  • Dine at non-touristy places
  • Keep an eye out for street vendors
  • Minimize fine dining to only during lunch hours
  • Take full advantage of your hotels (typically) on-the-house breakfast. It usually consists of croissants, fruit, cheese, and juice.
  • Don’t order A la Carte. Instead stick to the prix-fixe menu most fine restaurants will provide.

 

 

January: Our Top Five Restaurants in Paris

Le Comptoir Du Relais
L'Avant ComptoirAddress:  9, Carrefour de l’Odéon

You definitely need to call ahead, way ahead, for a reservation at Le Comptoir du Relais, but it’s so very worth it. They have a very creative menu with spins on traditional French food offered by Chef Yves Camdeborde. If you came to Paris for the food, you probably already have your reservations for this delectable restaurant, but if you just want to try something unique and authentic – make your reservations for this restaurant quickly! We highly recommend the fois gras and haricot vert salad, the brandade, and the charcuterie and beef cheek.

Bistrot Paul Bert

Bistrot Paul Bert

 

Address: 18, rue Paul Bert, 11e, Paris, 75011

The chef at this quaint and classic French cuisine restaurant came from a Michelin star restaurant called La Regalade. You can choose from a wide menu that changes very often, so if you are able to go multiple times – definitely do! However, if you can only dine once, choose from the three course menu.

Le Chateaubriand

Le Chateaubriand

Address: 129 Avenue Parmentier, 75011

In 2010 this bistro made the list of world’s best restaurant, and not without reason. You can order La Carte, but we highly recommend trying one of the chef’s daily creations off the fixed six course menu. Make sure to call ahead for reservations and dine in this friendly and warm Parisian restaurant.

L’as Du Falafel

L'as Du Falafel

Address: 34 rue des Rosiers

If you’re looking for the best falafel in Paris, nay in the world – definitely check this place out. It’s closed Friday and Saturday, but any other day you can drift up to the window and order or go inside and eat (just 2 eu more than eating outside). We highly recommend trying the falafel with everything: HUmmus, 2 types of cabbage, tzatziki, eggplant, spicy sauce, and falafel of course.

Berthillon

Berthillon

Address: 31 Rue St Louis en l’ile

If your looking for something sweet after all that good Parisian food, don’t miss the Berthillon – Paris’s best ice cream! Located near the Notre Dame, stop in and choose from over 60 flavors. You can’t go wrong!

5 Restaurants You Must Go to In Paris

le meurice restaurant

Le Meurice

With its old world charm and sophisticated beauty, not to mention its gourmet cuisine, Le Meurice definitely tops the list of Parisian restaurants you must visit. It’s chef, Yannick Alleno, is known for his inventive cooking and has 3 Michelin Stars!

Huitrerie Regis

Huitrerie Regis

If you love oysters, especially ridiculously fresh ones, the Huitrerie Regis is the place to go. Sometimes prawns, clams, and sea urchins are also available – their availability varies. Enjoy some perfect white wine with your meal and take in the Saint Germain des Pres.

ze kitchen galerie

Ze Kitchen Galerie

The restaurant is styled like neighboring art galleries, with parquet floors, steel tables, and contemporary art. Chef William Ledeuil, who also trained with Guy Savoy, offers a unique dining experience with his take on contemporary French cuisine. He incorporates a lot of herbs and spices, such as Thai, in with old French recipes for a Symphony of flavors.

spring restaurant

Spring

This restaurant features some delicious and inventive recipes, such as grilled New Caledonian prawns on shaved baby fennel or Basque country trout with avocado and coriander flowers, cooked by a Chicago-born chef, Daniel Rose. There is also a wine bar in the basement that has a great selection of wines and cheeses.

Macéo

Maceo

Overlooking the Palais Royal in the heart of Paris, this restaurant is cleanly and freshly decorated with wonderfully colored ox blood walls. The chef Thierry Bourbonnais includes many vegetarian dishes on his menu, and often features dishes centered around a single vegetable like asparagus or tomatoes. Delicious scallops and wild sea bass dishes are also served.