2 Days in Paris on a Budget

So, y’all know that Paris was my dream adventure. Aaaannnd my flight was unbelievably cheap ($467, thanks to one of Scott’s alerts). Still, my frugal self refused to spend more than $1k on the total trip, so I decided to limit myself to just two nights in the City of Lights. I know, I know. Two nights?? In Paris?? That’s it?? That’s it. But I’m a time-efficient traveler (read here) and knew I could make it work.

With my flight arriving in Paris around noon on a Saturday, and my return flight requiring airport check-in by 10 a.m. on Monday, I had slightly less than 48 hours to work with. Challenge accepted.

Tip #1: Find a centrally located and inexpensive place to stay

Airbnb for the win! I scored the most darling studio apartment that was a literal 10-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower. The damage? $98 bucks a night.

Tip #2: Build an itinerary that maximizes your time

I created a glorious itinerary that maximized every second of those 48 hours and included all the things at the top of my Paris must-do list. I’m not gonna lie, folks. The final draft was a thing of beauty. Truly. But, more importantly, I actually did every single thing on that itinerary and still made time for spontaneity – like enjoying a street crepe along the Seine, with a glowing Eiffel Tower in full view.

Eiffel Tower in Paris lit up at night

And so, without further ado, I give you my (less than) 48 hour Paris trip itinerary:

Two Days in Paris Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Saturday

  • 12 pm flight landed
  • 2:30 pm checked into Airbnb
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Bought a bag of fruit from a market down the street
  • Walked to Eiffel Tower & climbed to 2nd level (I couldn’t get tickets to the summit. Boo.)
  • Watched the sunset from the 2nd level of Eiffel (Yeah, we’re on a first name basis.)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Bought that street crepe I mentioned above (Pure banana, Nutella bliss.)
  • Walked to Arc de Triomphe (Approx. 1 mile)
  • Window shopped all the fancy stores on Champs Elysees
  • Walked back to my Airbnb for the night (Approx. 1.5 miles)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Sushi to-go for a late meal (because a crepe is not dinner)
View from the Eiffel Tower
View of the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Banana Nutella crepe on the street in Paris
Arc de Triomphe in Paris at night

Day 2: Sunday

  • 9 a.m. Left Airbnb
  • Metro to (what Google Maps told me was) THE ‘lock bridge’ – but no locks! (I later learned they were removed due to weight.)
  • Walked to Notre Dame (I totally lucked out because Sunday mass was in session when I arrived!)
  • Ate escargot (This was literally on my itinerary. When in Paris!)
  • Vintage shopping at three different stores I researched online: Vintage Desir (just eh), Free’P’Star (didn’t buy anything), and Kilo Shop (so highly recommend!)
  • Walked to the Louvre (I didn’t tour the museum. I just had to see the pyramid!)
  • Walked back to Airbnb (almost 2 miles)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Stopped at a fun stationary shop and purchased a card that caught my eye
  • Nighttime farewell visit to Eiffel Tower (to meet a friend who happened to be in Paris, too!)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Dinner at a café with Eiffel views (Gotta eat somewhere!)
  • Walked back to Airbnb for the night
Notre Dame vaulted ceiling in Paris
Notre Dame
Escargot close up
The Louvre pyramid in Paris

7 thoughts on “2 Days in Paris on a Budget

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