France instantly makes me reminisce exploring the Louvre for the first time, driving through the countryside during the Mongol Rally, and celebrating my 27th birthday drinking wine under the white lights of the Eiffel Tower.
France is a country full of street cafes, delicious wine, and stunning Gothic Cathedrals’. Throughout the centuries, the country has become the home famous painters and talented writers that have succumbed to the lure of France.
Honestly, doesn’t France sound unbelievable?
It is unbelievable, but it also has an unbelievable price tag as well. Let’s break it down.
How Much Money to Budget for a Month in France.
Budget backpackers beware!
Hostels in France are the most expensive I’ve seen in all of Europe. You need to book far in advance to get reasonable prices..
Dorm – Don’t expect the $20-$30 you’ve become accustomed to paying in most places in Europe. For a 12 bed dorm in France, I was paying $45 a night.
Note: Just to be accurate I took a sample of 20 Paris hostels arranged by popularity from Hostelworld and calculated the average.
It was $41.24
Private dorms – A private room with range between $50-$90 a night!
In the off-season take of $10 for both dorms and private rooms
I can’t stress enough that you need to book your accommodation in the big cities like Paris ahead of time. Hostel fills up fast, and prices rise, and you will spend one of your limited days in France just trying to find a place to sleep.
Filling Your Belly
One thing you have to accept, traveling in France, is that your waistline is going to expand.
No no, don’t try to fight it, just make sure to pack a loose pair of pants, and savor every wonderful bite.
Any stroll down the street in accompanied by blankly window shopping in bakeries, the drool slowly dripping from your mouth as you stare at some of the most epic pastries every created by man.
I did a bakery crawl my first day in France ( A term I might have just invented).
Meaning I was stopping at every bakery and trying something new.
Finally, my brother looked at me in all seriousness and said “wow dude.”
“What?” I questioned, the crumbs tumbling from the side of my mouth.
It was only them I realized I had lost all human decency and had to watch my pastry intake.
The food is that incredible.
However, eating out every night will kill your budget. I suggest striking a delicate balance between bakeries, cooking, and restaurants.
Bakeries – $7 – $10 a meal.
Average Restaurants – $20-$30 (Budget more for wine)
If you are adding wine to your meal budget at least $10 more a meal.
Groceries – $12 per day or $84 a week.
If you are on a budget and want to party then drinking before going out is a must. Wine is cheap is most stores, and will save you paying expensive prices at backpacker bars and popular party spots.
A night out will cost you between $20-$50
France is one of the most traveled countries in Europe, and Paris is one of the top 5 European Cities for first time backpackers.
France is the gateway between Europe and the UK.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to travel Europe is the incredible network of trains. France is no exception to this rule.
If you are on a Eurail pass or Busabout then, you have nothing to worry about.
Train and bus travel is a little pricey if you are paying as you go.
Train and bus – Tickets can be anywhere from $20 -$100.
Local transportation – Using city buses and metros cost around $2.50 each use.
Overnight trains tend a little more expensive, but considering you don’t have to pay for a night of accommodation I recommend them.
Expect to budget a couple few hundred dollars for transportation if you’re going to move cities frequently.
A Eurail pass is a good option to help you save money, and since you pay before trip you don’t have to stress about the cost of travel.
In Paris the best deal on Metro tickets is buying them in bulk, instead of buying them as you need them.
Sightseeing in France is almost overwhelming, and it seems every time you turn a corner there is something else to explore.
Moderate Sightseeing in France for a month will cost you around $150.
Here are some of the most famous attractions and France and their entry fees.
Norte Dame – $11
Eiffel Tower- Elevator to the top – $18
( Walking to the 2nd floor $7; Elevator to the 2nd floor $9)
Chateau de Chambord – $14
Palace of Versailles Half day tour – $30 (40 minutes outside Paris)
France Budget Breakdown for a Month
Hostel Dorms = $1230
Eating (Traded between cooking for myself and eating out) = $900
Partying (One night out weekly) =$200
Sightseeing = $150
Total = $ 2,630
How much money you need to budget a month in France just clocks in a little over how much you need for a month in Italy.
A major factor of the price is the expensive accommodation, nights out, and dining at restaurants.
Budget according and always plan to spend a little extra for unplanned expenses.
In closing, France in one of the most expensive countries in Europe, but with its history, art, castles, and cathedrals it is a country you need to explore.
Get my full list of France Travel Tips here.