48 Hours 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.

Step 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.

Step 2: Build an 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.

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



  • 12 p.m. flight lands
  • 2:30 p.m. check into Airbnb
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Bought a bag of fruit from a market down the street
  • Walk to Eiffel Tower & climb to 2nd level (I couldn’t get tickets to the summit. Boo.)
  • Watch sunset from Eiffel (Yeah, we’re on a first name basis.)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Bought that street crepe I mentioned above (Pure banana, Nutella bliss.)
  • Walk to Arc de Triomphe (Approx. 1 mile)
  • Window shop fancy stores on Champs Elysees
  • Walk back to Airbnb for the night (Approx. 1.5 miles)
  • *SPONTANEOUS* Sushi to-go for a late meal (because a crepe is not dinner)


  • 9 a.m. Leave Airbnb
  • Metro to (what Google Maps told me was) THE ‘lock bridge’ – but no locks! (I later learned they were removed due to weight.)
  • Walk to Notre Dame (I totally lucked out because Sunday mass was in session when I arrived!)
  • Eat 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!)
  • Walk to the Louvre (I didn’t tour the museum. I just had to see the pyramid!)
  • Walk 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!)
  • Walk back to Airbnb for the night
Notre Dame

Kilo Store: bought the jacket!

7 thoughts on “48 Hours in Paris on a Budget

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